SD Card Corrupted: How to Recover Corrupted SD Card

EaseUS SD card recovery software can help you recover data from a corrupted SD card and fix corrupted files that won't open on the SD card after recovery. Moreover, we'll also provide you with five solutions to help you fully fix a corrupted SD card in Windows 10/8/7.

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Table of Contents

Overview of Corrupted SD Card

"Corruption" is a broad term and it's hard to tell specifically what refers to a corrupted SD card. Usually, when a Windows PC, Android phone, or digital camera can not read or recognize a memory card, or it starts sending strange error messages that prevent you from accessing data in it. From this, we can determine that the SD card has got corrupted.

If you're observing the following symptoms on your memory card, your SD card might be at the verge of losing data.

When the SD memory card starts malfunctioning, prepare yourself with some basic knowledge to fix the card. Unless the SD card is physically dead, broken, or damaged beyond repair, we can fix most corrupted SD cards with the help of many powerful and free SD card repair tools.

The standard process to fix a corrupted SD card has two phases: 1. corrupted SD card recovery; 2. troubleshooting.

Next, let's learn how to recover data from corrupted SD card, and then we offer five best ways to fix the corrupted SD card.

How to Recover Corrupted SD Card Data: Photos, Videos, or Documents

We usually access the connected SD card in Windows Explorer (Windows Key + E). When a memory card gets corrupted, 99% of the time it won’t show up here. In this situation, you can check the SD card in Windows Disk Management (This PC/My Computer > Manage > Disk Management). The SD card may appear as RAW or unallocated space.

The best way to recover data from a corrupted SD card is by using EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, professional hard disk recovery software & file repair software that can scan any storage drive that you cannot currently open or access.

Download the EaseUS corrupted SD card recovery software to recover files like photos, videos, and all personal data from the corrupted SD card.

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

Step 1. Connect the SD card, memory card, or CF Card to your computer and launch EaseUS memory card recovery software on your PC. The SD card will be listed under the Devices section. Choose the SD card and click "Scan" to start looking for your lost data.

select a location and click scan

Step 2. The software will start a scan automatically. The scan is powerful enough to find all lost files that even lost file names. After the scanning process, you can find deleted items from the tree-view panel on the left. Then, click "Filter" if you are looking for a specific file type, like photos, documents, videos or emails.

scan and preview the memory/SD/CF card files

Step 3. You can directly double-click the files to preview the content. After this, you can choose wanted files and click "Recover" to restore them to a secure location on your PC or other external storage devices.

recover memory/SD/CF card files

Don't miss: How to fix corrupted files after recovery

How to Fix Corrupted SD Card: With/Without Formatting (5 Solutions)

Since the majority of corrupted SD memory cards are fixable, we will provide you with five solutions to help you fully fix a corrupted SD card in Windows 10/8/7.

#1. Change the SD Card Drive Letter

The drive letter conflict can cause Windows not recognizing the removable disk that is externally connected to it, making the SD card look corrupted. So, assigning a new drive letter that is unique to the SD card can help Windows re-recognize it.

Step 1. Insert the SD card to your computer and open 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.

change drive letter to fix corrupted SD card

When the process finishes, check if you can access your card.

#2. Repair Corrupted File System on SD Card Using CMD

When the file system of the SD card gets corrupted, be it NTFS, FAT32, or exFAT, you'll most likely receive the error messages that says "the file system is RAW", "the disk is not formatted", "the drive is not accessible", and so on. This makes the memory card unable to work normally.

Here, we’ll try to fix the corrupted SD card using CMD.

Step 1. Insert the corrupted SD card into your PC using a card reader.

Step 2. Go to "This PC", find your SD card, and note the assigned drive letter.

Step 3. Click on the "Start" button and type "cmd" in the search box.

Step 4. Right-click "Command Prompt" and then select "Run as administrator".

Step 5. Type the command: chkdsk [sd card drive letter]: /f /r /x and press Enter. Replace the SD card drive letter with the actual letter of your SD card drive.

Caution: Note that this command will cause a permanent file loss error. So before you execute the operation, make sure that you recover data from your corrupted SD card with reliable file recovery software

Fix SD card file system error.

Chkdsk will start checking and fixing any possible errors on the corrupted SD card and make it readable again.

#3. Repair Corrupted File System on SD Card Using Software

Step 1. Open EaseUS Partition Master on your computer. Then, locate the disk, right-click the partition you want to check, and choose "Advaned" > "Check File System".

choose Check Partition

Step 2. In the Check File System window, keep the "Try to fix errors if found" option selected and click "Start".

check the pop-up instructions

Step 3. The software will begin checking your partition file system on your disk. When it complets, click "Finish".

finish partition check

#4. Update SD Card Driver

The worst thing that can happen is you not being able to find the SD card in Windows Disk Management. How do you troubleshoot an SD card that’s corrupted to this degree? Windows Device Manager is where you need to check the driver update information for the SD card. An outdated or corrupted driver will cause your SD card to malfunction as well.

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 and select "Update driver".

Step 4. Click "Automatically search for driver software online" and wait for the process to complete.

Step 5. When you turn on the computer the next time, Windows will automatically install the latest driver for your SD card.

Update USB driver.

#5. Format Corrupted SD Card

Disk formatting is the most commonly applied and effective way to fix most memory card issues. Know that formatting the card will erase data on the SD card. Therefore, we suggest you apply the SD card data recovery steps in advance. If you've formatted the corrupted SD card without backing up its data, you can still use EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to recover data from formatted SD card.

Step 1. Keep the SD card connected to your PC. Right-click on This PC/My Computer and select "Manage".

Step 2. Click "Disk Management", locate and right-click the SD card, and choose "Format".

Step 3. Select FAT32/NTFS/exFAT as the file system for the SD card and click "OK" to confirm.

format the sd card to ntfs with the build in tool

Bonus Tip: How to Repair Corrupted Files on SD Card

In the former part of the article, we introduced the efficient corrupted SD card recovery software for you to recover all kinds of data files from the corrupted SD card. Then, we offered you five universally applied solutions to repair the corrupted SD card, including changing the drive letter, fixing the corrupted file system, updating driver, and formatting the SD card.

Data security is always the top concern when a memory card gets corrupted or becomes inaccessible. Fortunately, third-party data recovery software could help us retrieve most of the data. In this case, however, the other mishap is that files are not open after data recovery.

In case a corrupted SD card damages your files, it's necessary to download the best corrupt file repair software to repair the corrupted files on the SD card.

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

EaseUS CleanGenius is a user-friendly computer fixing tool that is both safe and lightweight. It's a perfect alternative to CHKDSK command. Use this one-click tool to fix the damaged file system easily.

Step 1. DOWNLOAD EaseUS CleanGenius on your computer and complete the installation.

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

select the file showing option

Step 3. Select the drive with a corrupted file system. Tick the "Check and fix file system error" option and click "Execute".

fix file system

Step 4. Wait the tool performs the repairing task. After that, click the "here" button to check the drive.

fix file system

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Updated by Brithny

Brithny is a technology enthusiast, aiming to make readers' tech life easy and enjoyable. She loves exploring new technologies and writing technical how-to tips. On her spare time, she loves sharing things about her favorite singer - Taylor Swift on her Facebook or Twitter.

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Approved 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.

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