How to Fix SD Card Corrupted in Simple Steps – Dealing with a damaged SD card or pen drive is a tedious task. You spend hours returning storage to work conditions but you get nothing.
You might have seen the same thing in an online forum full of questions like “My pen drive is broken” or “My SD card isn’t working.”
In this article, I will tell you about various methods that will help you repair a damaged SD card or pen drive.
Every time we encounter this problem from a corrupted storage device, and we can fix the problem using several CMD commands. If the command prompt is not your thing, you can also try repairing a USB drive using Windows Explorer.
If you are looking for methods to repair a damaged hard drive as well, you can follow our hard drive repair guide.
How do you repair a damaged SD card or Flash Drive in simple steps?
- Change drive letter
- Try another USB port
- Try using it on another PC
- Reinstall the driver
- Repair the SD card / USB drive without formatting
- Repair the SD card / USB drive using Windows Explorer
- Repair the SD card / USB drive using Windows CMD
- Remove bad sectors
- Use a third-party tool to repair a damaged SD card or flash drive
- What to do if permanently damaged
For SD cards, you must insert it into the slot provided on your computer or use an external card reader. Use an adapter, if you have a microSD card.
This will not work if you connect it via a device that has an SD card slot such as a smartphone or camera. To try to repair a pen drive, you don’t need such an accessory. Look at these various methods.
1.Change the drive letter
Sometimes your computer cannot assign drive letters (such as C, D, E) to your storage media. For this reason, the file inside is inaccessible. To resolve this problem, you can manually assign drive letters to your storage device.
Following are the simple steps to repair a damaged pen drive or memory card by setting the correct drive letter:
- Connect your storage media to your computer.
- Right-click on My Computer / This PC. Click Manage in the drop-down menu.
- Click Disk Management on the left side, and then wait a few seconds for Windows to load the Virtual disk service.
- Right-click on your storage media and click Change Drive Letters and Paths.
- Click the drive letter (it will turn blue) and click Change.
- Select the drive letter from the drop-down list. Click OK.
2.Try another USB port
Even though it sounds strange, you are wasting your time if you repeatedly try to connect an SD card or flash drive to a USB port on your computer. It could be that the port itself is corrupt or there is a software problem that is to blame. So, try another USB port if your USB drive or SD card is not recognized.
3. Try to use it on another PC
Maybe the problem is specific to your PC, and that is why you have difficulty running a USB flash drive. Try to connect your SD card or pen drive to another computers or laptops. Hopefully, it will work, and you will be able to access the data stored in it.
4. Reinstall the driver
There are times when the driver running your pen drive is damaged and your PC will not be able to detect the storage media. You can reinstall the driver and repair the damaged SD card by following these steps:
- Right-click on My Computer / This PC. Click Manage.
- Click on Device Manager on the left.
- Double-click Disk Drive Options on the list. Right-click on the name of your pen drive / SD card.
- Click Uninstall. Click OK.
- Disconnect your storage media and restart your PC.
- Connect your pen drive again. Your PC will detect and reinstall the driver.
5. Repair the damaged USB drive or SD card without formatting
One of the tested and tried ways to fix bad storage media is to use the Check Disk tool that was pre-loaded on Windows 10 (and earlier versions). This way you don’t need to format your damaged SD card or flash drive to fix it.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Connect the storage media to your computer.
- Note the drive letter.
- Open CMD in Administrator mode.
- Type the following command:
- chkdsk E: / f (Here, E is the drive letter)
- Press enter. The disk check tool will scan your USB drive or SD card and fix the underlying problem. This works in many cases.
6.How to repair a damaged SD card or Pen Drive using Windows Explorer
Windows 10 (and earlier versions) comes with a built-in SD card repair tool that can be accessed through Windows Explorer. So, in the following steps, I will tell you how to format a damaged SD card or pen drive:
- Open My Computer or This PC.
- Right-click on the damaged SD card or USB drive.
- Click Format in the drop-down menu.
- Click Restore Default Device in the popup window.
- Click Start to begin the format process. You can uncheck the Quick format option if you want the computer to scan the drive / card in depth to find errors, but this will take time. So, uncheck only if you fail in the first attempt.
- Click Ok in the next dialog box that will warn you that data will be lost. The format process will take a few moments to complete, and you will have an error-free SD card or pen drive.
7. Repair the damaged Pen Drive or SD card using CMD
This process involves a Windows command prompt, commonly known as CMD. You can try this repair method if the ones mentioned above do not work.
Here, you need to enter some CMD commands, and Windows will forcibly format your flash drive or damaged SD card that is unreadable:
- Connect the damaged pen drive or SD card to your computer.
- Hover your mouse over, the Starting button and right-click.
- Click Command Prompt (Admin). The CMD window will open.
- Type diskpart and press Enter.
- Type disk list and press Enter. A list of all storage devices connected to your computer will be displayed.
- Type select disk and press Enter. (Example: select disk 1). Important: Make sure you enter the number correctly. If not, you can format your internal hard drive. You can type the disk list again to check that you have chosen the right one. There will be a star (asterisk symbol) before the chosen disk name.
- Type clean and press Enter.
- Type in the primary partition and press Enter.
- Type active.
- Type select partition 1.
- Type the format fs = fat32 and press Enter. The formatting process will complete in a few minutes. You can write NTFS instead of FAT32 if you want carrying files larger more than 4 GB. Don’t close the CMD until the job is finished.
8. Repair damaged SD cards and USB drives by removing bad sectors
Our storage devices store data in various sectors. For various reasons, these sectors become unusable, giving rise to bad sectors. By using a few steps and running a simple command, you can repair the USB drive. Read more here in detail.
9. Recover your lost data from a damaged SD card or Pen drive
You can use SanDisk Rescue Pro to recover your data if you have deleted your files or formatted your SD / Pen Drive accidentally. But keep in mind, the SD card recovery process only works if your storage media isn’t physically damaged.
Another important data recovery software is Recuva by Piriform. For more information about data recovery, see our list of top data recovery software.
10. Use the SD card repair tool from the device manufacturer
You may not be aware, but there are many manufacturers of storage devices such as SanDisk, Kingston, Samsung, Sony, etc. Provides low-level utilities for formatting and other repair needs. The tool can be used to repair and restore SD cards and flash drives to their full capacity.
You can find this tool by visiting the device manufacturer’s website or by contacting their customer support. In my personal experience, alternative SD cards like that and USB drive repair methods turn out to be very useful.
The SD Association which publishes official specifications for memory cards also provides an SD card repair tool called SDFormatter which can be used to revive SD, SDHC, and SDXC cards. It is available for Windows and macOS.
A little advice – get a replacement
It is possible that the warranty for your damaged USB drive or SD card is still valid. So, if your storage device gives you problems, repeatedly, it is advisable to invest a number of efforts and ask for a refund or replacement. It could be that the storage media is permanently damaged.
I recommend this because there is no point in putting your trust in an SD card / flash drive that shows signs of being unreliable again and again.
Other SD card issues
The solution to repairing SD cards and flash drives might be similar, but they are different types of hardware. For SD cards, there may be some problems that prevent you from accessing data on your computer.
While most modern laptops and 2-in-1 devices have SD card slots, the same thing doesn’t appear on the desktop. That’s why people take help from cheap external card readers who experience problems more often.
External card reader does not work
Sometimes, maybe your card reader is corrupt and you blame your innocent PC. Perhaps, the memory card reader does not get enough power from the USB port, or there is no power at all if the USB cable is damaged.
It might also be that you are using an old card reader when trying to access your card. It may not support higher capacity SDXC, newer UHS-I, or UHS-II interfaces, or it might not work on the latest version of the operating system.
Check that your microSD adapter is functioning properly
When you try to connect a microSD card using a MicroSD to SD adapter, make sure the adapter is functioning properly. In addition, there is a small sliding bar on the SD card adapter, when turned on, allows data on the card to be read-only. Check whether it is in the right position.
SD card is damaged
If you are one of those people who use their memory cards irresponsibly, maybe one day it will be permanently damaged. Incorrect installation and removal of the SD card from the card reader can damage the gold connector and even make it unusable. So, if your card is not recognized, check the connector.
Note: Please note that the SD card and USB repair method described above are common ways to repair the device. Due to some device-specific problems, there may be cases where these steps might not be useful.