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Innovative Recovery Methods for Failing SD Cards

SD Cards are a type of flash memory that are prone to failure. Unique recovery methods can save your data.


The idea for a compact, yet functioning form of storage for digital files manifested in the SD (Secure Digital) Card. This digital form of memory was created as a thin and square memory chip in a plastic coating. Most consumers are familiar with the chip in their digital cameras, video cameras, mobile phones, and more recently, drones. These chips will eventually fail or may break if not handled correctly. Knowing the warning signs can help to assess your options for recovering digital files.

How Do I Know My SD Card is Failing?

There are several signs that point to a failed card and if they go unnoticed, your photos and videos may be in serious danger. Watch out for the following SD Card failure signs:

  • Files missing on your card
  • Read and Write Failure
  • Bad connection between the pins and the device
  • Device or Computer is Unable to recognize the card

Corruption is a common data loss scenario for SD Cards and there are several warning signs that may appear either on your computer or camera that will alert you of any issues. A message saying, “Read/Write error on SD Card” means it cannot be read from the device. “Write-protected” means that you can see all of your files on both a computer and camera but the files can’t be copied. Finally, a message reading, “corrupt memory card,” obviously means the card can’t operate normally.

Solutions for a Failed SC Card

One way to access your files without removing or inserting your card is to use a USB connection to bring your device with the card and host together. If the card is physically damaged, the best defense is to leave it alone without removing it from a device. Software recovery may overwrite information on the card or may not be able to access all of the files you have within the card. The best chance at a full recovery from a failing or damaged SD card is with a recovery service.

Industry-Leading Recovery Techniques

Flash memory, by nature, is smaller than other devices and is designed with portability in mind. The smaller the chip, the more challenging the recovery. Our engineers have a dedicated research and development team that has an innovative way to recover data from SD cards and flash memory.

Recovering data on an SD card requires interaction with the pins, known as the thin metal strips at the edge of the card. Secure Data Recovery has a 96% success rate in recovering data from water-damaged monolith chips, locked firmware media, and data that was purposely deleted.

In an eMMC (embedded Multimedia Controller), which boasts similarities to SD Cards, flash memory and controller are embedded on the same chip. This means that when the controller fails, the chip is dead. We can bypass the storage controller on the chip to read it directly, even though it presents as a single device. We then image the pins to recover the information. 

Our engineers can also transplant the crypto processor and main storage from an iPhone to a compatible phone circuit board. Data can then be downloaded and recovered. This respects the privacy of encryption while still recovering the data. Our company is a trusted resource for data recovery on flash media like SD cards as well as all other media. We guarantee that if we can’t retrieve your files, no one else can. Call us at 1-800-388-1266 to start a case. 

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