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.
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.
To fix different levels of damage, SD card owners should try troubleshooting methods one by one, from simple to complex. Altogether, 12 ways of SD card repair solutions are widely recommended on websites and forums. Let's start with a detailed guide for each fix.
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.
If the SD card doesn’t work on your computer, it can be caused by the SD card or the computer. To clarify, you can connect the SD card to another computer to see if the problem persists.
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.
For example, chkdsk /X /f h: or chkdsk h: /f, if your card is in drive letter H.
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.
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.
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.
Nothing's changed by performing the primary examination? Continue with the native Windows check and repair tool to repair the SD card.
If there is any file or folder in the SD card opening, the repair process won’t start. So, save your work and close the file to repair the drive now. Or you can choose to fix it on the next restart.
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.
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.
You want to repair the SD card without formatting, you can use the Diskpart command.
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
If the methods introduced above don’t work, the last thing you can try to is to format the SD card. The faulty partition table and damaged file system in the SD card can be repaired well by formatting.
Note: Formatting will remove all the data stored in the SD card. It's recommended to perform a data recovery or backup in advance.
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 the SD card and click Scan to start the disk scanning.
Step 2. Wait for the process complete.
Step 3. Locate the file that you want to recover. You can double-click on it to preview the result. Click Recover to download and save the file locally.
Related article: SD card repair tools
If you only find partial or no data in the SD card, it may be because the data is hidden instead of the SD card being corrupted. To make the data show up again, you can:
Safely Eject the SD Card: Always correctly eject the SD card from your device before removing it, which can ensure that all pending read/write operations are completed and reduce the risk of data corruption.
Format the SD card correctly: Before using a new SD card or reusing an old one, ensure that you format it in the device it will use. Formatting helps create a proper file system structure and minimizes the chances of data corruption.
Scan for malware: Regularly scan your SD card for malware using reliable antivirus software. Malware can corrupt files and cause other issues with the SD card's functionality.
Keep the SD card safe from physical damage: Protect the SD card from physical damage, such as bending, moisture, extreme temperatures, or exposure to magnetic fields. Store it in a protective case when not in use.