connect up your logger shield without an SD card
press the rest switch
you get the SD card error
ok insert a formatted card and press the reset switch
magic it works
Yes. The example code only checks the card at startup. If you want to handle runtime card insertion, you need to check for it in the loop.
when i can figure out how to get the real time clock to remember the time.
Check the battery voltage on the backup battery. Did you remember the blob of solder under the battery holder? That is required for good electrical contact. If you post photos of the front & back of the shield we can check for any assembly problems.