By Lora / Last update May 18, 2022

Due to its small size and portability, an SD card is prevailing among users as an external storage device in a wide range of applications. It works with a broad variety of devices, for example, digital cameras, camcorders, music players, mobile phones, TVs, drones, and so on.

However, like other kinds of storage devices, an SD card is delicate; it can be damaged to a certain extent after a period of use. If handled improperly, many photos, videos, audio, and other file data in the card will be permanently lost and it will be very difficult to recover, just like an external hard disk recovery issue. 

sd-card-recovery

Once the SD card becomes inaccessible, the precious data in the SD card will be lost, which is the last thing users want to meet. Then how to conduct SD card recovery? Here before we jump to the solution to the SD card issue, we’d better get some information about it first.

Overview of SD card issue

To understand how to recover files from SD cards, getting a basic impression of the SD card recovery issue is necessary. In this part, we are about to find out the manifestation and some common causes of data loss on SD cards.

Manifestation of SD card data loss

 When some errors take place, you may notice these manifestations.

  • SD card read or write failed.
  • SD card does not display any files.
  • Black screen on the device using SD card.
  • Unexplainable error message from the operating system.

Causes of SD card partition loss

Then what’s the reason behind these manifestations above? Possible causes are listed as follows.

  • Physical damage. The SD card is physically broken or a part of it is missing.
  • Improper ejection. Users did not disconnect or turn it off before ejecting the SD card. Or users eject it while transferring data.
  • Virus attack. If your PC or other devices have been attacked by viruses, the SD card will be intruded on when connecting it to the device. Files may get deleted or encrypted. Even the file system or its partitions may get corrupted. Then you will have to deal with a corrupted SD card like trying to recover files from corrupted hard disk.
  • Unintended deletion. Users may accidentally delete the files or data on the SD card. After all, man is not infallible. To recover deleted files from SD card, please get help.
  • Poor contact. Dirt on the surface of the SD card interface or improper insertion can also lead to inaccessible data.

How to perform SD card recovery?

After knowing how data loss happens on an SD card, it is time to move on to the methods of SD card data recovery. Here 9 ways are prepared, adopt anyone according to your specific situation and budget.

Quick Navigation

Method 1. Perform SD card recovery by unhiding files

The computer's inability to access the data on the SD card might be due to a virus infection. If the computer is infected by the virus, when the SD card is connected, the attributes of the files may be changed into Hidden or Read-only. At this time, users can manually unhide them to get their data back.

Tips: Before utilizing this method, remember to use antivirus software to detect and remove viruses first.

Step 1. Connect your SD card to the PC, start This PC.

Step 2. Go to your SD card, then click view > Options > View> Show hidden files, folders, and drives.

show-hidden-files

Step 3. Then confirm your choice and check it on your SD card to see if the missing files are back.

Method 2. Perform SD recovery by reinstalling device driver

If the method introduced above does not fit your circumstance, you may try something else. Another reason that the SD card is not accessible may be an outdated device driver. Here we can reinstall the device driver to fix this problem.

Notes: You can try to update the device driver first, if it doesn’t work, try to reinstall it.

Step 1. Tab on Win+R and input devmgmt.msc to start Device Manager.

input-devmgmt

Step 2. Right-click on the SD card in Disk Devices, and select Uninstall device.

uninstall-device

Step 3. Then restart the PC, connect your SD card, the device driver will be automatically installed.

Method 3. Perform SD card recovery via Disk Management

Sometimes an inaccessible SD card may result from the driver letter conflicts between your PC and external hard drive. The drive letter of the external hard disk is the same as that of the PC, thus an error prompt may come out. To solve his problem, users can assign a new drive letter to the SD card.

Notes: When assigning a drive letter to the SD card, remember to assign one that is never used before.

Step 1. Connect the SD card to your PC, then right-click on the Start menu, choose Disk Management.

Step 2. Right-click on the SD card, select Change Drive Letter and Path > Change > Assign the following drive letter.
 

change-drive-letter-and-path-assign-letter

Step 3. Click OK to confirm your operation. Then you can restart your device and check if everything is okay.

Method 4. Perform SD card recovery via CMD

If the SD card shows an Only-read error prompt, it is possible that the SD card is locked with the write-protect switch. At this time, users can check if it is locked or not. If so, switch off the write-protect notch. If not, maybe users need to fix it with Command Prompt.

The "recover" command scans the hard drive sector by sector, supporting retrieving information from a corrupted hard drive; but it can only restore readable information. And detailed file paths and file names are required, and only one file can be restored at a time.

Users who don't have many files and data to restore can take advantage of this command.

Notes:

  • Press Enter to confirm your operation in every step.
  • This command doesn't support using wildcard "*".

Step 1. Start Command Prompt on your PC by inputting cmd or command prompt in the search bar > choose Run as administrator > diskpart.

run-as-administrator

Step 2. Input list disk > select disk 0 > list volume. Please select the affected SD card.

Step 3. Input select volume x to choose the SD card partition > recover [drive:][filename]. Specific file path and name are required.

E.g., recover g: \2022\weekreport\week1.pdf

This command can help recover a PDF file named "week1" from the "weekreport" folder under the "2022" folder from SD card G: drive.

And thus the SD card recovery is successfully carried out.

Method 5. Perform SD recovery using Check tool

The file system of the storage drive on your computer helps you understand where and how files are saved. If the file system of your SD card went wrong, the files will become inaccessible. Here users can utilize the Check tool in Windows to check if there are any file system errors.

Step 1. Connect your SD card to the PC via card reader.

Step 2. Tab on Win+E to start This PC. Locate and right-click on your SD card, and click Properties. Go to Tools on the upper side of this panel. Then click Check.

error-check

Step 3. If there are errors detected, a prompt will come out, click Repair drive. After that, your drive will be successfully repaired.

repair-errors-checking

Method 6. Perform SD card recovery via chkdsk command

chkdsk” is short for check disk, being used to check the disk when the system crashes. The tool creates and displays the status report of the disk based on the file system used by the detected partition, and lists and corrects errors on the disk.

Notes:

  • Before using this tool, check what is the drive letter of your SD card in This PC.
  • F” in step 2 refers to the drive letter of your SD card.

Step 1. Connect your SD card to your device. Start Command Prompt and select Run as administrator.

run-as-administrator

Step 2. Input chkdsk F: /f. Then input Y press Enter > input F > press Enter.

cmd-chkdsk

Step 3. Then input F: >attrib –h –r –s /s /d *.*.

cmd-attrib

This command will try to detect possible error and fix it.

Method 7. Perform SD recovery using Troubleshoot in Windows

The Windows troubleshoot tool usually prompts when the program needs to be updated or repaired. Generally, the error prompt is related to the driver. So when the SD card is connected and the computer sends out a repair prompt, we can repair the SD card according to it.

Step 1. Connect the SD card to the computer, tan on Win+I to start settings of Windows. Go to Updates & Security.

update-and-security

Step 2. Click Troubleshoot in the sidebar, then go to Hardware and Devices > Run the troubleshooter.

run-the-troubleshooter

Step 3. After the troubleshooting, restart your PC and reconnect the SD card, check if it is fixed.

Method 8. Perform SD card partition recovery via AOMEI Partition Assistant

If you are suffering from SD card data loss due to partition loss, then you might as well find a helpful alternative to be your helping hand: a professional partition recovery tool.

Here we have a good recommendation, AOMEI Partition Assistant. The inbuilt tool partition recovery wizard facilitates users to recover lost partitions with ease.

★Tips:
Once your SD card went inaccessible, you would better stop doing any more reading or writing operations to improve your recovery rate.
Fast Search” helps users scan the disk quickly to locate the deleted or lost partitions, while “Full Search” scans sector by sector of the disk. If the first one fails, choose “Full Search”.

Step 1. Install and try a ProDemo version first.

Download Demo Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 2. Find Partition Recovery Wizard in Wizards on the sidebar. Locate your SD card disk select it and click Next.

click-partition-recovery-wizard

Step 3. Two search methods will be presented, Fast Search here is recommended.

fast-search-full-search

Step 4. The detected partitions will be listed in the panel, select the one you need to recover, then click Proceed.

select-lost-partitions

After that, you will have successfully conducted SD card partition recovery.

Method 9. Achieve SD card data recovery via a Windows data recovery tool

If all the above methods do not work for you properly, or it is too inconvenient for you, then this Windows data recovery software will be the best choice for you.

AOMEI Data Recovery for Windows, designed by AOMEI, the leading enterprise in the data recovery industry, is equipped with advanced scanning methods and algorithms and can help you retrieve lost data from SD cards very easily.

★Software shining points:
Recover deleted data with the original file format/name/path kept.
Apply to an all-inclusive data loss situation.
Highly compatible with Windows 11/10/8/7 SP1 & Server.
Retrieve 200+ types of deleted or lost data at a high speed.
Restore files while scanning.

Now download and install AOMEI Data Recovery for Windows to enjoy its awesome features.

Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download
Notes:✎...
Please save your files in another safe place instead of the original location to avoid overwriting.

Step 1. Launch AOMEI Data Recovery for Windows > select a location to start scanning > click Start Scan.

select-a-partition-to-scan

Step 2. It will scan the hard disk or partition to locate the deleted and other missing files. During the process, you could directly recover the files it detected.

scan-lost-data

Step 3. Select the files you need > click Recover x files to restore deleted or lost files from SD card.

recover-lost-data

To sum up

9 feasible ways have been introduced in this tutorial, and users may choose anyone according to their specific situations and budget. Here getting some help from a trusty third-party tool is highly recommended for the sake of time and safety.

AOMEI Data Recovery is a credible software that can help users to perform SD card recovery, even if they are green hands without some troubleshooting experience.