Forums, blogs, questions and solutions related to SanDisk SD card recovery can be easily found on the internet. People die for finding a useful way to get back the files lost from their SanDisk SD card in different cases.

There are mainly two reasons to explain why SanDisk SD card recovery is so eye-catching.

  • One is SanDisk SD card owns large number of users
  • The other is file/data loss constitutes one of the most common problems you tend to meet during using SD card (or other storage devices).

SanDisk SD card recovery

Some of the SanDisk SD card users are prone to asking professionals or SD card file recovery agencies for help since they’re not familiar with data recovery at all; they don’t have confidence in dealing with it correctly on their own.

This is, undeniably, a practical solution to recovering file lost from SanDisk SD card. However, you can’t ignore the potential risks it has:

  1. You have to pay much on SanDisk recovery and this is generally a huge burden for common users.
  2. Privacy leakage may be caused if you hand over your SD card to unethical data recovery personnel.

In view of this, you are strongly advised to find other reliable and actionable ways to complete SanDisk SD card recovery. Plead keep reading to acquire a satisfying answer.

SanDisk SD Card Recovery Is Not Difficult

In the past, you may consider SD card file recovery as a difficult thing. But I bet you won’t think so after reading the following content.

5 Steps to Recover Files from a SanDisk SD Card

The recovery becomes even more urgent if the lost files are very important and closely related to users’ business or precious memories.

The following shows the SanDisk SD card recovery process.

Step one: you should get a piece of reliable data recovery software. Here I recommend MiniTool Power Data Recovery (for Windows OS) and MiniTool Mac Data Recovery (for Mac).

MiniTool Power Data Recovery TrialClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

recovery software for Windows & Mac

Step two: you should take out the target SanDisk SD card and connect it to computer properly through card reader or adapter. Now, please launch the software and start missing file recovery on memory card (I’ll take Windows OS as example).

launch the recovery software

Step three: you need to choose from the following options in the main interface of the software.

  • This PC
  • Removable Disk Drive
  • Hard Disk Drive
  • CD/DVD Drive

To recover data from SanDisk SD card, you should choose “Removable Disk Drive”. And then, you need to select the target SD card from the right panel.

select the target SD card

Step four: click on the “Scan” button after selecting the SanDisk SD card or double click on the SD card directly to start detecting missing files.

Step five: all the files and folders found during the scan will be listed in the software interface. The last thing you should do is to pick out all the files that need to be recovered and press “Save” button to set storage path for them.

pick out files to recover & press Save

When files are recovered, a prompt indicating the end of recovery will appear. At this time, you can close the software and go to check the recovered files.


This method is suitable for recovering lost photos/images/pictures for you. In addition, you can also resort to MiniTool Photo Recovery when you want to finish photo recovery on SanDisk SD card.

Problem 1: SanDisk SD card can’t be recognized.

Phenomenon: the camera prompts there is no card or the computer doesn’t show your SanDisk SD card.

Possible reasons: the file system SD card uses is not supported by camera or computer, virus attack.

Solution: try to format the SD card to FAT after connecting it to computer with the help of card reader or by using the formatting program built in camera.

format the SD card to FAT on computer

If this still can’t help, please find more solutions here:

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Fix USB Flash Drive Not Recognized & Recover Data – How To Do

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Problem 2: SanDisk SD card can’t be formatted.

Phenomenon: after SD card was connected successfully to computer through a card reader, the system prompts that this drive is not formatted and you need to format it to continue. But when you agree to format it, the system says:

  • Windows was unable to complete the format
  • The format did not complete successfully”.

Windows was unable to complete the format

The format did not complete successfully

Possible reason: this may be caused if improper operations are performed when you unplug the SanDisk SD card from computer. You may have forcibly removed it after read/write problems occurred.

Solution: firstly, use disk detection program to detect the SD card and select automatically fix file system errors option and scan for and attempt to recover bad sectors option during detection. When this process is over, you can start to format the SD card.

Learn more about this issue:

How To Deal With Micro SD Card Not Formatted Error – Look Here
How To Deal With Micro SD Card Not Formatted Error – Look Here

The error – micro SD card not formatted – occurs frequently, but I have good solutions to deal with this annoying problem.

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Problem 3: can’t write data into SD card.

Phenomenon: when you try to write some data into their SD card, only to be told the card is write-protected. Although content inside it can be seen, nothing could be written into it. All the files saved on the SD card currently are read-only files.

SD card is write-protected

Possible reasons:

  • Poor connection between SD card and card reader due to frequent use of card reader
  • The appearance of bad tracks
  • Virus attack
  • Poor quality


  • As for fixing the poor connection problem, you should change another card reader to have a try.
  • As for bad tracks occurrence, you should find some software to perform low-level formatting to SD card.
  • If the card is invaded by virus, you should complete SD card file recovery first to get back missing but important files and then kill virus.
  • As for the poor quality, you have no choice but to buy a new high-quality SD card to solve the problem.

Please read part 4: Write Protection – An Amazing Feature of SD Card of this post to know more details.

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6 Questions about SD Card & Data Security

How to Distinguish Class2, Class4, Class6 & Class10 of SD Card

Class 2: meet ordinary MPEG4, MPEG2 movie watching, SDTV and digital camera shooting. The read-write speed is 2 MB/s.

Class 4: satisfy the needs of smoothly playing high-definition television (HDTV) and continuous shooting with digital camera. Its read-write speed is 4~5 MB/s.

Class 6: meet the requirements of SLR camera continuous shooting and professional equipment usage. The read-write speed is 6 MB/s.

Class 10: cater for professional photography equipment. Write speed of it is above 10 MB/s while the read speed is 25 MB/s.

How Many SD Card Brands Can You See on the Market

The commonly seen SD card manufacturers are:

  • Samsung
  • SanDisk
  • Kingston
  • Panasonic
  • Kingmax
  • Sony
  • Transcend
  • Apacer
  • Toshiba

Which Equipment Includes a SD Card

SD card is so popular that it can be applied to many electronic products:

  • Digital camera
  • Video camera
  • Cell phone
  • Recording telephone
  • DV
  • GPS
  • MP3
  • MP4
  • Data recorder
  • Security product
  • Car audio
  • Electronic toy

What You Should Notice When Using SD Card in Portable Device

  • Please don’t write any data into SD card when the device battery power is low in order to prevent data loss.
  • Don’t move SD card or turn off the system when read/write operation is in process; otherwise, damage may be caused to device.
  • Try to use the original battery to ensure voltage stability.
  • The force should be uniform when you inserting SD card to a device and the orientation should be paid attention to.
  • If the digital product will not be used for a long time, you should remove the memory card. Please remember to be very careful when taking out the card.
  • Please transfer data from SD card to computer hard drive regularly to reduce the risk of data loss.
  • Think twice before taking actions to format the memory card.
  • Avoid using or placing memory card device under high magnetic, high temperature and high humidity environment.

Why Is the Actual Capacity Less Than the Nominal Capacity

It is not so surprising when you discover the nominal capacity of SD card is actually not equal to the actual capacity (usually the latter is less), even if it is a genuine product made by famous manufacturer. The reason for this phenomenon is not complex: the nominal capacity is calculated by taking 1MB as 1000KB while the actual detection regards 1MB as 1024KB.

What Kinds of Signs Indicate the SD Card Damage

  • The SD card can’t be recognized
  • You can’t copy data into or out from SD card
  • The card fails to be formatted
  • Capacity of card is not displayed
  • The speed is very slow
  • System prompts you to format it firstly
  • Scratches
  • Oil stain on surface
  • Components deformation

Get a Closer Look at SanDisk

Founded in Palo Alto, California, SanDisk latter becomes the world’s largest products supplier for flash data storage card. SanDisk devotes itself to the design, development, manufacture and marketing of electronic system flash memory card which is used in various products and allows the compact and removable data storage.

Market Share

SanDisk is a well-known leader in flash memory card production and sale filed and it owns about a third of global market share.

This company mainly focuses on three digital consumer markets:

  • Digital cameras (and other consumer electronic products)
  • Full-featured mobile phones
  • USB flash drives

A report from Semico Research Company shows that in 2003, the revenue of worldwide flash memory card market reached $3.3 billion and this number is expected to be increased to $12 billion in 2006.

The strategy of SanDisk is:

  • Confirming the mass consumer market for flash memory products
  • Producing a large number of flash cards in all major formats
  • Enabling SanDisk to provide one-stop shopping service to its retail and OEM customers.

In 2004, the annual revenue of SanDisk was $1.8 billion, much higher than that ($1.1 billion) in 2003. Meanwhile, the net profit of 2004 reached $267 million.

Main Products

SanDisk is the only company which has the right to manufacture and sell flash card in all major formats:

  • CompactFlash (CF)
  • SD
  • Micro SD
  • Smart Media
  • Multimedia Card (MMC)
  • Memory Stick PRO (and other memory stick products)
  • XD-Picture Card
  • USB flash drive

The company’s flash memory card products revenue mainly comes from retailer sale, while the rest comes from OEM manufacturer sale.

SanDisk designed products for advanced and professional photographers:

  • SanDisk Ultra II card
  • SanDisk Extreme series card
  • PC card
  • Card reader

What’s more, the national second most popular MP3 and video player – Sansa is one of SanDisk’s products. The most outstanding feature of Sansa MP3 lies in the existence of expandable memory card slot. This means the development trend of record is changing from vinyl records, tapes, CDs to flash cards. The size is smaller and smaller while the designed is more and more humanized.

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Final Words

Whether you are willing to admit it or not, SD card is relatively weaker than computer hard drive and mobile hard disk. So the possibility of data loss occurring in SD card is larger than that in computer hard drive.

Though the phenomena and causes for SanDisk SD card damage problem vary a lot, there’s one thing that will never change no matter what happens – recovering files from SD card with reliable methods as soon as you discover the file loss problem.

You’d better try your best to protect data when using a SanDisk SD card or SD card of other brands. If serious data loss tragedy unfortunately happens to you, please remember to do 2 things immediately:

  1. Stop writing new data to the SD card which contains lost data you want to recover.
  2. Seek help from powerful data recovery software to finish SanDisk SD card recovery.

SanDisk SD Card Recovery FAQ

Can I retrieve deleted photos from SanDisk memory card?
Yes, you can. It doesn’t matter which method you use to delete files from SD card, what matters is you shouldn’t save new data to the memory card after file deletion. Otherwise, the possibility of data recovery success will be reduced.
Can you recover files from a corrupted SD card?
In most cases, the SD card is only corrupted logically, so users can recover files from it easily. Just connect the SD card to the computer through an adapter and run the data recovery software to scan for files that can be recovered.
What causes corrupted SD card?
  1. File system corruption/damage
  2. Forcibly SD card removing
  3. Virus attack or malware infection
  4. Interruption during formatting SD Card
  5. Bad sectors on SD card
  6. Physical damages
  7. Manufacturing flaws
How do I format an SD card?
  1. Format in devices using the SD card.
  2. Use Windows Disk Management tool.
  3. Choose format from the right-click menu in File Explorer.
  4. Use Format Partition of MiniTool Partition Wizard.

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