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Summary

It is very common that SD card reader is not working after the Windows 10 upgrade or update. Next, let’s learn about how to fix SD card reader not working problem on Windows 10.



Generally, poor connection between SD card reader and SD card, not installed SD card reader driver, SD card infected with viruses could lead to SD card failed to be recognized.

Contents

Solution 1: Check the Hardware Devices Related With SD Card Reader on Windows 10

1. Check SD card reader and SD memory card

• Use an eraser to clean the connector of the memory card (SD card, microSD card, etc) and reconnect it to Windows.

• Try to connect SD card to another USB port on the PC to see if it can be recognized.

Check sd card to solve sd card reader not working
2. Make sure if your SD card is damaged

Insert another SD card into SD card reader to see if the PC can recognize it.

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Actually, comparing with SSD which also uses flash memory as storage media, SD card is much easier to get damaged. Because most SD card will not take the wear leveling technology to extend the lifespan of flash memory to get a low production cost, this will lead to the first several flash memory fail to read the data inside and even lost the data. Besides, the flash memory that used in the SD card is the low-cost one and the lifespan of such flash memory is not guaranteed.

wear leveling explanation

What is Wear Leveling
The NAND flash memory has limited number of erase cycles which will be based on the manufacturing technology. And repeated writing and erasing of the same block will lower the data transmission speed and even damage the block. Wear Leveling will balance the usage of the blocks in NAND flash memory, which will help to avoid the data being written or assessed in the same block and extend the lifespan of the storage devices.

Wear Leveling will work around the erase cycles by arranging the written data to different blocks so that to avoid specific block exceeding its erase endurance. Wear Leveling should get each of the blocks to reach its erase endurance and extend the lifespan of the flash device. In other words, Wear Leveling is designed to equalize the use of each block in the flash memory and prevent single block from wearing out or data lost. And Wear leveling could be divided into 3 different modes:

Dynamic Wear Leveling: Uses the available blocks that are free of data and select the block with the lowest erase count for the next write

Static Wear Leveling: Utilizes all good blocks to evenly distribute wear throughout the entire device. And the static data will be moved to blocks with higher erase counts while the blocks with low erase count will be included in the next write cycles.

Global Wear Leveling: Utilizes all flash memory in the storage devices and will evenly save data to blocks with low erase count.

As we can see, for SD card which does not have Wear Leveling, the beginning blocks of the flash memory will easily reach its erase cycles and get damaged. As a result, the file system of the SD card will get damaged and the SD card will fail to read or write data. Also, data inside the SD card will lost.

When we encounter data lost because of the damaged SD card, it is recommended to try the professional data recovery software – Renee Undeleter to recover data from the damaged SD card. It can help you rebuild the file system for the SD card by skipping the damaged blocks and recover the lost data from the SD card.

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3. Check the SD card reader

Just connect the SD card reader to the PC and see if there’s message about external device. It could be the problem of the SD card reader if it is not recognized.

If there is no problem with the hardware, you can try the following ways to fix the SD card reader problem.

Solution 2: Use Troubleshooter to Fix SD Card Reader Not Working on Windows 10

Troubleshooter, a built-in tool in Windows 10, can help you find out the devices problems. You can follow the steps below to run Troubleshooter and Windows 10 will automatically solve the problem of the SD card reader.
Step 1: Insert the SD card into SD card reader and connect it to USB port.
Step 2: Press “Win” + “I” key to open “Windows Settings”.
Win + I key
Step 3: Click “Update & Security”.
select update and security in windows settings
Step 4: Click “Troubleshoot” on the left panel.
Step 5: On the right panel, scroll down to the “Hardware and Devices”.
Troubleshooting
Step 6: Click “Run the troubleshooter”.
Run the troubleshooter

Solution 3: Update SD Card Reader Driver or USB Driver Program


You can open the Device Manager and see if there is a yellow triangle mark on the SD card which means the device driver can not work properly. If yes, please update the device driver.
Step 1: Connect SD card reader to the computer.
Step 2: In search box, type in: Device Manager and then click it.
Open device manager
Step 3: In “Device Manager” window, click “Disk drives”.If there is no yellow triangle mark, it means the device works properly. If it appears, it means that the SD card reader is not recognized.
Disk Drive
Step 4: Find out the target device driver, right click it and select “Uninstall device”. Then click “Uninstall”.
uninstall SD Device to fix data transfer error
Step 5: Right click “Scan for hardware changes” to refresh the device driver.
scan for hardware changes

Solution 4: Reload the SD Card Reader Driver on Windows 10

Step 1: Press “Win” + “R” key to open “Run” window.
press win and r button
Step 2: Type in: devmgmt.msc. Press “Enter”.
open device manager
Step 3: In “Device Manager” window, click “Disk drives”. Find out the SD card reader and double click it.
Disk Drive
Step 4: Select the “Driver” tap and then click “Disable Device”.
disable SD device to solve sd card reader not working
Step 5: Make sure if you disable the device. Click “Yes”.
Step 6: Next, click the “Disk drives” again and double click the target SD card reader. Select the “Driver” tap and click “Enable Device”.
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Supported file types Image, video, audio, text, email and so on;

Easy to use Recover data by 3 steps and support to preview scan results;

Multiple scan modes Fast partition/whole partition/whole disk scan.

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Multiple scan modes Fast partition/whole partition/whole disk scan;

Supported devices SD card/USB/hard disk, etc.

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Solution 5: Recover Data and Format the SD Card

If above ways can’t fix the SD card reader not working problem, it’s suggested to use Renee Undeleter to scan and recover the SD card. And then format it to fix the compatibility issue. It only works for the recognized SD card.

Renee Undeleter, an effective data recovery software, is not only user-friendly but also with many optional advanced features which can retrieve your lost important files like videos, photos, documents, etc. from all kinds of memory devices and PC. Just perform three steps and your important files or photos will be recovered quickly!

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Step 1: Download Renee Undeleter. Click “Whole Partition Scan”.
select whole partition scan in renee undeleter
Step 2: While scanning for files, you can select and preview the files that need to be recovered. After scan finish, please click “Recover”.
Renee Undeleter allows you to recover 20MB missing files for free. (Want to recover more data?) It’s suggested to recover important files under 20MB at first.
preview before recovery
After recovering SD card, you can repair it via Command Prompt.
Step 1: Press “Win” + “S” to open Search box.
press Win+S key
Step 2: In search box, type in: cmd. Right click “Command Prompt and select “Run as administrator”.
run command prompt as administrator in start menu
Step 3: Type in: chkdsk E: /F. Press “Enter”. You can change the drive letter such as F:, D:, etc.
check disk