How to fix corrupted SD card on Windows

The SD card is commonly used in daily life. Many Android phones choose the SD card to expand the capacity. Also, the digital camera uses the SD card for storage. Nevertheless, it can be corrupted for some reason and sometimes, the SD card is not showing up  on your computer. How to repair a corrupted SD card to make it function again? Let’s dive into the solutions directly. 


Solutions to fix a corrupted SD card  

When you try to use a corrupted SD card, such scenarios can happen: 

  • No pictures are shown on your digital camera and the computer 

  • Windows 10 will send out messages like ‘File or directory is corrupted and unreadable’ or 'The disk is not formatted. Do you want to format it now?' 


Once you encounter the above issues, the first thing is to stop using the SD card immediately. What’s more, don’t recklessly format your disk since you still want to keep the data within, right? How to properly deal with this situation? Just follow the solutions below and you’ll know what to do. 


Solution 1: Try a different SD card reader or computer 


Occasionally, the SD card is not working on Windows 10 or 8 due to the card reader. You can find a well-functioning SD card reader in Device Management.  




If not, you just need to try your SD card with a new SD card reader. If the SD card is read by the new card reader now, perhaps you have to get rid of the old one.  


Solution 2: Check the corrupted SD card in Disk Management 


Disk Management is a system utility in Windows that enables you to perform advanced storage tasks. For example, you can set up a new drive, shrink a partition, extend a basic volume, and so on. Therefore, you can resort to Disk Management to fix your corrupted SD card. Here are several situations you may see: 


  • SD card doesn’t have a drive letter 


All drives need to be assigned a drive letter before putting in use on Windows. So, if your SD card fails to own one, it won’t be read by Windows. How to assign a drive letter? 

Step 1: Right click My Computer or This PC -> Manage -> Storage -> Disk Management. 

Step 2: Find the SD card and check if you can see the drive letter. 



Step 3: Right click and check if the "Change Drive Letter and Paths..." option is available from the context menu. 

Step 4: Click Add and follow the wizard to assign a drive letter to this SD card. 



  • SD card is showing RAW file system 


Generally speaking, most SD cards are FAT32 or exFAT formatted. However, somehow your SD card is shown RAW file system in Disk Management. You will get a message like "You need to format this disk before you can use it". It means that the file system of your SD card is corrupted and that’s why your PC can’t recognize it. To fix this issue, you can consider formatting your SD card. However, formatting will wipe out all your previous data and in case you have important files on the disk, you should recover the data first. To do this, special data recovery software can help you out and iBoysoft Data Recovery for Windows is the one we recommend. Here’s how you use it: 

Step 1: Free download, install and launch iBoysoft Data Recovery on your computer. 

Step 2: Select your SD card from the Drives list and click "Next" to scan for data on this drive. 


Step 3: You will see the scanning result in the left sidebar and you can preview them to ensure the condition of these files. 

Step 4: Choose files you want to get back and click "Recover" to recover them. Remember to save them to another healthy drive. 

Once the files have been settled down, you are good to go for formatting:  


Step 1: Right-click "My Computer" (or "This Computer") on the desktop, and click Manage option. 


Step 2: Choose Disk Management and select your SD card and right-click it. 


Step 3: Select Format... and choose a file system on the pop-up Format window. 


Step 4: Check Perform a quick format and click OK, and then waiting for the SD card to be formatted. 


You can also use CMD to format the card, but it’s not suggested since it’s too technical for normal users.  



  • SD card is not showing full size 


One more possibility is that the SD card is not showing full size or it’s not even visible in Disk Management. In this case, the SD card might be physically damaged and if there are important files you want to recover, you may go find a local recovery specialist for help. Wish you good luck. 


How to avoid SD card corruption? 


SD card is easy to carry and frequently used in daily life, meanwhile, it’s also fragile. To avoid an SD card corruption, you can take these tips into consideration: 

  • Eject an SD card on the computer by Safe Removal. 

  • Use different SD cards on different devices. 

  • Handle it gently and don’t keep it in your pocket.