How to Fix SD Card won’t Read

How to Fix SD Card won’t Read

SD cards are a convenient means of storage. When you are working with an SD card, you may encounter this issue where your computer is not reading the SD card. You may see messages like “Read/Write error on SD card,” or “Unable to read memory card,” etc., or your PC won’t be able to detect and show the card in your file explorer.

This error can happen on any device, any platform, and you will not get access to the data stored in the SD card. Today, we will discuss why your SD card is not reading and how you can resolve this issue.

5 Methods to Fix SD Card won’t Read on My PC

There are several reasons why your SD card is not reading. Some of them are connection issues, physical damage, locked SD cards, no drive letter is assigned to the card, etc. Here are five ways by which you can fix this issue.

  1. Check your SD card reader and USB Port

One of the primary reasons behind the problem is Memory chip not reading is a connection issue. There is a chance that your external or built-in SD card reader may be faulty, or one of your USB ports is not working.

Use another external SD card reader and see if your PC can read the chip. If your built-in SD card reader is not working, try accessing it from some other computer.

Your USB port might be faulty as well. On any desktop or laptop, there is more than one USB port. So,try inserting your SD card reader into another USB port and see if it works.

If none of these works, that means your SD card is faulty.

  1. Assign a Drive Letter

Another reason why your computer is not reading your SD card is due toyour SD card’s partition not having a drive letter assigned to it. In that case, your computer will detect the SD card, but it will not be visible in your File Explorer.

In that case, you will need to assign a letter to that partition. Here is how you can do so.

Step 1: Open the Start menu and search for Disk Management (you can also find it as “Create and format hard disk partitions”). Open it.

Step 2: You will see lots of volumes in the interface. Look for the Memory chip and right-click on it. A menu will pop up.

Step 3: Click on “Change Drive Letter and Paths.” A window will open up where you can change or assign a drive letter to the selected drive. Choose any letter and press OK.

Step 4: Restart your PC and reconnect the SD card to access the content.

Note: You may have a hard time finding out which is the partition for the SD card. In that case, try to identify it by looking at the size of each partition and see which one matches your SD card’s description.

  1. Put Your PC in Idle State

Your computer might not be able to read your SD card if there is not much free memory in your PC. In that case, your SD card may not be visible in the drive list even if a drive letter is assigned to it.

Open Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc. Close all remaining programs and keep your PC in an idle state for some time. You may even close some background applications using Task Manager. 

Keep an eye on the RAM usage and once there is enough free memory, try connecting your SD card again.

Keeping the device idle for some time to free up RAM is also helpful if your phone is not reading your SD card.

  1. Format your SD Card

This is the ultimate fix for unreadable SD cards. This will not only resolve this issue but also make your memory card reusable. There are two ways to format your SD card. Choose anyone solution among them.

Case 1: If SD Card is Not Showing in File Explorer

Step 1: Open the Start menu and search for Disk Management (you can also find it as “Create and format hard disk partitions”). Open it.

Step 2: You will see lots of volumes in the interface. Look for the SD card and right-click on it. A menu will pop up.

Step 3: On the menu, click on Format. A small window will open up. Select the file system. You will get three options – NTFS, FAT32, and exFAT. 

Step 4: Then select the allocation unit size and press OK. 

Step 5: Assign a drive letter and restart your PC. Insert the SD card again after restarting your PC.

Case 2: If SD Card is Showing in File Explorer

Step 1: Connect your SD card with your PC and open This PC from the start menu or by pressing Windows + E.

Step 2: Under Devices and drives, right-click on the SD card, and a menu will open up. Click on Format.

Step 3: A Format window will pop up. Select the file system from one of the three options and press Start. Whether you perform Quick Format or not is up to you.

Note: Formatting your SD card will fix all your errors. But it comes with a price. All your data will be deleted once you format it. So, you will need to take a backup of your data beforehand. However, since your computer is not reading your SD card, you will need to rely on a dedicated recovery tool that can detect your SD card and recover the data. That is what we are going to talk about in the next fix.

  1. Recover Files from the SD Card

Sometimes, your computer may detect the SD card but won’t be able to display it in the file explorers. In that case, you will need to rely on a data recovery software that would seamlessly extract all the contents in any storage device and save them somewhere else.

When it comes to data recovery tools, nothing is better than Wondershare Recoverit. It is a dedicated data recovery software that can extract data from any disk drive – no matter whether it is showing in your file explorer or not.

Here is how you can recover your data when the computer is not reading the SD card.

Step 1: Download Wondershare Recoverit for Desktop from here and install it. Once you install the program, this screen will show up.

How to Fix SD Card won’t Read

Select your SD card from External Devices.

Step 2: After you have selected the location, Recoverit will scan for all the files present in the SD card. The scanning time may vary on the storage size or the number of large files, or the reading speed of the SD card. 

How to Fix SD Card won’t Read

You will also get the option to pinpoint files by setting the path, type, and some other fields. If you want, you can even stop the scanning.

Step 3: Once the search is complete, select the files that you want to recover and click on Recover. A window will pop up, which will show you a preview of the files. 

How to Fix SD Card won’t Read

Click on Recover again and save the contents of your SD card in your desired location.

That is all you need to do to recover the files present on your SD card. Now you can disconnect the SD card or format it.

Take Actions to Avoid PC Not Reading SD Card

Even though there are lots of options to fix the problem of SD cards not reading on your PC, you should still take measures so that it does not happen in the first place.

  1. Avoid Physical Damage

If your SD card gets damaged too much, then it will be beyond repair. So, your PC won’t be able to detect the card. There is a chance that you can recover all your lost contents by taking the help of professional data recovery services that can recover data even from damaged devices, but there is no guarantee.

So, you must always keep your SD cards in a secure place so that they do not get damaged no matter what. You can use a simple hard plastic box to store all your SD cards in one place.

  1. Use Antivirus Software

Sometimes malicious software can invade your SD card when you insert it intoan infected device. In that case, it can corrupt your SD card, which can cause it to be undetectable. So, always use good antivirus software to look out for malware and get rid of them.

Wrapping Up

The problem of SD cards not detecting in a computer is a serious headache. You may have important data in your SD card, and losing them can be a disaster. That is why you should keep your SD cards in a safe place since they are brittle. You can try the methods we mentioned toget all lost data back. And do not forget to check out WondershareRecoverit to get all lost data back.

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