Corrupt SD Card – Here’s How To Fix It

Corrupt SD Card

A corrupt SD card attached to your phone, camera, tablet or computer is quite frustrating to have. If your SD card suddenly stops working, you may get a message that says “unable to read” or the system may not read or see the card at all. 

Sometimes you can try to copy, view or save items to your SD card, but it still won’t work. SD cards are known to be more reliable than other storage types, but they still get corrupted or fail. You can however use some steps to repair and recover your files from a corrupted card. 

How to fix a corrupt SD card

Saving files

SD card problems may not necessarily be due to corruption, but sometimes it could be a switch on the card. They can be set to stop saving so they’re locked in read-only mode, which means you can’t write on the card. 

However, you can resolve this by switching the slider on the card from locked to unlocked, so you can start saving files and photos again.

Remove and reinsert the card

If you’ve partially or incorrectly inserted your SD card, it could present issues that you can resolve by simply removing and reinserting the card back into the device. To do this:

  • Power down the device or system
  • Remove the SD card. If it’s in a USB card reader, remove the card reader first and reconnect it
  • Start the system and wait till it’s fully rebooted
  • Reinsert the SD card and wait till it auto-mounts and opens the folder. If it doesn’t, you can open your file system to check for it on Finder (Mac) or File Explorer (Windows)

Repair damaged SD card

If the card still won’t work, you can use built-in system tools in Windows or Mac to repair it. 

In Windows, run a system program to fix the card by doing this:

  • Type CMD in the search box and right click Command Prompt
  • Click Run as administrator
  • In the command line prompt, enter chkdsk d: /r to repair errors and recover files (replace d: with your drive’s letter for the SD card

The recovery process will begin, so let it finish before trying anything else on the card. 

In Mac, run disk utility to fix a damaged SD card. To do this:

  • Go to Finder>Go>Utilities
  • Double-click Disk Utility
  • Select your SD card
  • Click First Aid>Run

Use a Third-Party app to recover data

Still can’t recover data from your corrupt SD card? A third-party file recovery app can help you access the files or folders on it. Check the web for reputable third-party recovery apps and try one of them for your system.

If none of these solutions help, you may not be able to recover your files.

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