Do you know what to do when you can't visit or access your data on storage devices? There are a number of common issues that may happen to any brand of storage device.  Here, we have taken SanDisk as an example and categorized the usual problems that occurred on SanDisk USB flash drives, pen drives, micro SD cards, SDHC cards, and SDXC cards into two groups with corresponding solutions. 

These problems can all be solved by either formatting the disk using a reliable SanDisk format tool or manually repairing the device with a SanDisk repair tool.

Common Issues with SanDisk Cards and Flash Drives

 Check which category your problem falls into, then follow the respective guide to get your SanDisk or other brands of devices to work again.

Category 1. Need a SanDisk Format Tool Category 2. Need a SanDisk Repair Tool
  • SanDisk SD card not showing the full capacity.
  • SanDisk SD cards like Cruzer 16GB are not recognized by the camera or phone.
  • Windows is unable to complete the format for a SanDisk removable disk.
  • A new SanDisk SD card or USB was not detected by the Windows PC.
  • SanDisk USB, external hard drive, and SD card become RAW or inaccessible.
  • Format SanDisk device to change its file system format.
  • SanDisk write-protected error in Windows: can't write anything.
  • SanDisk flash drive is corrupted or damaged.
  • SanDisk USB or SD card has bad sectors and is unreadable.

Whether the problem you have is on your internal hard drive, external hard drive, USB, or memory SD card, apply the recommended SanDisk format tools or SanDisk repair tools with how-to tutorials to make your device function again. 

Part 1. SanDisk Format Tool Free Download and Format the Disk

When facing SanDisk problems similar to the listed entries in the first category, go ahead and download SanDisk format tools for help. Here in this part, we've collected 4 formatting tools that you can pick up to format your SanDisk devices now:

  1. #1. EaseUS Partition Master
  2. #2. Windows File Explorer
  3. #3. Windows Disk Management
  4. #4. CMD - Windows DiskPart Command Prompt

#1. Format SanDisk Device using EaseUS Partition Master

Instead of recommending Windows built-in tools, we would like to let you try EaseUS Partition Master Free Edition. The reason why we recommend this free partition manager as the first SanDisk format tool is that it enables you to perform more advanced operations besides formatting.

Free Download 

Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure

  • Pros: ①. 100% free formatting; ②. Format 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, and even bigger devices to FAT32; ③. Convert FAT32 to NTFS; ④. Clone and partition storage devices, etc.
  • Cons: It doesn't work on macOS.
  • Supported Format: NTFS, FAT32, FAT16, Ext4/Ext3/Ext2, exFAT, etc.
  • Best for: All levels of users - beginners, experienced and professional users

Guide: 4-Step Format a Sandisk Drive in Windows

Connect your problematic SanDisk drive or removable device to your PC and follow the next steps to format it with ease.

Step 1. Launch EaseUS Partition Master, right-click the partition on your external hard drive/USB/SD card which you want to format and choose the "Format" option.

Format External Hard Drive/USB/SD Card - 1

Step 2. Assign a new partition label, file system (NTFS/FAT32/EXT2/EXT3/EXT4/exFAT), and cluster size to the selected partition, then click "OK".

Format External Hard Drive/USB/SD Card - 2

Step 3. In the Warning window, click "Yes" to continue.

Format External Hard Drive/USB/SD Card - 3

Step 4. Click the "Execute 1 Task(s)" button in the top-left corner to review the changes, then click "Apply" to start formatting your external hard drive/USB/SD card.

Format External Hard Drive/USB/SD Card - 4

Free Download 

Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure

#2. Format SanDisk Device using File Explorer

As Windows File Explorer is a Windows built-in tool, you don't need to download it at all. As long as the File Explorer is working properly, you can format your SanDisk or other brands of devices with ease.

  • Pros: 100% free
  • Cons: Cannot format 64GB or bigger USB, SD card to FAT32; 
  • Supported Format: NTFS, FAT/FAT32, exFAT
  • Best for: Window beginners

Tutorial: 4-Step to Format SanDisk Device

Step 1. Connect the SanDisk device to your PC. Open Windows File Explorer, right-click on the SanDisk device that you need to format, and select "Format."

Step 2. Rename the drive and reset its file system to FAT32 or exFAT. 

Step 3. Click "Start" to begin the formatting.

format SanDisk device using file explorer

Step 4. When the formatting process completes, click "OK" and close File Explorer.

Download EaseUS Partition Master as an alternative if you want to make the formatting easier.

Free Download 

Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure

#3. Format SanDisk using Windows Disk Management 

Similar to File Explorer, Windows Disk Management is pre-installed on Windows computers. You can easily apply it to format or change a device file system. As a result, no download and installation are required.

  • Pros: ①. 100% free; ②. Partition SanDisk or other brands of devices;
  • Cons: Cannot format 64GB or bigger device to FAT32;
  • Supported Format: NTFS, FAT/FAT32, exFAT;
  • Best for: Experienced users

How-to Guide: 4-Step to Format SanDisk Device

Step 1. Connect your SanDisk device to your PC, right-click "This PC" or "My Computer," and choose "Manage".

Step 2. Go to "Disk Management."

Step 3. Right-click the SanDisk hard drive partition and choose "Format."

format SanDisk device in Disk Management

Step 4. Set the volume label and file system, and click "OK" to start formatting the drive.

When the formatting process is complete, exit Disk Management. 

Download EaseUS Partition Master as an alternative if you want to make the formatting easier.

Free Download 

Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure

#4. Format SanDisk using Windows DiskPart Command Prompt

Windows DiskPart command prompt is more like a disk management tool that cannot only format your SanDisk device but also work to resolve other issues on your devices. You can easily bring it up without downloading or installing it.

  • Pros: ①. 100% free; ②. Works more than formatting, such as to convert disk to GPT
  • Cons: ①. Complex for beginners; ②. Any false operation may cause serious problems; 
  • Supported Format: NTFS, FAT/FAT32, exFAT;
  • Best for: Professional or advanced users

Step-by-Step Guide: Format SanDisk Device using DiskPart

Step 1. Keep your SanDisk device connected to your PC. Type cmd in the Search box, right-click Command Prompt, and select "Open as Administrator."

Step 2. Type diskpart in Command Prompt and hit Enter.

Step 3. Type the below command lines in DiskPart and hit Enter each time to quick format SanDisk drive:

Make sure you enter the right command each time.

  • list disk
  • select disk 2 (Replace 2 with your SanDisk disk number)
  • list volume
  • select volume 10 (Replace 10 with the volume number of the partition that you want to format)
  • format fs=ntfs quick (If you need to format a hard drive partition to FAT32 or other file systems, replace ntfs with fat32exFAT, etc.)

Step 4. Type exit and hit Enter to close the command window when DiskPart reports it has successfully formatted the volume.

Quick format SanDisk drive with diskpart command.

CMD commands can be difficult if there is no tutorial to help. So, share the detailed guide to help more users now.


Part 2. SanDisk Repair Tool Free Download

For the situations in the second category, simply formatting the disk will likely not be sufficient. Instead, it will require some advanced operations, such as applying SanDisk repair tools to fix these issues on your device.

Here, we also collected several SanDisk repair tools for you to pick up and apply to repair corrupted, unreadable, and even write-protected SanDisk devices:

  1. #1. EaseUS CleanGenius + EaseUS Partition Master Free Edition
  2. #2. CMD - Windows DiskPart Command Line
  3. #3. File Explorer + Disk Error Checking
  4. #4. Registry Editor

As the solutions toward different cases are different even using the same SanDisk repair tool. In the following, we'll guide you through the process of repairing different SanDisk device errors with respective SanDisk repair tools.

Case 1. Repair a Write-protected SanDisk SD Card or Flash Drive

When a SanDisk card, USB, or other storage device becomes write-protected, you cannot use direct format to remove the write protection

For example, when an SD card or USB becomes write-protected, you can try to unlock the device by toggling its switch. However, if this doesn't work, you'll need to fix a write-protected SanDisk drive with the following methods:

Method 1. Fix Write-Protected SanDisk Device using EaseUS CleanGenius and EaseUS Partition Master

Connect the SanDisk device, which is write-protected, to your computer. Then, continue to remove write protection with the following steps. It's free.

Free Download 

Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure

If you don't consider yourself a pro-computer user and you're not familiar with command-lines, don't worry. There are graphical-based solutions to help you remove write-protection from your hard drives, USB drives, and even SD cards.

EaseUS CleanGenius is one of these tools that helps you fix aforementioned issues on your drives without knowing a thing about command-line.

Here's an easy-to-follow guide on how to use this tool to get your issues sorted:

Step 1: DOWNLOAD and install EaseUS CleanGenius (free) on your computer.

Step 2: Run EaseUS CleanGenius on your PC, select Optimization and choose the Write Protection mode.

disable write protection

Step 3: Select the device that is write-protected and click Disable to remove the protection.

Disable Write Protection from storage devices.

When you have removed write protection from the device, you can then apply EaseUS Partition Master with its Format feature to format the device so it is usable again. You can revert to the formatting tutorial in Part 1 as a guide.

Free Download 

Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure

Method 2. Remove Write Protection from SanDisk Device using CMD

Remember to connect the write-protected SanDisk device to your computer before starting the following steps. Be careful while using the DiskPart command line.

Step 1. Press "Windows + R" and enter cmd. Open Command Prompt as Administrator.

Step 2. Type diskpart and hit Enter.

Step 3. Type the following command lines and hit Enter each time:

  • list disk
  • select disk # (# is the number of your SanDisk USB/SD card/SSD drive that you want to remove write protection from.)
  • attributes disk clear readonly

Remove write protection using diskpart command.

Step 4. Type exit and hit Enter to close DiskPart.

Download EaseUS Partition Master as an alternative if you want to make the formatting easier.

Free Download 

Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure

Method 3. Remove Write Protection from SanDisk using Registry Editor

If you are a Windows beginner, we suggest you revert to Method 1 and apply EaseUS CleanGenius for help. Registry Editor is efficient in removing write protection errors. However, it's not for beginners. 

Any false operation may cause device malfunction on your computer. Follow the steps carefully while removing the SanDisk device write protection error:

Step 1. Type Regedit in the search box and hit Enter.

Click "Yes" to open the Registry editor when you see it is displayed at the top of the list.

Step 2. And then navigate to the following key: Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\StorageDevicePolicies

Step 3. Double-click on the WriteProtect value in the right-hand pane of Registry Editor.

Change the Value data from 1 to 0 and click "OK" to save the change. 

Change Registry key to remove write protection

After this, close the Registry and restart your computer.

Share this article and let more users know how to remove write protection.


Case 2. Repair Corrupted, Unreadable SanDisk Devices on Windows PC

Mostly, when SanDisk or other brands of storage devices are not detected by Windows PC or become inaccessible, it may contain a file system error, bad sector, or internal errors. To fix this issue, you can try the following methods with a reliable SanDisk repair tool for help:

Method 1. Use Free Partition Manager - EaseUS Partition Master

EaseUS Partition Master Free Edition, with its Check File System feature, enables you to easily fix file system errors, soft bad sectors, and even some internal errors that stop you from visiting the device on a Windows PC. 

Free Download 

Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure

Here are the steps:

Method 2. Run Disk Error Checking in File Explorer

Step 1. Open File Explorer, right-click the SanDisk device, and choose "Properties."

Step 2. Under the Tools tab, click the Check button under the Error-checking section.

check disk errors in SanDisk drive in Propertities

Step 3. Next, you can choose "Scan drive" to scan errors and click "Repair drive" if errors were found.

Method 3. Run CHKDSK Command to Repair SanDisk Drive Error

CHKDSK command works to repair internal device errors on all brands of storage devices. Follow the steps carefully when you need to run the command and repair a corrupted SanDisk device:

Step 1. Type cmd in the Search box.

Step 2. Right-click "Command Prompt" and choose "Run as administrator."

Step 3. Enter the following command: chkdsk E: /f /r /x

Replace "E" with the drive letter of the SanDisk drive you want to repair.

run chkdsk command in SanDisk drive

Bonus Tip: SanDisk Offical Resolution - Repair using Registry

The official SanDisk knowledgebase states that a corrupt registry entry can cause your SanDisk product to not be detected by the computer. Removing the registry keys created upon installation of your SanDisk product will allow the computer to fully reinstall the device and may resolve the issue.

Step 1. Back up the registry

1. Unplug the SanDisk device from the USB port.

2. Run regedit.

  • Windows XP: Go to "Start" > "Run," type in regedit, and then click "OK."
  • Windows 7, 8, and Vista: Click the Start button, type regedit in the search box, and then press Enter.
  • Window 10: Type regedit in the 'Search the web and Windows' field (lower-right) and then select 'Regedit - Run Command.'

3. From the registry menu, choose "File" > "Export".

4. Name the file SNDK.reg and save it to your desktop.

If you experience any issues after editing the registry, you can restore this backup by following steps 1 through 3 but choosing File > Import instead. Choose the SNDK.reg file that you backed up, allow it to import, and then restart your PC.

Step 2. Remove SanDisk info from the registry

WARNING: DO NOT delete any registry keys other than keys that include VID_0781, the SanDisk devices' keys. Deleting important registry keys can result in booting issues and other system malfunctions. 

1. From the registry menu, click "Edit" and choose "Find".
2. Type in VID_0781 and click "Find" Next.
3. Once the search finishes, right-click the highlighted registry key and select "delete."
4. Press the F3 key to find the next registry key, which includes VID_0781.
5. Right-click the highlighted registry key and select "delete."
6. Repeat this process until the search returns with No results Found.

NOTE: Under Windows 7, 8, and Vista, some registry keys may be protected and cannot be deleted. Simply skip over these keys if you receive a message that the key cannot be deleted.

7. Once all registry keys containing VID_0781 have been deleted, reboot your computer.
8. Plug the device into the computer after it's finished rebooting. The device will be reinstalled.

If you have trouble completing this process, there is another way that you can try to fix a USB flash drive not showing up in another way.

Wrapping Up

When you complete the whole process, you may lose some files after formatting or repairing the SanDisk device. Reliable data recovery software is capable of helping you out. If you need a detailed tutorial, please refer to format recovery software for help. 

On this page, we discussed the symptoms when a SanDisk or other storage device does not work properly on a Windows PC. We divided these issues into two groups and presented respective solutions to help you make your SanDisk device work again by using the SanDisk format tool and Sandisk repair tool.

As for Windows beginners, we suggest you take EaseUS Partition Master and EaseUS CleanGenius to format and repair problematic SanDisk memory cards, SD cards, USBs, and external and even internal hard drives.

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Updated by Oliver

Oliver is an EaseUS professional writer who dares explore new areas. With a passion for solving tech issues with straightforward guides for common users, Oliver keeps honing his writing craft by developing in-depth solutions for disk and partition management, computer boot-up issues, file transfer, etc.

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Written by Jean

Jean is recognized as one of the most professional writers in EaseUS. She has kept improving her writing skills over the past 10 years and helped millions of her readers solve their tech problems on PC, Mac, and iOS devices.

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