Memory card corrupted? – Easy fixes and solutions

Memory card corrupted? Don’t panic just yet! Often, while transferring data if the memory card is taken out or if the power is shut off, it tends to get corrupted and unusable. We’re going to tell you how to fix corrupted memory cards, using a few common solutions that could solve your problem. But keep in mind that completely destroyed or physically damaged memory cards cannot be fixed easily, neither can data recovery be done from them other than using professional data recovery solutions which can be really expensive. For situations where the memory card is not recognized or cannot be used due to incorrect formatting, here’s what you need to do!

Memory Card Corrupted

Memory Card CorruptedĀ – The Problems

Problem 1 – Memory card can be read but not accessed

When you take out a memory card during data transfer, the file structure can get scrambled and ultimately, your device or PC might not be able to read any data from it. However, the actual data is still present in it. This memory card corrupted can be fixed by the doing the following:

  • Step 1 – Plug in the memory card via an adapter, card reader or any way you can to your computer.
  • Step 2 – Check if the memory card shows up in File Explorer, it most probably won’t be accessible but will have the right file system and everything. Note the drive letter path.
  • Step 3 – Open command prompt, preferably as Administrator and typed “chkdsk x: /r” without the quotes. Here, X is the drive letter of your memory card.
  • Step 4 – Let the process complete. If it asks to “convert lost chains to files”, type “y” for yes.

If only the file structure was damaged but not the files themselves, you will be able to get back all your files and use the memory card like normal again. Yep, the usually annoying CheckDisk tool can fix one memory card corrupted problem!

Problem 2 – Memory card shows invalid file system (RAW)

A corrupted memory card can also lose its file system and cannot be used because it’s not in a file system that Windows recognizes. The simplest solution for this memory card corrupted problem is a format. Here’s how you go about it:

  • Step 1 – Connect your memory card to PC via adapter/card reader.
  • Step 2 – Locate the removable storage media in file explorer, right click it and click “Format”.
  • Step 3 – Set the file system to “FAT”, not FAT32, NTFS, exFAT or anything else as most portable devices are compatible only with the FAT file system. Leave the allocation unit size as it is and uncheck “Quick format”.
  • Step 4 – Click format, let it finish and your memory card should be good as new!

Of course, formatting a memory card erases all data so make sure that you have a backup or you have recovered the data.

Problem 3 – Memory card cannot be read by PC

Even a problem like this one can be fixed quite easily by simply downloading updated drivers from your PC manufacturer. Always make sure you have the latest drivers and updates and if you’re running an assembled PC, grab the latest motherboard drivers.

There could be another problem as well. Newer cards are SDHC (high capacity) and are not readable on regular SD card readers. Make sure to get a SDHC card reader and updated drivers for it installed in your PC if you want to access the memory card on your PC. It’s the same case with the really high capacity SDXC (Extra capacity) cards.

If none of these are the cases, and even after the obligatory plugging in all ports doesn’t work, then do the following:

  • Step 1 – Insert the memory card into the card reader/adapter and plug it in to your PC.
  • Step 2 – Go to Device Manager via Control Panel and look for any devices that show up with a yellow exclamation mark (!).
  • Step 3 (a) – Right click the faulty device and try to automatically update drivers. If you are unable to, uninstall it, remove your device and restart computer. Alternatively, you could also right click and click “Scan for hardware changes” once it’s uninstalled.
  • Step 3 (b) – If your device still doesn’t show up, go to the “View” tab and click “Show hidden devices”. Now you might be able to see more faulty or greyed out devices. Right click, uninstall them and restart your computer with the device unplugged.
  • Step 4 – Once it’s booted up, plug it in again and it should be recognized.

Oh also, make sure that the little lock on the side of your memory card is not engaged.

The above steps will most probably get your memory card fixed, unless it’s completely damaged. Finally, if nothing works, the only solution is to buy a new memory card. Although, it would be a good idea to try and recover your data using a tool like Recuva. Leave us a comment and lets us know if you have any queries about fixing your corrupted memory card.

Recommended Application: Card Recovery Pro

About Rahul Gondane

Rahul Gondane is a huge technophile and gamer, who has been obsessed with everything tech ever since he was a wee lad. He also enjoys reading books, listening to music and watching movies. Rahul is also the Chief Operating Officer of Pyrite Technologies Pvt. Ltd.


  1. my memory card is damaged physically how to recover data inside it

  2. dharrram vir singh says:

    My memorycard is opening in but the data in it not gettig deleted and also not copy to memory card what should i do please help

  3. Dear sir, i have a memory card when i connencted it in the computer a message is show that “You need to format the disk H: before you can use it”.In memory card properties ,free and used space are zero 0 bytes. when i format it ,it is not formated . i have 5 memorycard that broken that types. it is 2gb card but in the format properties (right click H:/format etc), show 121 mb.i have used all methods .utilities but not fix.plz sir do you have any solution for this.thanks

  4. yes sir ,it say in another computers but in devices such as tablet pc ,digital cameras and mobile etc not shown or show corrupted. Actually my memory card show “raw” in the properties. it is not damaged as physically . thanks

  5. joy tabuga says:

    my memory card is virus affected, it says “you need to format the disk drive E: before you can use you want to format it?” i click the “format” but it says that “windows was unable to complete the format”……
    i try to download CARD-RECOVERY-DATA…..MEMORY-CARD-DATA-RECOVERY….RECOVERY-DEMO…PHOTO-RECOVERY….TESTDISK 6.14.WIN.ZIP…and i try the CMD …and try to recover those data but nothings says that ” Drive E:/ is inaccessible” and it says also ” The drive or UNC share you selected does not exist or is not accessible.please select another one… ”

    please help me… i want to recover the files in my memory card because it is so very important to me and i do everything just to recover those files.. i almost trying to recover it 5 days ago until now..theres an important pictures and videos and other files..and i think i’ll go crazy if i cant fix it…..but i dont know and i cant find the sulotion in my memory card problem…please help guys…please.please.please.

  6. Jigar Parmar says:

    My Memory Card Only Showing Properties,
    Not Showing Data In Memory Card

    In This Card,
    My Very Very Important Data Saved…

    I’m In Very Tension…
    . . . Please Any One Can Help Me…?

  7. hi i have a problem with my mobile phone memory card. while it is in the phone there is no name or letter of the memory card when i cklick on it, it dosent open but say need to format i ve important dat in it what can i do to open memry card and have my data.?


  9. Hi
    My micro SD memory card 32Gb was demaged by some free APPS on ASUS tablet. Is not recognited anymore by the tablet. I tryed format it on PC but aftre formatting in properties it show only half capacity is free and another half is with data. The data is accessable and during the format is formating as 32GB.
    Is this problem is fixable???

  10. kushagra mittal says:

    my memory card doesnt support in my samsung corby it shows error while im opening it in my phone

  11. That’s unique and never seen before information about getting a corrupted memory card back to life. It sounds good but my case is worse, the 8 GB memory card doesn’t even support on my computer, it totally makes the PC hang and doesn’t even get formatted. Do u have any solution for that?

  12. hi
    I was wondering if you can help me with my problem
    I have this 8GB sd card that one day suddenly without any warning or anything cannot be detected by my phone
    Then I try connect it with my adapter to my laptop (note that this is the first time I’ve ever removed my sd card from my phone) yet my laptop could not detect it
    I try it with my camera, my camera detect it but cannot format it, it keep saying SD card need to be formatted again and again
    I tried all above but none of them works
    my command prompt says cannot open volume for direct access when I tried number 1 solutions
    there are no removable storage connected to my laptop when I tried number 2 solutions
    My Sd card is nowhere to be seen even after i set it to show hidden devices when i tried number 3 solutions
    I search for cracks or stuff like that in my sd card but there is none, and this is kinda frustating
    is there still a way to save my data from my micro sd after this?

  13. hi…
    i need your help please…
    trying to formatting my memory card the completes but at the it show the
    message ” window is unable to formatting your memory card”
    capacity:- 1.88 GB
    file system:-NTSF
    Allocation unit size:-32 killobytes

  14. hello sir,
    my 16 gb sd card is not working…..
    when i was connecting to my pc via mobile, 2 drives shows 1 is the internal and other is sd card….
    even i tried through dos command…. but it says that cannot open volume for direct access

  15. good evening i have tried all the above steps but yielded no positive result.
    my sd card show 0 byte and cmd says no media is available when i use it.
    disk management also show some times that the device is healthy
    pls help

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