How to Recover Data From a Corrupted SD Card on Android and Fix It

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Fix corrupted android sd cardSD cards serve a variety of useful functions. One such use is expanded storage for your mobile device. An SD card card can hold all sorts of files, but they’re especially useful for holding photos taken from your phone.

Nonetheless, they are still vulnerable to corruption. If your SD card has become corrupted, it may no longer be immediately readable to your Android device, or any device for that matter. This article will show you how to fix a corrupted SD card on Android.

Signs of Android SD Card Corruption

When your phone’s SD card becomes corrupted, it typically means the memory card is no longer accessible due to some form of logical damage. You can identify corruption by looking for a handful of common symptoms.

  • Slow performance– Corruption can increase the amount of time it takes for your phone’s operating system to locate and access data from the SD card.
  • Disappearing files– You may notice that some of your files are no longer appearing where they should be. While they may still physically reside on the SD card, corruption can stop your phone from locating and accessing your files.
  • Read/write errors– If you try to open a file from your SD card, you may be prompted with a warning that states the file is either inaccessible or damaged. Moreover, you may encounter this message when trying to save new data to the memory card.

Knowing what corruption looks like is the first step in understanding how to repair SD cards in Android.

How to Recover Data From a Corrupted Android SD Card

To fix a corrupted SD card on Android is a delicate process. You risk losing your data in the process. Therefore, you should consider recovering the data from your phone SD card before attempting any fixes.

Corrupted SD card recovery involves the use of data recovery software, such as Disk Drill that’s available on Windows and Mac. Disk Drill is a data recovery application that specializes in the recovery of files from SD cards, as well as other forms of storage media like hard drives, solid-state drives, and flash storage. In just a few clicks, you can have your data back in no time.

Disk Drill works on most forms of storage media. It’s popularly used to recover lost.dir files from a mobile device that has suffered from data loss.

Before you start, take your SD card out of your Android device and connect it to your computer using a card reader.

  1. Download, install, and launch Disk Drill.
  2. Select your corrupted memory card. The name may vary depending on the actual SD card you use. Click Search for lost data.Scanning the corrupted SD card.
  3. Click Review found items when the scan has finished.Reviewing what Disk Drill found.
  4. Select all of the files you want to recover. The Recovery chances column indicates your chances of success when recovering that file. Click Recover when ready.Recovering files from a corrupted SD card.
  5. Select the output location and click OK.Specifying the output location.

How to Fix a Corrupted Android SD Card Without Software

Corruption in an SD card will present many SD card errors. Disappearing files and slow performance are among the top corrupted SD card problems that users face. Thankfully, there are multiple solutions on how to fix a corrupted SD card on an Android phone.

Method 1: Repair with CheckDisk (CHKDSK)

CHKDSK is a command included with Windows that can scan your SD card for logical and physical errors. When used with additional parameters, it can also attempt to fix the discovered errors, depending on their severity. 

You can use CHKDSK for Android by connecting your corrupted SD card and pointing the command towards it. The below instructions will show you how to repair an SD card in Android using CHKDSK.

  1. Right-click Start and click PowerShell (Admin). If prompted by UAC for confirmation, click Yes.Opening PowerShell.
  2. Type chkdsk D: /f. Replace D: with the drive letter associated with your corrupted SD card. Press Enter.Using CHKDSK in PowerShell.

The /f parameter locates and fixes any errors found on the corrupted SD card. Removing this parameter will still perform the scan, though no errors will be fixed. Once the command has finished running, check your SD card to see if the corruption has been removed.

Method 2: Format on PC

Reformatting your memory card is useful if your phone says the SD card is corrupted as it can effectively remove any corruption that’s present. When you format an SD card, you’re deleting all of the data that’s on it and refreshing the file system. 

We’re going to be performing a Quick Format instead of a Full Format. A Quick Format is significantly faster than a Full Format, but a Full Format does a more thorough job at removing the data (resulting in it often becoming unrecoverable). Use the below instructions to repair Micro SD card on Android by formatting it.

  1. Right-click Start and click Disk Management.Opening Disk Management.
  2. Right-click the volume on your corrupted SD card and click Format.Formatting the corrupted SD card.
  3. Give the SD card a name and change the File system to FAT32. Ensure Perform a quick format is ticked and press OK.Finalizing the format.

Method 3: Format on Android

If you don’t have a computer handy, or if you’d just prefer to work on your phone directly, you can fix your corrupted SD card Android without a PC. To do this, you will be formatting the SD card directly from your Android device. 

This process may look slightly different depending on your device and Android version. Remember that the process of formatting your SD card will delete all of the data on it. Follow the below instructions to repair the corrupted SD card on Android 11.

  1. Open Settings.Opening Android settings.
  2. Tap Battery and device care.Accessing the Battery and Device Care section.
  3. Tap Storage.Accessing the Storage settings.
  4. Tap the three dots at the top right, then tap Advanced.Advanced storage settings.
  5. Tap on your SD card.
  6. Finally, tap Format.

Protect Your SD Card From Corruption

Your SD card can become corrupted at any point. Because of this, you should take care of your data and protect it so it’s safeguarded from any data loss situations that arise.

  • Make backups– Making backups of your data is the most effective way you can protect it. In the event of data loss, you can simply restore a copy of the working file and proceed as normal.
  • Remove safely– When removing the SD card from your Android device, make sure there are no active write processes in progress. Ideally, power down your mobile device before removing the SD card to avoid incomplete data.
  • Replace bad cards– If problems repeatedly appear on your SD card, even after being repaired, it may be time to replace it. Back up your data and replace your memory cards as soon as problems arise to reduce the risk of data loss as they will worsen over time.

Taking care of your SD card reduces the risk of you encountering an SD card-related problem.

Conclusion

Going forward, if your SD card becomes corrupted on Android, you’re equipped with the knowledge to recover the data on it yourself. Additionally, using the methods outlined in this article, you can fix SD card errors on android without much trouble.

Jordan Jamieson-Mane is a content writer with a passionate interest in technology, often producing content relating to hardware, data recovery, and consumer electronics. When he's not writing, he's discovering music and working on his own websites.
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12 years experience in software development, database administration, and hardware repair.