[Fixed] SD Card Is Damaged. Try Reformatting It

SD card is damaged. Try reformatting it. This is an error message on Android smartphones and digital cameras (DLSR), and the causes are usually about file system corruption, bad sectors, and virus infection. To solve this issue perfectly without losing data, you need to consider data recovery before/after the troubleshooting guide, and EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is highly recommended.

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Table of Contents

Overview of SD Card Damaged Error Message

Error message - "SD card is damaged. Try reformatting it."

sd card damaged try reformatting it

Are you one of the victims who cannot access your SD card right now because of the "Damaged SD card" error? As investigated, the Samsung Note series and Samsung Galaxy series are the major infected devices, for most types (Galaxy S4-S10 & Note 3-Note 9) support an external microSD card. How does the microSD card become damaged on the phone? Can reformatting remove the error?

Not sure. Many people attempt to fix the card issue by suggestion. But reformatting only erased SD card data, leaving the SD card with the other error message  - Blank SD card. SD card is blank or has an unsupported filesystem. To thoroughly repair damaged SD card without encountering continuous different error messages, you should connect the card to a card reader and repair it on a PC.

Causes of Damaged SD Card Error on Android/Camera

We tried to classify many possible reasons in six groups, so you can clearly know where it goes wrong and what are the corresponding solutions. The causes include:

  • Improper ejection of the SD card
  • SD card file system corruption
  • Frequent wring and erasing of data on the card
  • The microSD card is formatted with a file system out of FAT32 or exFAT.
  • Removed the card while the device is transferring files or accessing information
  • Using an incompatible card (Your device accepts memory cards with maximum 32GB but you use a 64GB card for it)

Fix 'SD Card is Damaged. Try Reformatting it.'

According to the above analysis of error causes, it's time for you to confirm two things, including the necessity of retrieving data from an inaccessible memory card and which troubleshooting would work for your own case.


As soon as the memory card shows information like that, don't wait. Safely eject the card from your phone or digital camera, and connect it to a computer. If the card is read by your computer and displayed as a removable disk there, try to open it. See if you can access data on it. Otherwise, perform SD card data recovery before moving to the troubleshooting guide. However, if you had already formatted the card as the information told you, do not bother, you can still recover data from a formatted SD card.

Download EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard (visit the product page to learn more) on your PC, and try it yourself to recover data from an inaccessible or formatted memory card.

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.4

Step 1. Select the SD card to scan

  • Download and install EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard on your Windows PC.
  • Use the proper way to connect your SanDisk/Lexar/Transcend SD card to the computer. 
  • Open EaseUS SD card recovery software. All connected drives will display here. Select your SD card and click "Scan".
select the sd card and click scan

Step 2. Check for scan results

  • Wait for the scanning process to complete.
  • Click "Filter" and specify one or several file types to show up, like Pictures, Word, Excel, PDF, Videos and so on.
  • Click "Preview" to check if they are the wanted files.
find wanted sd card files

Step 3. Recover SD card data

  • Choose desired files and click "Recover".
  • Choose a different location to save the recovered files instead of the original SD card.
recover sd card files

After transferring important photos, documents, and other important files from the SD card to the other storage device, you can put your mind at ease and try every troubleshooting method here to bring the damaged SD card back to normal.

Do You Need Specialized Data Recovery Services?
You may need further help for tough data loss situations like reformatting drive, RAW disk, partition loss, repartition failures and system boot error. Consult with EaseUS Data Recovery Experts for cost-efficient one-on-one manual recovery service. They could offer the following services after FREE diagnosis:
1. Unformat the drive
2. Repair the RAID, RAW disk or operating system
3. Recover lost partition (the one that cannot be recovered by software)

Fix 1. Fix SD Card incompatibility issues

Step 1: Check "what size memory card does my smartphone accept" from the URL: https://www.samsung.com/uk/support/mobile-devices/what-size-memory-card-does-my-smartphone-accept/.

Using an incompatible card may damage the device or the memory card itself, or corrupt the data stored in it.

Step 2: Check the SD card file system.

  • Open Windows Explorer, right-click on the removable disk that represents your SD card. Choose "Properties".
  • Under the "General" tab, make sure that the file system is "FAT32" or "exFAT". Or else, you need to format the SD card to FAT32 or exFAT.

Fix 2. Check SD Card Errors and Repair

Windows has inbuilt tools for error checking. You can run the tools in "Properties". This option will check the drive for file system errors. 

Step 1: Open Windows Explorer, right-click on the removable disk that represents your SD card. Choose "Properties".

check sd card file system errors by choosing properties

Step 2: Switch to the Tools tab, and then click "Check" in the "Error checking" area.

check sd card file system errors

Step 3: Complete the scan & repair process.

Disconnect the card from the PC, and reconnect to your phone. See if the error persists.

Fix 3. Fix a Damaged SD Card Without Formatting Using CMD

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

Step 1: Connect the Android SD card to your PC using a card reader.

Step 2: On the PC, click on Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> Command Prompt.

Step 3: In the command line, enter the command: chkdsk [sd card drive letter]: /f/r.

run chkdsk to check file system errors and repair the errors

The chkdsk command is designed to scan and check for the issues and repair the corrupt SD card. After the command takes effect, insert the card into your phone, see if the "SD card is damaged. Try reformatting it" issue has been resolved or not.

If command line is not your ideal choice, you can apply this command-line alternative tool - EaseUS CleanGenius. Use this one-click tool to fix the file system error on your hard drive.

Step 1. Download EaseUS CleanGenius on your computer for free.

Step 2. Run the software. Click "Optimization" on the left panel, and then choose "File Showing" . 

select the file showing option

Step 3. Go to "Choose drive" and select the drive with a file system error. Check the "Check and fix file system error" option and click "Execute".

fix file system

Step 4. Wait the EaseUS CleanGenius completes the repairing process. After that, click the "here" to view the result.

fix file system

Fix 4. Other linked solutions to damaged SD card repair

Like we have addressed the problem in the beginning, the causes of this one problem are not the same. You must take it slow and check the approaches one by one until you finally remove the error. Only when you clear the error message, you can make the memory card ready to use.

This video has sumed up the effective fixes for corrupted and damaged card:

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Updated by Jean

Author Jean has been writing tech articles since she was graduated from university. She has been part of the EaseUS team for over 5 years. Her special focuses are data recovery, disk partitioning, data space optimization, data backup and Mac OS. By the way, she's an aviation fan!

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Written by Roxanne

Roxanne is one of the main contributors to EaseUS and has created multiple posts on digital devices like PCs, Mobile phones, tablets, Mac, etc. She loves to share ideas with people of the same interest.

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