SD card recovery: How to recover lost data from SD card and fix corrupted SD card?

Updated by Admin to Data Recovery on April 1st, 2019

Summary: This artile will show you how to recover lost data from SD card, fix corrupted/unreadable SD card and avoid data loss again.

Table of the article contents

Common SD card data loss scenarios

1. SD memory card 0 bytes, RAW or unknown file system

2. SD card showing incorrect capacity in Disk Management

3. Accidently deleted photos/videos from SD card

4. SD card is write protected cannot format

5. SD card not recognized in Windows 10/8/7

6. Windows is unable to complete the format on RAW SD card

7. SD card is not formatted, do you want to format it now?

8. SD card is not accessible, the parameter is incorrect

How to recover lost files from SD card?

The first absolute rule you need to know is - do not write any data to SD card after data loss, otherwise, you will lose the data forever once they are overwritten.

Solution 1: Recover deleted photos from SD card

Files that get deleted aren't usually truly deleted but are instead just hidden, waiting to be overwritten by new files, you can take advantage of this fact and recover deleted files you want back.

After mistakely deleting precious photos/videos from SD card, we need to stop this SD card immediately and then find a SD card recovery software to recover deleted photos/videos.

M3 Data Recovery is a free SD card data recovery software which can help to recover deleted/lost photos, videos, audios, documents, etc. from SD card, USB drive, flash drive, hard drive, external hard drive, etc.

Step 1: Please don't write new data to SD card after finding some files were mistakely deleted.

Step 2: Connect SD card to a Windows computer via card reader.

Step 3: Download and install M3 Data Recovery software on a Windows computer.

Step 4: Launch M3 Data Recovery software and choose Data Recovery module.

Data recovery software

Step 5: Select the SD card and then click Next to scan deleted photos/videos.

Select SD card to scan with M3 Data Recovery

Step 6: After the scan completes, please check/preview the found files or select Save session option from Help menu to save the scan result for continuous recovery next time.

Recover deleted files from SD card with M3 Data Recovery

If there are some files missing, please check deep scan option and try M3 Data Recovery software again.

Step 7: Click Recover to save the recovered files to another drive, instead of SD card.

Solution 2: Recover lost pictures/videos from formatted SD card

My micro SD card in my digital camera did a forced reformat and as a result i lost everything. I have a lot of photos on it. so i really wanna get the data back. Is there any way to recover lost data from SD card? I would gladly pay money for the data restoration also.

When you format a partition or disk, you have two methods: Quick format and Full format.

Quick format option formats partition quickly and removes files from without scanning bad sectors or permanently erasing data. It just generates a new and empty file system on the logical volume, thus the process is very fast.

Full format (unselect "Quick Format") takes a long time, as it does extra operation for checking bad sectors and completely wipe data in Windows 10/8/7/Vista so that the erased files cannot be recovered by any method.

M3 Data Recovery is a free SD card data recovery software which can help to recover lost pictures/videos from formatted SD card, USB drive, flash drive, hard drive, external hard drive, etc.

Step 1: Please don't write new data to the formatted SD card after data loss.

Step 2: Connect SD card to a Windows computer via card reader.

Step 3: Download and install M3 Data Recovery software on a Windows computer.

Step 4: Launch M3 Data Recovery software and choose Data Recovery module.

Step 5: Select the formatted SD card, check deep scan option and then click Next to scan.

Step 6: After the scan completes, please check/preview the found files or select Save session option from Help menu to save the scan result for continuous recovery next time.

Step 7: Click Recover to save the recovered files to another drive, instead of SD card.

Tips: Because of FAT32/exFAT file system its own properties, the large files cannot be recovered after formatting if the disk space stored large files is not continuous.

Solution 3: Recover lost pictures/videos from RAW SD card

SD memory card 0 bytes with RAW file system is a common problem for every SD card user, but it is still unknown for most users about how to fix RAW SD card and recover lost pictures/videos.

RAW SD card

After encountering RAW SD card, the user becomes unable to access anything stored on SD card. If we check the properties of this SD card in disk management, we will find the used space and free space are showing 0 bytes. Moreover, the file system is shown as RAW instead of FAT or NTFS.

RAW SD card

To access SD card, we have to format RAW SD card, but formatting would erase all the data from SD card, so it is not preferred until we recover data from RAW SD card.

SD card not formatted error

Step 1: Please don't format RAW SD card before data recovery is succesfully done.

Step 2: Connect RAW SD card to a Windows computer via card reader.

Step 3: Download and install M3 Data Recovery software on a Windows computer.

Step 4: Launch M3 Data Recovery software and choose Data Recovery module.

Step 5: Select the RAW SD card, check deep scan option and then click Next to scan.

Step 6: After the scan completes, please check/preview the found files or select Save session option from Help menu to save the scan result for continuous recovery next time.

Step 7: Click Recover to save the recovered files to another drive.

Tips: Because of FAT32/exFAT file system its own properties, the large files cannot be recovered after formatting if the disk space stored large files is not continuous.

Solution 4: Recover lost photos/videos from Bitlocker encrypted SD card

Besides data recovery from unencrypted SD card, M3 Data Recovery also can recover data from Bitlocker encrypted SD card with following steps:

Step 1: Please don't write new data to SD card after data loss.

Step 2: Connect RAW SD card to a Windows computer via card reader.

Step 3: Download and install M3 Data Recovery software on a Windows computer.

Step 4: Launch M3 Data Recovery software and choose Bitlocker Recovery module.

Step 5: Select Bitlocker encrypted SD card, check deep scan option and then click Next to scan.

Step 6: Enter the password or recovery key to decrypt data from Bitlocker encrypted SD card.

Step 7: After the scan completes, please check/preview the found files or select Save session option from Help menu to save the scan result for continuous recovery next time.

Step 8: Click Recover to save the recovered files to another drive.

How to fix corrupted/unreadable SD card?

Following are five solutions to fix corrupted SD card:

Solution 1: Connect SD card to another computer

Sometims, SD card is not readable due to incompatibility or driver-related issues. In such case, try to connect SD card to anotherr computer in both PC or Mac.

Solution 2: Fix corrupted SD card with chkdsk command

Chkdsk is a Windows utility that can check the integrity of the hard disk and can fix various file system errors

Step 1: Insert the corrupted SD card into a Windows computer via card reader.

Step 2: Right click My Computer (Or This PC), select Manage -Storage - Disk Management and check the drive letter has been assigned to the SD card.

Step 3: Click on the "Start" option from your Windows taskbar and type "cmd" in the "search" box.

Step 4: Right-click "cmd" and then select the "Run as administrator" option.

Step 5: A command window opens, type chkdsk X: /f, X is the drive letter of the corrupted SD card.

Step 6: After you press "enter", Chkdsk will check for possible errors and try to fix corrupted SD card.

Solution 3: Assign a new drive letter to an unreadable SD card

Connect your SD card to a card reader in the Windows Operating System, If your Operating System doesn't assign a new drive letter to it, the SD card not readable. To resolve this problem, please assign a new drive letter to the connected SD card through Disk Management built-in your Operating System.

Solution 4: Fix corrupted SD card by reformatting

After data recovery is successfully done from SD card, we can reformat SD card for usage again.

1. Format SD card to FAT32/exFAT with Windows built-in format tool

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Right click SD card in My Computer (This PC) or Disk Management and select "Format..." option.

Select FAT32/exFAT file system and then click "Start" button to reformat SD card.

If Windows is uable to format SD card, maybe SD card is write-protected or physically damaged, please try SD card formatter or the corresponding SD card production tool according to SD card model.

2. Format SD card to FAT32/exFAT with SD card formatter

SD card formatter formats all SD memory cards, SDHC memory cards and SDXC memory cards. SD card formatter provides quick and easy access to the full capabilities of your SD, SDHC and SDXC memory cards. The SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards have a "Protected Area" on the card for the SD standard's security function. The SD Card Formatter does not format the "Protected Area". Please use appropriate application software or SD-compatible device that provides SD security function to format the "Protected Area" in the memory card.

3. Format SD card to FAT32/exFAT with SD card production tool

Please go to SD card manufacturer and find corresponding production tool according to SD card model.

Solution 5: Reinstall the driver

You can try to reinstall the driver by following steps:

Step 1: Connect your SD card to a card reader in the Windows Operating system.

Step 2: Right click My Computer (Or This PC), select Manage -Device Manager.

Step 3: Double click Disk drives in Device Manager right panel and right click SD card.

Step 4: Click Uninstall and click Ok.

Step 5: Disconnect your SD card and restart your PC.

Step 6: Reconnect your SD card again and your computer will detect it.

How to avoid SD card data loss again?

1. Avoid connecting SD card to the public computer: Public computer may be infected by virus attack, if you connect SD card to a computer which has been attacked by virus, the SD card will also be infected by virus. When the SD card is attacked by virus, it may stop working properly and shows 0 bytes, RAW file system.

2. Eject SD card properly: SD card is easy to be corrupted if we eject SD card inproperly. If we remove SD card from your computer when SD card is still in use, SD card can also be corrupted, so we must safely remove SD card by clicking "Safely Remove Hardware" option.

3. Back up important data: Data backup is the best way to prevent data loss.