Wondershare Recoverit

Memory Card Recovery

  • Recovers deleted or lost data from memory card effectively, safely and completely.
  • Supports data recovery from 500+ data loss scenarios, including computer crash, partition loss, accidental human error, etc.
  • Supports 1000+ file formats recovery with a high success rate and without any quality loss.
Free Download Free Download Free Download Learn More >
memory card recovery

How to Fix CF Card Not Reading?

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Jan 24, 2024 • Filed to: SD Card Solutions • Proven solutions

Data storage devices have become a vital part of our everyday lives. With the ever-growing impact of digital media on the world, routine users' storage rates can reach an enormous number. Under such circumstances, it is necessary to store data in a safe place which can be easily accessed later.

CF cards are devices that are particularly beneficial as memory storage tools. Please keep reading to know more about their functions and how to solve CF card not reading errors.

how to read cf card

Part 1: What is a CF card?

A CF card, otherwise known as a Compact Flash Card, is a small yet highly efficient tool devised for memory and data storage needs. This memory storage format was first developed by SanDisk in 1994 and has since been highly successful in its uses and applications.

CF cards are most commonly used in portable devices such as still cameras and professional video cameras. Many renowned camera brands now use the CF card formats, and they are also supported by several other computing and digital devices.

Dig deep into what is CF card.

Part 2: Why is CF card not reading?

If you have inserted your CF card into your device and face an unreadable issue, it can prove to be a nightmare. Particularly for people in the professional fields facing CF card errors, it is essential first to know the root cause. CF card not reading issue can arise due to multiple reasons such as:

Mutilated Card

In often cases, physical damage on the CF card leads to the unreadability of the card.

Hardware Problems

If the CF card is physically fine and compatible with your device, the problem is likely in the hardware instead of the card.

Virus Attacks

If the card is infected with viruses, malware, or spam, it won't be read or recognized by your device.

Corrupted Card

Most often, card corruption can lead to problems, including the CF card not reading issue arising.

Incompatible Card

If the card and the device are not compatible with each other, the card will not be read. Make sure that the CF card you are using is compatible with your device.

Part 3: 6 Methods to stop CF card not reading issue

If you face the CF card not reading issue and wish to get rid of it, you are at the right place. Here, we have gathered four effective methods to resolve CF card errors.

Method 1: Update Drives or Firmwares

If the operating system is outdated, it can also cause the CF card not reading issue. But don’t worry, you can easily update the operating system on Windows and Mac within a few clicks.

On Windows:

Go to the Settings->Windows Update->Check for updates.

check for update on windows

On Mac:

Go to Settings->General->Software Update.

check for update on mac

Method 2: Update Driver Software

One of the most common reasons for the issue to occur is when driver software is not updated. In such cases, you can update your driver software to get rid of the problem.

To do so, follow these steps.

  1. Insert the CF card into your device.
  2. Press the "Windows+R" key simultaneously.
  3. In the pop-up box, type "devmgmt.msc."

type the command and press enter

  1. Upon pressing enter, the Device Manager tab will open.
  2. Navigate to "Disk Drivers" and click on it.
  3. Locate your CF card and right-click on it.
  4. Choose the "Scan for hardware changes" to resolve your issue.

start scanning for updates

Method 3: Change to a Different Drive Letter

If your card is not being read after insertion, it is possible that a device letter is not assigned to it. To solve the problem, you can proceed as below.

  1. Press the "Windows+R" keys at the same time.
  2. In the dialogue box, type "diskmgmt.msc."

tap on ok

  1. The Disk Management tab shall open.

locate your cf card

  1. Locate your CF card and right-click on it.
  2. From the menus list, click the option that reads "Change Drive Letter and Paths."

change your drive letter

  1. Choose the "Change" button, or if your card is missing a driver, click on the "Add" button.
  2. Select a driver letter and click on "OK."

Method 4: Use CHKDSK Command

To make your CF card readable, you can run the CHKDSK command. Here are the steps for that.

  1. To begin with, click the "Windows" button to open the startup menu.
  2. In the search bar, type "command" and hit enter. The command prompt window shall pop-up.
  3. Type "chkdsk" in the window.
  4. Insert a space once, then type your desired drive letter. For example, if you wish to run a check on drive G, type "chkdsk G."
  5. Then, insert a colon, and then type "/f." So now, your whole command reads as "chkdsk G:/f."

type the command and press enter

  1. Hit the "Enter" key to run the command, and you shall be able to recover any unreadable CF card errors.

Method 5: Format CF Card

When nothing works, formatting your card might be the last resort. Follow the steps given below to format your CF card.

  1. Press the keys "Windows+X," or right-click on the Start menu.
  2. From the appearing list, choose "Disk Management."
  3. In the pop-up window, search for your CF card and right-click on it.
  4. From the drop-down menu, choose "Format."

select format option for formatting

  1. A dialogue box shall appear. In "File System," choose a suitable option such as NTFS or FAT32.
  2. Click on "OK."

More related: sd card repair tools

Method 6: Check the Errors on CF Card

Some software-related issues on the card may cause the CF card not reading issue. In this case, you can use the built-in tools to solve most of the issues automatically.

On Windows:

  1. Connect the card to the computer.
  2. Go to File Explorer->Right-click the card->Properties
  3. Go to the Tools tab->click Check.
  4. Wait for the process to complete.

check the errors

On Mac:

  1. Connect the card to the computer.
  2. Find and select the card from the left sidebar, then, click First Aid and Run to start the scanning process.

check the errors on mac

Video tutorial: How to Fix CF Card Cannot Read Error?

Recent Videos from Recoverit

View More >

Part 5: How to recover deleted files from CF card?

Accidental deletion of essential data can mess with a person's head. Due to the latest software developments, it is now possible to recover deleted files from your drives or external storage devices. Various third-party tools can do the job for you.

The most efficient tool in this regard is the Wondershare Recoverit. This excellent software helps you recover deleted files from your device that too free of cost. The program also features an attractive UI and is functional on both iOS and Windows.

To recover deleted files from your CF card using Wondershare Recoverit, launch the program on your device and follow these steps.

Step 1: Specify a Location. The first step is to specify the particular point from which the files were lost. It can be an internal folder or an external drive.

choose your cf card and start scanning

Step 2: Scan. Click on the "Start" button visible on-screen to commence the scan. The scanning and recovery are entirely automatic.

scanning process

Step 3: Selection of Files. Recoverit shall preview the list of deleted files found on the specified drive. Choose the files that you wish to retrieve and click on the "Recover" button.

preview and recover data

Step 4: Save the Files. Choose a new location for the recovered files, and you are all done.

save your files

Tips to Protect Your CF Card

Here is a compilation of a few effective tips to prevent your CF card from getting corrupted, becoming unreadable, or other CF card errors. Follow these to avoid unnecessary trouble regarding your CF card.

Always format your card before every use and as soon as you receive it.

Make sure to switch off your device before removing a card.

Avoid brimming the card to its maximum capacity.

Keep the card stored in a dry and secure environment, away from external severities.

Do not use the same card at multiple places, as it can cause complications.

Eject the card after safely unmounting it to avoid problems


Memory storage devices are used by almost everyone these days. Data corruption and deletion is a commonly arising problem that can cause a serious nuisance. Hopefully, with this article, you now have a better understanding of CF cards and their working patterns.

You can now take better care of your card and actively avoid CF card errors. Even in scenarios when your CF card won't be read, you shall be able to effectively get rid of the issue. That sums up our discussion for today.

Recoverit author

Eleanor Reed

staff Editor

Home > Resources > SD Card Solutions > How to Fix CF Card Not Reading?