10 Common SD Card Errors With Solutions

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SD cards have become synonymous with storage convenience. Whether used in cameras, smartphones, or other devices, they offer a compact solution for storing photos, videos, and documents. Unfortunately, users often encounter errors that can disrupt the seamless functioning of these storage wonders.

In this article, we will explore the 10 most common SD card errors users encounter and provide practical solutions to overcome them.

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Common SD Card Errors & Solutions

Below, we have listed 10 common SD card errors along with their causes and solutions to not only help you understand the nature of the error but also to provide guidance on what is causing the error and how to fix it.

Read/Write Errors

Encountering read/write errors on your SD card can be highly frustrating, particularly when capturing memorable moments or transferring crucial files. This issue hampers the card’s ability to effectively store or retrieve data.


  • Damaged SD card
  • File system errors
  • Incompatible device or reader
  • Corrupted data blocks on the card


  • Check for physical damage and replace the card if necessary.
  • Ensure compatibility between the device and SD card.
  • Use reliable data recovery tools to retrieve data from the affected card.
  • Format the card to fix file system issues.

Card Not Recognized

When your device fails to recognize the SD card, it can lead to SD card becoming unreadable and might lead to potential data loss. This issue may arise from various factors, including physical damage or incompatible formatting.


  • Damaged SD card or card reader
  • Incompatible formatting
  • Connection issues between the card and the device
  • Outdated device firmware


  • Try using a different card reader or device to rule out hardware issues.
  • Ensure proper formatting of the SD card based on device compatibility.
  • Update device firmware to the latest version.
  • Gently clean the card contacts to ensure a stable connection.

File Corruption

SD cards are susceptible to corruption resulting in the potential loss of stored photos, videos, and audio files. This error often manifests through error messages, and if not addressed correctly, it may lead to permanent data loss, making SD card recovery a challenging task. Additionally, memory cards have a finite lifespan, making them prone to corruption or damage after extended use.


  • Power loss during data transfer
  • Improper ejection of the SD card
  • Virus or malware infection
  • Bad sectors on the card


  • Use reliable antivirus software to scan and remove malware.
  • Safely eject the SD card from the device before removing it.
  • Recover corrupted files using specialized data recovery tools.
  • Consider formatting the card to remove bad sectors and prevent further corruption.

Formatting Issues

Formatting errors can prevent users from reusing an SD card, often due to incompatible formatting or internal card issues.


  • Incompatible file system format
  • Physical damage to the card
  • Unstable connection during formatting
  • Firmware issues


  • Format the SD card using a compatible file system for your device.
  • Replace the card if physical damage is detected.
  • Ensure a stable connection during the formatting process.
  • Update device firmware to resolve compatibility issues.

Note: if you experience data loss, make sure to use professional data recovery software such as SFWare to recover data from your formatted SD card.

Unsupported File System

In essence, any device that supports SD cards can be used to increase its internal capacity. It is most frequently utilized in tablets and smartphones with low storage capacity. Nevertheless, these devices frequently fail to read the SD card. As a result, the screen displays the error message “unsupported filesystem.” You are prompted to format the device in such a situation, but nothing changes.


  • Formatting the card with an incompatible file system
  • Using the card across different operating systems
  • Outdated device firmware
  • File system corruption


  • Reformat the SD card with a compatible file system.
  • Ensure consistent use of the card within a single operating system.
  • Update device firmware to support the desired file system.
  • Use data recovery tools to retrieve data from a corrupted file system.

The Disk Structure is Corrupted

A frequently occurring SD card problem is the “disk structure is corrupted and unreadable” error. Usually, a faulty partition table or file system on the SD card causes this problem.

Typically, a malware attack, an incorrect SD card ejection, or an abrupt power outage might cause this.


  • Sudden power loss during data transfer
  • File system errors
  • Physical damage to the card
  • Malware or virus infection


  • Perform a disk check and repair using built-in operating system tools.
  • Use reliable antivirus software to remove malware.
  • Recover data from the corrupted card using specialized tools.
  • Replace the SD card if physical damage is identified.

Bad Sectors On SD Card

If your camera SD card has developed bad sectors, then you are on the verge of losing all your favorite photos, videos, or music stored on it.

Bad sectors lead to corruption and consequent data loss. It is frustrating to deal with the problem. Users complain of unsuccessful attempts to repair and recover data from SD cards having bad sectors.

Bad sectors refer to sections on an SD card that are damaged and due to this, your computer may not be able to read or write data stored on these sections.


  • Physical wear and tear on the card
  • Manufacturing defects
  • Frequent power interruptions during data operations
  • Sudden shocks or drops


  • Use disk repair tools to mark and isolate bad sectors.
  • Consider formatting the card to reallocate bad sectors.
  • Replace the card if bad sectors persist after formatting.
  • Handle the card with care to prevent physical damage.

I/O Device Error

I/O (Input/Output) device errors on an SD card indicate difficulties in reading or writing data, potentially disrupting normal card operations.


  • Incompatible or outdated device drivers
  • Physical damage to the card or card reader
  • Connection issues between the card and the device
  • Operating system conflicts


  • Update device drivers to the latest version.
  • Check for physical damage on the card and replace if necessary.
  • Ensure a secure and stable connection between the card and the device.
  • Resolve any operating system conflicts affecting the I/O operations.

Unable to Create or Delete File

Facing difficulties in creating or deleting files on an SD card can impede its usability for storage and file management purposes.


  • Insufficient permissions
  • File system errors
  • Locked or write-protected card
  • Corrupted directory structure


  • Check and adjust file permissions on the card.
  • Unlock or remove the write protection from the card.
  • Repair the file system using appropriate tools.
  • Create a backup of data and format the card if issues persist.

Firmware Incompatibility

Firmware incompatibility issues with an SD card can hinder its seamless integration with devices, potentially causing operational disruptions and data access challenges.


  • Outdated firmware on the device or card reader
  • Mismatch between the card’s firmware and device specifications
  • Unsuccessful firmware updates
  • Manufacturing inconsistencies


  • Update the firmware of both the device and the card reader to the latest versions.
  • Verify compatibility between the SD card’s firmware and the device’s specifications.
  • Follow manufacturer guidelines for firmware updates to avoid errors.
  • If firmware updates fail, contact the device or SD card manufacturer for assistance.

Tips to Prevent SD Card Errors

  • Avoid bending or dropping the SD card.
  • Format the SD card with a compatible file system.
  • Stick to a consistent file system for compatibility.
  • Back up important data regularly.
  • Utilize cloud storage or external drives for redundancy.
  • Check and update firmware for both the device and SD card.
  • Ensure devices are reputable and well-maintained.
  • Verify compatibility between the SD card and devices.
  • Be cautious during data transfers to prevent power loss.
  • Always eject the SD card properly before removal.
  • Periodically check the condition of the SD card.


While SD card errors can be frustrating, they are not insurmountable. By understanding the common errors and implementing the suggested solutions, users can enjoy seamless storage experiences. Remember to take preventive measures, invest in quality SD cards, and stay informed about device compatibility for a hassle-free digital journey.

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