Do’s and Don’ts for ‘Undetectable SanDisk SD Card’ Error

Summary: In this blog, we delve into SD card data recovery when the card becomes undetectable. Even top-tier brands like SanDisk may experience issues. The focus is on “why SD cards become undetectable(like SanDisk)”, “how to recover data”, and “how to resolve the error” while recovering data from the same.

An SD card has become a must-have for smartphones, laptops, and cameras. These storage media are popular because they are tiny and can easily store 64-256 GB of data.

SanDisk is an American manufacturer that specializes in producing high-grade memory devices, including SD cards. Currently, the SanDisk SDXC UHS-I is considered the best SD card for 4K recording.

But even though it is the best, a SanDisk SD card can fail at times.

How do you perform SanDisk SD Card Data Recovery? When it fails,

We offer a step-by-step solution:-

  1. What is the ‘SanDisk SD Card Undetectable’ Error?
  2. Cause of Undetectable SD Card
  3. Do’s: Effective Solutions for Fixing ‘SanDisk SD Card Undetectable’ Error
  4. Don’t Make These Mistakes When Fixing ‘SD Card Isn’t Detectable’ Error
  5. Conclusion
  6. FAQs

What is the ‘SanDisk SD Card Undetectable’ Error?

The ‘SanDisk SD Card Undetectable‘ Error occurs when a SanDisk SD card is not recognized by a device it’s inserted into. This issue prevents access to the data stored on the card until resolved.

So, if you can’t see your SD card in the Device Manager, or if your camera doesn’t read the card anymore, then begin by trying to determine the cause of the problem. Here’s how you can do that. 

Cause of Undetectable SD Card

SanDisk SD cards can become undetectable for several reasons. Some of the most common reasons are listed below:

1. Corruption:

Like all other storage media, a SanDisk SD card can become corrupted. This occurs due to improper ejection from devices. Frequent ejections may subject the SD card to friction, causing its parts to deteriorate. Even a sudden power loss during data transfer can corrupt your SD card, making it undetectable.

2. Multiple Device Usage:

If you’ve been using the same card with multiple devices, there may be issues. For example, using it with a smartphone and also a Windows laptop. Operating systems leave traces, and inserting the card into a new machine might cause corruption.

3. Wear and Tear:

This applies to all flash memory. Over time, the flash memory cells within a SanDisk SD card can degrade from repeated read/write cycles. This is particularly true if the card is frequently used for tasks such as recording high-definition video.

4. Manufacturing Defects:

SanDisk maintains one of the highest manufacturing standards in the industry. However, in rare cases, even SanDisk SD cards may have manufacturing defects that cause them to fail prematurely. These defects might not manifest immediately but rather after a few months of use.

Additional Reading: Recover Data From SD Card Not Detected

Now that you are aware of the causes of the SanDisk SD Card undetectable error, let’s explore the do’s that will help you fix this issue.

Do’s: Solutions for Fixing ‘SanDisk SD Card Data Undetectable’ Error

Don’t worry if your SanDisk SD card cannot be read. You can try several ways to perform SD card data recovery.

Method 1. Check Card Reader

Unlike a pen drive that goes into a USB slot, an SD card needs a reader. Most laptops have one, but a desktop computer requires an external card reader, which is a small device that is plugged in.

  • If you are using an SD card reader, unplug it and reboot the computer.
  • Then plug it into another USB port.
  • Also, try inserting another SD card to determine if the problem lies with the card reader or the SD card itself.
  • Wipe the contacts of the card reader and card with a clean piece of cloth.

Method 2. Run Hardware Troubleshooter

Hardware Troubleshooter is a Windows tool. it fixes hardware glitches.

  1. Right-click on the Start menu
  2. Select Settings
  3. In the Settings window, click on Update & Security

Stellar Data Recovery

  1. In the left sidebar, select Troubleshoot from the list of options


  1. Scroll down on the right side until you find the Hardware and Devices option
  2. Click on it, then select Run the Troubleshooter


  1. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the troubleshooting process

The troubleshooter will detect and fix problems related to hardware devices. After it finishes, reboot your computer. Insert the SD card and check if it works.

Method 3. Update Driver

A driver is a tiny software that enables hardware to function. It might stop working, or a new update might be available.

  • Right-click on the Start button.
  • Select Device Manager from the menu.
  • After it populates, locate the card reader from the list. It might be under USB devices or Storage.
  • Right-click on the device and select Uninstall device from the context menu.

select uninstall device- SD card data recovery

  • Confirm the uninstallation when prompted.
  • Now reboot the computer, and Windows will reinstall the driver.

Ensure the computer remains online while Windows checks if a new driver is available.

Method 4. Do a Virus Scan

Computer viruses tend to target storage media. Windows Security (also known as Microsoft Defender Antivirus in some editions) is a free and highly effective antivirus software.

  1. Type “Windows Security” into the search bar.

type windows security- Stellar SD card data recovery

  1. Click on the Windows Security app.
  2. Go to the Virus & Threat Protection section.
  3. Perform a Quick Scan.

perform a quick scan- Stellar SD card data recovery

  1. If necessary, customize your security settings (optional).
  2. Click on Virus & Threat Protection settings and run a Deep Scan (optional).

After the scan completes, reboot your computer and check if the SD card is working

Method 5. Try Data Recovery Software 

Data recovery software utilizes algorithms to reconstruct file structures and recover deleted or lost data. If the cause of data loss from your SD card is logical in nature (and not physical), then data recovery software can be a quick and inexpensive solution. For example, Stellar Data Recovery Software allows you to recover up to 1 GB of data for free. You can also use the trial version for free. 

Method 6. Use Data Recovery Services 

If data recovery software does not get you the desired result, consider using SD card data recovery services.

Our SD card data recovery experts offer specialized phone consultations to help you decide if our service is right for you or not. If we determine that we can recover data from your undetectable SD card, we will guide you through the next steps, including sending the SD card to our lab, data recovery timelines and costs, and finally, the verification of your recovered data.

Additional Reading: Do’s and Don’ts of Data Recovery: Expert Advice

I hope your error is fixed now, but you should also be aware of the mistakes to avoid when facing this error. Let’s check those as well.

Don’t Make These Mistakes When Fixing ‘SD Card Isn’t Detectable’ Error(SanDisk)

When an SD card fails, it’s crucial to avoid certain actions to prevent further damage. 

Here’s what not to do:

  • Do Not Force Insert or Remove: Avoid forcing the SD card in or out of the card slot. Doing so can bend the reader pins and worsen the situation.
  • Do Not Ignore Error Messages: Pay attention to error messages about an SD card. These messages appear soon after you insert a card. Ignoring them might lead to further issues. Note down the error code numbers for troubleshooting purposes.
  • Do Not Attempt DIY Repairs: Avoid attempting DIY repairs. SD cards are manufactured with precision in sterile assembly lines. Attempting repairs yourself can cause irreparable damage.
  • Do Not Overwrite Data: Refrain from saving new data to a compromised SD card. Doing so can overwrite sectors containing lost files, reducing the chances of successful recovery.


In conclusion, to fix SanDisk SD Card undetectable errors, it’s crucial to understand their causes and solutions. By following the correct steps and avoiding common errors, you can improve your chances of successfully recovering your data. With Stellar Data Recovery’s “no recovery, no charges” policy, 100% data security and privacy assurance, and presence in over 16 global locations, including 14 branches across India in cities like  ChennaiCoimbatore,  AhmedabadChandigarh, NoidaKolkataHyderabadGurgaonDelhi, Kochi, MumbaiVashi, and Pune, expert help is readily available when needed.

Now, let’s look at some common questions to help you out further.


1. What are some frequent challenges users face with SanDisk SD cards?

Despite their reliability, SanDisk SD cards may encounter common errors, including:

  1. Recognition Failure
  2. Data Corruption
  3. Compatibility Issues
  4. Physical Damage
  5. File System Errors
2. How can I recover data from a damaged SD card without formatting?

To recover data from a damaged SD card without formatting, you need SD card recovery software. Connect the card to a computer and scan it. Select the files you want to recover, then save them to a new location. Avoid formatting until you have recovered all desired data.

3. What are the signs of a corrupted SD card?

A corrupted SD card may have trouble reading and writing data. It may take a significant amount of time to transfer data, or the card may not function properly.

4. Does an SD card have permanent memory?

SD cards are a form of non-volatile memory storage, meaning they retain data even when power is removed. However, the data can degrade over time. It’s essential to power on the card at least once every six months to maintain data integrity.

5. Can I reuse an SD card after data recovery? 

It is not advisable to reuse an SD card after data recovery. SD cards are delicate and relatively affordable. The cost of the best ones is around ₹3,000. It’s safer to replace the card after recovering data to avoid potential data loss in the future.

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