How to Repair a Corrupted Pen Drive/SD Card for Free

Tracy King updated on Sep 16, 2019 to Storage Media Recovery | How-to Articles


In this article, we’ll provide you with three effective methods to repair a corrupted pen drive or SD card without losing any data. You can download the free powerful pen drive repair software or apply the CMD/Disk Management tools to get things done.

What to do when a pen drive or SD card gets corrupted

Are you looking for a way to repair a corrupted pen drive, SD card, or hard drive on your PC, camera or mobile phone? Not sure what to do when a storage devices suddenly stops working, gets corrupted, or even becomes unrecognized by your PC? 

Relax! Here are some tips for you to follow if you don't know what to do when you are faced with pen drive, USB or SD card corruption:

  • Connect it to another PC to check whether it's damaged or not
  • Reinstall the pen drive/SD card drivers in Disk Management
  • Try to change the path letter of the corrupted pen drive or SD card

If all these quick fixes don't work for you, don't worry. In the following paragraphs, you'll find three recommended methods to repair a corrupted pen drive/SD card.

Three methods to repair a corrupted pen drive/SD card

When a pen drive, USB flash drive, or SD card gets corrupted, it won't be able to be detected by a computer and the data on it could become inaccessible. You'll notice that the pen drive or SD card will not respond to any operations. So, how to fix this problem and repair your pen drive or SD card? Here, you'll find three methods to try in order to perform corrupted pen drive/SD card recovery:

Perform pen drive/SD card recovery with repair software
Repair a corrupted pen drive/SD card with CMD
Fix a damaged/corrupted pen drive/SD card with Disk Management tool

If you know nothing about CMD or Disk Management, your best choice is Method 1.

Let's see how to repair and fix a damaged or corrupted pen drive, USB drive, SD card without losing any data now.

Method 1. Perform corrupted pen drive/SD card recovery with free pen drive repair software

The best pen drive repair software allows you to simply get important data from a damaged, corrupted, or non-working pen drive, USB flash drive, or SD card, and other storage devices with a few simple clicks. Just download it and follow the steps below to repair a corrupted storage device. (If your files and data saved on the corrupted device are more than 2GB, you'll need to upgrade this free pen drive repair software to the Pro version in order to restore unlimited data. )

Part 1. Restore data from a corrupted pen drive/SD card

These steps show you how to get back lost files from pen drive. You can also apply the method for SD card recovery.

Step 1: Run Pen Drive Recovery Software

  • First, please connect your pen drive to your computer.
  • Then you can run EaseUS pen drive recovery software - Data Recovery Wizard on your PC.
  • On the main interface, choose your pen drive under External Devices, and click Scan to start the pen drive recovery process.
Run pen drive recovery software.

Step 2: Scan the Pen Drive

Let the program run to scan and find all your lost files.
All your files will be listed here:

  • Delete Files: It lists your deleted files.
  • Drive: It loads all your lost files there.
  • Lost Partition Files: Check it first if it's for formatted recovery.
  • Extra Files: Finds files that lost names or paths.
  • Filter: A quick way to your wanted files.
  • Search: e.g. File name/file extension.
Scan to find all lost pen drive files.

Step 3: Recover Pen Drive Files

  • Check those three tabs - Deleted Files, Lost Partition Files or Extra Files to find your files, and you can double-click to preview them.
  • Finally, click "Recover" to save them to a secure location on your PC or another external storage device.
Restore all lost pen drive files.

Part 2. Format and fix a corrupted pen drive/SD card

After getting back important data from the corrupted storage device, you can now directly format it to repair the corrupted or damaged pen drive or SD card:

Step 1: Connect the pen drive/SD card to your PC.

Step 2: Right-click on This PC/My Computer and click on Manage.

Step 3: Click Disk Management.

Step 4: Right-click the corrupted or non-working pen drive/SD card and select Format.

Step 5: Reset the drive letter, file system, and other necessary settings for the pen drive or SD card.

Step 6: Click OK to finish the process.

If you don't need any data on the storage device, you can follow Method 2 or Method 3 to get your problem solved right now:

Method 2. Repair a corrupted pen drive/SD card with CMD

The CHKDSK command is a highly effective method for you to repair a corrupted, damaged, and non-working USB flash drive, pen drive, SD card, or hard drive partition. It can also be applied to repair a corrupted external hard drive or HDD/SSD with ease.

Step 1: Connect the problematic storage device to your PC.

Step 2: Click on Start and type: cmd, hit Enter to open the Command Prompt.

Step 3: Type:  chkdsk /X /f G: or chkdsk G: /f and hit Enter. (G shall be the drive letter of your pen drive/sd card.)

Fix and repair corrupted pen drive/SD card.

Wait for the process to complete. Then you'll get your wanted health pen drive, USB, or SD card back.

If you don't have any technical know-how and want to minimize data risks, using third-party software could be a better choice. The Command line is suitable for computer professionals since wrong commands can cause severe problems. Therefore, we strongly recommend you to try an automatic command line alternative.

EaseUS Tool M is a practical computer fixing tool that is safe and light-weighted. It's a perfect alternative to CHKDSK command. Use this one-click tool to solve your computer issues.

To fix file system error or disk error:

Step 1: DOWNLOAD EaseUS Tool M for Free and install it.

Step 2: Open the software and select "File Fixing" on the left pane. 

On the right pane, choose the drive and check off the box at the bottom - "Check and fix file system error". Then, click "Fix" to start repairing the error.

Step 3: Wait until the operation completes. Wait until the operation completes. After the operation completes, click the "View" button to check the drive. 

select the drive and check off file system error

Method 3. Repair and fix a corrupted pen drive/SD card with the Disk Management tool

Step 1: Connect your storage device to your PC and right-click My Computer/This PC on the Desktop.

Step 2: Click Manage > Go to Computer Management > Enter Disk Management.

Step 3: Right-click the corrupted pen drive/SD card and select Delete volume > Yes.

Step 4: Right-click the unallocated space on your storage device > Select New Simple Volume > Click Next > Next.

Step 5: Reset the file system, drive letter, and size of the pen drive/SD card and click Finish.

Step 6: Enable a quick format and wait for the format process to finish.


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Frequently Asked Questions

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

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