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

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

Recovery Rate 99.7%       Trustpilot Rating 4.4

Table of Contents

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 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.

Note that this fix can cause serious file loss issues while running the command. So please make sure to access and save your data to another safe location with the EaseUS file recovery software offered below before running CHDKSK.

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 h: /f /r /x or chkdsk h: /f and hit Enter. (h: 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 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

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. 

Recovery Rate 99.7%       Trustpilot Rating 4.4

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. Check the Scan Results

The softare will go through a quick scan and a deep scan. The deep scan is powerful enough to find all lost files, even the ones have lost names. After the software has fully scanned the drive, all your lost files will show up in the scan results. You can use the Filter function to quickly filter a file type, such as pictures, documents, videos, emails, and more.

scan pen drive data

Step 3. Preview and Recover Files

You can double-click a file to check its integrity. 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

You can also watch this video guide to check how to recover USB data in 2 ways.

Was This Page Helpful?

Updated by Tracy King

Tracy joined in EaseUS in 2013 and has been working with EaseUS content team for over 7 years. Being enthusiastic in computing and technology, she writes tech how-to articles and share technical solutions about Windows & Mac data recovery, file/system backup and recovery, partition management and iOS/Android data recovery.

Read full bio

Product Reviews

TrustScore 4.7 | 323 reviews
  • EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is a powerful system recovery software, designed to enable you to recover files you’ve deleted accidentally, potentially lost to malware or an entire hard drive partition.

    Read More
  • EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we have 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.

    Read More
  • EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro has a reputation as one of the best data recovery software programs on the market. It comes with a selection of advanced features, including partition recovery, formatted drive restoration, and corrupted file repair.

    Read More