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How to Repair Damaged/Corrupted Memory Card and Recover Data

Here you can learn how to fix or repair damaged memory card by using CMD command line and how to recover data from corrupted memory card by using third-party memory card recovery software with simple steps.

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Table of Contents

Popular memory cards include the SD card, CF card, xD-Picture card, and Memory Stick. Those devices may get damaged due to various reasons such as an incorrect removal of the memory card, virus attacks, or some other unknown reasons. The accident usually comes with error messages like "memory card error", "card locked", "memory card not formatted error", or an error code on your camera screen and results in a terrible data loss disaster. So, how to repair damaged memory card and recover your data becomes quite important if you happen to encounter such a problem.

Here on this page, we will show you how to repair and recover corrupted memory card in detail.

Part 1: Damaged Memory Card Can Be Recognized (3 Solutions)

If your computer can still detect or recognizes the damaged memory card, you can repair the card with three effective solutions.

Solution 1: Recover Data from Damaged/Corrupted Memory Card at First

Since there is a risk of data loss with memory card fixing, we strongly recommend that you export and back up your data using professional data recovery software before disk restoration.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is able to recover lost files in most data loss cases. You can try it to recover your photos, videos, music files, and documents if the corrupted memory card can appear as a drive letter in "This PC".  

  • Recover deleted, formatted, and inaccessible data in different data loss situations.
  • Recover data from emptied Recycle Bin, memory card, USB flash drive, digital camera, and camcorder.
  • Recover photos, audio, music, and emails from any storage effectively, safely, and completely.

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.4

Step 1. Connect the SD card, memory card, or CF Card to your computer and launch EaseUS memory card recovery software on your PC. The SD card will be listed under the Devices section. Choose the SD card and click "Scan" to start looking for your lost data.

select a location and click scan

Step 2. The software will start a scan automatically. The scan is powerful enough to find all lost files that even lost file names. After the scanning process, you can find deleted items from the tree-view panel on the left. Then, click "Filter" if you are looking for a specific file type, like photos, documents, videos or emails.

scan and preview the memory/SD/CF card files

Step 3. You can directly double-click the files to preview the content. After this, you can choose wanted files and click "Recover" to restore them to a secure location on your PC or other external storage devices.

recover memory/SD/CF card files

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.4

Solution 2: Repair Damaged Memory Card Using CMD 

Once you have damaged your memory card, stop further operations on the memory card (e.g. taking new pictures, or deleting or formatting the memory card). And using the CMD command line is the first way you can try to repair damaged memory card without formatting. The following is the detailed guide.

(This method is also available to fix damaged USB flash drive.)

Step 1: Insert your memory card into a USB memory card reader and plug it into your computer. 

Step 2: Go to the start menu, type cmd, right-click it and select "Run as administrator".

Step 3: Enter the following command (chkdsk e: /f /r /x). "e" means the drive letter of the memory card you want to repair.

repair memory card using cmd

CMD Alternative

Download EaseUS CleanGenius and install it on your computer. Let's start checking and refixing file system error on your device now.

Step 1. Click "File Showing" to enter the next step.

click file showing

Step 2. Choose the target device and tick the box of "Check and fix file system error". Click "Execute" to start fixing the problematic device.

select device and check fix file system error

Step 3. When the fixing process completes, click "here" to open and use your device. 

After fixing file system error, click to open and use device

After following the above steps, you might get a message, saying "Windows has made corrections to the file system" in the command window. That means the damaged memory card is successfully fixed. 

Solution 3: Try Checking and Fixing the Memory Card

If solution 1 fails to work, you can try the "Check" option. This option will check the drive for file system errors. Here are the details:

Step 1: Connect the memory card to your PC.

Step 2: Go to My Computer > The memory card.

Step 3: Right-click the memory card and go to "Properties > Tools > Check".

check the memory card error

Let the scan process complete, then close the scan window. Right-click the icon of the memory card and click "Eject". Then remove the SD card. Then, you can connect the memory card to your PC to check if it works.

Part 2: Corrupted Memory Card Cannot Be Recognized (2 Solutions)

Things could be a little bit difficult if your memory card is not recognized by the PC. This means that there is something wrong with your card reader or the card is physically damaged. There are two ways to solve this case.

1 - Change the Card Reader

A memory card reader is a device for accessing the data on a memory card. Most card readers also offer the write capability, and together with the card, this can function as a pen drive. If your memory cannot be recognized, change the card reader. Then, try again, to see whether it is deleted or not.

Tips for choosing a card reader:

  • Portability and overall ease of use
  • Supported card types: The more card types the better.
  • Speed: USB 3.0 high-speed transfer rates.

change memory card reader

2 - Ask Experts for Help (Might Cost a Lot)

If the internal storage of the memory card is damaged, your only option is to take the drive to professional repair service. The storage medium of the SD card and the USB flash drive is different from that of the hard disk. If it is a physical failure, it is hard to fix. What's worse, the data will also get lost forever. You need to know this consequence in advance. But you can still try to recover data from a memory card using EaseUS data recovery software.

Also read: Top 10 SD Card Recovery Software in 2020


If your memory card or SD card gets corrupted or damaged, you can get full help from this page. In addition to repairing the corrupted memory card, you can also learn tips to protect your memory card.

  • Never remove your memory card while turning on/off your camera or other devices.
  • Never remove your memory card while saving and viewing a photograph.
  • Never change your memory card when the camera is on.

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Updated by Cedric

Cedric Grantham is one of the senior editors of EaseUS who lives and works in Chengdu, China. He mainly writes articles about data recovery tutorials on PC and Mac and how-to tips for partition management. He always keeps an eye on new releases and likes various electronic products.

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Written by Roxanne

Roxanne is one of the main contributors to EaseUS and has created multiple posts on digital devices like PCs, Mobile phones, tablets, Mac, etc. She loves to share ideas with people of the same interest.

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