By Emily / Last Updated October 25, 2019

Major signs when SD card gets corrupted

In the paperless era, the SD card has become a popular storage media for individuals to store data. However, they are easy to get damaged due to sudden removal during files transferring, incorrect formatting operations, bad sectors, virus attack, and some other unknown reasons.

In general, your SD card is bound to get corrupt or damaged if you find the below signs on Windows computer:

  • A black screen pops out when you try to access it, along with an error message “SD card is not accessible. The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable.”

  • You can see the contents on your SD card, but cannot make any changes like adding, deleting, copying or saving data on it since the disk is write protected (also called read only).

  • When you attempt to read the SD card on computer, it does not open and shows error messages “Read / Write error on SD card”.

  • Your SD card is recognized by your computer, but you couldn't access stored files,and receivean error message “SD card is not formatted. Do you want to format it now?”.

  • The SD card shows 0 bytes used space and 0 bytes free space in Properties.

How to format corrupted SD card in Windows 10?

To make the corrupted and inaccessible SD card work again, a guaranteed fix is to format the SD card. Usually, you can format an SD card via Disk Management and File Explorer. But for a corrupted SD card, there are chances that you will fail in those two formatting methods. No need to worry since there are other two methods you can try.

Warning: If there are something important stored within it, please first recover them using a data recovery program like Recoverit Pro. That’s because formatting process will delete all data from the SD card.

Method 1. Forcefully format corrupted SD card with Command Prompt

Diskpart is a great alternative to Disk Management and File Explorer when they don’t work well in formatting hard drive. To format corrupted SD card with CMD, take the steps below:

Step 1. Connect the corrupted SD card to your computer. Click “Start” button and input “cmd” in the “Search” box, right click “Command Prompt” and select “Run as administrator”.

Step 2. In the CMD window, type “diskpart” and press Enter.

Step 3. Execute the following commands in given order.

  • list disk: you will see a list of all storage devices connected to yoru computer.

  • select disk: here we select disk 1 as an example.

Warning: Make sure you enter the right number or you will format the wrong disk and lose data.

  • clean

  • create partition primary

  • format fs=ntfs quick


Method 2. Powerful software to format corrupted SD card (Recommended)

Diskpart is a great tool to manage disk partitions, but it comes with some limitations. For example, it cannot format SD card larger than 32GB to FAT32 and reports an error: the volume is too big for FAT32.

So you may need one more powerful software like AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. This freeware allows you to format large SD card or other hard drives to FAT32 easily. Furthermore, it can SD card that is write-protected due to damaged file systems, RAW drives to a compatible file system in Windows 10/8/7/XP/Vista.

To format corrupted SD card:

Step 1. Download, install and open AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard on your Windows computer. Right click the damaged SD card and select “Format Partition”.

Format Partitoin

Step 2. Choose a proper file system for your requirements (ex: FAT32) and hit on “OK”.

Fat32 128gb Usb

Step 3. Click “Apply” to commit the pending operation.


How can we repair SD card without formatting?

Although you can force format corrupted SD card with Command Prompt, you might also want to know how to repair a corrupted SD card without formatting when you don’t want to lose everything on it. In this case, you can try the following quick fixes:

1. Try another USB port or use it on another computer

If the USB port itself is damaged and causes SD card not getting recognized or inaccessible, you can try another USB port. Besides, you can also try connecting your SD card to another computer to check whether you are able to access the data stored on it.

2. Check and fix bad sectors on SD card

When there is bad sector on your SD card, you might also be unable to access it. Thus, you can execute “chkdsk g:/f /r /x” command in Command Prompt to check and fix possible bad sectors on it. Replace “g” with your SD card drive letter.

Chkdsk Check Error

3. Assign a new drive letter to the unreadable SD card

Sometimes your computer is unable to assign drive letters (like C, D, E) to your SD card. Then you cannot access the files, either. To resolve this issue, you can assign the drive letter to your storage device manually in Disk Management.

Add Drive Letter

4. Reinstall the disk driver through Device Manager

There are times when the drivers that run your SD card get corrupted and your PC will not be able to detect the storage media. You can reinstall drivers and fix a corrupted SD card via Device Manager:

5. Remove write protection from the SD card

At last, if your corrupted SD card is write-protected, you can run “attributes disk clean readonly” command in Command Prompt, or change the registry value to remove write protection attribute from SD card.

Sum it up

This is all about how to format corrupted SD card with Command Prompt and AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. You can also get information on how to repair SD card without formatting. AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is a great SD card repair tool.

If upgrade to Pro edition, you can manage your disk more flexibly. For example, you will be able to convert dynamic disk to basic without losing data, convert system disk from MBR to GPT and vice versa while keeping data safe, allocate free space from one partition to another and more. For Windows Server users, there is AOMEI Partition Assistant Server available.