How to Fix and Recover Data from Corrupted and Unreadable CF Card?

Updated on November 29, 2022

Is your CF card displaying error stating it is corrupted and unreadable? If CF card is unreadable, you will not be able to access any data saved on it. To access data from the CF card, you need to fix the error. In this article you will find the perfect way to fix corrupt and unreadable CF card error and perform CF card recovery.

“Hi, my Compact Flash (CF) card, which has the only copy of the files worked for my media project. I was backing up data from the compact flash card, it copied a few files, and then stopped suddenly. So, I ejected the card and reinserted. But, my OSX says the media can't be read, CF Card Corrupted and Unreadable. The card doesn't even get recognized in my camera. What can I do? I lost access to important files present on that CF card. I didn’t even have a backup as this disaster has happened during the backup process. So, please guide me. How can I recover CF card data?”


If your device stating CF card is corrupt and unreadable, you need to fix the error immediately. Keep following the article to know what causes the error in CF card and why the error is displayed and how you can fix the error using simple methods. However, methods to fix the SD card error might risk your data. therefore, try recovering your data using a trusted data Recovery software and try fixing the corrupt SD card.

What are the causes for CF card corruption and unreadable problem?

There are several reasons for CF card corruption as most of the time these SD cards are either used on cameras or smartphones. There are exposed to virus threats and malware. Here are a few reasons that damages the CF card.

1. Any physical damage to the SD card leads to inaccessible of data from SD card

2. File system corruption and bad sectors on the drive leads to unreadability of the CF card

3. Abrupt removal of flash cards, sudden shut down of the devices leads to damage in CF cards.

Indications of Corrupt Compact Flash Cards

  1. A black screen displaying 'SD card is not accessible. The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable’.
  2. An error ‘Read/Write error on SD card’ when you try to access the CF card through a computer and no folder appears on the screen.
  3. If will be able to see the files but unable to copy it and get an error message that is ‘disk is write-protected’.
  4. You will not be allowed to add, save, delete or copy anything in CF card.
  5. CF card is recognized by the device but continuously displays ‘SD card is not formatted. Do you want to format it now?' error message.

If you encounter any of the above error messages or trouble, you need to immediately stop using the SD card and try repairing it.

Note: The repairing process involves Formatting the SD card. Therefore, you might be losing your important data during the process. It is always recommended to recover data from the SD card and then repair the corrupt and unreadable CF card.

How to Fix Corrupt and Unreadable CF card on Windows and Mac computers?

Fix Corrupt CF Card on Windows

To fix the problem CF card corrupt and unreadable on Windows, you can make use of command prompt utility. This method helps you to format the CF card using format command. If you can read the card on the computer, you directly format the SD card.

You can verify if the error exists by connecting SD card to the computer.

Fix CF card corruption on MacOS

If you are a Mac user, to solve the error- CF Card Corrupted and Unreadable, format the card using Disk Utility.

Steps to format CF card in Disk Utility:

Now, after fixing the error by formatting the CF card, verify if the CF card is free from errors. However, to make your CF card free from error, you had formatted the card. If you have lost any important data in the process, you must be wondering if it is possible to recover them. Yes, it is absolutely possible with SFWare, you can recover formatted SD card data.

The SFWare SD Card Recovery tool works on read-only mode, so no damage is made to your files present on the corrupted compact flash card. It can deep scan the unreadable CF memory card and efficiently retrieves files stored on it. Its intuitive user interface brings users into the comfort zone to carry out the CF card data recovery process by their own.

How to Recover Corrupted Compact Flash Card Files?

To recover data from CF card, Download and Install SFWare SD Card Recovery on your computer. Connect the corrupted CF card via USB and launch the tool.

Frequently Asked Question

How to avoid CF card corruption issue?

Do CF card fail?

A Compact Flash card is a memory card/SD card that is usually used in a camera or smartphone. Unlike other SD cards, CF card is also prone to get damaged. Corruption/damage of compact flash card can lead to data loss.

How do I restore my CF card?

To recover data from CF card, all you need to do is, Download and install SFWare SD card recovery tool. Connect your Sd card using card reader and run the application. Click on Recover drive >> select the SD card drive >> scan the drive. Recoverable files are displayed. Save the files in your computer.