An step by step guide for FAT32 SD Card Recovery ?

Summary: A memory card is a flash storage device used for storing photos, media files, and any other data. They are solid state (that is no moving parts) and used in smartphones, tablets, cameras, and drones. Standard-size cards measure 32 x 24 x 2.1 mm. They may be SDC (up to 2 GB), SDHC (from 2 to 32 GB) or SDXC (> 32 GB). There is a micro form factor that measures 15 × 11 x 2.1 mm.

Stellar Windows Free Download

FAT32 is a file system. It is an acronym for File Allocation Table for 32-bit. Though Windows likes to use NTFS and Mac XFS partitions, the advantage of FAT32 is that the memory card can be read by both Windows and Mac desktops and laptops.

FAT32 Memory Card

Android devices and Android fork devices (e.g. Fire Stick) can also read FAT32, making it truly platform independent. Needless to say, most users prefer to use FAT32 when formatting their memory cards.

5 Proven Methods for FAT32 SD Card Recovery

Method 1.

Use Stellar Photo Recovery Software

stellar photo recovery mid banner image

You can lose valuable data on a FAT32 SD card for multiple reasons, including:

  1. Malware
  2. Accidental Deletion
  3. Formatting
  4. Bad Sectors
  5. File Table Corruption

and others.

Whatever the cause of deletion, Stellar Photo Recovery Software is the best option to recover data from a FAT32 memory card.

What are the file types supported by Stellar Photo Recovery Software?

Stellar Photo Recovery Software can recover photos, audio, and videos stored in any format from a FAT32 memory card.

The most commonly used formats of every type of media file are completely supported:


  • JPEG
  • PNG
  • BMP
  • Adobe EPS
  • GIF
  • TIFF


  • MP4
  • ASF
  • 3GP
  • MXF


  • WMV
  • AAC
  • OGG
  • MP3

Features of Stellar Photo Recovery Software:

  • Supports dual monitors so that you can speed up the recovery project.
  • Can retrieve 4K videos without any alteration or downgrading of quality.
  • Can process RAW uncompressed image files without hassle.
  • Deep Scan and Quick Scan offer a choice between faster or more thorough recovery.
  • Can create an iso file of the recovered data from a FAT32 memory card.

Also Read: How to recover deleted photos?

When to use Stellar Photo Recovery Software?

  • If the host device cannot read the FAT32 memory card.
  • If the host device wants to format the memory card.
  • If there is a notification, e.g. “SD card is not available”.
  • If the FAT32 memory card is not detected.

Also Read: How to Restore Deleted Photos with Photo Recovery Software?

How to use Stellar Photo Recovery Software?

1. Download Stellar Photo Recovery Software from here

Stellar Windows Free Download

2. Install on your desktop or laptop

Stellar Photo Recovery Software

3. Run the software

4. Select the drive and click Scan

drive and click Scan

5. Preview the image or video file

Preview the image

6. Use Deep Scan to locate files you cannot see

7. Click Recover and save the retrieved files to a storage device

Recover and save

To activate the stellar photo recovery software, you need to purchase a licensed version from the official website. This photo recovery software is available for 1-month, 1-year, and 2-year license versions.

Method 2.


CHKDSK is an inbuilt tool to repair file systems.

  • Use a card reader to attach the memory card to the PC.
  • Note the drive letter, e.g. E of the memory card
  • Type CMD in Windows search box
  • Right-click and select “Run as administrator”
  • In the window that opens, type CHKDSK E: /f/r
  • Hit Enter and the process will start.


Windows will now try to find and repair faults in the file system. If the memory card has a lot of files, it might take several hours to complete the task.

Method 3.

Reinstall Driver

A driver is software that lets hardware interact with the operating system. A memory card is a plug-and-play device. It carries no special driver (inside the original packaging). The operating system provides the driver.

  • Search for Control Panel
  • Click on Hardware & Sound
  • Click on Device Manager
  • Expand Disk Drives
  • Select the FAT 32 memory card
  • Right-click and select Uninstall > OK
  • Remove the memory card
  • Restart the PC
  • Insert the memory card and wait for the driver to reinstall

Reinstall Driver

Remember not to uninstall the wrong storage by mistake. It might disconnect or corrupt the boot drive.

Method 4.

Fresh Format

Formatting removes old data and wipes a drive clean. It also establishes a partition type.

  • Insert the FAT32 memory card into the card reader.
  • Open Windows Explorer
  • Select the memory card and right click
  • Select Format
  • You would have several options, e.g. FAT32, exFAT, NTFS
  • Check the Quick Format box
  • Click Start

Formatting takes a few seconds. But if you don’t tick the Quick Format, it might take an hour. Quick Format does not actually delete data but rewrites the File Table and Master Boot Record.

Method 5.

Assign a new drive letter

When you connect the SD card to the PC it automatically assigns a drive letter. If you want you can assign a new drive letter and try to access the memory card.

  • Right-click on the Start button
  • Click Disk Management and the console will open
  • Select the memory card and right click
  • Click Change Drive Letters And Paths
  • Click and change the drive letter
  • Do not use A, B (reserved for floppy disks), and C (reserved for systems drive)
  • Do not use any letter already in use by another drive or partition
  • Click OK
  • Close Disk Management

Assign a new drive letter

How Does  FAT32 Memory Card Become Corrupt?

Back from a trip to Himachal, you connect your memory card to the laptop. Time to share pictures of your trip on Facebook. But the card does not respond. There are many reasons why a FAT32 SD card can become corrupt.

1. OS Issues

Android devices add system folders to your card. Attaching it to Windows or Mac devices can cause corruption. Anytime memory cards migrate between different operating systems, there is a possibility of corruption.

2. Logical Issues
  • Files may have been accidentally deleted.
  • You may have mistakenly formatted the card.
3. Physical Issues
  • The card might have been damaged.
  • There might be moisture inside the card.
  • The connectors might have been bent.

Removing the card when the card is in use (e.g. transferring 5 GB of images to a laptop) can also cause corruption. Corruption does not mean the data has disappeared. Usually, corruption means the File Table no longer has an address for the files being sought. The data is intact and you can recover data from a FAT32 memory card. Not to worry. Stellar Photo Recovery Software can easily set right almost all problems with a memory card (except where the card has been physically damaged).

Use the free trial version to scan and preview the deleted material. Easy to use and highly affordable, Stellar Photo Recovery Software is the best solution for data recovery from a corrupt FAT32 memory card.

Watch How to Recover Deleted Photos and Videos with the help of Stellar Data Recovery Software:

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