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

Tracy King updated on Sep 16, 2020 to Storage Media Recovery | How-to Articles


In this article, we'll provide you with three effective methods to repair a corrupted pen drive without losing any data. You can try the free powerful pen drive repair software to get things done. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard comes handy whenever you want to recover data from a corrupted pen drive, USB drive, or SD card.

Recover corrupted pen drive data with EaseUS data recovery software

Quick Start to Recover Data from a Corrupted Pen Drive

  1. Step 1. Connect the Corrupted Pen Drive to scan.
  2. Connect your pen drive to your computer and run EaseUS pen drive recovery software.
  3. Step 2. Scan the pen drive and preview files by double-clicking them from the result.
  4. Step 3. Recover pen drive files and save.
  5. More details...

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 device suddenly stops working, gets corrupted, or even becomes unrecognized by your PC? 

Relax! Here are three doable things for you if you don't know what to do when you are faced with pen drive, USB or SD card corruption. These little tricks are easy to perform but powerful enough to resolve commonplace malfunctioning symptoms.

Tip 1. Try to connect your device to a nearby computer

If there is an idle computer near you, try it for at least once, especially it's about the USB device not recognized issue. This way helps exclude an unsuccessful connection problem.

Tip 2. Change the drive letter and path

A drive letter confliction may present you with a nondetectable device, too. You can access to Windows Disk Management (This PC/My Computer -> Manage -> Disk Management).

Try to assign a new drive letter to it. With a unique drive letter of itself, the connected drive should show up normally again.

change drive letter and path to repair corrupted pen drive

Tip 3. Update device driver

When you find no trace of the drive you've correctly connect in neither the Windows File Explorer nor Windows Disk Management, you might step further to Windows Device Manager (This PC/My Computer -> Manage -> Device Manager).

open device manager

Expand the Universal Serial Bus controllers and right-click on each Generic USB Hub to update the driver, until the device appears on the PC again.

update driver to fix a corrupted pen drive

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

Top 3 Pen Drive Repair Software

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 universally applied pen drive repair tools, together with a piece of data recovery software, in order to perform a complete pen drive/SD card recovery after corruption.

The recommended tools are working pretty much the same regarding the effectiveness, so choose the one that suits your needs the best.

No.1 Native Windows Check Disk Tool

Granted that there are logical errors with the USB pen drive, you can easily fix it by repairing the file structure. Windows has one great tool for you to initiate a check and repair.

Step 1. Make sure that the problematic pen drive has connected to the computer. Open Windows File Explorer, right-click the removable disk and choose "Properties".

Step 2. Go to the "Tools" tab and then the "Check" button.

check bad sectors to fix corrupted pen drive

Step 3. Check both checkboxes in front you: [1] Automatically fix file system errors", and [2] Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors.

Step 4. Click "Start" and wait. Close the window after the scanning and repairing process ends.

No.2 Windows Command Prompt - CHKDSK

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 healthy pen drive, USB, or SD card back.

No.3 Free Computer Fixing Tool from Third-party

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 try an automatic command line alternative.

EaseUS Tools 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 Tools M for Free and install it.

Step 2: Open the software and select the "File showing" option. 

Step 3: Choose the drive and wait for repairing. After the operation completes, click the "View" button to check the drive. 

select the drive and check off file system error

How to Recover Data from A Corrupted Pen Drive

Hopefully, most corruption problems resulted from logical errors have a data recovery solution. If you see the pen drive displaying error messages like "you need to format it before you can use it", "invalid file system RAW", "unallocated", etc., you can happily use a professional pen drive file recovery freeware to retrieve data from it, even it's inaccessible at the moment. If your files and data saved on the corrupted device are more than 2GB, you'll need to upgrade this free pen drive recovery software to the Pro version in order to restore unlimited data. 

These steps show you how to get back lost files from pen drive. You can also apply the method for all Windows-compatible storage drives.

Step 1. Connect the Pen Drive to Scan

Connect your pen drive to your computer and run EaseUS pen drive recovery software. Choose your pen drive and click the Scan button.

choose pen drive to scan

Step 2. Scan the pen drive and preview files

After the software scanning all over the pen drive, all your lost files will show up in the scan results. You can use the Filter function to quickly filter a file type and preview the files before recovery.

scan pen drive data

Step 3. Recover pen drive files and save

After the file preview, click the Recover button to save the selected files to a secure location on your PC or another external storage device.

preview and recover pen drive data

Additional Fix for A Corrupted Pen Drive - Format

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.

format corrupted pen drive

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why choose EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard?

"EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we've seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past, but it's fast and efficient..."PCMag

"The first thing you'll notice about EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is that its interface is very clear and uncluttered, with only a small collection of self-explanatory controls. You won't find lots of extra options hidden in a system of hidden menus, either; what you see really is what you get."techradar

"Recover lost files, even after deleting a partition or formatting your drive."Macworld

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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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