SD (Solid State Digital) cards are astounding bits of technology. Especially when it comes to the little, fingernail-sized Micro versions. These little cards can contain tens, hundreds and even thousands of gigabytes of data!
Unfortunately, the little size of SD cards comes with a price. Not only can SD cards be fragile and simple to lose, but they even have a horrible tendency to halt working or offer corrupted versions of your data.
If that’s happened to you, let’s check out the way to recover data from a damaged SD card.
Is My SD Card Corrupted?
Before we glance at recovering a corrupted SD card, let’s quickly point out the symptoms that indicate that your SD card is really corrupted at the first place.
Here are some common signs that your SD card has been corrupted:
- You can see the files on the card, but can’t read and/or write to them
- The SD card shows up as empty, even though you know there are files there
- You can see files such as photos, but when you open them they are corrupted
- Copying from the card shows an impossible completion time, usually ending in copy failure
- The Windows 10 Disk Management Tool shows the drive but says it’s empty or unreadable
If that’s the behavior you’re seeing, chances are high that your data has become corrupt or the SD card itself is in trouble.
Before attempting data recovery or doing something drastic like formatting the SD card, there are a couple of basic diagnostic steps you ought to go for so that you recognize which device is truly the problem.
- Try the SD card in another device
- Try a known working SD card within the same device
- Try reading the SD card with a special reader
- Try reading the SD card via the first device employing a cable
If the problem is indeed the SD card, then read on for further advice.
SD Card Issues Vs Corrupted Writes
It’s entirely possible that your SD card is simply fine, but that the device that reads and writes data from the memory messed up somehow. Maybe it lost power while writing or there’s another problem with it.
In these cases, after you’ve recovered what data you’ll be able to, you’ll be able to simply reformat the card to make it usable.
Fake SD Cards
If this is a brand new SD card or one that you’ve never really filled up before. There’s an opportunity that you’ve actually bought a fake SD card. “Fake” in the sense that the capacity you were sold isn’t what’s actually on the memory card.
Fake SD cards are a plague of recent technology. Since small capacity SD cards are so cheap but larger ones are persistently costlier, scammers create cards that report false capacities. So, for instance, your “128GB” SD card might only have 16 GB of actual capacity.
What happens is that when that 16GB SD card fills up, the cardboard just starts overwriting the primary data in a loop.
This can actually fool us for an extended time since we’re likely to examine only the most recent files we’ve saved or may not reach the utmost capacity of the real SD size for quite a while.
If you think that your SD card is fake instead of corrupted, try using one of the various fake SD card testers available for download. FakeFlashTest is one popular solution which will tell you if your SD card is simply broken or actually counterfeit.
Use a Disk Checker Tool
Sometimes it’s not your actual SD card or data that’s gone corrupt, but something about the card’s file system. Simply using the disk checker tool in your OS can recover data from a corrupted SD card. Windows 10 users can follow the below steps:
- Open Windows Explorer
- Right-click on the drive in question
- Click on Properties
- Select Tool
- Click on Check
- Follow the next instructions
If your actual data isn’t damaged and therefore the SD card is physically fine, the disk checker will rebuild its logical structure and therefore the disk should be usable again.
If the card isn’t working properly, the disk checker will prompt you.
Using Specialized Recovery Software
If none of your DIY diagnostics yields any results and therefore the SD card still displays once you insert it, then think about using specialized SD card data recovery software.
These software packages go round the limitations of the typical drive management standards and examine the SD card bit-by-bit using brute force methods.
Sometimes you’ll recover corrupted data fully by this manner or a minimum of recovery of files of your data partially Which is best than losing all of it.
However, these programs can’t perform the duties of “God”. If the data has been physically destroyed or can’t be accessed the least bit, then there really is nothing the software can do.
A good place to start out is Recuva, an excellent general-purpose data recovery tool that has saved our own data repeatedly in the past.
Hire an Experienced Recovery Specialist
Let’s say that the data on your SD card is totally critical. Perhaps you only filmed a once-in-a-lifetime event for a very important project and after you got home it seems the SD card doesn’t want to work or the info is unreadable.
When data is effective , you’ll want to contemplate getting the assistance of an information recovery specialist to recover data from a corrupted SD card.
These companies have access to equipment and software far beyond the common consumer. They’ll rebuild broken hardware components and directly read data from the media.
This includes not only common corruption errors but electronics failure, chip failure, fire damage, water damage, physical damage and regarding anything you can think of.
Sounds great, right? Well, it certainly is, but engaging the services of those specialists is pricey, therefore the data in question must be worth it to you.
Prevention Is Always The Best
Look, you’re probably reading this writing because you’ve suffered a loss when it involves your corrupted SD cards. Hopefully one among the solutions above has recovered some or maybe all of your data.
However, sometimes data is just lost forever. So to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of SD data loss again, consider doing the following:
- Use automated cloud storage to copy SD card data like photos or videos
- Manually use services like Google One, DropBox or OneDrive
- Move SD card contents from devices like drones and cameras to your computer ASAP
- Keep a minimum of two copies of irreplaceable data in two separate places
- Only buy high-quality SD cards from reputable brands if data integrity is critical
SD cards are moderately sturdy, but they still seem to corrupt more often than other kinds of solid-state storage. Particularly if you use them in applications where they’re written too constantly.