4 Effective Ways for Your SD Card Recovery

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There is nothing more frustrating than taking hundreds of photos while on vacation, just to come home, pop your SD card in the computer to upload them, and realize - uh oh! - there are no pictures available. You have received the dreaded message - “your SD card has been corrupted”. We have all had this happened to us, but if you are going through it right now, don’t panic too much. Today we will talk about 4 different methods that you can use to repair and recover your corrupted SD card.

Solution 1: Try CHKDSK Command

If you are looking for SD card recovery, you can try this one. Chkdsk is short for “check disk”. Without making things too complicated, it is a command option that displays status reports for things like disks. Sometimes, if we are lucky, using chkdsk can help us to correct for any errors found. Here’s how:

Step 1: Insert SD card into a memory card reader and plug it into the computer.
Step 2: Close the pop-up window that asks you if you would like to open the contents of the card.
Step 3: On the Windows taskbar, open “Computer”.
Step 4: Under the “Devices with Removable Storage” option, search for your SD card. Minimize the window for future use.

CHKDSK Command

Step 5: Click on start and look for the “Search programs and files” option. Type in “cmd”.
Step 6: Right click on “cmd” and choose “Run as administrator”. A black window will open.

run as administrator

Step 7: Type “chkdsk” followed by the letter corresponding to the SD drive, followed by “/“. It should look something like this: C:\ Users>chkdsk h: /f.
Step 8: Press Enter and wait for the program to finish running.
Step 9: When prompted to save lost chains, click Yes.

CHKDSK Command

Once you have completed this process, open your SD card again and check to see if your files have been recovered from SD card.

Solution 2: Assign A New Drive Letter

Sometimes a fix is as simple as assigning a new drive letter to your SD card.

Here’s how:

Step 1: Right click on My Computer. Click “Manage”.
Step 2: Click “Disk Management”, right click on the SD card of choice, and click “Change Drive Letter and Paths”.

change drive letter and path

Step 3: In the “Assign the following drive letter” column, click “Change”. Press OK to confirm.
Step 4: Reboot your PC if prompted.

assign a new drive letter

Solution 3: Format Your SD Card

This is not an option for recovering files from SD card, but an option to reuse your SD card. You can use this option when you can read all of your files, but can’t save them. In such a case your card might be in write protection mode. To change this, unlock the write protection switch.

The easiest way to format an SD card is as follows:

Step 1: Open Computer and find the drive for your SD card.
Step 2: Right click, and when the menu appears click "Format".
Step 3: The "Format" screen will now appear and choose "exFAT".
Step 4: Finally, click on the "Start" button.

format sd card

Solution 4: Reinstall Your Driver

Another way that you may be able to retrieve data from your SD card is to try reinstalling the driver.

Here’s how:

Step 1: Right click on My Computer, and then click “Manage”.
Step 2: On the left panel, click on the Device Manager option.
Step 3: Find the “Disk drives” option and double click.
Step 4: Right click on your drive name.
Step 5: Click Uninstall device, and confirm.
Step 6: Disconnect your media and restart your computer.
Step 7: Reconnect your SD card to see if it has been repaired.

reinstall disk drive

Tips: Prevent This from Happening in the Future

  • Never remove your memory card while you are in the process of turning your devices.
  • Saving or viewing photos? Don’t remove your memory card.
  • If your device has a low battery, do not take or view photos.
  • Always shut off your camera before changing the memory card.
  • Select high quality brands of SD cards like SanDisk, Panasonic, Sony, Kingston and Lexar.

Preventative maintenance is the best way to avoid losing precious memories. If you are having trouble with your SD card, don’t panic right away. Try some of the steps above for SD card recovery, and if nothing works, you can try recovery software.