Summary: This post outlines various methods to fix the ‘SD card is damaged, Try reformatting it’ error. It also mentions a photo recovery software that can recover lost media files, i.e. photos, videos etc. from the SD card.
User Query: I received an error message, “SD card is damaged. Try reformatting it,” when I attempted to share some pictures on my phone through Facebook. When I clicked, Android reminded me that “Format SD card? All data on your card will be lost”. I didn’t format the card as there were many important files, including hundreds of pictures.
In many instances, an SD card gets damaged or corrupt because of the way you keep or use it. Due to improper usage, the SD card may get corrupted and become inaccessible. Eventually, you need to format it, which would result in data loss. To avoid this and fix the damaged SD card issue, follow the solutions mentioned in this blog.
Reasons behind Damaged SD Card Error Message
Below we have mentioned some common reasons that may cause “SD card is damaged. Try reformatting it” error:
Physical damage to SD card
Improper or sudden removal of SD card while transferring data
As the error message prompts, you can format the SD card to fix the issue. However, doing so would delete all the data on the card permanently. To avoid that, you can look for ways to fix the SD card issue without formatting and recover the saved files.
Here, we have mentioned some methods to fix the damaged SD card issue and recover the photos.
A: Methods to Fix Damaged SD Card Error without Formatting
Here, we have listed some easy-to-use solutions that can help you resolve the ‘SD card is damaged, try formatting it’ error.
Change the Card Reader
There might be an issue with the card reader and not the SD card. To check if the SD card is damaged or not, you can try changing the card reader. For doing so, proceed with the below-given steps:
Turn off the device and take out your SD card reader.
Then, remove your SD card and insert the same card in another SD card reader.
Run Drive Error Checking Tool
The drive error checking tool in Windows identifies and automatically corrects the file system errors. Follow the below-given steps to run the drive error checking tool:
Connect the SD card with your PC.
In Windows Explorer, right-click on the SD card and select Properties.
Go to the Tools tab and click on Check under the Error checking menu. Wait till the scan and repair process is complete.
Refresh your PC. Then, disconnect and connect the SD card and check if this fixes the damaged SD card reformatting error.
Use CHKDSK Command
Remove the damaged SD card from your device and connect it to your PC via a card reader. Then, run CMD command to check the SD card for disk error and fix it. Follow these steps:
Click on the Windows icon and type CMD in the search box.
Right-click the Command Prompt and select “Run as administrator.”
In the Command prompt window, enter the following command: chkdsk g: /f /r /x (replace g with your SD card drive letter) and press Enter.
Restart the computer.
Clean and Re-insert the SD Card
Many times, over-used SD card develops dust or moisture. In that case, clean your SD card using a soft dry cloth and then re-insert it properly. Make sure to use a card reader for connecting the SD card to computer.
The chances of data loss increase with errors, like ‘SD card is damaged, try formatting it.’ Thus, whenever this error appears on your digital camera LCD screen or other device, immediately connect it to your computer and recover the media files saved on it. However, if you continue to do any read/write operation, it can further reduces the data recovery chances.
You can use a reliable and professional photo recovery software, like Stellar Photo Recovery to recover the stored media files from the SD card.
To recover photos and videos from the SD card using the software, proceed with the below-given steps:
The error ‘SD card is damaged, try formatting it’ may lead to data loss. However, you can recover the saved media files using a photo recovery software, like Stellar Photo Recovery. Do not try hit and trial methods as this may limit the chances of data recovery.
Sapna Trivedi is a Sr. Online Marketing Executive at Stellar. She has more than 5 years' of experience in the data recovery industry. Specifically, she has knowledge of data recovery services, photo recovery software, and SQL Repair software. She has always been a learner and she loves to implement her technical & marketing skills in her professional career. She has been successful in creating a blend of her hard skills and soft skills and utilize it effectively in her domain area of expertise.