Dead SD Card Data Recovery & Tips to Fix Dead SD Card

By | March 22, 2017


Summary: SD card are well known for its unpredictable nature and so if your has stopped working, here are few things that you can follow to try fix/repair dead SD card and recover data from dead SD card and get back your inaccessible photos, videos and other data.

However, I would recommend Photo Recovery – third party recovery software that offers:

  • Free data recovery from a dead sd card
  • Data recovery from sd card with bad sectors
  • Media files recovery from corrupt, damaged, overwritten, unreadable sd cards
  • Photo, video and audio files recovery from all types of memory cards such as SD card, Micro-SD, mini-SD, micro-SDHC, micro-SDXC, XD, TF, CF, etc that are manufactured by SanDisk, Sony, Samsung, Strontium, Transcend, Toshiba, HP, Kingston, etc
  • Preview of recoverable media files within software before your proceed further to save them on your system
  • 100% read only program, safe, secure & easy to use

Retrieve Dead SD Card Data In Few Steps

Free Download Photo Recovery for Windows Free Download Photo Recovery for Mac
* Free version of the program only scans and previews recoverable objects.

Memory card types such as SD card which is smaller in size, used in various portable devices such as in digital camera, mobile devices, camcorder, tablets, mp3 players, iPod, etc are known to store huge capacity of data like photos, videos, songs and other data.

Since, there are millions and billions of people out there, who are using sd card, it is obvious that memory cards are getting cheaper and larger in capacity. It is getting easier to store lots of data on it with ease.

But as storing data is getting easier, it is also much easier that you lose data saved in the card. You cannot open the card or it won’t be accessible on your devices or on any other devices and this situation makes your card in dead condition.

Examples of Dead SD Card Scenario:

Hi all,

My micro SD card is died. My question is just like the title; Is there a way to revive a died micro SD card?


                                                     Original Post from TechSpot Community

I have seen lots of debates about the utility of a second card, so let me describe my day…….

I shot 414 images today at 5 different sites…..

I was escorted by my boss, my director, and “security”……

Most of the images had to be shot today….. no going back tomorrow to take them…..

When I got back to work I pulled out the SD card, popped it into the laptop, and only 13 images could be read….

Got the CF card out, read it, and all the images were there….. and I took a HUGE sigh of relief!

The SD card will not format, will no longer work in the camera, and will not read on the laptop or a USB card reader, it is toast! DEAD! Bye Bye! So much for my expensive Lexar card!

The moral of the story is that writing to multiple cards saved my ass! When you are a “pro” and must deliver it is a necessary feature on your camera, because CARDS FAIL!!!!!

                                                     Original Post from Canon Rumors Forum

As you now know that, what is dead SD card? It is also important to know that what are the reasons that make the memory card dead, that put you in such a terrible data loss problem.

Reasons That Turn SD Card Dead

  • If you are using the card in multiple devices then it may lead to loss of data leaving your card corrupt, dead or inaccessible.
  • If you have the habit of pulling/ejecting memory card without safe removal, during read/write process, then it can corrupt file system and put your sd card dead or inaccessible.
  • If your card gets infected with malware or virus that do not provide resistance to protect data from malicious activities imposed by virus, then in this case also, your card will become dead or completely useless.

So, these are some common reasons that makes card dead or useless. But as we have shown you, How to Recover Corrupted Photos from Micro SD card, How to Fix SD Card With Fatal Errors & Recover Media Files, Recover Photos/Videos from Overwritten Micro SD Card, etc, Similarly, we are going to show you how to fix and recover data from dead SD card.

Tips to Fix Dead SD Card

If you believe that your card is physically ok, then you can make use of Windows’ built-in utility and try to fix it.

Connect your SD card with your computer.

  1. If your card is displayed in Windows ExplorerRight click on it, select Properties and then go to Tools And then click on Check. Window will now scan your card and will check for error and will try to fix it.


  1. If your card is not displayed in Windows Explorer – Then, you have to search Start Menu for Disk Management. Here find out How to Perform Disk Management in this post: [Fixed]: “Windows was Unable to Complete the Format” Error on USB, Memory Card & Hard Drive. In this utility, you can see which drives Windows can “see” and the list can include the drive which do not have drive letter. If you are not able to recognize your SD card in the list, then it is confirmed that your sd card is completely dead or the card reader is not working properly. However, if your SD card is listed there, but do not have a drive letter, then you must be able to right click on it and give the drive a letter name or format it to file system that Window can read and then assign a letter.


Recovering Files from A Dead SD Card

If above tips for fixing SD does not come in help, then here what you should do to recover data from SD card that is dead or stopped working.

First solution that you must try is that, insert the card in different card reader. If built in laptop or computer slot is not able to detect your card, then try different laptop or PC. Sometimes, it’s the slot or the reader is at fault and not the card. You can purchase the USB SD card reader online that will accept both standard SD cards and micro SD cards.

Photo Recovery To Recover Media Files from Dead SD Card [Recommended]

If above solution fail, then you can make use of professional Photo Recovery that comes separately for both Windows and Mac. This data recovery software is designed to only recover almost all formats of photos, videos and audio files. You can try this software to restore multimedia files from dead sd card or completely useless memory cards.

The software has the capability to retrieve media files from digital cameras, camcorders. Mobile devices, Android phones/tablets, music players and external storage devices such as PC/Mac hard drive, portable hard drive, memory cards, USB drives, etc.

Download Photo Recovery For Windows Download Photo Recovery For Mac

This software support wide range of memory cards such as SD, SDHC, SDXC, micro-SD, mini-SD, Micro SDHC, Micros SDHC, Micro SDXC, MMC, TF, CF, XD card, etc of different brands such as SanDisk, Transcend, Lexar, PNY, Sony, Samsung, Kingston, Kingmax, Toshiba, HP, Spice, and many other that go dead, unreadable, inaccessible, damaged, crashed, failed, throwing errors, etc.

Steps to Recover Media Files from Dead SD Card

Step 1 – Install "Photo Recovery" software and launch it on your computer. Click on "Recover Photo, Audio & Video" tab to recover photos, videos and audio files from any SD card, external USB drive or computer hard drive. Connect the media to your computer and then perform the process.

Stellar Photo Recovery Screenshot 1

Step 2 – Select the drive from which you want to recover files. All the hard drive and external media will be shown in the list. Now select the desired drive to scan and then click on "Scan" button.

Stellar Photo Recovery Screenshot 2

Step 3 – Once you click on "Scan" button the software will show that scanning is in progress. The software will search for all multimedia files from your selected drive or attached media.

Stellar Photo Recovery Screenshot 3

Step 4 – After scanning, all the files that are found in the selected volume, hard disk or other storage media devices are listed. You can now select the files to preview them and then you can click on "Recover" button to finally save them on your computer.

Stellar Photo Recovery Screenshot 4

Download Photo Recovery For Windows Download Photo Recovery For Mac

Once, you are successfully able to restore your data from your dead memory card. You can now proceed further to format dead sd card.

Tips to Remember:

  • Always keep backup of your important data that is saved on your memory card to your computer or on any other external storage devices.
  • Do not save the recovered files on same dead SD card from where you are recovering your files
  • Always remove the card with proper removal procedure. Use safe remove option and do not eject/pull out the card in read/write operation

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ]

How can I recover my data from corrupted memory card?

In order to recover data from corrupt memory card, you can try these tips:

  • Try to connect your card with your PC and then copy and paste the data from the card to some other place.
  • If this fail, then you must try data recovery software, mentioned in this post – Corrupt SD Card Data Recovery
How can I recover data from a micro SD card?

There are two possible ways through which you can restore your data from your micro SD card:

First: If you have kept the backup of your files stored on your card on some other places like on your PC or on some other external storage devices, then you can easily get back your files from the backup.

Second: If you have not kept any backup, then you have to apply third party micro SD card data recovery software. It will help you to restore pictures, videos and audio files from micro SD card.

How do I repair a damaged SD card?

Well, I don’t think that you can repair your damaged SD card, but “Yes” there are few solutions that you can try to recover your data from your damaged SD card.

Check out the solution mentioned in the following posts:

How can I recover data from a broken Micro SD card?

If your card is completely broken, then I doubt that you will be able to find any solution to restore data from broken SD card.

However, if your micro SD card is slightly or little bit broken and if it is detectable by your PC then you can easily copy and paste data from your Micro SD card on to your PC hard drive.


I hope that by reading this post and following the instructions or solutions mentioned in it, had helped you to fix dead sd card and recover files from dead sd card.

However, if your inaccessible, dead or useless card is not detectable by your laptop or PC, I would suggest that you must try the demo version of the photo recovery tool and scan your memory card. The scan result will display the preview of the recoverable files within the software and if your media files are displayed in the preview then you can purchase the full version of the software to finally recover and save them on your system.

Free Download Digital Media Recovery

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