Summary: Are you unable to access photos, videos and audio files saved in SD card? Is your SD card corrupt? Read this article, which consolidates SD card corruption issues and all the possible fixes. It shares advanced solutions such as Stellar Photo Recovery to restore lost media files from corrupted memory cards of any capacity and brand.
As we move towards the paperless era, the utility of digital storage media has grown manifold. Especially in terms of personal data storage, where individuals commonly rely on extended capacity of portable storage solutions like SD cards to store their photos, videos, music files etc. Over the years, the memory card technology has evolved and expanded to terabytes capacities from meagre beginning of 1-2 GBs.
The small SD card is the most convenient and inexpensive storage media that provides suitable storage capacities for DSLRs, camcorders, music players, Android phones, tablets, digital cameras, and other portable devices.
However, SD cards are prone to corruption, accidental formatting, or damage, leading to loss of stored photos, videos, audio files and other data. Also as memory cards have a limited lifespan, after a certain period of usage they can get corrupt or damaged.
Usually, the situation of SD card not working initiates with an error message. If not handled properly, it may lead to permanent data loss in which SD card recovery gets difficult. A corrupted SD card doesn't let you access your files from it. The files may get disappear, the card may not open or isn't recognized by your computer.
Here we have shared some of the common signs that indicate SD card is failing and you are on the verge of data loss:
Unable to format SD card or "SD Card is Damaged. Try Reformatting it"
Black screen appears along with an error message 'SD card is not accessible. The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable.
All or some photos on your SD card are missing.
You receive error message - 'Read / Write error on SD card'.
You get error messages 'memory card error' or 'corrupt memory card'. Read more on Memory Card Recovery.
You can view the files of your SD card in camera as well as on computer but unable to add, delete, save, or copy them and may get an error message –'disk is write-protected.'
SD card shows the message 'SD card is not formatted. Do you want to format it now?'
You receive error message 'SD card unexpectedly removed'
Error messages stating SD card is blank or has unsupported file system.
Are connecting devices working?
Your SD card may not be corrupt. At times, a device may not read an SD card due to incompatibility or driver-related issues. In such cases, try to connect your SD card to another computer or use a different card reader.
Is your SD card write-protected?
You won't be able to open, edit, copy, or save your photos, videos, and other files in the SD card, if it is write-protected. Slide upward the switch on left side of SD card to disable write-protection.
Once you made these checks and if still SD card is not accessible, then it's probably a logical issue. You can follow the below methods to fix corrupted SD card and recover your photos and videos from it.
Fix 1: Unhide hidden files stored in corrupt SD card
Fix 2: Try chkdsk command to check for memory card errors
Fix 3: Assign a new drive letter, if SD card is not detected by PC
Fix 4: Reinstall the driver
Fix 5: Use Windows Troubleshooter to fix Corrupted SD Card
Fix 6: Use SD card repair solution provided by manufacturer
Fix 7: Use drive 'Error Checking' feature
Fix 8: Use Diskpart in CMD command
Fix 9: Format to repair corrupted SD Card
Fix 10: Nothing worked? Use SD card data recovery software to restore files
When you connect an SD card to a virus infected PC, the virus may hide all photos, videos or other files and folders in the media. The size of the disk would appear unchanged but you won't be able to see any stored data on it as their attributes get changed to "hidden" and "read only". Follow the below steps to recover hidden photos, videos etc., from SD card:
Now you should be able to see all the hidden photos, videos, audio files and folders in the memory card.
Connect the affected SD card with the PC via card reader and follow the below steps to fix SD card errors using chkdsk command:
Connect your SD card to PC via card reader. If your system does not assign a new drive letter to it, then it isn't reading it, i.e., SD card is not detected. In some cases, the reader may assign a drive letter, but you get the message "Please insert the disk into drive E:" indicating that it isn't reading the card. To resolve this problem assign a new drive letter to your SD card by following the below steps:
If assigning the drive letter doesn't help, you can try reinstalling the driver by following the below steps:
Windows Troubleshooter feature often find problems and fixes issues related to hardware and drivers. You can try to fix memory card errors by following the below steps:
Next, restart your computer, the SD card issue should be resolved.
Some SD cards manufacturers such as SanDisk, Samsung, Kingston, etc., also provide solutions to repair corrupt storage media. You can use their tools to fix corrupt SD cards and recover stored photos, videos etc. Visit the manufacturer's website to download the tool or contact the customer support.
Windows has an 'Error Checking' feature for its internal and external drives that scans for errors related to file system and fixes them.
Follow the below steps to repair corrupt SD card using 'Error Checking':
If you are getting SD card 'read-only' error message and you have also checked the card is not write-protected, then try to fix the error by using diskpart utility in CMD command. Follow the below steps to use diskpart fix method:
Restart your PC and again connect your SD card. The problem should be fixed now.
Formatting mostly fixes corruption issues including those related to file system. It also helps to reuse your SD card. You can use this method to recover corrupted SD card.
Follow the below steps to format SD card on your PC:
If you are unable to format your SD card, use a formatting software such as SDFormatter provided by SD Association. Formatting software can fix corrupt SD cards and make them reusable.
Although formatting fixes corrupt SD card, but the process deletes all your stored videos, photos, and other files on it. You can recover formatted SD card by using a professional SD card recovery software.
If SD card data loss is your concern, know that whenever an SD card becomes inaccessible or corrupt, the data may seem to get lost but it's still recoverable. You can restore photos, videos, and music with the help of a photo recovery software as long as your SD card is not physically damaged or overwritten.Key benefits of Stellar SD card recovery solution?
Recommended: Begin your SD recovery with free demo
You can always try the free demo version of Stellar Photo Recovery software to see if you can recover your lost data. The free trial helps in buying decision. The software supports the latest Windows 10, macOS 10.15 Catalina and the lower versions.
Watch what Usman Dawood, the renowned Photographer has to say about the software in his review
1. Connect SD card to PC or Mac computer.
2. Download the trial version of Stellar Photo Recovery on PC or Mac.
2. On Home screen of the software, select your SD card.
3. Click Scan.
4. Once the scanning finishes, Preview and click Recover
5. A dialog box appears. Click Browse to select location to save the recovered videos, photos & audio files.
6. Activate the software to Save the media files at your desired location.
SD cards are fragile and need to be protected to store your data for long term. Here are some effective tips you should follow to guard your SD card photos, videos and other files from loss:
Q: Which is the best SD card recovery software?
Answer: Choosing the best SD card recovery software that can restore photos in your loss situation can be a confusing task, considering the number of choices available. Read this post that identifies best SD Card Recovery Software for PC and Mac and choose one which meets your expectations and needs.
Q: Is Cloud better than SD card?
Answer: Cloud or SD card, both have their own benefits and limitations. You have to choose as per your requirement. Cloud services are free but up to a limited data while SD cards cost depends upon the type and capacity. There are possibilities of SD card corruption & data loss, but with Cloud you don't have to worry about these factors. You cannot access Cloud without Internet services like in case of SD card. For business and professionals who have large data to store, Cloud may be a preferred option against SD cards. The portable memory cards are better off for storing and transferring photos, videos, etc., and accessing it anytime anywhere without the need for Wi-Fi or mobile data.
Q: I am unable to format my 16 GB SD card. It is showing a message asking to reformat. What should I do now
Answer: First try by changing the card reader or connect your SD card to a different device. If still there's an issue, your card has become corrupt, and you may need a memory card recovery software to recover data.
Q: How to transfer photos from my phone internal memory to external SD card?
Answer: Android phones have File Manager app that you can use to move photos from phone's internal memory to SD card. If your device doesn't have ES File Explorer app, download it from Google App store.
Open File Explorer and select Images option. Select photos that you want to move to SD card. Tap Move to option at the lower-right side of the phone screen. A menu will appear. Select your SD card from the menu. Select a folder on your SD card into which you want to move the photos. All the photos are moved from internal storage of phone to the external SD card.
Q: Can I recover RAW photos from the corrupt SD card in Mac?
Answer: Yes, with Stellar Photo Recovery Software Mac version, you can recover RAW pictures from all types of SD cards.
Q: What should I do after I get error message 'SD card not formatted' while inserting SD card on camera?
Answer: Format your SD card in the camera itself. If still the problem is not resolved, then try the SD card formatting software to format on computer. As formatting leads to loss of stored data, you can use Stellar Photo Recovery software to recover your photos and videos from formatted SD card.
Q: My Camera is giving the message "memory card locked" when I insert SD card into it.
Answer: Please check the lock switch on the left side of SD card. Slide it up to unlock it. .
Q: SD card is not being recognized by PC. What can I do now?
Answer: Recheck the device connections. If the problem is not resolved, follow the given solutions in this article. One of them should fix the issue.
Q: Can I also recover my word, excel document using the SD card recovery software?
Answer: Stellar Photo Recovery software is especially for photos, videos, & music files recovery from hard drive, SD card, flash memory cards, pen drive or any other external storage media. To recover your documents, excel files, PDFs, PPTs and other lost data from any storage media, use Stellar Data Recovery software.
Q: I am getting an error message "this memory card cannot be used. Card may be damaged. Insert another card" in Nikon D3200 SD card. How to fix and recover?
Answer: Your SD card may not work on PC, if it is not working in DSLR. Try to transfer your photos to PC if possible, else take the help of memory card recovery software to restore your photos stored on it. Next, you can format your SD card to fix the issue and reuse it. .
Q: My Macbook is unable to read the SD card. I have tried various methods, but nothing seems to work. Please help.
Answer: Check the physical connections of your device, if they are working properly, including SD card slot, USB cable etc. While to recover data from unreadable SD card, you can try SD card recovery tool for Mac.
Q: What to do when you see the message "SD card is mounted read-only" on your device?
Answer: Check if the SD card is not write-protected. If it doesn't help, try to fix by using Diskpart utility in CMD command window. (read the steps shared above in this post.)
Q: Getting "SD Card not inserted" or "no memory card" error?
Answer: Check the physical connections of your device. Connect the SD card to a computer using an external card reader. If the card is recognized when connected to the computer using an external card reader, back up all data on the card and format the card. If your memory card is detected by the computer, but there is no data showing, you can try Stellar Photo Recovery software for recovering all your multimedia files.
Q: How to fix "SD Card unexpectedly removed" error on your Phone?
Answer: You can try these methods to resolve the error.
Q: How to Check if an SD Card is corrupt or not?
Answer: Windows built-in Check Disk utility is the best tool to check any SD card for errors.