How to Fix a Corrupted SD Card and Save Your Data Without Formatting It


How to recover data from a corrupted SD card that cannot be formatted by Windows?

I have an SD card that suddenly stopped working and became inaccessible by my PC. Whenever I insert it, I get a message that says I need to format it, but when I try to do so, I get an error that says Windows was unable to complete the formatting. I have not damaged the SD card physically or exposed it to extreme conditions. It was working fine just moments before. Is there any way to fix this issue and retrieve the data stored on the SD card?


SD cards are widely used to store data on various devices, such as cameras, phones, tablets, and computers. However, sometimes they can get corrupted due to various reasons, such as improper removal, virus infection, power failure, or physical damage. When this happens, the SD card may become unreadable by the device or the computer, and you may lose access to your important data.

One of the common symptoms of a corrupted SD card is that Windows will prompt you to format it before you can use it. However, formatting will erase all the data on the card, and sometimes Windows may not even be able to complete the formatting process. In this case, you may wonder if there is any way to recover your data from the corrupted SD card without formatting it.

Fortunately, there are some possible solutions that you can try to fix the corrupted SD card and retrieve your data. Here are some of the steps that you can follow:

Step 1: Try a different card reader or device

Sometimes, the problem may not be with the SD card itself, but with the card reader or the device that you are using to access it. To rule out this possibility, you can try to insert the SD card into a different card reader or device, and see if it can be recognized and opened. If it works, then you can copy your data to another storage device or location. If it does not work, then you can proceed to the next step.

Step 2: Use a data recovery software

If the SD card is still not accessible by any device or card reader, then you may need to use a data recovery software to scan the card and recover your data. There are many data recovery software available online, both free and paid, that can help you with this task. Some of the popular ones are Recuva, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, Stellar Data Recovery, and Disk Drill.

To use a data recovery software, you need to download and install it on your computer, and then connect your SD card to the computer using a card reader. Then, you need to launch the software and select the SD card as the source to scan. The software will then analyze the card and display the files that can be recovered. You can then choose the files that you want to recover and save them to another location. You should avoid saving the recovered files to the same SD card, as it may overwrite the existing data and make it unrecoverable.

Step 3: Repair the SD card using Windows tools

After you have recovered your data from the SD card, you may want to repair the card and make it usable again. To do this, you can use some of the built-in tools in Windows, such as CHKDSK and Disk Management.

To use CHKDSK, you need to open the Command Prompt as an administrator, and then type the following command:

`chkdsk X: /f /r`

where X is the drive letter of your SD card. This command will check the SD card for errors and try to fix them. The /f parameter will fix any errors that are found, and the /r parameter will recover any readable information from bad sectors.

To use Disk Management, you need to open the Control Panel, and then go to Administrative Tools and Computer Management. Then, you need to click on Disk Management under Storage, and locate your SD card. You can then right-click on the SD card and select Format. This will erase all the data on the card and create a new file system. You can choose the file system that is compatible with your device, such as FAT32 or exFAT.


A corrupted SD card can be a frustrating problem, especially if it contains important data that you do not want to lose. However, by following the steps above, you may be able to recover your data and repair your SD card without formatting it. However, you should always back up your data regularly to avoid losing it in case of any unexpected situations.

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