How to fix/recover corrupted and unreadable SD memory card?

By Katrina | Posted to Data Recovery, updated on April 10th, 2019 |

Summary: If your SD card is corrupted and becomes inaccessible, you will know how to repair the corrupted SD memory card and how to use SD card data recovery software - iBoysoft Data Recovery to recover your data from the corrupted SD card in this page.

SD cards are widely used in digital cameras, computers, phones, etc. for saving files. However, it is quite frustrating when you spend hours to work but only to find nothing is here. For example, precious pictures on the SD card are deleted by mistake or your SD card gets corrupted for an unknown reason. Will you just see your dedicated work disappearing without trying any effort? No, because you have a great chance to get them back. Here is how to fix this corrupted SD card and recover data from it.

Table of contents
1. How to fix/repair corrupted and unreadable SD memory card?
2. How to recover data when your SD card is inaccessible?
3. Final advice on SD card recovery

How to fix/repair corrupted and unreadable SD memory card?

Hi All, we took tons of pictures on our personal point and shoot camera at my wedding. While taking the pictures, the immediate preview was available and there were never any error messages on the camera. However, none of our wedding pictures are available on the SD card anymore now. Are my photos gone forever? I've already tried Zero Assumption and it doesn't return any more pictures than what I can already see. Is there any other way I can fix this corrupted SD card and recover my pictures from this SD card?

-- From Tom's Hardware Forums

When an SD memory card gets corrupted and unreadable, all contents stored on it become inaccessible. If you try to open the corrupted or unreadable SD memory card on Windows computers, you will get some error messages, for example, 'File or directory is corrupted and unreadable'. If you are confronted with similar issues, you can repair your SD card with these ready-to-use solutions.

Tips: Before fixing corrupted and unreadable SD memory card, you'd better stop using this SD memory card in case any improper operation overwrites your inaccessible files.

Solution 1:Repair corrupted/unreadable SD memory cards with CHKDSK command

CHKDSK is a built-in Windows utility that can check the integrity of your disk and can fix various file system errors, such as bad sectors, lost clusters, cross-linked files, directory errors, etc. Therefore, you can use CHKDSK to repair the SD card corruption problems especially when your SD card gets unreadable due to a file system corruption. If it succeeds, you will regain access to SD memory card as well as to all your files.

Step 1: Plug your corrupted/unreadable SD memory card into your computer with a card reader.

Step 2: Go to the Start menu of your Windows computer, type in "cmd" in the search bar, and press Enter.

Step 3: Right click "cmd.exe" and choose "Run as administrator".

Step 4: Type in "chkdsk volume: /f" in the command prompt, where "volume" is the drive letter of your SD card. (For example, if the drive letter of your SD card is "G", then you need to type in "chkdsk G: /f".)

When you see "Windows has made corrections to the file system" in the command window after several minutes, you have successfully fixed corrupted and unreadable SD memory card via chkdsk /f command.

Solution 2:Fix SD memory corruption by reformatting

However, if you failed to fix corrupted/unreadable SD memory card using CMD or you received the error message "CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives", then the file system of your SD card is too corrupted to be repaired by CHKDSK. The only way to fix this issue is reformatting, which will assign a new file system to this corrupted SD card.

Warning: Reformatting will erase all your data and recovering data from formatted drives will become significantly more difficult. Thus, you can resort to this solution only when you don't have important data on this SD card. If you have valuable files instead, make sure you have a copy of a data backup.

Step 1: Connect the corrupted SD card to your Windows computer.

Step 2: Right-click on This PC/My computer on the desktop and choose Manage.

Step 3: Choose Disk Management in the left sidebar when you enter into Computer Management.

Step 4: Locate your SD card by the disk information and right-click on it.

Step 5: Choose Format and then you can select the file system and set the cluster size in the wizard.

Step 6: Click OK to finish reformatting.

How to recover data when your SD card is inaccessible?

As you can see, the data on this SD card matters more than the corrupted SD card itself. So,can you fix this SD card errors without formatting? Absolutely "Yes". When you don't have a copy of data backup but the files on the unreadable SD card are extremely important for you, you can still recover data from this SD card with SD card data recovery software.

iBoysoft Data Recovery is such an SD card data recovery tool. It is powerful in deleted/lost data recovery from different memory cards like SD memory Cards, Memory Sticks, micro SD Cards as well as from hard drives and USB flash drives. This software is fully compatible with Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10 and Windows Server 2016/2012/2008/2003, where you can recover photos, music, audio, emails, and other types of files with ease.

Recover data from corrupted/unreadable SD memory cards

Tutorial to recover data from corrupted/damaged SD memory card with iBoysoft Data Recovery

Step 1: Download and install iBoysoft Data Recovery on your computer.

Step 2: Connect the unreadable SD memory card to the computer with a card reader.

Step 3: Launch iBoysoft Data Recovery and select the corrupted/unreadable SD memory card in the interface.

Recover data from corrupted/unreadable SD memory card with iBoysoft Data Recovery

Step 4: Click "Next" to search for lost files on the corrupted/unreadable SD memory card.

Step 5: Double-click the founded files to preview and then click "Recover" to get them back.

Final advice on SD card recovery

When your SD card is corrupted, you can check if the warranty of your corrupted SD memory is still valid or not. If such corruption keeps annoying you, you're advised to try some effort and go for a refund or replacement before you throw it away. Moreover, even though you can perform SD card data recovery after you lost files, the most economical and foolproof method to avoid data loss still is backing up your files regularly.

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Katrina is a data recovery expert @iBoysoft who loves to help readers solve various data recovery problems.

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