How to Fix Unreadable SD Card and Recover Data

When the micro SD card becomes unreadable on cellphone, tablet, music/video player or PC, stay calm. On this page, you'll find reliable solutions to fix 'Unreadable' SD card with different symptoms and restore valuable data with EaseUS file recovery software in 3 steps.

Table of Contents

Overview of Unreadable SD Card

Many users use a Micro SD card inside their phones or digital cameras to save their data. It is the most efficient way to expand the storage space of a device.

However, sometimes when the Micro SD card gets corrupted, it will become unreadable. At this moment, you are not allowed to access the card on your computer, smartphone or digital camera. Here is a list of symptoms of an unreadable SD card when it's connected to PC:

  • SD card becomes RAW 
  • SD card lost partition
  • SD card shows as No Media in Disk management
  • SD card shows fail to show up or can't be detected by PC

Have you ever encountered such a problem on the Micro SD card in your daily life? If you have not found an efficient solution, follow this page fix the unreadable SD card without losing data with provided methods and professional SD card recovery software below.

How to fix and recover unreadable SD card

If you are troubled with a Micro SD card unreadable problem, the easiest solution is to recover your data from the unreadable SD card first and then format it for re-use. However, the causes of unreadable SD cards are diverse. The solutions toward different cases are also different. 

Follow the unique cases with provided solutions here fix unreadable SD card with ease:

Case 1. Unreadable SD card shows up in Disk Management but inaccessible 

Applies to: SD card becomes RAW, unsupported file system, access denied

SD card shows as raw.

# 1. Run CHKDSK command to fix the file system error on SD card

  • Step 1: Connect the SD card to PC via an SD card reader.
  • Step 2: Right-click the Windows icon, type cmd in the search bar, hit Enter to bring up Command Prompt.
  • Step 3: Enter your administrator account and password if necessary.
  • Step 4: Type: chkdsk /X /f sd card letter: or chkdsk sd card letter: /f, for example, "chkdsk /X /f G:" or "chkdsk h: /f".
  • Fix unreadable SD card file system.

After this, you can re-open the File Explorer to check if the SD card is accessible. If not, continue with the repairing process.

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

# 2. Recover data from unreadable Micro SD card

Don't rush to format the SD card. If you have saved data inside the SD card, apply reliable file recovery software to scan and restore data before formatting.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard supports recovering the inaccessible data from your unreadable Micro SD card within 3 steps. This program has powerful data recovery capabilities and an intuitive user interface. It allows you to easily retrieve your unreadable SD card data at home, on your own. 

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

# 3. Format SD card to FAT32

  • Step 1: Connect the SD card 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, you can save data back to the SD card and reuse it on your PC, mobile phone or camera, etc. devices again.

Case 2. Unreadable SD card shows up in Disk Management as unallocated space (lost partition)

Applies to: SD card lost partition, became unallocated

# 1. Recover data from unallocated SD card

When the SD card lost partition, none of you can be able to view nor view the saved data in the SD card. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard will help you restore valuable data from the unallocated space on the SD card:

Step 1. Select the lost partition on SD card

Connect the SD card to PC and Launch EaseUS data recovery software.

Select the lost or deleted disk partition on SD card from which you want to recover data and click "Scan" to search for all the lost data.

select the deleted partition in the lost partition option

Step 2. Scan the lost partition on SD card

The data recovery software scans the lost partition automatically after you click the "Scan" button.

scan the deleted partition

Step 3. Recover data from the lost SD card partition

After the scan, choose what you want to recover.

Click the "Filter" button to find what kind of file you want to restore. Select the wanted files and get them back by clicking the "Recover" button.

recover the wanted data from the deleted partition

Save files to another secure location before making the SD card readable again.

# 2. Create a new partition on the unallocated SD card

  • Step 1: Connect the SD card to PC and open Disk Management.
  • Step 2: Right-click on the unallocated space of your SD card and select "New Simple Volume".
  • Partition Windows 10 free 1
  • Step 3: Enter the New Simple Volume Wizard interface, click "Next" to continue. 
  • Assign Drive Letter or Path, then set the SD card file system to FAT32. Click Finish to complete the process.
  • Partition Windows 10 3

Now the SD card is accessible and available for you to store and save files again.

Case 3. Unreadable SD card shows as No Media in Disk Management

Applies to: SD card shows up in Disk Management as "No Media", no partition detected

SD card shows as no media.

To fix this issue, you can try the below two methods for help: 

# 1. Update SD card driver

  • Step 1: Connect the unreadable SD card to PC. Right-click on This PC/My Computer icon, select Manage and go to Device Manager.
  • Step 2: Expand Disk drivers, find and right-click on the 0 bytes hard drive which displays as no media, choose "Update driver".
  • Update SD card driver.
  • Step 3: Select "Search automatically for updated driver software" and wait patiently till the process completes.
  • Restart the PC if necessary.

# 2. Take the SD card repaired at a local device repair center

If the SD card partition doesn't show in Disk Management, you'll need to take it to a local device repair center for help.

Case 4. Unreadable SD card shows in Device Manager, not in Disk Management

Applies to: SD card only shows up in Device Manager, not detected by Disk Management nor File Explorer

# 1. Update SD card driver

# 2. Change SD card reader, adapter or USB port

By changing a new SD card reader, adapter or USB port, you may have a chance to make the SD card readable again. 

# 3. Take SD card to a local device repair center

If the card still doesn't show up, take it to a local repair center. Professional manual repair service providers may have a solution to resolve your problem.

Case 5. Unreadable SD card can't be detected by Device Manager, Disk Management, nor File Explorer

Applies to: SD card can't be detected by Device Manager, Disk Management nor File Explorer

# 1. Change SD card reader, adapter or USB port

# 2. Take SD card to a local device repair center

# 4. Change a new SD card, give up the old SD card

When all the possible ways have been tried, the SD card still not work, you'll have to buy a new SD card to replace the old one.

Bottom Line

To sum up, when the SD card becomes unreadable, first, let's look at what can help you fix an unreadable Micro SD card:

  1. 1. Check file system error
  2. 2. Format SD card to FAT32
  3. 3. Create a new partition on an unallocated SD card
  4. 4. Update SD card driver
  5. 5. Change a w SD card reader, adapter, USB port.
  6. 6. Take SD card repaired at a local repair center

Next, the most important thing is to apply reliable data recovery software for help. EaseUS data recovery software - Data Recovery Wizard supports rescuing your data with ease. 

This proficient recovery tool also works well in other storage media data recovery cases. For example, recover formatted USB drive, recover deleted files from pen drive, and so on.

Last, it's always important to back up valuable data from the SD card on an external hard drive or a secure location on PC. 

Was This Page Helpful?

author icon

Updated by Gemma

Gemma is member of EaseUS team and has been committed to creating valuable content in fields about file recovery, partition management, and data backup etc for many years. She loves to help users solve various types of computer related issues.

Read full bio

author icon

Written by Roxanne

Roxanne is one of the main contributors to EaseUS and has created multiple posts on digital devices like PCs, Mobile phones, tablets, Mac, etc. She loves to share ideas with people of the same interest.

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