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here's the scenario. Some days ago I was copying some stuff on a 32GB microSD card put inside an SD adapter, via my laptop's SD card reader slot. Since the copy froze and I already had a backup of the data, i said my self "Who cares, I'll unplug the card and reformat if something goes wrong". Something went wrong indeed since I was asked to reformat the memory card as soon as I put it againg in the slot, but now I can't reformat it. I tried to format it via Windows Explorer and sometimes it freezes, or it simply says "Unable to format". Disk management freezes itself too, and I tried command line format and a third party low-level format took: same freezes. What can I do?

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3 Answers

This happened to me as well, I'm not very fond of Explorer's formatting techniques. If you have a Mac or Linux machine around, use that to format it. Disk Utility on mac is great. I'm pretty sure it would also format on an Android if you can plug it in the phone (b/c it's Linux and pretty hardcore) and maybe some of the higher end cameras.

That's the easiest way to do so, if not, I would recommend looking for a windows program that formats the card 'securely' so that everything's wiped off of it.

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I tried with a Canon EOS450D but it refused to format it, although I don't really know if it can handle sdHC. I'll try both a Mac and Linux in the evening. –  Lorthirk Oct 7 '10 at 9:34
    
I've done it on a Panasonic Lumix and and Kodak Easyshare (point&shoot), but the card I had was 4gb. –  Muhammad Oct 7 '10 at 9:51
    
This answer was unnecessary to make a wiki. When you do that you don't get any reputation from it and other people can edit it. Setting it wiki it is supposed to lower the rep threshold for editing so that other people can help and add to your post. I don't think your answer needs improving. –  Nifle Oct 7 '10 at 9:54
    
@Nifle: Didn't know that. I thought it'd be easier for people to just put their thoughts and I thought wikis allow for editing the actual text of my answer because I felt like I might be a bit off about the Linux/Mac part because I primarily use a OS X. And rep will come if it has to. :) –  Muhammad Oct 7 '10 at 10:18
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Is this Windows 7? There was actually a bug with this that was addressed with an optional Windows Update a while back - make sure it's installed.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/976422

EDIT: Actually, now that I look, this is only a problem if it's bigger than 32GB, but there's no telling how their rounding works so it's worth a shot. Also, this answer might help somebody else out down the road...haha!

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It seems I have this hotfix already installed, at least on my work PC where I am reporting freezes too. –  Lorthirk Oct 7 '10 at 15:40
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Not sure if the HP USB disk storage format tool will work, but it's worth a try as it has 'resurrected' unformattable USB sticks for me. If it doesn't work through the SD slot it might with a micro-SD USB adapter.

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