How to Recover Corrupted SD Card

Abby Haines updated on Jan 16, 2020 to Storage Media Recovery | How-to Articles


This page includes reliable methods to assist you repairing corrupted SD card, making it to work again without losing data. First, use EaseUS file recovery software to scan and restore data from the corrupted card. Next, follow provided methods to repair and make the SD card work again.

Most times, you cannot open your SD card and access your data when the card gets damaged or corrupted. The disaster happens now and then.

If you have been caught by this issue, and are looking for a way to repair the corrupted SD card and rescue your data, relax. This page includes reliable solutions to help you perform SD card recovery, restoring valuable files and making the device work again.


Before taking measures to recover a corrupted SD card, here are some preparations that you should do:

  • Don't format or erase the card
  • Confirm if the SD card is corrupted or damaged

For damaged SD card: If the SD card is physically damaged, follow the link to perform damaged SD card recovery.

For corrupted or inaccessible SD card: Insert the card into your computer or change an SD card reader or another computer to check if the SD card shows up.

If it doesn't appear, refer to SD card not showing up for further help. If it appears, you are having a corrupted card, and try the following methods to fix this issue without losing data. 

Part 1. Make a Corrupted SD Card Accessible/Detected

To repair the corrupted SD card, you should first make it detectable and accessible. Follow the tips here for help:

# 1. Change the SD card drive letter

  • Step 1: Insert the SD card to your computer, go to Disk Management. 
  • Step 2: Right-click on the SD card and select "Change drive letter and path...".
  • Step 3: Set a new drive letter for the card.

When the process finishes, you can check if you can access it again. 

# 2. Check and repair file system error on SD card

  • Step 1: Insert the corrupted SD card into your PC using a card reader.
  • Step 2: Click on the "Start" button, select the "Computer" option. 
  • Search for your SD card under "Devices with Removable Storage" and note the assigned drive letter.
  • Step 3: Click on the "Start" button, in the search box, type "cmd". 
  • Step 4: Right-click "cmd.exe" and then select the "Run as administrator" option. 
  • Step 5: Type the command: chkdsk [sd card drive letter]: /f /r /x and press enter.
  • Fix SD card file system error.

Chkdsk will start to check and fix any possible errors on the corrupted SD card and make it readable again.

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 Fixing" option. 

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

# 3. Update SD card driver

  • Step 1: Connect the corrupted SD card to PC, right-click on This PC/My Computer, select "Manage".
  • Step 2: Click "Device Manager" and expand "Disk drivers".
  • Step 3: Right-click on the SD card, select "Update driver".
  • Update USB driver.
  • Step 4: Click "Automatically search for driver software online" and wait for the process to complete.

Part 2. Recover Data from Corrupted SD Card

After making the SD card accessible, you can try EaseUS disk data recovery software to retrieve your files in only 3 steps.

Step 1. Run SD card recovery software and scan the card.

Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard on your PC and select your SD card. Then click "Scan" to start finding lost data on your SD card.

select the sd card and click scan

Step 2. Check found SD card data.

After the scanning process, you can click "Filter" to quickly find wanted files.

find wanted sd card files

Step 3. 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 external storage.

recover sd card files

Don't save the restored data to the card before making it useable again.

Part 3. Format SD Card to FAT32

After a successful corrupted SD card data recovery, move to format the SD card to make it work properly again. It's easy! 

  • Step 1: Keep the SD card connected to your PC.
  • Right-click on This PC/My Computer, select "Manage".
  • Step 2: Click "Disk Management", locate and right-click the SD card, then choose "Format".
  • Step 3: Select FAT32 as the file system for the SD card and click "OK" to confirm.
  • format the sd card to ntfs with the build in tool

After this, the SD card is available for you to save the files restored files and new data again.


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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.

About Data Recovery Wizard

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