How to Repair Damaged/Corrupted Memory Card and Recover Data

Roxanne updated on Jan 22, 2021 to Data Recovery | How-to Articles

You will learn how to recover data from a corrupted or damaged memory card and repair the memory card to make it reusable again. If your memory card can be recognized, follow part 1. Use the CMD command line and try the best memory card recovery software here to repair corrupted memory card without data loss. If your SD card cannot be recognized, read part 2 to repair it.

Part 1: Damaged Memory Card Can Be Recognized (3 Solutions)
Part 2: Corrupted Memory Card Cannot Be Recognized (2 Solutions)

Popular memory cards include the SD card, CF card, xD-Picture card, and Memory Stick. Those devices may get damaged due to various reasons such as an incorrect removal of the memory card, virus attack or some other unknown reasons. The accident usually comes with error messages like "memory card error", "card locked", "memory card not formatted error", or an error code on your camera screen and results in terrible data loss disaster. So, how to repair damaged memory card and recover your data becomes quite important if you happen to encounter such a problem.

Here on this page, we will show you how to repair and recover corrupted memory card in detail.

Part 1: Damaged Memory Card Can Be Recognized (3 Solutions)

If your computer can still detect or recognizes the damaged memory card, you can repair the card with three effective solutions.

Solution 1: Repair Damaged Memory Card Using CMD 

Once you have damaged your memory card, stop further operations on the memory card (e.g. taking new pictures, or deleting or formatting the memory card). And using CMD command line is the first way you can try to repair damaged memory card without formatting. The following is the detailed guide.

(This method is also available to fix damaged USB flash drive.)

Step 1: Insert your memory card to a USB memory card reader and plug it into your computer. 

Step 2: Go to the start menu, type cmd, right-click it and select "Run as administrator".

Step 3: Enter the following command (chkdsk e: /f /r /x). "e" means the drive letter of the memory card you want to repair.

repair memory card using cmd

CMD Alternative

If you don't have any technical know-how and want to minimize data risks, using third-party software could be a better choice. The Command line is suitable for computer professionals since wrong commands can cause severe problems. Therefore, we strongly recommend you try an automatic command line alternative.

EaseUS Tools M is a practical computer fixing tool that is safe and light-weighted. It's a perfect alternative to CHKDSK command. Use this one-click tool to solve your computer issues.

To fix file system error or disk error:

Step 1: DOWNLOAD EaseUS Tools M for Free and install it.

Step 2: Open the software and select the "File showing" option. 

Step 3: Choose the drive and wait for repairing. After the operation completes, click the "View" button to check the drive. 

select the drive and check off file system error

After following the above steps, you might get a message, saying "Windows has made corrections to the file system" in the command window. That means the damaged memory card is successfully fixed. 

Solution 2: Try Checking and Fixing the Memory Card

If solution 1 fails to work, you can try the "Check" option. This option will check the drive for file system errors. Here are the details:

Step 1: Connect the memory card to your PC.

Step 2: Go to My Computer > The memory card.

Step 3: Right-click the memory card and go to "Properties > Tools > Check".

check the memory card error

Let the scan process complete, then close the scan window. Right-click the icon of the memory card and click "Eject". Then remove the SD card. Then, you can connect the memory card to your PC to check if it works.

Solution 3: Recover Data After Repairing the Damaged/Corrupted Memory Card 

If you still cannot access your data on the card, you should try third-party memory card data recovery software to get back your data. EaseUS file recovery software is able to recover lost files in most data loss cases. You can try it to recover your photos, videos, music files, and documents if the corrupted memory card can appear as a drive letter in "This PC".  

  • Recover deleted, formatted, and inaccessible data in different data loss situations.
  • Recover photos, audio, music, and emails from any storage effectively, safely and completely.
  • Recover data from the damaged hard drive, recycle bin, memory card, flash drive, digital camera, and camcorder.

Step 1. Select the memory card and scan

Connect the memory card to your computer and launch EaseUS card recovery software on your PC. Click "Scan" to start looking for your lost data.

select a location and click scan

Step 2. Wait for the scanning process to finish.

After the scanning process, you can check and filter wanted files in this program. Click "Filter" if you are looking for a specific file type.

select the memeory card files

Step 3. Recover wanted files.

You can directly double-click the files to preview and see if the files are all right. After this, you can choose wanted files and click "Recover" to restore them to a secure location on your PC or other external storage devices.

recover memeory card files

Part 2: Corrupted Memory Card Cannot Be Recognized (2 Solutions)

Things could be a little bit difficult if your memory card is not recognized by the PC. This means that there is something wrong with your card reader or the card is physically damaged. There are two ways to solve this case.

1 - Change the Card Reader

A memory card reader is a device for accessing the data on a memory card. Most card readers also offer the write capability, and together with the card, this can function as a pen drive. If your memory cannot be recognized, change the card reader. Then, try again, to see whether it is deleted or not.

Tips for choosing a card reader:

  • Portability and overall ease of use
  • Supported card types: The more card types the better.
  • Speed: USB 3.0 high-speed transfer rates.

change memory card reader

2 - Ask Experts for Help (Might Cost a Lot)

If the internal storage of the memory card is damaged, your only option is to take the drive to a professional repair service. The storage medium of the SD card and the USB flash drive is different from that of the hard disk. If it is a physical failure, it is hard to fix. What's worse, the data will also get lost forever. You need to know this consequence in advance. But you can still try to recover data from a memory card using EaseUS data recovery software.

Also read: Top 10 SD Card Recovery Software in 2020


If your memory card or SD card gets corrupted or damaged, you can get full help from this page. In addition to repairing the corrupted memory card, you can also learn tips to protect your memory card.

  • Never remove your memory card while turning on/off your camera or other devices.
  • Never remove your memory card while saving and viewing a photograph.
  • Never change your memory card when the camera is on.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why choose EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard?

"EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we've seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past, but it's fast and efficient..."PCMag

"The first thing you'll notice about EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is that its interface is very clear and uncluttered, with only a small collection of self-explanatory controls. You won't find lots of extra options hidden in a system of hidden menus, either; what you see really is what you get."techradar

"Recover lost files, even after deleting a partition or formatting your drive."Macworld

2. Why cannot I recover 2GB data for free?

It is recommended to check the version installed is Free or Trial because they are different versions.

Trial has data preview function but cannot save any files, while the Free version enables to recover 2 GB files. The default free space is 500 MB and you may share the product on social media to get another 1.5 GB.

3. Why cannot the recovered files be opened?

A file is saved as 2 parts on the storage device: directory info (which is comprised by file name, time stamp and size info, etc.) and data content.

If the files with original file names and folder structures cannot be opened, one possible reason is the corrupted directory info. There is still a chance to recover the data content with the RAW Recovery method in our software.

4. Why isn't it suggested to recover the files back to the original drive?

The storage structure of the lost files would be altered or damaged by any changes on the drive. If you save the recovered files back to the same drive, the original data structures and data content would be corrupted or overwritten, which causes permanent data loss. So you should prepare another disk to save the files.

5. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files, so verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

6. How long does it take to scan the drive?

It strongly depends on the capacity of your hard drive and the performance of your computer. As reference,most drive recoveries can be completed in around 10 to 12 hours for a 1-TB healthy hard drive in general conditions.

About Data Recovery Wizard

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