Facing trouble accessing files on an SD card? It may be corrupted. Fortunately, there are a few ways around it.

In this post, you’ll discover some solutions on how to fix a corrupted SD card.


How to Know That Your SD Card is Corrupted?

While it’s possible for a perfectly fine SD card to fail suddenly, usually most SD cards do show certain signs of corruption before they stop working altogether. Therefore, if you recognize these signs, you’ll be able to fix the underlying problem before the damage is done.

Here are some signs of SD card corruption:

No SD Card Detected

When you insert your SD card into your device, nothing happens. The device doesn’t detect the SD card. Even if this happens, don’t feel that your SD card is dead. It might be corrupted. There’s a way around it, which we’ll discuss in the next section.

Read/Write Issues

You may see error messages indicating read/write issues when transferring data to or from an SD card. This is an early warning sign that something might be wrong with your SD card.

Windows Format Error

Sometimes, the Windows format error (Format the disk in drive X: to use it) issue happens in case your SD card is corrupted. The easy way out of this is to format your SD card. However, you’ll lose your data in such a scenario. In case, the SD card contains important data, you’ll need to fix it using one of the methods described in the next section.

Missing Files

A corrupted SD card may result in absence of files you haven’t deleted yourself. This usually means that the file system has been damaged. If not fixed well in time, the damage may spread.

Unknown Files Present

Sd card corruption may also, at times, cause unknown files to appear on your SD card. These files tend will have absurd names. They will be impossible to open.

Wrong SD Card Capacity

Your SD card may be corrupted if you see wrong SD card capacity. For example, if the storage capacity of your SD card is 64GB, but you can only see 39GB, then it might be corrupted. In most cases, formatting the SD card solves this issue.

Slow Performance

The performance of your SD card may be affected by corruption. So, if you feel that data transfers are taking a very long time on your SD card, then it might be corrupted. In extreme scenarios, it may take you as much as several hours to transfer just a few small files.

how to fix a corrupted sd card


How to Fix a Corrupted SD Card?

Here are a few ways to fix a corrupted SD card:

#1. Try Another USB Port or Change the Adapter or Card Reader

This is the easiest fix you can try on a corrupted SD card. So, before trying other ways, consider trying to insert the SD card into another laptop with a built-in SD card reader, and try several different USB ports. This will help you know if the SD adapter/port/card reader is to blame or your SD card. If your SD card/USB port/card reader behaves in a similar way even with a new adapter, then the SD card is definitely corrupted. Otherwise, there may be an issue with your device’s USB port.

#2. Use CHKDSK Command to Check for Memory Card Errors

Here’s how to fix a corrupted SD card using the CHKDSK command:

  1. Type “cmd” in the search box on the taskbar and select Run as administrator.
  2. Enter the command “chkdsk X: /f“. Make sure to replace X with the letter assigned to the SD card you want to fix and press Enter.
  3. Wait for CHKDSK to finish. The process may take several hours, depending on the size of your SD card.

#3. Use SD Card Data Recovery Software to Recover Files

If SD card corruption has resulted in the loss of important files, it’s best to use SD card data recovery software like Disk Drill.

Here’s how to recover SD card files using Disk Drill data recovery software:

  1. Download and install Disk Drill.
  2. Connect the SD card to your computer and launch Disk Drill.
  3. Select the SD card and click Search for lost data.
  4. Check the files you want to recover.
  5. Click the Recover button at the bottom.
  6. Specify the recovery destination and click OK to begin the recovery of your files.

#4. Assign a New Drive Letter

Incredibly, a lot of SD card errors can be solved by simply assigning a new drive letter to your SD card. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Type “disk management” in the search box on the taskbar and select Create and format hard disk partitions.
  2. Right-click on your SD card and select the Change Drive Letter and Paths.
  3. Click the Change button.
  4. Select a new drive letter and click OK.
  5. Click OK again to close the Change Drive Letter and Paths window.

#5. Fix SD Card by Formatting it to FAT32

An SD card may seem to be corrupted if it has no file system. Most operating systems don’t display/detect such an SD card as an available storage device and allow you to write files to it. Therefore, formatting it to FAT32 is the best operation to make it work normally.

Here’s how to format a RAW SD card to FAT32:

  1. Connect the SD card to your computer.
  2. Type “cmd” in the search box on the taskbar and select Run as administrator.
  3. Type diskpart and press Enter on your keyboard.
  4. Type list volume and press Enter.
  5. Type select volume <the number corresponding to the RAW SD card> and press Enter.
  6. Type format fs=fat32 and hit Enter.

Read this article to learn how to format SD card to Fat32 on Mac.


Final Advice

If you’ve tried all the above methods, but are still facing difficulty in recovering your SD card data, there are chances that it might have gotten damaged. Unfortunately, in such a circumstance, you may not be able to recover your data.

However, as a last resort, to make your SD card work, you can try formatting it to give it a new lease of life. Click here to know about all the possible methods to format your SD card.


Thanks for reading!

I hope this guide helped you gain all the information about how to fix a corrupted SD card. 🙂 


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