Fix Corrupted/Damaged SD Card Using Chkdsk

This article will show you 8 useful ways to fix a corrupted SD card in Windows, including using the native Windows tools and third-party SD card repair tools.

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Apr 10, 2023 • Filed to: SD Card Solutions • Proven solutions

This article comprises 8 useful ways to fix a corrupted SD card in Windows 10/8.1/8/7, including using the native Windows tools as well as third-party SD card repair tools. As soon as your SD memory card has signs of corruption, take prompt measures to prevent data loss. 

As a tiny, portable and functional type of extended capacity, the SD card still plays an essential role in popular devices, such as digital cameras, Android phones & tablets, video game consoles, and some electronic instruments. It's "walking" storage that can be placed on multiple different devices. As it is, frequently plugging in and out an SD card is likely to expose problems, especially without safe ejection, giving rise to file system corruption or bad sectors.

Common Signs of SD Card Corruption

Are you experiencing the exact SD card corruption issue? Apart from the improper handle of the SD card, many other devastating situations will bring an SD card not working anymore. The commonly seen factors are, e.g, a virus infection, interrupt data transfer, SD card removal while writing files to it, etc.

Anyway, when you see any one of the following signs, it means that your SD card has been corrupted, damaged, or at least needs small repairs.

  • SD card suddenly shows empty
  • Photos and other preserved files are missing.
  • SD card becomes extremely slow
  • The camera hangs or turns black screen while taking pictures.
  • SD card is not open
  • Windows asks you to format the SD card before you can use it
  • The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable.
  • SD card is not showing up in Windows.
  • SD card is not recognized - it shows no media in Windows Disk Management or it is simply not visible at all…

8 Ways to Fix Corrupted/Damaged SD Card

To fix different levels of damage, SD card owners should try troubleshooting methods one by one, from simple to complex. Altogether, 8 ways of SD card repair solutions are widely recommended on websites and forums. Let's start with a detailed guide for each fix.

Tip 1. Change a card reader, adapter, or a USB port

Sometimes, connection issues or power issues are likely to cause SD card problems. First of all, it's better to exclude exterior factors that can be fixed with a few tricks.

How do you connect the removable SD card to the PC? Take advantage of anything available to you, like a different USB port on your computer, a new car adapter, or another computer. Try a re-connection a couple of times. Does your memory card work normally again? If changing a connection device helps remove the SD card errors, take prompt measures to prevent data loss. Try to copy pictures and videos as many as possible from the SD card to cloud storage or other safe places.

Tip 2. Run Windows Repair Tool

Nothing's changed by performing the primary examination? Continue with the native Windows check and repair tool to repair the SD card.

Step 1: Connect the SD card to your PC

Step 2: Press Windows + E to open Windows Explorer.

Step 3: Right-click the SD card and open its Properties.

Step 4: Click on the Tools tab.

Step 5: Click the Check button.

check and repair the damaged sd card

Step 6: Let the scan process completes. Close the scan window once it finishes.

Tip 3. Change a drive letter

If the Windows system does not assign a drive letter to the SD card, or because its drive letter is conflicted with other drives, your SD card will act as it has corrupted, and become unreadable. This time try to change a drive letter to it with the inbuilt Windows Disk Management program.

Step 1: Press Win + X keys and click Disk Management.

Step 2: Find and right-click on your SD card and select Change Drive Letter and Path.

change sd card drive letter and paths

Step 3: Click Add and select a new drive letter and click "OK" to save all the changes.

Tip 4. Run CHKDSK to check and repair SD card bad sectors

SD card has a limited lifespan, like other removable storage devices. It will grow bad sectors after a long period of use. Chkdsk cmd is good at finding SD card file system corruption errors and removing bad sectors from it. This is also the most applicable way to repair the SD card without formatting it.

Step 1: Plug your SD card into your computer with a card reader.

Step 2: Go to the start menu, type "cmd" in a search bar, hit enter and you will see "cmd.exe" in a list of programs.

Step 3: Click "cmd.exe" and then you will get the following command window that will allow you to fix your corrupted SD card without formatting.

using chkdsk to fix a corrupted sd card without data loss step 1

Step 4: Type in chkdsk /X /f [sd card letter]: or chkdsk [sd card letter]: /f.

For example, chkdsk /X /f h: or chkdsk h: /f, if your card is in drive letter H.

using chkdsk to fix a corrupted sd card without data loss step 2

After finishing all these steps, Windows will begin to check and fix the file system of the SD card. It usually takes several minutes. After that, if you see "Windows has made corrections to the file system" in the command window, then congratulations, the damaged SD card is successfully fixed, and you can see your data again.

If you don't have any technical know-how and want to minimize data risks, using third-party software could be a better choice. The Command line is suitable for computer professionals since wrong commands can cause severe problems. Therefore, we strongly recommend you to try an automatic command line alternative.

EaseUS Tool M is a practical computer fixing tool that is safe and light-weighted. It's a perfect alternative to the CHKDSK command. Use this one-click tool to solve your computer issues.

To fix file system error or disk error:

Step 1: DOWNLOAD EaseUS Tool M for Free and install it.

Step 2: Open the software and select "File Fixing" on the left pane.

On the right pane, choose the drive and check off the box at the bottom - "Check and fix file system error". Then, click "Fix" to start repairing the error.

Step 3: Wait until the operation completes. Wait until the operation completes. After the operation completes, click the "View" button to check the drive.

select the drive and check off file system error

Video Tutorial on How to Run CHKDSK For Repairing Bad Sectors?

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Tip 5. Reinstall the SD card driver

The chances are that the SD card is not recognized by Windows at all, and you cannot see it anywhere in Windows Explorer or Windows Disk Management. You can try to reinstall the driver to make it appear again in the Windows Device Manager.

Step 1: Press Win + X keys and click Device Manager.

Step 2: Expand Disk Drives, right-click on the name of your removable disk, and click Uninstall.

update sd card driver to fix corruption

Step 3: Click OK. Disconnect the SD card from your computer.

Step 4: Restart your computer. After a while, connect the SD card to your computer again. Windows will install the latest driver automatically and make the SD card detectable.

Tip 6. Format a RAW SD card

If the card is seen in Windows Disk Management but displays as RAW, you need to format it with a proper file system like NTFS or FAT32.

fix raw sd card

Tip 7. Format a half-capacity SD card

There are moments that your SD card is with 32GB but it shows only half capacity or less, you need to restore its full capacity by formatting.

You can go on with Windows File Explorer or Disk Management, besides, some SD card makers developed SD card formatter that is specialized to fix corruption issues. The third-party SD card format tools are also useful in handling a corrupted SD card which formatting can be a great way out.

Tip 8. Create a new SD card partition on unallocated space

RAW memory card won't show up in your computer, as well as when the SD card turns to empty, showing as unallocated space. To make it appear as normal, you need to manually create a partition to make Windows rec

disk managerment

The Fix 1~5 are meant to repair SD card without formatting, which won't cause data loss on a corrupted memory card. Next, we'll offer three other ways that are also helpful in fixing a not working SD card, but it's about formatting the card. If the data is concerned, you need to perform data recovery in advance.

How to Recover Data from Corrupted SD Card?

Once your SD card turns to RAW or Windows asks you to format it before you can use it, take it slow. If the files are still on the SD card, use data recovery software to export SD card data to another location as soon as possible. Recoverit Data Recovery is a professional SD card recovery program that can be used to recover deleted, formatted or inaccessible data in various data loss cases.

It supports recovering data from computer hard drives, recovering formatted USB drives, and all storage media like SD cards, CF cards, etc. With its powerful data recovery capacity and intuitive user interface, it is the best choice to recover your data from a damaged SD card. After retrieving all your data, you can format the SD card to fix the damaged SD card error.

Recoverit Data Recovery is powerful data recovery software. It helps you get back all your valuable documents, emails, photos, videos, and audio files, quickly and easily from a laptop, recycle bin/trash, internal hard drive, external storage media, and even a crashed computer. Recoverit Ultimate even helps you recover fragmented video and repair corrupt/broken/damaged video.

Step 1. Select a location

select the location to find corrupted videos

Step 2. Scan the location

scan the corrupted files

Step 3. Wait for scanning complete

Step 4. Preview the file

preview repaired videos

Enhanced Recovery Function of Recoverit

Video files are different from any other type of data. Sometimes, you might find the video corruption after the preview using the software. Don't worry from now on. If so, Recoverit reminds and works for you. Recoverit Data Recovery Ultimate supports the Enhanced Recovery feature. It scans, gathers, and matches the fragments of your corrupt videos, and thus ensures most of your videos are recovered from DSLR, Digital cameras, Drones, Action Cameras, Dashcams, camcorders, SD card, PC, HDD, etc

Just click the Enhanced Recovery option to recover fragmented video files easily.

advance video recover

Steps to Repair Corrupted Video with Recoverit

Moreover, Video Repair is powerful video repair software for repairing corrupt, broken, or damaged MOV, MP4, M2TS, MKV, MTS, 3GP, AVI, and FLV file formats. It supports two repair modes. Quick repair is to repair various video errors. The enhanced repair can repair your corrupt videos by analyzing the data and technology of the sample video shot by the same device.

Step 1: Add your corrupted videos
Launch the application on your computer. To repair your corrupted video files, you can add them by clicking the Add button or "Add video and start repairing" area.

add videos

Step 2: Repair your videos
As soon as you have added all the corrupted videos, click on the Repair option to start the video repair process.

scan videos

Step 3: Preview the videos
It will take some time to repair and once it has finished the repair process, a reminder showing info of successful fix will pop up on the screen. Press OK to close the operation.

preview videos

Step 4: Enhanced mode for severely corrupted video (optional)
If the videos are severely corrupted and not repaired successfully, please go to the enhanced repair mode. Just click the Corrupted Video Repair button. Then add a sample video and repair it now.

add sample video

Step 5: Save repaired video
The video repair will perform the repairing process and prompt a success message when the process is completely done. Now, you can play these videos and you will not see any error on the screen.

save videos path

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