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How to Fix Corrupted SD Card Without Losing Data [2024 Tips]

Don't worry if your Micro SD card corrupted or the memory card damaged. How to fix corrupted SD card? Best methods are available here to fix corrupted SD cards without losing any data. Follow to recover data from corrupted SD card and make the SD card readable again in Windows 10/8/7.

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Table of Contents

How to fix corrupted SD card? What will you do when your SD card is corrupted or not reading? Follow the content navigation, and you'll get a clear guide to fix corrupted sd card on your own:

SD card, also known as memory card, is a tiny, portable, and functional device widely used for "walking" storage in multiple devices, such as digital cameras, Android phones, tablets, etc., to extend storage capacities.

However, as the SD card is frequently plugged in and out with SD card readers, especially without safe ejection, it is likely to cause file system corruption or bad sectors on the card. Don't worry if your SD memory card becomes inaccessible or the SD card is corrupted & unreadable. Keep reading, and you'll find perfect methods to perform SD card repair.

Common Signs of SD Card Corrupted/Damaged

Apart from the SD card's improper handle, many other common factors may cause an SD card to malfunction. For example, a virus infection, interruption of data transfer, SD card removal while writing files to it, etc.

Here, we collect a list of SD card corruption or damage symptoms to help you directly identify whether the SD is corrupted or damaged. Check the following signs, and you'll learn that your SD card is corrupted or damaged.

How to check if your SD card is corrupted or damaged:

SD Card Is Corrupted

SD Card Is Damaged

SD card corrupted

  • SD card not showing up in File Explorer.
  • SD card displays as RAW.
  • SD card suddenly shows empty, files are missing.
  • SD card error: "A read-write error occurred on your sd card...".
  • "SD card is damaged. Try reformatting it" error message.
  • SD is write-protected, locked, or read-only.
  • SD card freezes or stuck.
  • Failed to load photos in SD card.
  • SD card is not detected, not recognized, and showing no media in Disk Management.

SD card damaged

After defining whether your SD card is corrupted or damaged, you can first try your best to recover data from corrupted SD card, then use the methods in this tutorial to get started fixing corrupted or damaged SD cards.

How to Fix Corrupted SD Card Without Losing Data

Once your SD card gets corrupted, the first thing to do is to restore files from the SD card. Data may be lost during the repair process, so getting back files in advance is best. 

You may try the following 3 corrupted SD card file recovery solutions for help:

  1. 1. Turn to Powerful SD Card Recovery Software
  2. 2. Show Hidden Files on SD Card
  3. 3. Try Manual Data Recovery Services

#1. Recover SD Card Data with EaseUS Data Recovery Software

Once your SD card turns to RAW or Windows asks you to format it before you can use it, take it slow. The files are still on the SD card, using EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard software to recover SD card data to another location as soon as possible.

EaseUS data recovery software is professional in recovering deleted, formatted, or inaccessible data in various data loss cases.

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.7

It is the best choice to recover your data from a corrupted SD card with its powerful SD card recovery capacity and intuitive user interface.

  • 00:30 SD card recovery introduction
  • 02:58 Connect the SD card to the PC
  • 04:15 Recover with EaseUS data recovery software

It also works recovering data from computer hard drives, recovering formatted SD card, and all storage media like USB flash drives, CF cards, etc.

We hope you can share this passage to recommend EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to more users!


#2. Show Hidden Files on SD Card

Applies to: Fix SD card suddenly shows empty or displays partial files error.

If your SD card suddenly shows empty or the SD card only displays partial data after fixing the corruption error, the data might get hidden. The other way is to find hidden files on SD card:

Step 1. Connect SD card to PC and press Windows + E to bring up Windows Explorer.

Step 2. Right-click on the SD card and select "Properties".

Step 3.  Go to the View tab, under Hidden files and folders, and click "Show hidden files, folders, and drives".

Step 4. Then click "Apply", then "OK".

how to show hidden files in usb in windows file explorer options

You'll see the files showing up on the SD card. You may also want to know more methods to show hidden files, and the following passage may help:

show hidden files Windows 10

How to Show Hidden Files Windows 10 [4 Simple Ways]

How to show hidden files in Windows 10? It is not difficult to show hidden files in Windows 10, and you'll learn four ways. Read more >>

#3. Turn to Manual Data Recovery Services

If EaseUS SD card recovery software fails to scan and find your lost data on the SD card, don't worry. You still have the option to try turning to EaseUS data recovery services.

Consult with EaseUS Data Recovery Experts for one-on-one manual recovery service. We could offer the following services after FREE diagnosis:

  • Rebuild RAID without losing data, repair unbootable Windows OS and corrupted virtual disk file (.vmdk, .vhd, .vhdx, etc.)
  • Recover/repair lost partition and re-partitioned drive
  • Unformat hard drive and repair raw drive (BitLocker encrypted drive)
  • Fix disks that become GPT-protected partitions

How to Fix Corrupted SD Card in Windows 11/10/8/7 [9 Ways]

🚩Applies to: Fix SD card corrupted, SD card not reading, SD card not detected/recognized, error.

Check out the symptoms and pick up the right fixes for corrupted/damaged SD card repair immediately. This video has provided you with five advanced tips for you to follow.

  • 00:19 Main symptoms of corrupted SD card
  • 00:45 Check and clean SD card
  • 01:11 Use CHKDSK command
  • 02:16 Format SD card

The listed fixes are applicable to fix different levels of SD card corruption, and it's advised for SD card owners to try each method one by one, from simple to complex.

  1. #1. Reconnect SD Card or Try Another Device
  2. #2. Assign a New Drive Letter to SD Card
  3. #3. Fix Corrupted SD Card File System with CHDKSK Command
  4. #4. Repair Corrupted SD Card With Error Checking
  5. #5. Run Windows Troubleshooter
  6. #6. Reinstall or Updated SD Card Driver
  7. #7. Run DiskPart Attributes Command
  8. #8. Format SD Card
  9. #9. Turn to Manufacturer

Altogether, the 9 ways of SD card repair solutions also work to fix corrupted memory cards, USB, external, or internal hard drives. Now, let's start.

Fix 1. Reconnect SD Card - Change SD Card Reader, USB Port, or New Computer

🚩Applies to: Fix SD card corrupted, SD card not reading, SD card not detected/recognized, error.

Applies to: Fix SD card not readable or not detected by the computer, camera, etc. devices.

Sometimes, connection issues or power issues are likely to cause SD card unreadable problems. First of all, it's better to exclude exterior factors that can be fixed with a few tricks.

Step 1. Unplug and reconnect your SD card to the PC.

Step 2. If your SD card fails to show up, try the following 3 tips:

  1. 1.Change a new SD card reader, insert the SD card to it, and connect it to the PC.
  2. 2.Switch the USB port and reconnect the SD card to your computer.
  3. 3.Connect your SD card to another new computer.

After this, check if your SD card shows up or is readable. If yes, jump to the corrupted or damaged SD card recovery section at the end of this page to bring back all your important files immediately.

If nothing shows up, continue with the following fixes.

Fix 2. Change or Assign a New Drive Letter to SD Card

🚩Applies to:  SD card not readable, not showing up error.

Connect your SD card to your computer. If you didn't see the drive letter of your SD card in Disk Management, it's because its drive letter is conflicted with other drives. In this case, the computer will not detect the SD card, and the SD card will act as corrupted or become unreadable.

Changing or assigning a new drive letter to the SD card in Disk Management will resolve this error. Add a new drive letter to your card with the following steps:

Step 1. Press Win + X keys and click "Disk Management".

Step 2. Right-click on your SD card, and select "Change Drive Letter and Paths...".

Step 3. Click "Add" or "Change", select a new drive letter for the SD card. Click "OK" to confirm.

change sd card drive letter and paths

Fix 3. Run CHKDSK to Fix and Repair Corrupted SD Card File System

🚩Applies to: Fix SD card file system corruption or bad sectors issue.

SD card has a limited lifespan, like other removable storage devices. It will grow bad sectors or the file system may corrupt after a long period of use.

The CHKDSK command will find SD card file system corruption errors and remove bad sectors. This is also the most applicable way to repair a corrupted SD card without formatting.

Running chkdsk can hopefully fix the corrupted file system, however, it can also result in total data loss. So, perform data recovery in advance, and then continue with the CMD method.

Step 1. Plug your SD card into your computer with a card reader.

Step 2. Type cmd in the search box, right-click Command Prompt and select "Run as Administrator".

Step 3. Type chkdsk F: /f /r /x and hit Enter.

  • "F:" means the drive letter of the corrupted SD card you want to repair.
  • "/f" is to fix any found errors.
  • "/r" is to locate bad sectors and recover any readable information.
  • "/x" is to force the volume you're about to check to be dismounted before the utility begins a scan.

Step 4. Type exit when the checking and fixing process completes.

Using chkdsk to fix a corrupted SD card without data loss step 2

After finishing all these steps, if you see "Windows has made corrections to the file system" in the command window, congratulations. The corrupted SD card is successfully fixed, you can view and use your data again.

Fix 4. Repair Corrupted SD Card With Error Checking

🚩Applies to: Fix SD card not openable or inaccessible issue due to device error.

Another practical way that can fix SD card corrupted errors is to run Windows Error Checking. Follow the steps below to repair corrupted SD card on your own:

Step 1. Connect the SD card to your PC.

Step 2. Press Windows + E to open Windows Explorer.

Step 3. Right-click the SD card and open its Properties.

Step 4. Go to the Tools tab, and click the Check button.

check and repair the damaged sd card

Let the scan process complete and closes the scan window once it finishes.

After this, you may be able to open and view your SD card files again. If you have fixed SD card corrupted issues, please share this method with more users.


Fix 5. Run Windows Troubleshooter

🚩Applies to: Fix issues that are related to hardware and drivers on the SD memory card.

Windows Troubleshooter can find and fix problems that are related to hardware and drivers. If the SD card contains a similar problem, Windows Troubleshooter will do:

Step 1. Connect the SD card to your PC.

Step 2. Go to Windows Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshoot.

Step 3. Under the Hardware and Devices section, click "Run the troubleshooter".

Run Windows Troubleshooter to fix corrupted SD card

Wait for the troubleshooting to complete, and then restart the PC. The SD card not openable or unreadable error shall be resolved.

Fix 6. Reinstall the SD Card Driver and Make SD Card Detectable

Applies to: Fix SD card not detected or not recognized error due to outdated drive driver.

When the SD card is not recognized by Windows at all, you can neither see it in Windows Explorer nor Windows Disk Management. A highly possible reason is that the SD card driver is outdated.

You can try to reinstall the driver or update drivers on Windows 11/10 to make it appear again in the Windows Device Manager:

Step 1. Press Windows + X keys and click "Device Manager".

Step 2. Expand Disk Drives, right-click on the name of your SD card, and click "Uninstall".

update sd card driver to fix corruption

Step 3. Click "OK". Restart your computer.

Step 4. Disconnect and reconnect the SD card to your computer.

After this, Windows will install the latest driver automatically and make the SD card detectable again.

Fix 7. Run DiskPart Attributes Disk Clear Read-Only Command to Unlock SD Card

🚩Applies to: Fix SD card is locked, read-only, or write-protected issue. 

Sometimes, your SD card may get locked, or become read-only, write-protected/encrypted by third-party encryption software.

A fast way out is to run DiskPart clear read-only command. Here are the steps:

Step 1. Connect the SD card to your PC. Press Windows + X, then click "Command Prompt (Admin)".

Step 2. Type diskpart and hit Enter in the command prompt window.

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

  • list disk
  • select disk 1
  • attributes disk clear readonly

clear read only to fix corrupted memory SD card

Replace 1 with the disk number of your SD card.

Step 4. Type exit to close the DiskPart window when the process completes.

After this, you should be able to open your SD card and access the saved files again. You can read more to learn how to remove write protection on an SD card or USB:

remove write protection

The Disk Is Write Protected Remove Write Protection from USB

You can't make changes on your drive when you get the disk is a protected error on USB or other devices. Read more >>

Fix 8. Format SD Card to FAT32 or exFAT

🚩Applies to: Reset the SD card file system to FAT32 or exFAT, repair raw SD card.

If the card displays as RAW in Windows Disk Management, or the file system of your SD card is not supported by the Windows computer or camera devices, you need to change the file system of the SD card to a supported one.

Formatting the SD card to NTFS, FAT32, or exFAT can be the best way out. This method also works to restore SD card's full capacity if the SD card only shows partial or half capacity.

You can use File Explorer to format the SD card as shown below or apply an SD card formatter for help:

Step 1. Connect the SD card to PC, open File Explorer.

Step 2. Right-click on the corrupted SD card, and select "Format".

Step 3. Select a proper file system among NTFS, FAT32, or exFAT.

Tick "Quick Format" and click "Start".

format SD card on windows 10 using file explorer sd card formatter

Note that formatting data will result in data loss. You can turn to SD card recovery software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to recover lost files after formatting.

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 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.7

Fix 9. Turn to SD Card Manufacturer for Help

🚩Applies to: Fix or resolve SD card malfunction error from SD card manufacturers.

Powerful SD card manufacturers like Seagate, WD, Sony, Samsung, etc., also provide services to help users fix SD card corruption or malfunction errors.

If your SD card is with a similar error, and you can't fix the error with the former 9 fixes, turning to the SD card manufacturer can be your last chance.

If you have fixed corrupted SD card already, share these useful methods on social media to let more users know!


Other Useful Tips to Repair SD Card

Here is a list of possible fixes that you can follow and try if you can repair the damaged SD card:

  1. #1. Change SD Card Connection, SD Card Adapter, New USB Port/PC.
  2. #2. Wipe Dust on the SD Card Chips and Reconnect SD Card to PC.
  3. #3. Contact Manufacture for Help if It's Under Warranty.
  4. #4. Take Damaged SD Card for Repair at A Local Repair Center.

Tip 3 and 4 are most effective in repairing a physically damaged SD card.

Note that in most cases, when an SD card is partially or totally broken or damaged, there is nothing that you can do to bring back life to your SD card.


On this page, we listed some common symptoms that help you define whether the SD card is corrupted. And you don't need to worry about losing data on the corrupted SD card.

We collected 10+ methods to fix the corrupted SD card and also presented 3 reliable SD card data recovery solutions to help you get lost data after SD card repair. For a fast and secure data recovery process, take EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard as your best try. 

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.7

Don't worry about losing your data. Take action to bring your corrupted SD card back to life again.

Damaged SD Card Recovery FAQs

This is the last part of this passage, and we hope you can learn more about damaged SD card recovery in this part:

1. Can I recover data from a corrupted SD card?

Yes, the best solution for corrupted SD card data recovery is by applying a data recovery utility. You will only need three steps to recover a corrupted SD card with EaseUS Dat Recovery Wizard, and its software can also recover data from corrupted hard drive.

  1. 1. Connect your corrupted SD card to a PC, and run EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to scan it.
  2. 2. The software will start scanning immediately after clicking the Scan button. You can choose files during the scanning process.
  3. 3. The last step is recovering your files once and for all.

2. How do I know if my SD card is damaged or not?

Usually, there are some signs that you can know your SD card is damaged:

  1. 1. Digital cameras or other suitable devices do not recognize the SD card.
  2. 2. Desktops and card readers do not display the card as a read-only folder.
  3. 3. When opened, files on the SD card have distortions or show errors.
  4. 4. Although the card can be seen as a folder, not all of its files are shown.

3. How to perform an SD card repair?

You can repair your SD card with the following methods:

  1. 1. Reconnect the SD card.
  2. 2. Create a new drive letter for the SD card.
  3. 3. Fix the corrupted SD card file system in CMD.
  4. 4. Repair corrupted SD card with error checking.
  5. 5. Run Windows Troubleshooter.
  6. 6. Reinstall or update the SD card driver.
  7. 7. Run the DiskPart Attributes command.
  8. 8. Format SD card.
  9. 9. Turn to the Manufacturer.

4. Can you format a corrupted SD card to fix it?

It is one of the available solutions to fix a corrupted SD card. If the SD card is damaged physically, formatting it will not be very helpful.

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Updated by Dany

Dany is an editor of EaseUS who lives and works in Chengdu, China. She focuses on writing articles about data recovery on Mac devices and PCs. She is devoted to improving her writing skills and enriching her professional knowledge. Dany also enjoys reading detective novels in her spare time.

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Written by Tracy King

Tracy became a member of the EaseUS content team in 2013. Being a technical writer for over 10 years, she is enthusiastic about sharing tips to assist readers in resolving complex issues in disk management, file transfer, PC & Mac performance optimization, etc., like an expert.

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