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Fix and Recover Data from Damage SD Card without Formatting

Updated on Friday, June 14, 2024

iBoysoft author Ciki Liu

Written by

Ciki Liu
Professional tech editor

Approved by

Jessica Shee


Summary: This post explains the signs of a corrupted SD card, how to fix a corrupted  SD card without formatting, and how to recover data from corrupted SD card using iBoysoft Data Recovery. 

how to fix corrupted SD card without formatting

A corrupted or damaged SD card prevents you from accessing your precious files on it. Meanwhile, you may receive multiple sorts of error messages from your connecting device that indicate the SD card is corrupted or damaged. For example, you need to format the disk before you can use it.

Since formatting the SD card will take away all your data, is there a way to fix corrupted SD card without formatting? Luckily for you, this post will put together working solutions to repair the damaged SD card without formatting, along with an effective method to recover data from the corrupted SD card.

Signs of a corrupted/damaged SD card

Before the SD card completely shuts down and stops working, in most cases, there are some common signs and error messages that indicate your SD card is corrupted or damaged. When seeing these signs, you should back up your data as much as you can and start fixing the corrupted SD card before it's too late.

  • The SD card is having some connecting issues with your device. If you have to re-insert the SD card a number of times before it mounts correctly, you may be dealing with a damaged SD card.
  • The SD card is not detected by your Windows/Mac/Android. After inserting the SD card into your device, nothing shows up. It seems the SD card is not detected or recognized at all.
  • There are files missing on your SD card, or the SD card is completely blank. Needless to say, the missing data and the blank SD card are clear indications that something is wrong with your SD card.
  • The SD card turns into RAW. When checking it in Windows Disk Management, the file system of the SD card is RAW.
  • You receive error messages when trying to access the SD card. To name a few, Disk is not accessibleThe disk you inserted/attached was not readable by this computer, and SD card is blank or has unsupported filesystem.

Additionally, you may encounter wrong SD card capacity, unknown files, slow/stuck SD card performance, and read-only SD cards when an SD card is corrupted or damaged.

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How to recover data from corrupted SD card without formatting

SD card corruption can cause severe data loss. Before attempting to fix your corrupted SD card, you should recover data from it to rescue your precious photos and videos before things get worse.

iBoysoft Data Recovery is reliable SD card data recovery software that's able to recover data from corrupted, formatted, and inaccessible SD card/microSD card/SDHC/SDXC. Additionally, this tool can fix RAW drives with its RAW drive repair feature.

How to use iBoysoft Data Recovery to recover data from corrupted SD card

Step 1. Click on the button below to free download iBoysoft Data Recovery and install it on your computer.

Step 2. Insert the corrupted/damaged SD card into your PC.

Step 3. To recover files from the faulty SD card, launch this SD card data recovery tool and select the Data Recovery Module.

Data Recovery module

Step 4. Click Next after selecting your SD card to begin searching for images, documents, and video files.

Step 5. When the scanning is complete, you can choose to view the desired data by clicking on the Preview button before recovery.

preview found files

Step 6. Click the Recover button after checking the box next to the files you want to recover. Remember to save the findings of the recovery to a different drive just in case the data is corrupted again or overwritten.

For a RAW SD card, you should check the Raw Drive Recovery in step three and follow the onscreen instructions to recover data from the RAW drive.

iBoysoft Data Recovery is also available in macOS. Click the button below to download iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac and start recovering data from your corrupted SD card.

With files on the damaged SD card settled down, you can proceed with corrupted SD card repair in the following ways.  

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Fix corrupted SD card by checking the hardware

You should always check all your hardware before trying more advanced methods to fix a corrupted or damaged SD card, including theSD card reader, USB port, SD card adapter, and your computer/tablet/phone.

If your Windows/Mac/Android has a built-in SD card reader, it's advised to try an external card reader and different USB ports on more than one computer.

Fix corrupted SD card by using CMD on Windows

Running command lines may sound complicated, but the process is actually not as difficult as you expect. There are two ways you can try to fix the corrupted SD card by running CMD on Windows, including using CHKDSK and Diskpart commands. You can see detailed tutorials in the following article.

Fix corrupted SD card by assigning new drive letter

Surprisingly, many corrupted SD cases are fixed by assigning a new drive letter to it. To give an SD card a new drive letter, follow the guides below.

Step 1. In the search box on the taskbar, type in disk management and enter it.

Step 2. Click the Create and format hard disk partitions option.

Step 3. Right-click on your SD card from the list and choose Change Drive Letter and Paths from the menu.

assign new driver letter

Step 4. Choose Change and select a new drive letter for your SD card in the pop-up dialog. Click OK to apply this change.

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Fix corrupted SD card by using Windows Repair Tool

Windows has a graphical tool known as the Windows Repair Tool that's capable of checking disks for file system issues. When you inserted the corrupted SD card, Windows can automatically launch it sometimes.

Step 1. Go to This PC and select your corrupted SD card under Devices and drives.

Step 2. Right-click on the memory card and choose Properties in the context menu.

Step 3. In the Properties panel, go to Tools > Check and click on the Scan and repair drive.

windows repair tool

Wait for Windows Repair Tool to finish the repair process.

Fix corrupted SD card by showing hidden files

Sometimes your SD shows empty but there are actually hidden files on it. To unhide files on a corrupted SD card:

Step 1. Press Windows + E to bring up Windows Explorer.

Step 2. Follow Tools > Folder options > View.

Step 3. Click Show hidden files, folders, and drives and click Apply > OK.

show hidden files on Windows

Fix corrupted SD card by updating the driver

Drivers are automatically updated and installed by Windows. Nevertheless, things can still go wrong. You can manually update the driver in the following steps.

Step 1. Type in device manager in the search box to bring up Device Manager.

Step 2. Under Portable devices, look for your corrupted SD card.

Step 3. Right-click on it and go to Update Driver.

Step 4. In the pop-up window, Select Search automatically for updated driver software and choose Update Driver.

update driver

Fix corrupted SD card with the help of a disk repair specialist

The worst situation is none of these fix work after giving multiple tries. In such as case, your final chance is to go to the local disk repair store and ask the professional for help.


This post covers comprehensive solutions to fix the corrupted SD card without formatting, including checking the hardware, running command lines, using Windows Repair Tool, etc. But before moving any further, it's always suggested to use iBoysoft Data Recovery to restore data from corrupted drives first. 

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