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Top Solutions to "SD Card Won't Read"

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

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

Are you facing any issue with your SD card? We have a perfect solution. Secure Digital Cards are the non-volatile memory storage devices used for data storage and retrieval at fast speed. They are excellent for storing digital media such as pictures and videos in phones, digital cameras, camcorders, and MP3 players. They can fail due to plenty of reasons. Recoverit Data Recovery tool offers a complete range of data recovery options to recover your deleted data according to different scenarios.

What you will find out in our article:

Are you ready? Let's get started.

Part 1. What's the Issue of "SD Card Won't Read."

You might be putting the whole blame on your Secure Digital Device. But it may be due to other reasons.

Case 1: Your Storage Device or Reader is Covered with Dirt

If this is the case, your pc won't read the SD card. It is due to poor contact between the storage card and the reader. Therefore, make sure you keep them clean all the time.

Case 2: Wrong Formatting

If you have formatted the Secure Digital Card on the phone, it can also cause trouble. Maybe the file system is damaged deeply.

Case 3: Outdated or Missing Drivers

When you insert a new memory card on your mobile, you get a message SD card not showing on the phone. Outdated drivers may be the reason behind this.

Part 2. Fix Not Reading SD Card Due to Physical Errors

Physical failure in a Secure Digital Card can happen due to physical damages. It can be due to dirty chip, squeezed slot, unstable battery, or the wires inside of the slot rust or bend over.

For these types of failures, data recovery is tough. It is because you need domain knowledge, skill, and special equipment. It means you need to take the help of an experienced technician to fix your physically damaged storage device.

Method 1: Update your Drivers

An unrecognized flashcard can be due to incorrect, faulty, or outdated reader drivers. You can update the drivers - manually or automatically:

Step 1: Search for Device Manager using the search box on the taskbar.

Step 2: Once you click on it, you will see diverse devices.

Step 3: Now find your SD card, right-click on it, and pick Update driver.

Now you will see two options: either manually update it or automatically search them.

A. Manual Driver Update

You can manually update the drivers by:

Step 1: Visit the manufacturer's site and search for the most updated drivers.

Step 2: Now download and unzip the file.

Step 3: Visit the Device Manager and find the disk drive.

Step 3: Just right-click the driver name > update driver >OK.

Step 4: Finally, disconnect your card and restart your system. Your PC will detect your storage device, and you may see all the data.

B. Automatic Driver Update

You can choose automatic driver updates.

Step 1: Press Win+R. This will open a run window. Now type Control Panel in the search and then choose the "Device Manager."

Step 2: Find the Secure Digital Card. When it gets detected, right-click on it. Pick "Properties."

Step 3: In the "Driver" tab, pick and hit "Update Driver." Now tick the box saying, "Automatically search for updated driver software."

Step 4: Restart PC and check whether it is working or not.

Method 2: Clean Storage Device and Reader

Another fix is cleaning a dirty flash card or reader. Else it will cause poor contact between the multimedia storage device and the reader.

Step 1: Use a cotton cloth and dip it in a small amount of alcohol or water slightly. But avoid rubbing the cloth too hard.

Step 2: After the Secure Digital Card or card reader gets completely dry, try to reconnect them with your computer.

Alternatively, you can connect another adapter or try inserting the flashcard into another PC.

For cleaning reader, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Use a compressed air dusting device or electrical contact cleaner to eliminate the dust.

Step 2: Try to connect the SDCardreader again.

Method 3: Test the Secure Digital Card in another PC

In case of any fault in your storage device, your computer will not detect it. Thus, it's a good idea to use another PC and try to locate it. If it still doesn't work, it is a sign that you need to replace it.

Method 4: Check if the Reader is Disabled

It is also possible that your reader is disabled in your BIOS.

Step 1: Restart your PC. At the splash screen, go to the "BIOS" or "Settings."

Step 2: Find a section associated with devices or storage. Within that section, look for SD Reader or Reader. Enable that setting if it is not disabled.

Step 3: Finally, save all the changes and end the BIOS.

Step 4: Once your computer restarts, test your memory card again.

Method 5: Disable and then Enable the Reader

If your storage device is still not showing up on PC, try this method. To disable and then enable card reader, go through the steps below:

Step 1: Press the Win+R to invoke the run box.

Step 2: Type devmgmt.msc and click 'OK.'

Step 3: Expand Memory Technology Devices and double-click the reader.

Step 4: Visit the device manager and click the Driver tab. Hit the 'disable device.'

Step 5: Now double-click the reader to open the Properties. Hit enable device.

Method 6: Check the Reader

If the storage device fails on one particular device, it could be a reader problem. Inspect any physical damage to it. Use another memory card to test if there is an issue with the reader. In case you are using an external card reader, try to replace the faulty cables.

Method 7: Try a Different USB Port

Another way to fix the flashcard is to use a different USB port on your computer. If the reader does work on one port and not on another, there might be a USB port problem.

Method 8: Restart your PC

Rebooting your PC is also another solution that can help you resolve any problems that you face. Just disconnect the memory reader and then try to reconnect it.

Step 1: In any Windows version, head to the desktop.

Step 2: Press Alt+F4 using your keyboard. A menu will pop up - asking you to choose sleep, shut down, or restart.

Step 3: Now choose Restart from the drop-down list, and click OK.

Method 9: Keep your Computer Idle for Sometime

If the USB drive is not detected and no drive letter is displayed in My Computer, it is a signal that your system has very low storage space.

Shut down all programs and keep it idle for some time. Use Task Manager to close programs that are taking more memory.

Step 1: Press CTRL, ALT, and DEL keys once. The "Task Manager" dialog box will pop up.

Step 2: Pick processes from the list that you want to end.

Step 3: Hit "End Task". The task manager will end the selected programs.

Method 10: Disable Write Protection

If your storage device is detected, but you can't alter the files, you may have read-write protection mode turned on. Disable it and see if you have resolved the issue.

To disable Write Protection on your locked SD Card using its physical switch, here are the steps:

Step 1: Disconnect your storage card from the PC.

Step 2: Now, check if there is a tiny switch on its side.

Step 3: Check if it is on the unlocked side. If that is not the case, switch it to OFF to unlock the device.

Part 3. Fix "SD Card Won't Read" Due to Logical Failure

If you face trouble getting storage devices detected on your smartphone, it can be due to logical failure. It is a failure that occurs if the file system is inaccessible. Formatted or deleted data and virus attacks come under this category. Remember, logical failures don't allow you to see your data. But the best data recovery tool can help you safely and swiftly recover the files.

Method 1: Format SD Card

Few card readers are formatted like a disk drive. But it may be the case that the storage device may be formatted in a format that your phone does not support. For this, you can format it in the device you are using to make it readable again.

But this will erase all the data. Use formatting only if you are ready to lose all your data. For safe recovery, please use Recoverit Data Recovery software. You can use it to get lost data on both Windows and Mac. Here is how you can use this professional data recovery tool:

Step 1: Select Location

Download and launch the Recoverit tool on your computer. Choose a location where you have your lost data. For this, open the hard disk drive tab and choose a select location. Now, hit the start button to start scanning.

Computer data recovery

Step 2: Start Scanning

Recoverit software will begin the all-around scan. This will take a couple of minutes, and you will see the scanning results in real-time. In case you want to recover deleted or lost videos, choose an enhanced recovery option.


Step 3: Preview and Save Data

Now preview the files to be recovered before recovering them by clicking on the preview button. Double-clicking a file will show you details such as file path, file name, modified date, and other information. After you are sure of the files, get them back by clicking on the recover button. Recovery of deleted and lost files takes just a few minutes. Make sure you do not save your files to the location where you have lost your data.

recoverit video preview

Method 2: Install Anti-Virus

A multimedia storage device fails quickly when it gets infected by any malware or virus. It can also make the whole data unreachable. Therefore, it's worth downloading and installing the latest anti-virus software. It will guard your system, including your memory card, from deadly malware attacks.

Part 4. Take Actions to Avoid PC Not Reading SD Card

In this section, we will explain the tips and tricks to solve the problem.

1. Buy a New One

Secure Digital Cards can fail with time. A harsh environment or extensive use can lead to failure. Also, plenty of them are full of defects and offer poor performance. Buy a high-quality storage device from a trusted brand in case your sd card cannot read. When you buy it online, consider the total capacity and its compatibility with your camera.

2. Send it to the Best Device Repair Center Near You

Another way is to send it to a Device Repair Center near you.

3. Change the Reader, USB Port or Adapter

Use this fix if both the Disk Management and Device Manager fail to detect your storage device.

4. Back-Up

In case of SD card failure, back-up all the files to another secure device.

5. Avoid Removing it while Seeing a Picture

Do not remove the Secure Digital Card from your phone when you are seeing or saving a picture. Also, avoid changing it when your camera is on.

6. Place it in Dry and Clean Space

Do not place your flashcard in a dusty and wet place.

7. Use One SD on One Device

Make a habit of using one memory card on one device.

8. Avoid Any Negligence

Multimedia storage devices require the most care when in use. Please make sure you use a strong case to protect them. Also, pay extra attention when inserting or taking them out from the device.

Closing Words

A memory card is not a reading problem that is common today. We hope our fixes will help you solve your unrecognized SD device issue. If you are facing a data loss, use Recoverit data recovery software. This professional tool guarantees 100% recovery and also offers a 7-day money-back guarantee.

Read on to know more about How to Fix and Recover Raw SD Card.
Recoverit author

Eleanor Reed

staff Editor

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