Restore and Reclaim Full Capacity on SD Card without Losing Files

Tracy King updated on Jun 20, 2019 to Storage Media Recovery | How-to Articles

Summary

What if SD card not showing the full capacity but wrong size? It might be a faulty SD card or infected with some viruses. Try to restore the full capacity by using some proper SD card formatting tools as recommended here. Formatting SD card will erase data on it, so make sure that you have created a backup. Otherwise, you can only use EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to recover data from the formatted SD card.

SD Card Is Not Showing Full Capacity

"I bought a SanDisk micro SD card a year ago, and it's 8GB. This morning when I transferred some photos from the SD card to the other on my Windows 10 computer, to free up some space, later I check its property, it shows around ~500MB capacity. That's not true. What happened? It should be as the original 8GB I think."

Typical reasons:

As far as we concerned, the issue of SD card showing the wrong size mainly owes to three aspects.

  1. 1. Cheap and faulty SD card bought from dishonest vendors
  2. 2. Incompatible with card readers or host devices
  3. 3. Infected by computer viruses

Viable solutions:

When you exclude the causes of the mentioned incompatibility, to restore the SD card to its full size for a normal working state, you need to perform a quick format.

There are some good SD card formatting tools which are free to use on Windows 10/8.1/8/7. Pick up a handy one you prefer.

Warning
As formatting SD card will erase data on it, make sure that you have created a backup (refer to how to back up SD card before formatting). Otherwise, you can only use EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to recover data from the formatted SD card.

Method 1. Disk Management

Step 1: Right-click This PC/My Computer > Manage.

Step 2: Select Disk Management under Device Manager, find and right-click on SD card and select Format...

format sd card with disk management to restore full capacity

Step 3: Rename and reset the file system of SD card to NTFS or FAT32 as your need, follow the onscreen guidelines to complete the format process.

After this, you'll regain all the storage size of your SD card and you can use it for storing and saving files and data again then.

Method 2. EaseUS disk formatting software

This is third-party free partition software, so it requires you to download and install on your computer, and then follow the guide to format the SD card.

 

Step 1: Open EaseUS Partition Master. Find your SD card and right-click the partition you want to format and choose "Format".

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 1

Step 2: Set a new partition label, file system (NTFS/FAT32/EXT2/EXT3), and cluster size to the selected partition, then click "OK".

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 2

Step 3: Click "OK" on the pop-up window to continue.

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 3

Step 4: Click the "Execute Operation" button on the toolbar, then click "Apply" to start formatting your SD card.

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 4

Method 3. DiskPart command line

Step 1: Type cmd in the search box in Windows 10 and then you'll get the best match Command Prompt. Right-click on it and choose "Run as administrator".

Step 2: In the command prompt, type diskpart and press "Enter".

Step 3: Type list disk to list all the available drives and press "Enter".

Step 4: Type select disk + disk number ( for example, select disk 0) to select the SD card you want to format and press Enter.

Step 5: Type clean to clean the SD card you have selected and press "Enter".

Step 6: Type create partition primary to create a partition on the cleaned SD card and press "Enter":

Step 7: Type format fs=ntfs (or format fs=exfat) and press "Enter" to format the drive with NTFS or exFAT.

format sd card to full capacity using cmd 

Step 8: Type assign letter=drive letter (for example, assign letter=E) to assign a drive letter and press "Enter".

How to Recover Data from Formatted SD Card

Disk formatting should be taken very carefully as we addressed for many times, it's going to wipe all data out, leaving you a blank SD card in the end.

With no backup at hand, at the same time, lost data after formatting. Calm down for a second. Now try to download EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard and follow the guide to perform SD card formatted data recovery.

Stop using your SD card immediately once you lost files on it. Continuing using the card would hugely increase the chance of data overwriting, which makes data unrecoverable.

Step 1: Connect the SD card to PC

Insert the SD card to a card reader, and connect the card reader with your SD card to a healthy computer.

Step 2: Run SD card recovery software and scan the card.

  • Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard on your PC and select your SD card under the External Devices column.
  • Then click Scan to start finding lost data on your SD card now.
Run SD card recovery software.

Step 3: Check found SD card data.

After the scanning process, you can preview and find your lost SD card files from below listed tabs:

  • Deleted Files: List your deleted files there.
  • Drive X: All lost files can be found here.
  • Lost Partition Files: Check first if it's for formatted recovery.
  • Extra Files: Finds files that lost names or paths.

And you can use Filter and Search to quickly find your files.

Find lost SD card files.

Step 4: 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 an external storage.
Restore lost SD card files.
 
 

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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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