How to Revive an Error-Prone SD Card?

Is your SD card troubling you with error messages or doesn’t mount on your computer quickly? Well, SD cards, like any other devices are prone to throw error messages and corruption for various reasons. We had a reader who recently came with a similar query. This is what he said:

“My SD card takes a lot of time to get detected by my Windows PC. Earlier it used to mount instantly. I have used this card extensively and exclusively for my camera. When I took it out plugged it to my PC with a card reader, it took forever to mount. Is there any way to revive its speed? Or should I say my final Goodbye to it?”

Well, most of the time it may seem like a card problem, but it can be card reader problem as well. First, check your card reader. If it is working fine, then definitely it’s the problem with the SD card. Now, without wasting we’ll straight away go to the solution.

There are two ways to freshen your SD card. Let’s see what they are and when to use them:


Almost all of us, do not remove the SD card or other removable devices properly. When an external storage device is removed improperly, a small bit is set to point out the OS, that the device was removed improperly, and consecutively leaves the operating system to use more time in analyzing the device when you mount it again. Additionally, not ejecting the device safely can also lead to poor performance and card corruption.

One way to fix the problems that you created by poor practices of handling SD cards is to perform ‘CHKDSK’ on the card. When you insert the SD card next time and if you are prompted by Windows to ‘scan and fix’ the SD card, proceed with it and let Windows look after things. If Windows doesn’t prompt, you can launch the CHKDSK from the command prompt. Go to command-prompt and type chkdsk /f /r X, where X is the drive number of the SD card.

Though CHKDSK will solve many of the SD card problems which are used heavily and especially those which are not ejected properly, we cannot guarantee that this is ‘The Tool’ to revitalize your SD cards. If you want to retrieve data from your SD card beforehand taking any extreme step, using CHKDSK have to be your foremost resolution. If you are ready to erase it clean and give it a fresh start, then we’ll move on to the second method.

Use SD Formatter

A quick-scan from CHKDSK should solve many problems but for fresh restart formatting, the SD card is the best way. There are basic formatting tools available within Windows or other OS that works all right for removable disks and internal hard drives. But for SD cards, it can be little fussy as they consist some features that are not present in basic storage devices like USB drives.

If you format your SD with basic formatting tools, your SD card may not become inoperable but will work less efficiently.

In order to get best results, that is, the best format which also follows the standards of the “SD/SDHC/SDXC card conventions”, you can pitch into a convenient ‘SDFormatter Tool’ which is free of cost provided by the SD Association. It is both available for Windows and OSX.


After formatting, your SD card should function like a new one. If you are still facing issues with regard to mounting or corruption, it may be because your card reached its end of the life. It’s time to let go of it and buy a new one. In case, you haven’t backed up the data before formatting, or corrupted media files, you can vouch on a tool to recover SD card data, which does an exception job of retrieving media files be it images, videos or audio files.

How to Revive an Error-Prone SD Card? was last modified: April 24th, 2017 by John Harris

Customer Evangelist @remosoftware. Trying to perfect the art of writing while running a business. Fan of exceptional customer service.

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