SD Card Repair – Fix a Corrupted SD Card

With the advent of new technologies like HD and 4K video, SD cards are reaching unprecedented capacities, and are the go-to storage medium for photos and videos. SD cards can, however, become corrupted, leaving your data inaccessible. How easy is data recovery?

The latest generation of SD cards provide the user with good read/write speeds, a lower than ever cost per MB of capacity, and are hitting capacities that are bigger than ever. But Memory cards only have a limited lifespan, with an average of around 10,000 read/write cycles. Every time you use your SD card, you increase the chances of your data becoming corrupt. So what are the symptoms of a corrupted SD card, and how do you know when you require data recovery? If its inserted into your digital camera, you’ll be presented with an error message stating that “SD card is not accessible. The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable”, or words to that effect. Upon connecting your damaged SD card to a computer or laptop, some of your photos might be missing.

Professional SD card data recovery can be costly, so before you consult a data recovery specialist, it’s a good idea to see what you can do from home first. Firstly, while this might sound obvious, you should try connecting the SD card to another computer or laptop, using another adapter. If you’ve determined that it’s definitely a fault with the memory card, you can then try and get to the bottom of what’s wrong and how it can be fixed. The first thing you can attempt is data recovery at home. 

The first thing you should do is try the chkdsk command. When you’ve connected your SD card to your machine, with an internal or external memory card reader, check what letter the disk has been assigned. Click ‘Start’, and type in ‘cmd’ in the search box, and run it as an administrator. A command window will open, and from here, you can attempt to fix your SD card. Type ‘chkdsk’ followed by the drive letter, followed by a colon and then /f. Press enter, and chkdsk will scan for any errors and attempt to fix your corrupt SD card. When the process has finished, check the SD card in ‘Computer’ again to see if your files are now showing.

If you don’t have any luck using chkdsk to fix your corrupted SD card, there are a couple of other things you can try. Firstly, try and assign a new drive letter to the memory card through your operating system settings, which may fix the problem. You can also try reinstalling the SD card’s driver through ‘Device Manager’, which can be found by right-clicking ‘My Computer/’This PC’ and clicking ‘Manage’, double clicking the ‘Disk Drives’ option from the list and then right-clicking the drive letter. Click ‘uninstall’, then follow the process, restart your computer, and insert the SD card. Your machine will recognise it as a brand new device and reinstall the driver.

If all of these avenues to recover your data from a corrupt SD card have been exhausted, it is definitely worth downloading some third-party data recovery software that can be used for SD card recovery. We’ve written about some of the best free data recovery software programs and picked out Recuva, EaseUS and Paragon Rescue Kit as gems in a very crowded market. Finally, if your data is previous and you can’t afford to lose it, it is worth contacting a data recovery specialist

Data Recovery