SD cards are used to store data such as photos, files, videos, etc. What if your SD card got corrupted suddenly and you haven’t yet transferred the data in it to another storage device? MiniTool provides you with several practical ways to recover photos from a corrupted SD card.

As we moved into the Internet era, digital data storage devices become more and more popular. SD cards are one of the most portable and low-cost storage media. SD cards are small but they can enlarge other devices’ storage greatly. Scientists have invented microSD cards to further improve convenience. You can use an SD card in your digital camera, music player, smartphone, or other devices.

But digital devices are facing many dangers that may make them corrupt and lead to data loss. What to do if your SD card gets damaged suddenly? How can you recover pictures from a damaged SD card safely? Please keep reading to find answers.

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Causes for SD Card Corruption

As you know, digital devices are not always safe. These devices may be attacked by viruses or malware, causing your files lost or corrupted. Sometimes, you might find your storage devices got corrupted suddenly while you don’t know the specific reason.

Thus, before starting to recover files from a corrupted SD card, I will show you several possible causes of SD card corruption.

  • Malware attack: malicious software or viruses might cause file corruption, so the operating system can’t read the affected files. You may also find pictures or other files saved in your SD card disappeared for no reason. In this case, you can think about the attack of malicious software.
  • File system error: unexpected shutdown and improper ejection may lead to file system errors. It may cause the SD card unreadable or inaccessible.
  • Bad sectors: a bad sector is a small cluster of storage space that has failed and is not responding to any requests. When there exist many bad sectors in your SD card, it will get corrupted.
  • Physical damage: if you don’t keep your SD card in good condition and make it physically damage, it is almost impossible to fix.

How do you know the SD card turns into damage? Here are some symptoms:

How to Recover Pictures from a Corrupted SD Card

When you find your SD card gets corrupted, you need a professional data recovery tool to help you rescue your data like pictures from it. Here, MiniTool Power Data Recovery is highly suggested.

MiniTool Power Data Recovery fits every Windows system; thus, you don’t need to worry about any error caused by incompatibility if you are a Windows user. This software is powerful enough to rescue data under various situations, such as OS crash, damaged drive, virus attack, etc. MiniTool Power Data Recovery is dedicated to providing a secure data recovery service, bringing your files back without any damage. Besides, this free data recovery software supports you to restore many types of files, like photos, videos, documents, archives, and so on.

Even if you are naïve to data recovery, you can master this software quickly thanks to its easy-understanding and clear instructions and operations.

Then, you can use it to recover pictures from a corrupted SD card with the following guide.

Recover Photos from a Corrupted SD Card with MiniTool Power Data Recovery

Step 1: Download and install MiniTool Power Data Recovery.

MiniTool Power Data Recovery FreeClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

Step 2: Insert your SD card into a card reader, then connect the card reader to the computer.

Step 3: Launch the software. You can choose the correct partition that contains the pictures you want to recover to scan.

If you can’t ensure which partition is, you can switch to the Devices tab, then select the SD card to scan the entire disk.

choose a partition to scan

Step 4: Wait a few minutes until the scan process finishes. The scan time is decided by the file size and partition size. For the best data recovery result, please be patient and do not interrupt the scan process.

Then, you can browse the scan results to find your wanted pictures. There might be millions of files on the result page. To help you find aimed files quickly, you can utilize the filter features:

  • Filter: to filter files by setting conditions like file type, file size, file category, and date modified.
  • Type: to classify files according to their types such as documents, archives, videos, pictures, and so on.
  • Search: to locate a specific file by typing its full or part of the name into the search box.
  • Preview: to verify the chosen file is the one you want before saving it.

use multiple functions

Step 5: Check all the files you want and click on the Save button.

save the files

Step 6: Choose a proper storage path to save your chosen files and click OK to start the recovery process. Please do not save your recovered files to the original path. Otherwise, the restoration might fail due to data being overwritten.

MiniTool Power Data Recovery FreeClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

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How to Fix Corrupted SD Card

After you recover pictures from a corrupted SD card, you can try to fix the corrupted SD card without worrying about data loss. Here are several useful ways to help you repair the damaged SD card. You can try them one by one to find a working one.

Method 1: Change a New Drive Letter

When you connect the SD card to your computer, it will be given a drive letter automatically. However, if you find the device not showing up in File Explorer, it is most likely because the system doesn’t assign a new drive letter to the device. You can change a new drive letter to the device to see if the error is fixed.

Step 1: Press Win + X to open the WinX menu and select Disk Management from the menu.

Step 2: Select the card reader device and right-click on it.

Step 3: Choose Change Drive Letter and Paths from the menu.

change the drive letter

Step 4: Click Change in the popup window.

Step 5: You can choose one letter for the device, then click OK to save the change.

Method 2: Use Windows Repair Tool

Windows Error Checking tool is a graphical tool that can be used to check the file system error of a drive like an SD card. In most cases, Windows will launch this tool to remind you that the connected device is corrupted.

Step 1: Press Win + E to open File Explorer and select This PC on the right pane.

Step 2: Right-click on the target device and choose Properties from the menu.

Step 3: Shift to the Tools tab and click on Check in the Error checking section.

use Windows Repair Tool

Step 4: Choose Scan and repair the drive in the popup window.

If there are errors, you may be asked to restart your computer to fix them. If no errors are found, you can close the window and try the next method.


When you receive an error message that Windows can’t check the disk while it’s in use, you need to close all the open files/folders and repeat the steps to run this tool.

Method 3: Perform CHKDSK Command

Command Prompt is a Windows built-in tool to execute various command lines. You can interact with the Windows operating system through the command-line interface. You can perform various command lines with Command Prompt to fix computer issues. You can try to fix the corrupted SD card by running the CHKDSK command.

Step 1: Press Win + R to open the Run window.

Step 2: Type cmd into the text box and press Shift + Ctrl + Enter simultaneously to run Command Prompt as administrator.

Step 3: Type CHKDSK x: /f /r and hit Enter. Please change x with the drive letter of the corrupted SD card.

perform the CHKDSK command

Step 4: Wait until the process is finished.

CHKDSK command is used to verify the logical integrity of the file system. When you perform this command, it will scan and fix the errors of the corrupted SD card.


If performing the CHKDSK command deletes your important data, you can recover these data with the guide in the post.

Method 4: Update the Driver

When you connect other devices to the computer, the computer will install the corresponding drivers. These drivers usually update when your Windows system updates. However, some of the drivers might perform incorrectly to errors occur. In this case, you can try to update or reinstall the corresponding driver manually to resolve the problem.

Step 1: Press Win + X and select Device Manager from the WinX menu.

Step 2: Expand the Disk drives and right-click on the corrupted SD card.

Step 3: Choose Update driver from the context menu.

select Update driver

Step 4: Select Search automatically for drivers.

Your computer will look for the latest driver and install it automatically.

If updating drivers doesn’t resolve the problem, you can select Uninstall device from the same menu. Then, click Uninstall again to confirm. After this, you can restart your computer and connect the SD card to your computer again. The system will automatically install the latest version of the drive on your PC.

Method 5: Format SD Card

If the above methods don’t help you fix the corrupted SD card, you can try to format it, which is the most direct and convenient way. But formatting it will erase all your data on this SD card. If you want to use this method, please recover files from the corrupted SD card first.

MiniTool Power Data Recovery FreeClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

Method 1: Format through File Explorer

Step 1: Insert your SD card into a card reader and connect the reader to your computer.

Step 2: Press Win + E to open File Explorer.

Step 3: Select This PC from the left pane and right-click on the target drive.

Step 3: Choose Format from the context menu.

Step 4: You can set the File system and Volume label based on your requirements.

format a drive

Step 5: After finishing the settings, click the Start button to begin the formatting process.

Formatting is able to fix almost every corruption issue. Then, you can check whether your SD card can work normally.

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Method 2: Format with MiniTool Partition Wizard

MiniTool Partition Wizard is an all-in-one professional partition management software. You can use it to merge, extend, and resize partitions on your computer. Besides, you can use it to convert MBR to GPT, format hard drives, migrate OS to SSD/HD, and so on.

Step 1: Download and install MiniTool Partition Wizard.

MiniTool Partition Wizard FreeClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

Step 2: Connect your SD card to the computer via a card reader, then launch the software.

Step 3: Select the target device and right-click on it.

Step 4: Choose Format from the context menu.

format the target device

Step 5: Set Partition Label and File System in the popup window, then click OK to save the changes.

Step 6: Click Apply and then choose Yes to finish the operation.

apply the change

For more methods to fix corrupted SD cards, you can refer to this passage: Fix Corrupted SD Card with Professional SD Card Repair Tools


You are supposed to know what causes the SD card corruption and how to fix the damaged SD card. Besides, the most important thing is to recover pictures from a corrupted SD card. MiniTool Power Data Recovery is a good choice. We highly suggest you perform an SD card recovery first to avoid data loss during the process of fixing the damaged SD card.

MiniTool Power Data Recovery FreeClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

If you have any questions about using this powerful data recovery software, please let us know via [email protected].

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