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SD card saved lots of photos and video is not recognized or showing up after connected to PC? Step by step guidance here helps you find the reasons, recover data inside and repair the SD card.

SD card is convenience and welcome in digital devices like Android device, digital camera, Car DVR camera, Car GPS Navigation system and game machine. However, its convenience also make it easy to lose files inside, not recognized or other problems.
Users may meet the following notification when using the SD card or do not get any notification after connecting the SD card to computer.
require to format the disk
insert disk
Some could get back the data inside the SD card and repair the SD card. Users may need to give up the SD card and purchase a new one. Here we will provide detailed solution about how to repair the SD card not recognized or corrupted. Please find the related solutions from the list:

1. Windows shows “You need to format the disk in drive X before you can use it”

Situation analysis

There are 2 reasons could lead to such situation:

  • Reason 1: Users did not eject the SD card correctly when digital devices still saving data to the SD card.
  • Reason 2: The storage method (partition format) that the digital devices using is not supported by Windows.
However, for most users, it is the first reason lead to the situation. Also, users can find the SD card is marked with RAW in Disk Management of Windows.
disk show to be raw
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Users are possible to recover all the data in SD card and repair it for normal use. First, we need to recover data from the SD card before repairing it.

1. Recover data from SD card. (If you do not want to recover data from the SD card, please skip this sector.)

Here, we recommend data recovery software Photorec and Renee Undeleter.
Photorec is a freeware which can scan your disk and find some lost files. However, its interface is hard to understand.
select disk in photorec

- Select target disk in Photorec -

use photorec to recover deleted data from micro sd card

-Check scan result in Photorec-

The other data recovery software we recommend is Renee Undeleter. It can preview the scanned lost files before recovered when scanning process. Also, it can scan whole disk to find lost files. This can help users to confirm the quality of the recovered files.

How to recover data from SD card with Renee Undeleter

Preparation: Download and install Renee Undeleter.
press to the download buttonmac download button gif
Step 1: Launch Renee Undeleter and select “Whole Partition Recovery”.
select whole partition scan in renee undeleter
Step 2: When the software scan, you can preview the files in the scan result.
Although Renee Undeleter is a shareware, it has 20MB free recovery quota (Click here for more information). We recommend users can make use of this 20MB to ensure the recovery of important files.
preview before recovery
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2.Repair the SD card after recovery

Here we use the built-in free tool – Chkdsk to repair the SD card. Chkdsk only supports FAT and NTFS format of Windows. If your SD card is in other partition formats like HFS or ext (For Linux only), the only method is to format it.
Chkdsk will repair the file system and will directly abandon or overwrite some files or directly which is damaged seriously. So, data recovery will not work any more once users process the Chkdsk. So, please recover important data with data recovery software above before repairing the SD card.
Step 1: Press Win + S button and type “cmd” in the pop-up window. Right click “Command Prompt” and select “Run as administrator”
run command prompt as administrator in start menu
Step 2: Then please type “chkdsk X:/F”. Please modify the X to the drive letter of your SD card. And /F means fix the SD card.
Your SD card will work normally once the Chkdsk finishes.
type c to check the c disk
Step 3: If Chkdsk notifies you that there are too many error information in SD card and can not repair it, you need to format the SD card.
Please right click the SD card in “Computer” and select “Format”.
format SD card
Windows notifies you that “Windows was unable to complete the format” when you want to format the SD card. Click Solution for Windows 10/8/7 Can not format SD Card to find solution.
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2. Windows does not have any notification after connecting SD card

Situation Analysis

There are 2 reasons which can lead to this situation: one is the driver of the SD card did not install correctly and the other one is SD card has physical problem.


1. Driver of SD card did not install correctly

Sometimes, this error could be caused by the driver files got overwritten when we installed some system software. Please follow the instructions below to repair the SD card driver (This method is compatible with Windows 2k/XP/7/8/8.1/10). Please note that computer may ask you to insert the Windows installation disk under some circumstance.
incorrect sd card driver software
Step 1: Press “Win” and “S” button. Type cmd in the pop-up window. Right click “Command Prompt” and select “Run as administrator”.
run command prompt as administrator in start menu
Step 2: Type “sfc/scannow” in cmd. General error will be fixed after scan finishes.
enter sfc scannow
Step 3: Sometimes, we may receive the notification “Unable to fix some of them” when sfc/scannow finishes. 
unable to fix
If you receive this notification, please enter “Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth”. After restart, please redo the “sfc/scannow” process. And restart Windows after it finishes.
restore health
Besides, there another situation. Driver in some computers will fail to work after installing the latest Windows update (For example, the latest April 2018 update lead to Toshiba SSD fails to work. ). Once we meet such situation, we need to rollback Windows to the status before update. Please find the button in “Settings” ->”Recovery”.
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2. SD card got physical problem like circuit board gets oxidation or other problem

1). Oxidation in SD Card Pin-out make it not recognized

After a long time of no-use of the SD card, the pin-out will get oxidized. We can remove the oxic horizon with the following 3 methods:
1. [Recommended] Eraser
2. Pencil.
3. Alcohol cotton ball (Please wait it to be dried before using the device.)
sd card connecting component

2). It could be the problem of the multicard reader

Multicard reader is used to connect SD card in different interfaces. However, there are so many card reader we could find in the market and we are hard to define their quality. Some multicard readers with poor quality fails to work after a few times. If we meet such multicard reader, the only way is to purchase a new card reader.
sd card reader

3). SD card falls into water and gets short circuit

The size of the SD card is too tiny and sometimes we will forget its existence. Sometimes we may drop the SD card into water carelessly. Once we get into such situation, we may not access data inside even we dry the SD card. Here, we need further operation.
Step 1: Please do not use the SD card after you take it out from water. And dry the water at once.
dry the sd card with hair drier
Step 2: Please blow the SD card for 20 minutes with the cold mode of hair dryer.
sealable packgage
Although using SD card gets great convenience, it is easy to get damage and lead to data lost. Here, we recommend you to backup or clone data in SD card regularly with professional data backup software – Renee Becca. Click Free SD Card Backup and Restore for more information.
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3. Whether the USB ports of the PC is disable by USB block software

This is very common in company and research institution which need to prevent data leak and virus from external memory devices. Managers of such company and institution will be required to install USB block software in all computers. Such as one of the most popular software – Renee USB Block, it can lock different data transportation ports like USB ports, SD card connector, 1394, COM and LPT, etc.
Renee USB Block disable USB ports function
other data security function in Renee USB block
If you make sure that your company disable USB ports with such software, you need to apply for the permission and get the password to free the limitation.
enter the password to get access Renee USB Block
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