4 Most Common SD Card Issues & Their Solutions [2023]

SD Card

Secure Digital (SD) cards are available in various sizes and capacities, making them useful for different data storage purposes. SD cards use flash memory to facilitate high-capacity storage. This tiny storage card is being used in almost every gadget, from cameras and smartphones to video gaming consoles and many more electronic devices.

So, SD cards have become incredibly easy and useful to back up and transfer sensitive information from one device to another.

But like other electronic storage devices, SD cards are also vulnerable to damage, accidental formatting, or corruption. These can lead to the loss of your videos, audio, photos and other data. So, what should you do in this scenario?

While contacting a reputed flash drive recovery service is an ideal and fastest way to recover your data, some common issues can be fixed on your own.

So, let’s talk about the most common SD card issues and how to fix them:

Most Common SD Card Issues

Even a well-performing SD card may fail without warning. But most of the time, you’ll notice tell-tale signs of damage or corruption before the memory card stops working and your data is lost. So you can handle the situation proactively.

ISSUE 1: SD Card Not Showing Up

You insert the card into a device, but nothing happens. It can be alarming, but it isn’t necessarily because your SD card is dead. It can happen for many possible reasons, like:

    • Poor connection: Over time, metal pads on your device’s port can become worn out, causing connection issues.
    • Mechanical damage: Although SD cards can survive a lot, they are not immune to mechanical damage. Undoubtedly, you can buy a waterproof memory card, but most standard SD cards get damaged by water or humid environments.
    • Logical corruption: You access data on a single SD card from different devices and operating systems. It’s common to experience logical corruption of files or even the entire file system. Fortunately, this issue can be solved with a professional memory card recovery service or software.
    • Card reader not working:  It’s also possible that your SD card reader is not working properly.
  • Unsupported file system: Memory cards use different file systems, including FAT 32 and exFAT. You may be unable to access data on an SD card if your device or operating system doesn’t support its file system.

Fix the “SD Card Not Showing up” Issue

  • Reinstall the SD card reader driver. Go to Device Manager > Disk Drives > SD Card > Update driver
  • Change drive letter. Go to Disk Management > Right click your SD card > Change Drive Letter and Paths 
  • Use the CHKDSK command to repair a corrupted SD card.
  • Manually create a partition on the SD card. Then, go to Disk Management > Right-click the unallocated card space > select New Simple Volume.

ISSUE 2: Read/Write Error on SD Card

The Read/Write error makes accessing data stored on your SD card difficult. Several possible causes of the error could be:

  • Some malicious software or virus in your device
  • Bad sectors on SD card
  • Damaged disk structure of the SD card
  • Inappropriate way to eject the card from your device
  • Corrupted file system
  • The SD memory card is write-protected

Fix the “Read/Write Error” Issue

  • Disable Write-protected mode: Click the lock button on the SD card. Alternatively, you can also use the Diskpart command software utility. Now, follow these steps:
  • First, insert the card into your PC. 
  • Open cmd via Run 
  • Type ‘Diskpart’ and press Enter 
  • Type ‘List disk’ to identify the disk
  • Now, type the disk name that you want to fix 
  • Type ‘attribute disk clear read-only’ and press Enter

Eject your SD card and reinsert it to check whether it is fixed.

  • Run CHKDSK command: If the SD card is not write-protected and all physical components are okay, then run CHKDSK. The command identifies and fixes all errors in the card.
  • Format the SD card: If none of the above tricks work and you’re fine with erasing the data stored on the card, then go for formatting. It cleans all data stored on your SD card, giving you an empty space. Before using this option, ensure the SD card does not contain important data. If the data is critically important to you, then we encourage you to find a memory card recovery service that can help recover all your data on the damaged SD card.

ISSUE 3: SD Memory Card Runs Slowly

It’s a common issue that the SD card or another external storage device gets slower and slower. This happens especially when you’ve been using the device for a long time. In this case, the SD card runs more slowly when transferring data to and from it. 

Fix the “SD Card Runs Slowly” Issue

  • Change the card reader to increase the transfer speed.
  • Clean up junk files on your SD card.
  • Convert SD card from FAT32 to NTFS, which supports large files and leverages file compression.
  • Update SD card drivers.
  • Optimize SD/USB Performance to fix slow Micro SD cards.

ISSUE 4: Missing/Unreadable Files on the Card

Some files on your SD card may disappear or become unreadable when trying to access them. 

Fix the “Missing/Unreadable Files on the Card” Issue

The issue could be due to the hidden status of some files. In this case, simply change the status back to visible on your PC. Otherwise, you’ll have to use a memory card recovery service or software for this.

When to Hire a Professional Memory Card Recovery?

  • When none of the above-listed methods works. OR
  • When the data in question is critically important, and you want to minimize the risk.

Professional memory card recovery specialists are equipped with the right skills and tools to recover lost data fully and securely. Such a data recovery company works with experienced engineers who know how to solve nearly all data loss issues with portable hard drives. These drives include SD cards, memory cards, USB devices, external hard drives, etc.

No data recovery software could match an experienced data recovery engineer who provides reliable and affordable services.

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