Comprehensive SanDisk SD Card Recovery Guide [2024]

This is the full guide on SanDisk corrupted SD card recovery. Following the 7 effective tips to recover lost data easily.


By Lora / Updated on April 2, 2024

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SanDisk SD cards are renowned for their reliability as storage devices. These versatile memory cards are commonly used in digital cameras, mobile phones, and voice recorders. Unfortunately, data loss resulting from corruption or file system crashes can be a significant setback for users.

However, there is a precise method to address SanDisk SD card corruption and fix the issue. In this case, you need to focus on recovering data from your corrupted SanDisk SD card on a Windows system, followed by applying straightforward methods to resolve the corruption problem.

Before the detailed solutions on how to recover files from corrupted SD card, let’s check the symptoms to help you assess the damage.

SanDisk SD Card corruption symptoms

Before giving up the ghost, most SD cards tend to show tell-tale signs of corruption or damage. If you’re able to identify these signs, immediately back up all your data to prevent significant data loss. Here’s a list of some common signs of corruption on your SanDisk SD card:

✦ SD card asks to be formatted. If you see the error message “You need to format the disk in drive X: before you can use it” on your PC, it means that your SanDisk SD card may be inaccessible and needs to be formatted. While this error is fixable and you can even recover data without formatting it, ignoring it can lead to serious data loss.


SD card is not detected/recognized by the PC. You insert a SanDisk SD card into your laptop and wait, but the computer does not recognize the card.

✦ The file directory is corrupted and unreadable. If the "File or directory is corrupted and unreadable" error appears on your Windows computer, it means that your SanDisk SD card is probably infected with a virus and the file system may be corrupted.

✦ Read/Write issues. Read/write problems when transferring data to an SD card are worrisome. If you have to transfer the same file multiple times, then the SD card is damaged.

✦ Slow performance. Another sign of a damaged SanDisk SD card is the effect on its performance. Damage or corruption can negatively affect the performance of the memory card, sometimes taking hours to transfer a small amount of data.

What causes corrupted SanDisk SD card lost data?

Here are the most common reasons for SanDisk SD card corruption or data loss:

  • Corrupted file system. When the file system on the SanDisk card becomes corrupted or RAW, you’re unable to access it and receive an error message. You may end up losing files on the SD card.
  • Physical damage. If the SanDisk SD card has been physically damaged or broken.
  • Data corruption. Improper SD card usage can cause data corruption and interruptions in the read/write processes.
  • Improper ejection. If the SD card is not ejected correctly, it can cause data corruption and even physical damage to the card.
  • Formatting the SanDisk memory card. Formatting the memory card carelessly or selecting the wrong drive letter while formatting can cause data loss.
  • Virus attack. Virus attacks and malware infections are destructive and can cause severe data corruption on the SD card. Some users have reported that SD card deleting files by itself after being infected.


How to recover data from corrupted SanDisk SD cards efficiently

With the symptoms and reasons clear, now we can move on to the SanDisk corrupted SD card recovery solution part and learn how to recover files from corrupted SD card.

MyRecover is one of the top-rated SanDisk SD card recovery software and offers high recovery rates, a straightforward interface, and features a trial version for free data recovery.

Step 1. Find the SD card partition you need to recover.

Run the software > connect your SD card to the PC > hover the mouse over the SD card > click Scan.


Step 2. Wait for the SD card partition to be scanned.

Filter/preview/sort the scanned files to navigate to your wanted photos quickly.


Step 3. Select the target file and restore it.

Go to Other missing files > choose Images > choose the files you need. 200 + file types are supported. Thus, you could recover lost or accidentally deleted photos from SD cards in 3 simple steps.


Lightning-Fast Recovery: MyRecover's advanced algorithms work tirelessly to scan and retrieve your data swiftly, ensuring you get back on track as quickly as possible.
Comprehensive File Support: From images, videos, and audio to documents, compressed files, and everything in between, MyRecover can recover a wide range of file types, leaving no stone unturned.
Intuitive User Interface: With its intuitive design, MyRecover makes the data recovery process effortless, even for beginners.
High Compatibility: MyRecover works seamlessly with SanDisk SD cards, as well as HDD/SSD/USB flash drives, etc., on Windows 11/10/8/7/Server.
Reliable and Secure: Rest assured that your data is in safe hands. MyRecover prioritizes data security, ensuring your files remain confidential and protected.

Here’s a detailed guide on SanDisk corrupted SD card recovery using MyRecover. Don't let data loss hold you back. Choose MyRecover and restore your peace of mind!

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How to fix corrupted SanDisk SD cards

With the files recovered, you still need to fix the corrupted SanDisk SD card with the proper tools or methods. Here we offer 6 feasible solutions to help you perform corrupted SD card recovery.

▶ Method 1. Try another USB port/adapter/computer

Just try to change the USB port you have connected to and the adapter/card reader. This is by far the easiest fix you can try, which is why you should always start with it before you move on to other ways to fix a corrupted/damaged SD card.

Also, it’s possible that your SD card is perfectly fine and that all the issues you’re experiencing with it are caused by your computer.

To rule out this possibility, you should try to use the card on another computer or device to verify that the issues you’re experiencing happen on every device.

▶ Method 2. Trying CHKDSK Command to check for memory card errors

How to fix corrupted SD cards? Included in all versions of Windows is a command-line utility for checking the file system and file system metadata of a volume for logical and physical errors.

This utility is called CHKDSK, and it’s actually much easier to use than most people think.

Seek help from the tutorial if CHKDSK command not working.

Step 1. Type “cmd” in the search box on the taskbar and select Run as administrator.


Step 2. Enter the following command (make sure to replace X with the letter assigned to the SD card you want to fix) and press Enter: chkdsk X: /f


The /f parameter tells CHKDSK to fix all memory card errors.

▶ Method 3. Assign a new drive letter

Surprisingly many SD card errors can be solved by assigning a new drive letter to the SD card.

The errors solved by this method typically have something to do with conflicting drive letters, which may happen as a result of the operating system not updating drive letter information properly.

Step 1. Properly connect your SD card. To open the Run window, use Win+R. Enter diskmgmt.msc and choose OK in the dialogue box.


Step 2. Choose Change Drive Letter and Paths > Change > Assign the Following Drive Letter from the context menu after finding your corrupted SD card.


After that, reconnect your SD card and make sure everything is okay.

▶ Method 4. Reinstall SD card drivers

Windows automatically downloads and installs the most recent drivers through Windows Update, but not all driver updates go exactly according to plan.

If you suspect that your SD card is misbehaving because of a faulty driver update, you should reinstall it manually.

Step 1. As previously indicated, locate your micro SD card in Device Manager. "Update Driver Software" may be chosen by right-clicking it.


Step 2. In the pop-up box, click "Search automatically for updated driver software". Try searching for a new driver on the manufacturer's website if there isn't one already available, then follow the installation instructions.


Step 3. If updating the driver doesn't work, simply pick "Uninstall" from the context menu when you right-click the micro SD card. When you restart your computer, Windows will automatically reinstall the driver.

▶ Method 5. Using Windows Repair Tool

Included with Windows is a graphical tool capable of checking drives for file system errors. This tool is commonly referred to as Windows Repair Tool, and Windows sometimes automatically launches it when you insert a corrupted drive.

That said, you can also invoke it manually and use it to scan any drive for errors. To fix an SD card/USB drive using this SD card repair tool.

Step 1. Right-click on the corrupted hard disk in File Explorer.

Step 2. Choose Properties, go to the Tools tab, and then click the Check button next to Error checking.


Step 3. To begin the corrupted hard disc recovery, click Scan disc.


▶ Method 6. Fix SD card by formatting a RAW SD card to FAT32

An SD card may seem to be corrupted if it has no file system on it. Such an SD card is typically referred to by experts as RAW, and most operating systems won’t display it as an available storage device and allow you to write files to it.

Since a RAW SD card shouldn’t have any data on it, formatting RAW SD card to FAT32 is a relatively safe operation. Just make sure to select the RAW SD and not some other storage device.

Disk formatting wipes data. Please make sure you have backed up your data, thus you could format hard drive without losing data.

Step 1. Click Disk Management by doing a right-click on the Windows start menu.

Step 2. Format the RAW SD card by selecting it from the context menu and choosing an exFAT or FAT32 file system. If the situation allows, please back up the drive before formatting it since disc formatting erases all the data on the hard drive.


How to protect your SD card from data loss

We could go on and on about the fragile construction of SD cards or how easy it is to format them by accident. But instead of telling you something you already know, we want to give you some useful tips to protect your SD card from data loss.

  • Always safely eject the SD card from your computer before removing it.
  • Don’t subject your SD card to extreme temperatures, and keep it away from dust and water.
  • Avoid writing data to the SD card if there’s a risk of a sudden loss of power (such as when recording video using a camera that hasn’t been charged in a while).
  • Regularly transfer files from the SD card to your computer or cloud storage.
  • Use multiple SD cards and avoid filling them up to their maximum capacity.
  • Avoid no-name SD cards of questionable quality.
  • Always have reliable data recovery software ready.
  • Don’t ignore SD card error messages even if they don’t seem important.

With these simple tips, you can prolong the lifespan of your SD card and protect it from data loss.


SanDisk SD cards are great solutions to store all your photos, videos, and other important files. They are portable, efficient, and excellent value for money.

However, SD cards can be prone to unforeseen damage or corruption, leading to significant data loss. But this damage need not be permanent.

As mentioned in this SanDisk corrupted SD card recovery guide, you can use professional software MyRecover to perform SanDisk SD card recovery or approach a professional Data Recovery Center for the best results.

Also, you could learn how to fix corrupted SD cards with the 6 feasible solutions in this post to bring your damaged SD card back to life again.

FAQs about SanDisk corrupted SD card recovery

There are some frequently asked questions that you can refer to:

Q: Can a corrupted SD card be recovered?

If your SD card becomes corrupted, several options exist for recovering the data. You can try to retrieve the data from a backup on your computer or another external storage device, or you can use MyRecover to scan and recover the lost files.

Q: Will formatting fix a corrupted SD card?

Yes. Formatting an SD card is one of the most effective ways to repair an SD card that's creating errors on Android and many other types of devices.

Q: How to retrieve files from a corrupted SanDisk SD card?

Follow the steps below to retrieve files from a damaged SanDisk SD card using My Recover:

1. Download and install MyRecover.

2. Connect the damaged SanDisk SD card and scan it.

3. Preview the files to be recovered.

4. Click Recover and select the recovery target.

5. Complete the recovery process.

Q: Why is my SD card suddenly corrupted?

A number of factors can cause SD card corruption. The most frequent ones include physical damage, viruses, accumulated bad sectors, and file system errors.

Lora · Editor
Lora is an editor of AOMEI Technology. She is also a tester and editor of AOMEI Data Recovery Tools. -- "Keep testing, write the most useful tutorials for helping people recover the lost data for Windows and phones" is the most meaningful thing for her. Dedicated to creating helpful tutorials, she hopes her tutorial can assist users to effortlessly solve data loss problems on their personal computers and mobile phones.