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How to recover files from a damaged SD card

How to recover files from a damaged SD card


In this guide I will tell you all the tips and tricks that you should keep in mind if you think that your SD card could be damaged.

How to recover files from a damaged SD card
There are some tricks to try to recover data from a damaged SD card.

I’m going to explain to you how to recover files from a damaged sd card. First, I will tell you what are some of the steps that you must follow to determine if the storage device is really damaged or not. If you confirm that this is the case, keep reading to discover the most advisable methods when you face such a problem. Increase the chances of recovering your personal information with this guide.

Are you sure your SD card is damaged?

Before assuming that the SD card is damaged, you’d better do some checking. You may not be able to read the content for reasons that have nothing to do with the device. Let’s see some tips that you should not ignore.

Check the card reader

Check your card reader before assuming your SD card is damaged. Sometimes the problem can reside on the device you use to read the card. Start by cleaning the card reader connectors and make sure they are free of any dust or dirt.

SanDisk Extreme microSD card next to an adapter

The card reader you use could be damaged. In that case, it’s not the card’s fault.

then try insert the card in another reader or on a different device to rule out a failure in the reader. If the card works fine in another reader or device, the problem is likely with the original reader. Also consider checking if your card reader is up to date with the latest drivers.

Check the USB port

Sometimes card reading issues can be caused by a USB port malfunction. start with inspect connector and make sure there is no visible dirt or damage. Try connecting other devices to the same USB port to see if the issue persists.

If other devices work properly, the USB port is probably working properly. On the other hand, if the other devices are also having connection problems, the USB port may be faulty. If so, try other available USB ports on your device or consult a specialized technician.

Insert the card into another device

If you suspect that your SD card is damaged, use it on another device before reaching a conclusion. Find a compatible device, such as a computer, camera, or phone, and put the SD card in it. See if the new device can read the card correctly and access the stored files. If everything works fine, it means that the problem is with the first device.

Know the signs that something may be wrong

There are some indications that could indicate that something is wrong with your SD card. The most common are these:

  • Missing or inaccessible files on SD card.
  • Extreme slowness when accessing or transferring data on the card.
  • Frequent read or write error when trying to use the card.
  • Incorrect format or inability to format the card correctly.
  • Error messages like unrecognized card either card error.
  • Device reboot when inserting SD card.
  • File corruption or distorted images when opened from card.
  • Incorrect or not detected storage capacity on the SD card.
  • Excessive heating of the SD card during use.

If something similar to this is happening to your SD card, it is most likely damaged.

Solutions to recover access to a damaged SD card

If you have confirmed that your SD card has a problem and has been damaged, then here are some solutions that can help you recover data. All of them must be run from a Windows PC.

Although it is true that these are methods that sometimes work, they are not infallible. In the event that the damage to the device is such that the memory has become inaccessible, you may have lost your data permanently.

Change the drive letter

When you have trouble accessing a corrupted SD card, one solution you can try is change the drive letter assigned to the card. To do this on Windows, go to Disk Management.

How to recover files from a damaged SD card

Changing the drive letter will force the system to reconnect with the SD card

So, right click on the SD card and select Change drive letter and paths. Then choose an available drive letter and commit the changes. This can help restore the connection between the card and the operating system, allowing you to once again access files stored on the external media.

Run the chkdsk tool

Another solution that you can try is to run the chkdsk utility, also known as check disk.

How to recover files from a damaged SD card

This internal Windows tool scans and repairs errors on the drives connected to the computer

To do it on Windows, follow these steps:

  1. Connect the SD card to your computer and open the command prompt window.
  2. Then enter the command chkdskX: /f. where i put xyou should put the drive letter assigned to the SD card.
  3. Press enter.

The tool will scan the card for errors and try to fix them automatically. This can help repair file system problems and restore access to data on the damaged SD card.

Confirm that the reader has been detected

Your card reader may be giving you problems. Make sure it is properly connected to the device. next, Check that the cables are well plugged in and that there is no visible damage to the ports.

How to recover files from a damaged SD card

The device manager can inform you if the card reader has been detected correctly

When this doesn’t work, open the Device administrator to see if the reader has been recognized. If yes, it should appear on the list. Remember that even if it shows up in Device Manager, it may be necessary to install additional drivers. You will know this if the card reader is shown in the section Other devices.

Try to rescue the data with Recuva

In the event that Windows is detecting the card, but the data has been corrupted, an effective solution is to use Recuva. Once you have installed it, the tool will open in wizard mode.

How to recover files from a damaged SD card

Recuva is a powerful tool that helps you recover files from SD card even after formatting

there you shall select the type of files you want to search for and the location. Then, the program will provide you with a list with all the elements that can be recovered. Best of all, Recuva is a completely free tool.

Try to format the SD card

My last proposal is that try to format your damaged SD card. Please note that this procedure will delete all data stored on the card.

To do so, connect the SD card to your PC and open the file explorer. Right click on the SD card and select the option Format. Choose FAT32 as File System and select Start to start the formatting process. Once complete, you will be able to use the SD card as if it were new, but all previous data will be lost.


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