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.
Steps 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:
- Type “cmd” in the search box on the taskbar and select Run as administrator.
- 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.
- 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:
- Download and install Disk Drill.
- Connect the SD card to your computer and launch Disk Drill.
- Select the SD card and click Search for lost data.
- Check the files you want to recover.
- Click the Recover button at the bottom.
- 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:
- Type “disk management” in the search box on the taskbar and select Create and format hard disk partitions.
- Right-click on your SD card and select the Change Drive Letter and Paths.
- Click the Change button.
- Select a new drive letter and click OK.
- 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:
- Connect the SD card to your computer.
- Type “cmd” in the search box on the taskbar and select Run as administrator.
- Type diskpart and press Enter on your keyboard.
- Type list volume and press Enter.
- Type select volume <the number corresponding to the RAW SD card> and press Enter.
- Type format fs=fat32 and hit Enter.
Read this article to learn how to format SD card to Fat32 on Mac.
To fix your SD Card error check out the following article: How to Fix SD Card Error on ANY GoPro (Step-by-Step).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Do SD Cards Get Corrupted Easily?
SD cards are generally reliable, but they can become corrupted if they are exposed to certain conditions or if there is a problem with the device they are being used with. Some common causes of SD card corruption include:
1.Power interruptions during file transfer or writing to the SD card
When a file is being written to an SD card, the data is temporarily stored in a buffer before it is written to the actual memory location on the card. If the power is interrupted during this process, the data in the buffer may be lost, causing the file to become corrupted or incomplete.
This is because the SD card needs a consistent and reliable source of power to properly write data to its memory. When the power is suddenly interrupted, the SD card can become unable to complete the writing process and can lead to data loss or corruption. It is always recommended to use an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) or battery backup to prevent power interruptions during important file transfers or writing to SD cards.
2.Removing the SD card while it is still in use or not properly ejecting it from the device
When the SD card is being accessed by a device and is suddenly removed, it can cause the file system to become unstable and result in corrupted data. Properly ejecting the SD card from the device before removing it helps ensure that all pending write operations are completed and the file system is properly closed, reducing the risk of corruption.
3. Physical damage or wear and tear on the SD card, such as scratches or dents
Scratches or dents on the card’s surface can cause errors in data transfer or make it difficult for the card to be read by a device.
4. Exposure to extreme temperatures, humidity, or magnetic fields
For example, high temperatures can damage the internal components of the SD card, while high humidity can cause moisture to enter the card and damage the electrical connections. Magnetic fields can also interfere with the card’s ability to read and write data, leading to errors and corruption.
It’s important to store SD cards in a cool, dry place and avoid exposing them to extreme temperatures, humidity, or magnetic fields. Additionally, it’s recommended to keep SD cards away from devices that generate strong magnetic fields, such as speakers or hard drives, to prevent data loss or corruption.
5. Virus or malware infections
This can happen when downloading files from the internet or transferring files from an infected device to the SD card. To prevent virus and malware infections, it is recommended to have an updated antivirus software installed on the device and to scan the SD card before and after each use.
It is important to note that viruses and malware on SD cards are relatively rare compared to other causes of corruption, such as physical damage and power interruptions. However, it is still a risk to be aware of and take necessary precautions against.
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. And read the following article if you have Mac and want to format you SD Card to FAT32.
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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