How to Format SD Card Without Losing Data

Abby Haines updated on Jul 03, 2019 to Format Recovery | How-to Articles

Summary

The SD card becomes RAW and the Windows asks you to format the SD card. What to do? Here are the solutions to format an SD card without losing data. Even your SD card becomes RAW or gets corrupted/damaged, you can still format the SD card by following the details below.

SD Card Becomes Raw and Windows Asks to Format It

My SD card shows that there is a RAW file system on my camera. When I insert it to my laptop, an error message pops up saying "Micro sd card is not formatted, do you want to format it now?" But the thing is I don't want to lose my photos on the SD card. How can I convert RAW to NTFS or fat 32 without losing SD card files? 

SD cards are a popular storage device which is commonly used in digital cameras, mobile phones, and camcorders. Sometimes the card becomes RAW and inaccessible due to certain reasons: 

  • human mistakes 
  • system errors
  • unexpected disasters

When you are faced with this error, Windows often asks you to format your devices. But this operation causes data loss too. How to format the RAW drive and keep your data safe. Here is the solution: recover data from the RAW SD card. Then format the SD card. 

Part 1. Restore Data from RAW/Inaccessible SD card 

The hard drive which has not been formatted by the NT file system, such as FAT and NTFS, is called RAW hard drive. When your drive becomes RAW, you cannot access it. Meanwhile, its capacity used space, and unused space will all be shown as "zero". That is to say, all data originally saved in that “RAW” disk are lost. You can neither see them nor transfer them to a safe place for further use.

But a third-party data recovery program can access this RAW drive and get back data before formatting. EaseUS disk data recovery software is an ideal choice for recovering RAW drive data. It's fully compatible with all Windows and MacOS. What's more, it allows users to restore data from SD card, USB drive, HDD, etc. The process just takes a few simple steps. 

Step 1. Run SD card recovery software and scan the card.

Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard on your PC and select your SD card. Then click "Scan" to start finding lost data on your SD card.

select the sd card and click scan

Step 2. Check found SD card data.

After the scanning process, you can click "Filter" to quickly find wanted files.

find wanted sd card files

Step 3. Restore SD card data.

You can check and preview found files by double-clicking each one of them. Then click Recover to save found SD card files to a secure location on your PC or external storage.

recover sd card files
Do You Need Specialized Data Recovery Services?
You may need further help for tough data loss situations like format errors, RAW disk, partition loss, repartition failures and system boot error. Consult with EaseUS Data Recovery Experts to retrieve lost data in time.

Part 2. Format the RAW SD Card Without Losing Data

After restoring data from RAW SD card, you can now format the RAW SD card to NTFS or FAT32 without losing data: 

1. Manually format your SD card

Step 1: Insert your SD card into a card reader and connect the card reader to your computer.

Step 2: Right-click "This PC", choose "Manage", enter "Disk Management".

Step 3: Locate and right-click on your SD card, choose "Format".

Step 4: Click "Yes" to continue, set a new label, file system - exFAT, FAT32 or NTFS to the card. Then click "OK" to format your SD card.

format your SD card

2. Format your SD card with software

Here, we recommend a third-party SD card formatting tool. It is totally free for SD card formatting. What's more, it is pretty easy and fast. To format SD card in Windows 10 and all other operating systems, simply download and install the free partition manager on PC. 

Details: How to format an SD Card

format sd card with easeus partition master

Part 3. Back Up Files to Protect Your Data 

Take preventive measures before anything happens to you. If you have a backup of your SD card, you don't have to worry about the data loss problem. And backup can be one of the best ways to prevent data loss.

To back up files in advance, you need free file backup software. Here, EaseUS Todo Backup is my suggestion. With it, you can create a file backup. And you can enjoy more useful features during the process. You can set a schedule to back up files daily, weekly, or monthly. Besides, you can enjoy other features like disk clone, partition clone or system clone, and more. 

Details: How to Back Up Files

backup sd card to protect data
 
 

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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 to better 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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