By Emily / Last Updated August 28, 2020

Major signs when SD card gets corrupted

In the paperless era, the SD card has become a popular storage media for individuals to store data. However, they are easy to get damaged due to sudden removal during files transferring, incorrect formatting operations, bad sectors, virus attack, and some other unknown reasons. Generally, your SD card is bound to get corrupted when you find the below signs on Windows computer:

A black screen pops out when you try to access it, along with an error message “SD card is not accessible. The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable.”

File Or Directory Is Corrupted And Unreadable

You can see the contents on your SD card, but cannot make any changes like adding, deleting, copying or saving data on it since the disk is write-protected (also called read-only).

When you attempt to read the SD card on computer, it does not open and shows error messages “Read / Write error on SD card”.

Your SD card is recognized by your computer, but you couldn't access stored files, and receive an error message “SD card is not formatted. Do you want to format it now?”.

The SD card shows 0 bytes used space and 0 bytes free space in Properties.

How to format corrupted SD card in Windows 10?

To make the corrupted and inaccessible SD card work again, a guaranteed fix is to format the SD card. Usually, you can format an SD card via Disk Management and File Explorer. But for a corrupted SD card, there are chances that you will fail in those two formatting methods. No need to worry since there are other two methods you can try.

Warning: If there is something important stored within it, please first recover them using a data recovery program like Recoverit Pro. That’s because the formatting process will delete all data from the SD card.

Method 1. Forcefully format corrupted SD card with Command Prompt

Diskpart is a great alternative to Disk Management and File Explorer when they fail to format hard drive for some reason. To format the corrupted SD card in CMD, take the steps below:

Step 1. Connect the corrupted SD card to your computer. Click “Start” button and input “cmd” in the “Search” box, right-click “Command Prompt” and select “Run as administrator”.

Step 2. In the CMD window, type “diskpart” and press Enter.

Step 3. Execute the following commands in the given order.

  • list disk: you will see a list of all storage devices connected to your computer.

  • select disk: here we select disk 1 as an example.

  • clean

  • create partition primary

  • format fs=ntfs quick

Diskpart

Method 2. Format corrupted SD card using free software

If you fail to format SD card via Command Prompt and meet some errors such as the volume is too big for FAT32, or the commands are too complicated to learn, you can use a free partition manager: AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. This freeware comes with an intuitive and user-friendly interface, making it easy to operate for either experts or newbies.

Moreover, this software can force format corrupted SD card successfully, and allows you to format a large SD card (32GB+) to FAT32 easily. Furthermore, it can also format an SD card that becomes write-protected or RAW format due to damaged file systems to a compatible file system in Windows 10/8/7/XP/Vista (both 32-bit and 64-bit).

Step 1. Download, install and open AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard on your Windows computer. Right-click the damaged SD card and select “Format Partition”.

Format Partitoin

Step 2. Choose a proper file system for your requirements (ex: FAT32) and hit on “OK”.

Fat32 128gb Usb

Step 3. Click “Apply” to commit the pending operation.

Apply

How to repair a corrupted SD card without formatting?

Although you can force format corrupted SD card with Command Prompt or using software, you might also want to know how to repair a corrupted SD card without formatting when you don’t want to lose everything on it. Thus, you can try the following quick fixes:

1. Try another USB port or use it on another computer

If the USB port itself is damaged and causes SD card not getting recognized or inaccessible, you can try another USB port. Besides, you can also try connecting your SD card to another computer to check whether you are able to access the data stored on it.

2. Check and fix bad sectors on SD card

When there is a bad sector on your SD card, you might also be unable to access it. Thus, you can execute “chkdsk g:/f /r /x” command in Command Prompt to check and fix possible bad sectors on it. Replace “g” with your SD card drive letter.

Chkdsk Check Error

3. Assign a new drive letter to the unreadable SD card

Sometimes your computer is unable to assign drive letters (like C, D, E) to your SD card. Then you cannot access the files, either. To resolve this issue, you can assign the drive letter to your storage device manually in Disk Management.

Add Drive Letter

4. Reinstall the disk driver through Device Manager

There are times when the drivers that run your SD card get corrupted and your PC will not be able to detect the storage media. You can reinstall drivers and fix a corrupted SD card via Device Manager:

5. Remove write protection from the SD card

At last, if your corrupted SD card is write-protected, you can run “attributes disk clean readonly” command in Command Prompt, or change the registry value to remove write protection attribute from SD card.

Sum it up

This is all about how to format the corrupted SD card using Command Prompt and free software. You can also get information on how to repair SD card without formatting. Worth to mention, AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is also a great SD card repair tool.

If you upgrade to Pro edition, you can manage your disk more flexibly. For example, you can convert dynamic disk to basic without losing data, convert system disk from MBR to GPT and vice versa while keeping data safe, allocate free space from one partition to another and more. For Windows Server users, there is AOMEI Partition Assistant Server available.