Is the CF Card Not Recognized? Fixed!

If the CF card not recognized? This article guides you to solve this issue with six feasible fixes. Meanwhile, you can also recover files from CF cards without backups.


By Penny / Updated on April 2, 2024

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My CF card not recognized!

CompactFlash emerges as a variant of memory cards predominantly employed in electronic gadgets such as cameras, camcorders, and audio players. In a period gone by, they stood as the favored storage mechanism for advanced digital cameras, until they were outshone by the more advanced CFexpress format.

Similar to other storage devices, the CF card is also prone to be not recognized by Windows OS and its files not showing up.



I just safely removed my CF card, but now my CF card is not detected by my PC. I’ve tried rebooting, updating drivers, and uninstalling programs, but nothing worked. So how do I fix the CF card not recognized in Windows 10 and appear files in my CF card? Thanks.

- A user from the Microsoft Community

If you’re facing a similar situation, this article is right for you. Please read further to fix the CF card not recognized by computers. After being recognized, you can recover files from CF cards if needed.

Part 1. How to fix the CF card not recognized?

Before trying the following fixes, you can try to solve this issue by connecting your CF card to another working PC via a compatible card reader. If it cannot work, please utilize the following ways.

Fix 1. Assign a drive letter to make the CF card recognized by Windows

The Windows operating system possesses the capability to proactively dissuade users from engaging with unallocated drives, as these drive letters function as designators for distinct volumes.

Please open your Disk Management to see if there’s a drive letter for your CF card first because Disk Management can display all the drives on your PC and each partition for your drive. If there’s no drive letter, you can also assign a new drive letter to your CF card via Disk Management.

Since Disk Management is good at performing varied Windows advanced storage tasks, it makes it possible for you to recover hidden partitions in Windows 7, 8, 10, or 11 PCs.

Step 1. Connect your CF card to the Windows > press Win + X and select Disk Management to open this built-in utility.


Step 2. Right-click on your CF card > select Change Drive Letter and Paths.


Step 3. Select “Add” to assign a new drive letter to this unlettered compact flash card.

Step 4. Select the “Assign the following drive letter” option. Please ensure your selected new drive letter is different from all the current drive letters.


Fix 2. Update the CF card device driver via Device Manager

Without a doubt, an outdated device driver is responsible for the CF card not recognized by computers. To solve this issue, you need to update the CF card device driver. If your USB is not recognized, perhaps this way is also feasible.

Step 1. Connect the CF card to your Windows PC via the compact flash memory card reader > press Win + X and select Device Manager to open it.


Step 2. Expand Disk drives and right-click on your compact flash card > choose the Update driver.


Step 3. Select the “Search automatically for drives” option.


Fix 3. Update your Windows

Sometimes, if you haven’t updated Windows for a long time, your USB device might cannot be recognized. In this case, you’re supposed to install the latest Windows version because Windows updates can automatically correct the bugs and errors in hardware.

Please get more details to delete Windows update files in Windows 10/11 if needed.

Step 1. Press “Win + I” to open Windows Settings. Then click the “Update & Security” button.


Step 2. In the Update & Security interface, click the “Check for updates” button.


Fix 4. Run CHKDSK with parameters

How to fix the CF card not recognized in Windows 10? If the solutions mentioned earlier don’t work, the issue might be due to damaged files or problematic parts of your storage.

To find and fix these errors on your CF card, you can use a utility called CHKDSK, but it’s better if you’re familiar with computers before trying it.

Step 1. Enter “cmd” in the search bar and click “Run as administrator” to open the command prompt window.


Step 2. Type “chkdsk F:/f” in the window. You can replace F with your compact flash card letter. Then wait to see this notice: Windows has made corrections to the file system.


Fix 5. Run Microsoft Support Diagnostic tool

Windows OS also releases a built-in feature named the Microsoft Support Diagnostic Tool (MSDT) that can scan all the hardware and devices for errors. If your CF card not recognized, you can try to run this utility to solve this issue.

Step 1. Press Win + R to open the Run window > type mstd.exe –id DeviceDiagnostic in the window > hit Enter to go on.


Step 2. After seeing the Hardware and Devices tool, click Next to start scanning errors and fixing detected errors found on your CF card.


Fix 6. Format CF card via Disk Management

If your compact flash card is showing up as RAW in Disk Management, it’s advisable to format it to the NTFS file system.

Please note that disk formatting can erase all the existing data on your compact flash card. If needed, you can refer to the second part to recover files from CF cards.

Step 1. Connect your CF card to the Windows > press Win + X and select Disk Management to open this utility.


Step 2. Right-click on your CF card > select Format.


Step 3. Select the NTFS file system and click “OK” to save your changes.


Part 2. How to recover files from CF cards without backups?

Once recognized, some users want to recover files from CF cards. However, since few users have the sense of using backup features or software to back up the contents of their compact flash cards, you’re recommended to use powerful data recovery software.

Supported by AOMEI Tech, MyRecover is designed to recover deleted and lost files from CF cards and other local storage devices.

  • Please stop loading new files to your CF card to prevent data coverage. After data erasure, it can decrease its data recovery rate.
  • After the process, please save your recovered missing files in another drive instead of the compact flash card.
  • Upgrading MyRecover is a more cost-effective choice for those users who prefer to recover plenty of deleted or missing CF card files.
★Key features of MyRecover: 
Recover 200+ types of files: images, audio, videos, MS Office files, WPS files, folders, compressed files, websites, etc.
Combined scanning method: MyRecover can automatically run Quick Scan and Deep Scan to detect all the recoverable files on your selected local drive.
Easy-to-find: After recovery, MyRecover can keep the original format, filename, path, and size for the deleted files.
Excellent compatibility: Support Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, or Server PC and 4 file systems (NTFS, FAT32, exFAT, and ReFS).
Download Software Windows 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Step 1. Connect your CF card to the Windows > hover the mouse over your connected CF card > click Scan.


Step 2. After clicking Start Scan, MyRecover can automatically run Quick Scan and Deep Scan to detect all the recoverable CF card files.

During scanning, you can filter/preview your desired files according to Filename, Document Type, Path, Size, Date, etc.

  • Name: Enter the filename of your wanted USB files to narrow the search area.
  • Date modified: Set the date (today, yesterday, last 7/30 days, etc.)
  • Size: Filter file size (<128KB, 128KB~1MB, 1MB~512MB, etc.)


Step 3. Go to the Other Missing Files folder, and select the files you want. Then click Recover x files.


Related suggestions

Is your CF card not recognized? If you’re bothered by this issue, please get six feasible fixes to address this problem. If you need to recover files from CF cards, you can utilize MyRecover to retrieve them.

To prevent data loss at the source, you can cultivate a good habit of creating regular backups via this free Windows backup software, AOMEI Backupper Standard.

Penny · Editor
Penny works as an editor at AOMEI Technology, while she's a tester and editor for AOMEI Data Recovery Tools. She enjoys helping users with data recovery issues on Windows and iPhones using simple and practical solutions. Outside of work, she has a strong affection for pets, particularly giant pandas.