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Recovering Data from Corrupt or Unrecognizable SD cards

Recovering Data from Corrupt or Unrecognizable SD cards


While many people increasingly store data internally, a surprisingly large number of devices continue to store important data on SD and microSD cards. Cameras, cell phones, and a range of IoT devices often require SD cards. These flash-based storage devices differ in physical size but both sizes are available in larger storage capacities for a lower price than ever before. SD cards function similarly to USB flash drives and they share some of the same physical components. These physical components can be damaged or the card itself can be corrupted. Both result in the potential loss of valuable data but several recovery options are available.

Types of SD Cards

Some SD cards are built from individual parts. These include a memory chip and a controller. They are mounted onto the plastic card. Other SD cards are built as one monolithic unit. All microSD cards are classified as monolithic. SD cards with individual components are classified as non-monolithic. The differentiation is important because it may determine the method of data recovery, especially if the data is unrecognizable or the card is completely unresponsive. The process to extract data from these small chips is tedious and requires highly skilled technicians.

Avoiding Further Damage

There are a number of signals that something within an SD card has gone awry. Some will generate a number of error messages. Others suddenly contain code gibberish and corrupt image files that won’t open. If the card is unrecognizable, it won’t open at all. The causes of corruption vary and recovery methods do as well. Many users are tempted to download the first freeware recovery tool that pops up from a Google search in an effort to get back priceless photos or files. There are a few problems with this approach. First, you may put your computer at risk because many versions of freeware contain malware. If you attempt DIY recover, seek software from a trusted source. Secure Data Recovery offers a wide range of software, many with trial versions, for recovery.

Data recovery from damaged or corrupt SD cards can be especially time consuming. Deep scans to identify data for restoration require patience. It’s important to utilize write protection throughout the process so you don’t accidentally overwrite what data remains. Many SD cards have a switch on the side to manually engage write protection. Finally, don’t overlook the “safely Unplug Hardware” option as a way to cut down on damaging or further damaging storage devices.

If your lost SD card data is valuable or important, it’s best to let a certified data recovery provider provide a risk-free diagnostic assessment and quote. Submit a help form or call us at 1-800-388-1266 to get started today.

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