How to Recover Files from Corrupt SD Card?


SD card can get corrupt or damaged for several reasons but losing the access to drive could be distressing. However, you can easily recover your data and get access back to your important files. This article has everything you need to know on how to repair a corrupt SD card and recover data from it easily with the help of a professional SD card recovery tool.

Quick Navigation

What causes SD card corruption?
Indications of corrupt SD card
Can a corrupt SD card be recovered?
What to do when SD card becomes inaccessible
Recover files from corrupt/damaged SD card
Fix corrupt SD card
Frequently Asked Questions

What causes corruption on SD card?

Here are a few most common causes that leads to SD card corruption.

    1. If SD card is being used in the camera, switching off the camera when the image is still processing from the SD card could lead to misfunction of SD cards.
    2. Abruptly removing the SD card from the devices
    3. Interrupting the data transfer from SD card to PC or vice versa
    4. Sudden battery outage of the camera or the laptop
    5. Using SD card in virus affected devices

What are the signs/ symptoms of SD card corruption?

Most symptoms of SD card corruption involve displaying errors, due to which you will be unable to access data from SD cards. Here are the few indications that helps you know your memory card/SD card is corrupt or damaged:

    • SD card not initialized is the most common error seen when connect to faulty drivers.
    • SD card not accessible is the error shown when there is a problem with file system.
    • SD card is full but no files in it, you can see this kind of problem when memory card is affected with virus/malware.
    • When SD card turned RAW, the error SD card shows invalid file system. This is the error displayed when the OS fails to recognize the filesystem of the SD card.
    • The error SD card is not formatted is encountered when SD card is severely damaged.

Now, you might be thinking, is it possible to recover data from SD card when data itself cannot be access from it?

Is it possible to recover files from corrupt SD card?

Yes, it is possible to recover files from corrupt SD card, data stored in the SD card is still present in the storage device and it requires an efficient tool to access the files stored in it. SFWare SD card Recovery Tool is one the most reliable recovery tool that helps in recovery data lost from any cause.

Note: It is recommended to recover your data from the corrupt SD card at the first place. Because, the process of repairing the drive might cause more damage to the data present on it. Or, if data is not the priority and you would like to fix the corruption, here is the quick navigation.

Before heading to recover or repair corrupt SD card, here are few workarounds to know whether your SD card is corrupted or damaged.

Basic workarounds when SD card becomes inaccessible

    • Scan your SD card with an anti-virus software to remove any virus.
    • Connect your SD card in different computer and check if you could access the files
    • Reinstall the drivers and check whether SD card is working or not
    • Change the drive letter of the SD card

If your SD card is still not being detected, it could be due to corruption. Try repairing you corrupt SD card using one of the effective free methods.

3 Simple Steps for Corrupted SD Card Recovery

To restore files from corrupted SD card, download and install SFWare SD Card Recovery Tool to safely perform corrupted SD card recovery. Launch SFWare SD card recovery software on your Windows or Mac PC.

Free Download for WindowsFree Download for Mac

Step 1: For corrupted SD card recovery, select Recover Drive/Partition option from the main screen and click on Drive/Partition Recovery
Recover data from damaged or corrupt drive

Step 2: List of drives are displayed on the next screen, select the corrupted SD card to start the recovery process. Now, the tool runs an algorithm on corrupt SD card to search and locate the files in SD card.
Select the corrupt drive

Step 3: Recoverable files are displayed on the screen. You can view files either in Data View or File Type View.
View recoverable files in Data View or File Type View

Finally, select the files you want to save and choose the destination drive to save the recovered files. Do not use the same SD card to save the files, because doing so will cause interruption in the recovery process.

The above-mentioned steps supports data recovery on different versions of memory card manufactured by popular brands such as SanDisk, Lexar, Sony, Transcend, PNY, Samsung etc. The types of memory cards supported by SFWare SD card recovery tool are listed below:

    • Compact Flash card
    • Secure Digital card (SD Card)
    • Secure Digital High Capacity card (SDHC)
    • Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
    • Micro Secure Digital
    • Micro Secure Digital High Capacity (MicroSDHC)
    • Micro Secure Extended Capacity (MicroSDXC)
    • Extreme Digital Picture card (xD)

How to Fix the corrupt SD card using CHKDSK?

CHKDSK is the inbuilt tool in Windows OS computer. This helps in fixing any logical file system errors on the drive. If the SD card corruption is related to file system the below method works the best. Use a card reader to connect SD card with PC.

Fix SD card using CHKDSK

    1. Go to My computer and note the SD card drive letter
    2. Type CMD (command prompt) in the search and select Run as administrator option
    3. Now, type CHKDSK[drive letter]: /f /r /x and press Enter

Where, /f: verifies and corrects the logical disk errors

/r: checks for the physical disk errors like bad sectors and attempts to repair them

/x: The command includes the functionality of /f and also forces the volume to dismounts first.

Now CHKDSK command scans SD card to locate the errors and fixes the SD card drive. If you are still not able to access the files of SD card, then it clearly indicates that the SD card is severely corrupted. You can try repairing the corrupt SD card using other SD card repairing methods.


SD cards face abundant wear and tear due to their usability in various devices. It makes the drive much exposed to possible corruption or damage compared to other storage devices. Considering these factors users are advised to follow a routine to check health of the drive and keep backup of data always to avoid data loss situations. To tackle any emergency of data loss, you can now easily replay on SFWare SD card recovery tool.

Frequently Asked Question

How can I recover photos from a corrupted SD card?

Photos deleted from SD card cannot be found in Recycle Bin as it surpass the bin or trash when deleted. But with the help of professional Data recovery software you can easily recover photos deleted from SD card.

How do I recover a corrupted SanDisk SD card?

Download and install SFWare SD card recovery tool on your computer. Connect your SD card using card reader and run the application. Follow the instructions to recover data from corrupt SanDisk SD card.

How do I uncorrupt an SD card without formatting?

Yes, you can easily repair corrupt SD card without formatting the drive. However, the steps performed incorrectly will lead to data loss from, the SD card. Few of the follow methods can help you fix the corrupt or damaged SD card without formatting.

    • If your card reader or USB port is damaged, try using another
    • IF Drive letter is missing, assign a New Drive Letter.
    • Try reinstalling new SD card drivers
    • You can always rely on CHKDSK Command, to fix any logical errors on the drive.

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