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A defective memory card puts the owner in a state of fear. After all, the medium contains photos from your last vacation, your favorite music and perhaps even more important files. If these are lost, it is anything but pleasant.

This article deals extensively with the subject of "defective memory cards". It not only presents symptoms by which you can recognize a damaged SD memory card, but also explains how to repair an SD card or restore its contents.

Possible causes for the memory card defect

The causes of a defective microSD card can be very diverse. A virus attack can limit functionality, as can improper ejection of the card from the PC or camera. It can also happen that the memory is accidentally formatted. Defective areas and sectors on the card can also be the trigger for the device no longer recognizing it or its content no longer being displayed.

This is how you can recognize a defective memory card

There are several symptoms that suggest that the microSD card is damaged:

  1. Suddenly, a large amount of the stored data is no longer available.
  2. The content is still there, but cannot be copied to another medium.
  3. When accessing the card or the files, an error message appears (e.g. "memory card error").
  4. The PC shows the storage medium, but no saved files are listed.
  5. An error number is displayed shortly after starting the device.
  6. The camera display is completely black so that no operation is possible.
  7. When trying to read, only the root directory of the defective memory card is displayed on the PC or notebook. If necessary, the subfolders are still displayed, but as soon as you want to open them, the message "Read error" appears. Or the subfolders are empty.
  8. The device (camera or PC) indicates that the storage medium must be formatted.

Before repairing the defective microSD card

If any of the above symptoms occur, the memory card needs to be repaired. But before that you can still do something Try something else: Most memory cards have a switch that can be used to activate or deactivate write protection. Flip this switch and see if the problem persists afterward.

In addition, you should try the supposedly defective memory card on other devices before repairing it. If it works on these, the problem is not with the card, but with the device.

Dust and other contaminants can also cause some of the above symptoms. If the microSD card is dirty, you can carefully clean it with a cotton swab or similar soaked in alcohol.

Repair defective memory card - with Windows

This section explains step by step how to fix a memory card using Windows.

  1. Insert the card into the slot provided on the PC
  2. (In Explorer) right click on the defective memory card and then select "Properties"
  3. Switch to the "Tools" tab
  4. In the “Error checking” section, click on “Check now”
  5. Windows will check the card and then perform a repair

Restore microSD card - with special programs

If the above steps have not had any effect, you can fall back on appropriate programs. One of these tools is DiskDigger. Download and install this program, and then do the following.

  1. Select the map in the open program
  2. Click "Next" until the program scans the storage medium
  3. Select the files to be rescued on the left
  4. Click on "Recover selected files"
  5. Select the storage location and confirm with "OK"

Restore a damaged memory card - directly on the mobile phone

There is also a version of DiskDigger for the rooted smartphone. With the free version you can rescue pictures and videos, with the Pro version you can also restore other files. The “rootless” version of the tool, on the other hand, can only save images with a very low resolution. The procedure for the smartphone version is the same as described above.

Recovery tools for Mac

Anyone who wants to recover deleted files on a Mac needs a program like Recovery Wizard. Download it and do the following.

  1. Insert the memory card and start the program
  2. Follow the instructions of the wizard
  3. The app shows files that can be reconstructed
  4. Select files to be rescued
  5. Select a new storage location
  6. Confirm with OK

Defective memory card? No problem with a backup!

If you want to avoid having to restore your SD card at some point, you should regularly perform a backup. This saves a lot of nerves if the memory card is defective.

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Posted on: 2017-07-27