Why is My SD Card Not Working?

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In this article, we are going to discuss the signs of SD card corruption. In other words, understanding whether your SD card is corrupted or not. So by knowing the symptoms of SD card corruption, we can safeguard our important data to avoid data loss crisis, and also we can take immediate action to avoid card corruption.

Table of Contents:

  1. How do I know if my SD card is not working?
  2. Why my sd card is not working?
  3. How do I avoid corrupting my SD card?
  4. Why did my SD card suddenly stop working?
  5. How do I know if my SD card is corrupted?

How do I know if my SD card is not working?

In almost all situations, the SD card is damaged because the file system is damaged or the Master Boot Record is corrupted. The file system and Maser Boot Record are like bookkeepers to your SD card. 

What is Master Boot Record? 

The information in the first sector of a hard disk or removable drive is known as the Master Boot Record (MBR). It specifies how and where the operating system (OS) of the system is stored in order for it to be booted (loaded) into the computer's main storage or random access memory (RAM).

When you access your SD card from any device, the device operating system will access the files through the SD card File system and MBR. Hence either of them is damaged, and your SD card will be marked as corrupted or simply inaccessible.

Here are a few signs which confirm that the SD card is damaged or Corrupted. Prior to considering the following scenarios confirm the memory card reader status. Only after confirming that the card reader is properly working, consider the following situations.

  • Unreadable SD card while trying to access the data saved on it. An error message encounters stating, cannot read from the devices.
  • SD card will be displayed as a RAW drive. (SD card will be displayed in the windows explorer but in the details, it will be marked as RAW)
  • Windows Explorer will display a Blank SD card or an Unsupported file system.
  • Format error after inserting the card into PC. Either Computer will prompt a box asking you to format the SD card.

These are a few of the most common signs that say that your SD card is damaged. However, there are a few complex and not so often memory card errors. Which are:

  • CRC errors while copying data from/to a memory card.
  • Memory card with “SD card won’t format on Windows” error
  • SD card will not be displayed even on Windows explorer or will not be recognized on the computer
  • In the case of Mac OS, the user's face SD card will not be mounted by Mac.
  • Partition Map corruption in turn results in data loss. 

Sometimes SD card works on camera but does not work on Computer. It simply means that the card reader is damaged. If this is what you are experiencing, just switch the SD card reader or SD card adapter and try again.

Why my sd card is not working?

Your SD card might not be working due to the following reasons:

  • Virus/malware attack
  • Using the same card on multiple systems often
  • Abrupt removal card during the file transfer process
  • Bad sector formation
  • Mistakes or interruptions while changing card format
  • Taking pictures or videos when the memory card is full
  • File system error

So if your card and its data are important to you then it is required to maintain it properly.

How do I avoid corrupting my SD card?

Tips to Avoid SD card corruption or damage:

  • Format the card as soon as you purchase it
  • Instead of one big card, maintain multiple small cards
  • Always safely eject the card
  • Turn off the camera or phone before removing the SD card
  • Don’t use the same card on various devices
  • Regularly scan your card to avoid virus infections

Hopefully, this article helped you to understand what makes an SD card damaged and how to know whether it is damaged. So from now on maintain your card properly and if any of the symptoms are found on your card then first recover data from a corrupt SD card and then fix it.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why did my SD card suddenly stop working?

If your memory card suddenly stops working after being used with another device, reformatting can help. Unlike computers, which can read almost any format, mobile phones, cameras, and other devices may be unable to read your SD card unless it is formatted in its own supported file system.

How do I know if my SD card is corrupted?

SD card corruption symptoms include:

  • The card is not recognized by digital cameras or other compatible devices.
  • Card readers and computers do not recognize the card as a folder that can be read.
  • When you open files on the card, they appear distorted or have an error.
  • Although the card can be viewed as a folder, not all of its files are visible.
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John Harris

Senior Editor, Content Analyst and a fan of exceptional customer service. John develops and publishes instructional and informational content regarding partition management, Windows hot-fixes, data management and computer troubleshooting.

As a tenured data recovery specialist, John shares exceptional insights and blog posts about data loss and data recovery across any storage device. With 8+ years’ experience in writing for Data Recovery for both Mac OS and Windows OS computers, he is an avid learner who always wants to polish and simplify the data recovery process. John passes his free time playing Chess and reading Science Fiction novels.

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One comment

  1. I have a SanDisk Ultra 64Gb Class 10 SDHC card. When I take ‘still’ photos, no problem – works fine – BUT when I try to take a video I get “Write Error – Check Card”! This same problem appears when I use this card on either of my two Lumix cameras!

    I have tried re-formatting the card – no difference! I understand that a Class 10 card should be fine for video, which is the only potential cause I can think of but I can find no other reference to a problem like mine online (all the others seem to be along the lines of “it simply works or it doesn’t”!).

    Any ideas?

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