How to Fix SD Card Stopped Working – SD Card Data Recovery

Are you facing issues with your SD card not working? Do you need to recover important data from a malfunctioning SD card? SD cards are commonly used to store and transfer data, but they can encounter problems that prevent them from functioning properly. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the steps to fix your SD card and recover your data.

Why is SD Card Stopped Working?

Before we dive into the troubleshooting steps, let’s first understand why SD cards stop working and the impact it can have on data accessibility.

A. Overview of SD Card Failure

SD card failure can occur due to various reasons. Some common causes include:

  1. Physical damage: Dropping or mishandling the SD card can cause physical damage, such as cracks or bent pins, which can prevent the card from functioning properly.
  2. File system corruption: If the file system on the SD card gets corrupted, it can render the card unreadable and inaccessible.
  3. Incompatible or outdated firmware: Compatibility issues between the SD card and the device’s firmware can cause the card to stop working.
  4. Wear and tear: Continuous usage and frequent read/write operations can lead to wear and tear, reducing the card’s lifespan and eventually causing it to fail.

SD card failure can have a significant impact on data accessibility. If your card stops working, you may lose access to important files, such as photos, videos, documents, and more. It’s crucial to take immediate action to diagnose and fix the issue to avoid permanent data loss.

B. Identifying Symptoms of SD Card Failure

To determine if your SD card has stopped working, watch out for the following symptoms:

  1. Device not recognizing the SD card: When you insert the SD card into your device, it fails to recognize it. The card may not show up in the file manager or storage settings.
  2. Corrupted or inaccessible files: If you can access the SD card but encounter corrupted or inaccessible files, it indicates a potential issue with the card.
  3. Error messages or warnings: Your device may display error messages or warnings when attempting to access the SD card. These messages can provide valuable clues about the nature of the problem.

If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s time to start troubleshooting to fix the SD card and recover your data.

Basic Troubleshooting Steps

Before jumping into advanced troubleshooting techniques, it’s essential to perform some basic steps to verify the issue and potentially resolve it.

A. Verify the Issue

The first step is to verify whether the problem lies with the SD card or the device. Follow these steps:

  1. Check if the SD card is recognized by your device: Insert the SD card into the appropriate slot and check if your device recognizes it. If not, proceed to the next step.
  2. Test the SD card on multiple devices: Try inserting the SD card into multiple devices, such as a computer or another compatible device, to ensure that the issue is not specific to a single device.
  3. Confirm if other SD cards are working correctly: If you have access to other SD cards, insert them into your device to check if they are recognized and functioning correctly. This will help you determine if the issue is with the SD card or the device itself.

B. Clean the SD Card

Sometimes, dust or debris can accumulate on the metal contacts of the SD card, leading to connection issues. Follow these steps to clean the SD card:

  1. Gently wipe the metal contacts on the SD card with a soft, lint-free cloth. This will remove any dirt or fingerprints that may be interfering with the connection.
  2. Use a can of compressed air to blow out any dust or debris from the card’s slot on the device. This will ensure a clean and secure connection between the SD card and the device.

C. Reboot the Device

Rebooting the device can help resolve temporary glitches and refresh the system. Follow these steps to reboot your device:

  1. Power off your device.
  2. Remove the SD card.
  3. Wait for a few seconds.
  4. Reinsert the SD card.
  5. Power on the device.

After the device has restarted, check if the SD card is now being recognized and functioning properly. If the issue persists, proceed to the next troubleshooting steps.

Testing the SD Card on a Computer

If the basic troubleshooting steps don’t resolve the issue, it’s time to test the SD card on a computer. Connecting the SD card to a computer can help determine if the problem lies with the card or the device.

A. Connect the SD Card to a Computer

To connect the SD card to a computer, you’ll need a card reader. Follow these steps:

sd card, sd card reader and micro sd cards

  1. Insert the SD card into the card reader.
  2. Connect the card reader to a USB port on your computer.

Once connected, check if the computer recognizes the SD card. If it does, it indicates that the problem may be with the device rather than the card.

B. Data Backup and Formatting

If the computer recognizes the SD card, it’s crucial to back up your data before proceeding with any further troubleshooting steps. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Copy your data to a safe location on your computer’s hard drive. This ensures that even if the SD card cannot be fixed, you still have a backup of your important files.
  2. Format the SD card using the computer’s built-in formatting tool. Formatting will erase all data on the card, so make sure you have a backup.
  3. Safely eject the SD card from the computer and reinsert it into your device to check if it’s working.

Formatting the SD card can sometimes resolve file system corruption issues and make the card usable again. However, if the computer fails to recognize the SD card, or if formatting doesn’t fix the issue, you’ll need to proceed with advanced troubleshooting steps.

Advanced Troubleshooting Steps

If the basic troubleshooting steps and formatting didn’t fix the issue, it’s time to try some advanced techniques to revive your SD card.

A. Formatting the SD Card


If the computer fails to recognize the SD card or if formatting using the computer’s built-in tool doesn’t work, try using a reliable formatting tool specifically designed for SD cards, such as “SD Card Formatter” developed by the SD Association. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Download and install the SD Card Formatter tool from the official SD Association website.
  2. Insert the SD card into your computer using a card reader.
  3. Open the SD Card Formatter tool and select the SD card.
  4. Choose the appropriate formatting options and click on the “Format” button to start the formatting process.

Be aware that formatting the SD card will erase all data on it, so make sure you have a backup. After formatting, reinsert the SD card into your device to check if it’s now recognized and working properly.

B. Checking for Physical Damage

Physical damage can render an SD card irreparable. Inspect the SD card for any visible signs of physical damage, such as cracks, scratches, or bent pins. If you notice any damage, it’s likely that the card cannot be fixed, and you may need to replace it.

C. Seeking Professional Help

If all else fails, and you desperately need the data stored on the SD card, consider reaching out to data recovery professionals. These experts specialize in retrieving data from malfunctioning storage devices and may be able to recover your important files.

Keep in mind that data recovery services can be costly, and there’s no guarantee of success. Therefore, it’s crucial to have regular backups to avoid such situations.

Case Study: Recovering Precious Memories

Imagine this scenario: Sarah is a photography enthusiast who loves capturing precious memories with her digital camera. On a recent family vacation, she took hundreds of photos and videos, all stored on her SD card. However, when she tried to transfer the files to her computer, she encountered an error message stating that the SD card was not recognized. Panic set in as Sarah realized that all her cherished memories were potentially lost.

In a desperate attempt to recover her photos, Sarah followed the troubleshooting steps outlined in this article. She first verified the issue by testing the SD card on multiple devices, only to find that none of them recognized it. Next, she carefully cleaned the metal contacts on the SD card and gently blew away any dust or debris. Unfortunately, this did not solve the problem.

Determined to recover her photos, Sarah connected the SD card to her computer using a card reader. Thankfully, the computer recognized the SD card, giving her a glimmer of hope. She quickly copied all her files to a safe location before formatting the SD card using the computer’s built-in formatting tool. Afterward, she reinserted the SD card into her camera, and to her relief, it started working again.

Sarah’s story illustrates the importance of taking immediate action when faced with an SD card failure. By following the basic troubleshooting steps outlined in this article, she was able to recover her precious memories and avoid the need for professional help or expensive data recovery services.

Remember, prevention is key. Sarah now religiously follows the preventive measures mentioned in this article, ensuring that she safely ejects her SD card, stores it in a protective case, and avoids exposing it to extreme temperatures or humidity. Additionally, she has implemented regular data backups to prevent the loss of future memories.

By learning from Sarah’s experience and implementing the tips and steps described in this article, you too can increase your chances of recovering your valuable data and avoid the frustration of an SD card failure.

Preventive Measures

To prevent SD card failure in the future, it’s essential to follow some preventive measures. Here are some tips to keep your SD card in good condition:

A. Tips to Avoid SD Card Failure

  1. Safely eject the SD card from the device: Always use the proper method to eject the SD card from your device to avoid potential data corruption.
  2. Store the SD card in a protective case when not in use: Protect the SD card from physical damage by storing it in a dedicated case or holder when it’s not inserted in a device.
  3. Avoid exposing the SD card to extreme temperatures and humidity: High temperatures or excessive humidity can damage the SD card, so store it in a cool and dry place.

B. Regular Data Backups

Regularly backing up your SD card data is crucial to protect against data loss in case of SD card failure. Here are some options for automated data backup solutions:

  1. Cloud storage: Use cloud storage services like Google Drive, Dropbox, or iCloud to automatically back up your SD card data. These services offer seamless integration with smartphones and computers.
  2. External hard drives: Connect an external hard drive to your computer and set up automated backups using software like Time Machine (for Mac) or File History (for Windows).
  3. Backup apps: Install backup apps on your smartphone that can automatically back up your SD card data to a cloud storage service or an external device.

By following these preventive measures and regularly backing up your data, you can minimize the risk of data loss due to SD card failure.

Questions and Answers

Who can help me if my SD card stopped working?

A tech expert or customer support can assist you.

What should I do if my SD card suddenly stops working?

Try restarting the device and check for any physical damage.

How can I fix my non-responsive SD card?

Try formatting the card or using data recovery software.

What if formatting the SD card doesn’t work?

Contact customer support for further assistance or consider getting a replacement.

How can I prevent my SD card from stopping working?

Avoid removing the card while the device is in use and keep it in a safe place.

What if I lost important data due to a malfunctioning SD card?

Data recovery services may be able to help retrieve lost files.

Graduate Bachelor of I.C.T. and a graduate in software and tech. Also, video game playing and finding new things is his biggest hobby. In the realm of gaming and digital entertainment, Chaminda Gunasekara stands as a luminary, a pioneer, and a relentless innovator. As the admin and co-author of Gamedotro, a website dedicated to exploring the frontiers of gaming culture, Chaminda has established himself as a leading voice in the industry. With a keen eye for emerging trends, an insatiable curiosity, and a deep-seated passion for gaming, Chaminda curates content that captivates and informs readers from all walks of life. His writing is a blend of insightful analysis, engaging storytelling, and a genuine love for the art form that shines through in every word