By | 02.09.2019

Recovering Data from a Damaged or Non-Operable Memory Card

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As well as any other device, a memory card can suffer from various influences and so it may break down for a number of reasons. What is a Memory Card? An SD memory card abbreviated from Secure Digital Memory Card is a tiny mass storage device meant for repeated writing, storage and reading various digital information. Memory cards are mostly used with portable electronic devices such as smartphones, digital cameras, electronic books, GPS navigators, some kinds of games consoles etc. As the cards developed, the amount of their built-in memory increased and for today, it can be anything up to TB.
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As well as any other device, a memory card can suffer from various influences and so it may break down for a number of reasons. What is a Memory Card? An SD memory card abbreviated from Secure Digital Memory Card is a tiny mass storage device meant for repeated writing, storage and reading various digital information.

Memory cards are mostly used with portable electronic devices such as smartphones, digital cameras, electronic books, GPS navigators, some kinds of games consoles etc. As the cards developed, the amount of their built-in memory increased and for today, it can be anything up to TB. Memory cards vary by the speed of data processing, which is shown by digital symbols on them.

The unified standard classification of speed specifications approved for memory cards is known as Speed Class and represents the speed of writing data to the card. SD memory cards use the FAT file system: Yet it is not recommended to use this particular system because of memory cards having a limited number of write cycles, and the journaling file system like NTFS constantly checks the card and keeps the card change log which can increase the memory wear process.

In the end, this circumstance can reduce its expected lifetime. When certain warning signs appear, you can understand that the memory card is damaged and needs repairing or fixing.

However, as soon as you spot the alarming signal, you can stop using the card immediately to prevent any further loss of data or to avoid the mistake of saving data without a single chance to access it later.

Such warnings include as follows: When the operating system addresses the memory card, there is a warning that it should be formatted to enable further use. Operating system warnings about read errors or sudden freezing of the computer when the memory card is connected. Any of these symptoms indicates a problem with the SD memory card that you should pay attention to.

Any signs indicating that chances for possible damage to the memory card are very high should make you respond to the problem at once and start thinking about saving the data to a safer place or transferring it to a properly working data storage device. To avoid loss of data stored on an SD memory card you should make it a rule to save it regularly to another storage device to prevent unexpected losses. The ideal variant would be to transfer your files to another data storage device immediately after you created them.

Another important element of data protection strategy should be creating a backup of important information photos, videos etc to feel secure in case of an emergency. If your camera design provides several slots for memory cards, you can avoid damage to photos by saving your raw pictures to both cards at the same time.

Even if one card were damaged, all images would be fine on the other card which will save you lots of time and effort. If you use a memory card with your smartphone, most devices can backup contacts, photos and video to a cloud storage; in case of any problems, just log in to your cloud to find all your data safe and sound.

One of the main elements of everyday flow of data that users exchange when communicating is represented by images and photographs. Any pleasant memories, funny pictures, photos of your close family members and friends, professional photographs of working moments and many other fields are only the few instances where we come across images.

If the memory card breaks down at a certain moment and the data stored there is gone, there is even a risk of panic — especially if this information existed in one copy only.

However, if you know possible causes that can trigger memory card errors, you can get prepared for the worst scenario and secure your data, or use specific recovery methods.

All possible causes can be generally divided into two categories — mechanical damage and software errors. Mechanical damage can include a variety of cases, but we listed the most widespread ones below: Broken case, malfunctioning lock switch, or damaged contacts: This kind of damage strikes SD memory cards most often as the card case is fragile enough to get broken when some force is applied to it. For example, there can be cracks and splits on the card case, the lock switch no longer works properly, connector contacts get worn out and so on, which results in the card still being unreadable even when it is already connected.

Failure of the memory card controller: The card interface controller manages all processes inside the card, and when it breaks down, the card cannot be read or recognized by your device; even if the system does recognize it, the card is shown as a storage of several kilobytes. Limited write resource of the memory cells: Technical peculiarities of a flash memory device cause certain irreversible changes in its structure, and it results in flash memory cells having a limited number of write cycles.

The write resource differs depending on the memory type and the technological solutions implemented in a specific device. When the write cycle limit is getting closer, memory begins to degrade, and this process can manifest itself in memory cards becoming unreadable or inaccessible. The SD card slot of your device or card reader is out of order: Such cases are quite rare but they do happen.

Your memory card may be in good condition, but the memory card slot in your device might be causing problems. Connect the card to another device which you know is in perfect working condition, and check if the card works all right. In some cases, this is the only operation you need to make sure the memory card is not the element actually causing the problem.

Software Issues In addition to the mechanical factors that may damage SD memory cards, there can be other issues as well: SD card file allocation error: File system errors make it impossible to use the SD card, and the operating system tells you the card should be formatted. Such kind of damage to the card can be fixed by restoring from backups, and with system-integrated tools for checking and repairing disks. Operating system errors: In some cases, internal processes of managing the computer device may lead to errors which affect the reliability of a memory card and can render it unreadable.

Incompatible file system: Interaction between the frankly speaking outdated file system of an SD memory card and some modern applications which may not be fully compatible can result in errors and subsequent damage to the memory card. Early interruption of the data transfer process: If the process of copying or cutting files from a memory card to a computer gets interrupted for example, by a power failure, forced extraction of the memory card etc.

Unsafe removal of the SD card: When you ignore the safe way of removing an SD memory card from a computer or another device, there is an increasing risk of damaging the data and the SD card itself. If your problem is the broken case, malfunctioning lock switch, or damaged contacts, you can try fixing it at home if you possess sufficient knowledge and skills.

At least, you will have to replace the card case, and as for the connector contact issue, cleaning the contacts with a kind of technical liquid like spirit will do the job in most cases.

If the problem is more serious, you may need to re-solder the connectors. If your problem is the controller failure, you will have to use special software designed for every particular controller type.

However, firmware options are not available for each and every controller type so be ready to face the situation when there is no firmware for your particular model. Professional labs possess expensive equipment required to repair memory cards and restore information, sterile premises excluding any foreign particles from getting into contact with electronic parts, and of course, highly qualified specialists.

However, this method of fixing memory card issues has several big disadvantages: Even if the data was not recovered, you will have to pay for every service that they have provided. Below, there are two main methods to fix card issues with standard utilities within the Windows operating system, or with third-party tools.

In the Windows operating system, you can find a powerful built-in utility for fixing file system errors and identifying damaged sectors, known as CHKDSK. When corresponding commands are used, the CHKDSK utility will check the user-defined storage device or partition for errors and tries to fix it, searches for physically damaged sectors, and marks them as damaged to prevent the operating system from writing data to such sectors. In the line Run, type the command: The utility will check the card, find and fix the errors, and then prepare it for using.

Another possible method to fix an SD card is to format it. However, it means destroying all data stored on such a memory card. Open the File Explorer and find your memory card among other directories. Right-click on it and open a context menu.

From the list of available actions, select Format. Sometimes it becomes impossible to format a storage device in a quick way from the Windows File Explorer. In this case, you should use the system app Disk Management. There are several ways to open this app. From the list of available actions, select the section Disk Management. You will see all drives connected to your computer.

Find your SD memory card and right-click on it. Select Format from the menu that appears. Set the format options by giving the file system type and unchecking the box next to Quick Format, and then click OK to start the process. The system will always warn you of the danger to lose all your data on the device you selected to format. Confirm your choice by clicking on the Yes button and start the formatting process.

In the new window, set the drive letter or leave the default one suggested by the system, and click OK to finish the operation. Now you can format the memory card with the method we described above and thus fix its errors. With Data Recovery Software. If the data on the memory card is important and you are interested in saving it, recover files from the memory card with specialized data recovery software before you get down to formatting. That is why the reasonable decision will be to use specialized tools for file recovery.

On the international information network, the Internet, you can find a wide choice of programs by various developers but the most popular one so far is Hetman FAT Recovery by Hetman Software. This is a shareware application that lets the user test its functional advantages and fully recover their data before purchasing the license key.

In addition, on the Internet you can find several freeware options by using which you can try restoring your data immediately and without any extra payments. However, such software has some serious disadvantages, namely their restricted functionality includes a limit on the number or size of the files that can be recovered, and the low percentage of finally recovered files that are good enough for further use. However, if you are interested to recover virtually every single file, the right decision will be to use Hetman FAT Recovery.

It will start the wizard to take you step by step through the installation of Hetman FAT Recovery to your desktop or laptop. When the installation is over, run the program. Hetman FAT Recovery will perform initial analysis of the operating system and show all the disks and storage devices installed in, or connected to your computer.

Find your memory card among other partitions and double-click on it. The program launches the recovery wizard to take you step-by-step through the settings required to begin restoring your files.

Check the option for Full analysis searching for any available information.

Videos to illustrate the data recovery from micro SD cards, SD cards and USB flash pen drives

My Account free advice, please call: This indicates that a physical damage is present; most likely, the controller is damaged. Data rescue software can’t help in this case. In almost every instance, the memory chips are intact and the data are actually available. When the memory chips of a memory device with this kind of damage are removed from the printed circuit board, it is possible to read the data with the help of a special NAND flash reader. However, at this point the data are raw data and must be compiled into readable data.

VIDEO: Recovering Data from a Damaged or Non-Operable Memory Card

I then hit the Internet to research memory card repair/data recovery, I found nothing UK based then I came across recoverfab, I was really. We have the highest success rate in recovering data from SD cards. If your card is cracked or damaged then recovering data from it, is a complex job. We will recover any photos, videos or other files that have been lost due to your memory card becoming unreadable. If we cannot recover your photos, there is.

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