7 Free Ways to Recover a Damaged SD Card

Are you unable to access the documents, photos, videos and other files stored on your SD card since the card is damaged? Nothing is more frustrating than this. The good news is that you'll learn how to do a damaged SD card recovery without losing any data after reading this article. Without further ado, let's start now.

Part 1: Common Signs of A Damaged SD Card

Sometimes, a SD card crashes without showing any error message but lead to a data loss. This is the worst situation, and you will need the assistance of a data recovery program to recover data from a corrupted memory card.

However, in most cases, you can notice some symptoms before the data on your SD card is wiped. Thus, you can back up your important data in advance. In this section, we list some common signs of a damaged SD card.

Some or all files on your SD card are missing suddenly.

It displays some error messages on your device, like "SD card is damaged. Try reformatting it."

When you connect the SD card to a computer, it reminds you that the location is not available.

Microsoft Windows reminds you to format the disk in the drive before you can use it.

You failed to transfer data to the SD card.

Part 2: Reasons Why the Memory Card Damaged Error Occurs

The SD card Damaged error can be caused by various reasons. Below, we have outlined the common reasons:

Inserting or removing the SD card improperly

File system corruption

The SD card accumulating bad sectors

Malware or virus infection

Interrupting the SD card formatting

Manufacturing defects

Part 3: How to Extract the Data from Damaged SD Card before Fixing

What happens if your SD card is damaged? The data stored on your SD card will be partially or totally wiped out. Or, you may simply not access the data on your SD card. In fact, there are many ways to recover the damaged SD card. However, some of the ways will cause data loss during or after the fixing process. So, it's recommended to extract the data on your SD card before repairing it.

AnyRecover is a powerful data recovery program that allows you to extract all the data on your damaged SD card. Additionally, it can recover the lost data on your damaged SD card as long as the data has not been overwritten. Of course, you can fix the corrupted SD card first. If you find any data loss after fixing, you can also use AnyRecover to help you out.

Some main features of AnyRecover are outlined below:

The tool supports the recovery of over 1000 file types, including documents, images, emails, videos, music files and etc.

You can recover your data from all SD cards. The tool supports all storage devices.

It can also recover your data in any data loss scenario: accidental deletion, power outage, formatting, virus attack, and any other data loss situation.

All scanned data can be recovered. What's important, you can recover 3 files for free.

Note: If you find some or all files on your SD card disappeared suddenly, please stop using your SD card. Otherwise, the lost data will be overwritten and cannot be recovered. AnyRecover is free to scan and preview data, so you can download the program to check whether it works for you.

Download NowDownload Now

Learn the following easy steps for damaged SD card recovery:

Step 1 Connect the SD card to your computer. Launch AnyRecover and choose your SD card under "External Removal Devices". Then click on the "Start" button.

select location

Step 2 AnyRecover will start a quick scan, deep scan and all-round scan on the SD card. All scanned data will be displayed under their corresponding file types. You can click to preview the file.

start scan

Step 3 Once finished, you can search to find the data you want to recover. Or, you can select all the files and click on the "Recover" button.

preview and recover

Part 4: 7 Ways to Fix a Damaged SD Card

There are several solutions you can use to fix a damaged SD card with or without formatting. Below, we take a deeper look at the top 4 solutions:

1. Try it on Another Device

If there is any problem on the card reader, your SD card won't be readable or detected by the computer. So, the first solution you should try is to connect the SD card with another SD card reader.

If the problem still exist, you can check other solutions below.

2. Unhide Hidden Files

When you surf the Internet or download some programs from the unofficial websites, there is a possibility that your computer will be infected with viruses. Once you connect the SD card to the computer, it'll also be infected. The viruses will hide some files on your SD card. So, if you find some files on your SD card disappeared suddenly, you can try the solution below.

Step 1: Connect the corrupted SD card to your computer.

Step 2: Open Windows File Explorer. Right-click on the SD card and choose "Properties".

Step 3: Go to "View" tab. Check "Show hidden files, folders and drives" under "Hiden Files and Folders".

command prompt

Once done, the disappeared data will show up again.

3. Scan and Repair the SD Card

The errors on the file system will lead to a damaged SD card. There is one easy way to check the errors and fix them. Here's how to do that.

Step 1: Connect the SD card to your PC.

Step 2: Launch My Computer or This PC depending on the Windows version running on your computer.

Step 3: Locate the SD card and right-click on it. Open its Properties.

Step 4: Click the Tools tab and then tap the "Check" button. Allow Windows to scan your SD card. After the scan, close the scan window. Right-click on the SD card and select Eject. Now, you can remove your SD card.

check errors on sd card

4. Using the Command Prompt

If scanning and repairing your SD card is not effective, you can try the command prompt. We have outlined the steps you need to follow below:

Step 1: Use a card reader to plug the SD card to your PC.

Step 2: On the search bar, type “cmd”. Right-click on Command Prompt and select Run as administrator. On the popup that appears, click Yes. This will launch the Command Prompt window.

Step 3: In the Command Prompt, type chkdsk [drive letter]: /f /r /x and then hit Enter. Windows should begin checking and fixing the SD card. This may take a couple of minutes.

repair damaged sd card

5. Disable the SD Card

To use this solution, you will need to follow the steps outlined below after connecting the SD card to the computer:

Step 1: Visit the Device Manager and locate the SD card.

Step 2: Right-click on the memory card and then select Disable.

Step 3: Wait for a couple of minutes and then select Enable. Restarting your computer may be necessary for the changes to take effect.

repair damaged sd card

6. Assign the SD Card a New Drive Letter

The steps we have outlined below should help you assign a new drive letter to the SD card:

Step 1: Open Disk Management.

Step 2: On Windows 8 and 10: Right-click the Start button and select Disk Management from the list.

On Windows Vista and 7: From the Start Menu, locate Computer and right-click on it. From the menu that appears, select Manage. This will launch the Computer Management window. Select Disk Management.

Step 3: Locate the SD card. Right-click on it. Choose “Change Drive Letter and Paths”. Apply the changes and then restart the computer.

restore repair damaged sd card

7. Format SD Card

The most easy and 100% working method is to format your damaged SD card, but you will lose all the data stored on it. Here's how to do that:

Step 1: Connect the damaged SD card to your computer.

Step 2: Open the File Explorer. Right-click on the SD card and choose "Format" option.

Step 3: A new dialog will pop up. You can choose a file system and check "Quick Format". It depends on you.

Step 4: Then click on the "Start" button to begin the process.

format damaged sd card


After reading this article, you may have mastered how to do a damaged SD card recovery. If you have any questions about the above solutions or if you have any other problems about the damaged or corrupted SD card, you can leave us a comment.


By  James Crawford , to Hard Drive Recovery

Updated on Dec 14, 2020

Related Articles: