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How to Fix/Repair Damaged SD Card and Recover Data

Updated on Dec 03, 2018 by Abby Haines to Storage Media Recovery


When your SD card is damaged or corrupted and becomes inaccessible, you can repair it with the CMD command or another Windows built-in tool. After being able to access the card again, you can use EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to scan for lost data and retrieve lost files successfully.

Can I Fix/Repair a Damaged SD Card Error Without Formatting It

"This morning I received a damaged SD card error message that read 'SD card is damaged. Try reformatting it.' when I tried to share some pictures on my Android phone on Facebook. When I clicked it, my phone displayed 'Format SD card? All the data on your card will be lost'. I didn't format the card because there are so many important files including hundreds of pictures, a collection of my favorite movies, and dozens of documents. Is there any solution that I can use to fix or repair the damaged SD card error without format? Some kind of reliable SD card recovery technique? I have to get my data back"

your sd card is damaged and you need to reformat it

When your SD card or USB is damaged or corrupted, your data will usually become inaccessible. If you try to open it on your computer, Windows will remind you that the card is not accessible because the file or directory is corrupted and unreadable. To get all of your data back and your card working again, first repair the damaged SD card then recover lost files.

Before starting, one thing you should note is to stop using the damaged SD card until you fully retrieve your data, or you may suffer data recovery failure due to data overwriting.

First. Fix/Repair a Corrupted SD Card Without Data Loss

So long as your SD card is not actually PHYSICALLY broken, your computer can still recognize it, and your computer assigns it a drive letter; you can follow the methods below to fix the logical error.

1. Use CMD to Fix the Damaged SD Card

The "chkdsk" command is your first choice for damaged SD card repair. It allows you to fix or repair a corrupted SD card and regain access to all your important files on the device. Let's see how it works. (I'm using Windows 7 for this demonstration)

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

Step 2: Go to the start menu, type "cmd" in a search bar, hit enter and you will see "cmd.exe" in a list of programs.

Step 3: Click "cmd.exe" and then you will get the following command window that will allow you to fix your corrupted SD card without formatting.    

Using chkdsk to fix a corrupted SD card without data loss step 1

Step 4: Type in "chkdsk /X /f [sd card letter]:" or "chkdsk [sd card letter]: /f ".
For example,"chkdsk /X /f G:" or "chkdsk G: /f", if your card is in drive letter G.

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

After finishing all these steps, Windows will begin to check and fix the file system of the SD card. It usually takes several minutes. After that, if you see "Windows has made corrections to the file system" in the command window, then congratulations, the damaged SD card is successfully fixed, and you can see your data again.

2. Scan and Repair the SD Card

If you are uncomfortable with cmd, you can also right-click the SD card and choose to repair the logical error from the properties menu.

Step 1: Connect the SD card to your PC

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

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

Step 4: Click on the Tools tab.

Step 5: Click the "Check" button.

check and repair the damaged sd card

Step 6: Let the scan process complete. Close the scan window once it finishes.

Step 7: Right-click the icon of the USB flash drive and click "Eject". Then remove SD card. 

Second. Recover Data from the Repaired SD Card

Once you have successfully repaired your SD card, you can access it. If the files are still on the SD card, please transfer the SD card's data to another location as soon as possible. If files are missing, recover them with the help of a professional data recovery tool.

EaseUS file recovery software is a professional data recovery program that can be used to recover deleted, formatted or inaccessible data in various data loss cases.

It supports recovering data from computer hard drives, recovering formatted USB drives, and all storage media like SD cards, CF cards, etc. With its powerful data recovery capacity and intuitive user interface, it is the best choice to recover your data from a damaged SD card. After retrieving all your data, you can format the SD card to fix the damaged SD card error.

Before purchasing the full version for SD card data recovery, download the trial version to scan your card and check which files the program can recover. If it works, you will rescue your essential data.

Stop using your SD card immediately after you lose files on it. Continuing to use the card will greatly increase the chance of data overwriting, which renders data unrecoverable.

Stop using your SD card immediately once you lost files on it. Continuing using the card would hugely increase the chance of data overwriting, which makes data unrecoverable.

Step 1: Connect the SD card to PC

Insert the SD card to a card reader, and connect the card reader with your SD card to a healthy computer.

Step 2: Run SD card recovery software and scan the card.

  • Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard on your PC and select your SD card under the External Devices column.
  • Then click Scan to start finding lost data on your SD card now.
Run SD card recovery software.

Step 3: Check found SD card data.

After the scanning process, you can preview and find your lost SD card files from below listed tabs:

  • Deleted Files: List your deleted files there.
  • Drive X: All lost files can be found here.
  • Lost Partition Files: Check first if it's for formatted recovery.
  • Extra Files: Finds files that lost names or paths.

And you can use Filter and Search to quickly find your files.

Find lost SD card files.

Step 4: 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 an external storage.
Restore lost SD card files.

A video for SD card data recovery: