My microSD card is not working on windows neither on my mobile phone. The card is not recognizable on these devices. My plan is to try to access the raw data on the memory chip using my Arduino. How can I do that? I really need to recover the data stored on the chip.

  • 1
    Just boot from a Linux liveCD and try to access the card from there using standard tools (like ddrescue, TestDisk and PhotoRec). Try to extract the data from the card with ddrescue and save it to a file on harddisk. Then use TestDisk and/or PhotoRec to recover files from the image file.
    – jippie
    Jun 28, 2013 at 6:43
  • Is either your computer or your mobile phone not seeing a file system, or the card itself? If two separate devices are saying that they don't see the card, it might be dead. If they want you to reformat it, there might be hope.
    – cde
    Jun 28, 2013 at 6:46
  • What does 'not working' mean? Does it give some message? Are you sure your computer has the necessary drivers to read the card? Are you sure the capacity of the card doesn't exceed the maximum capacity of the phone?
    – user187676
    Jun 28, 2013 at 6:52
  • the pc or mobile phone doesnt recognize the card. I cant format them. I am looking for an interface to access the main memory chip.
    – Marcelo
    Jun 28, 2013 at 7:05
  • this card was working on my cellphone and between one picture and another, crash....doesnt work anymore.
    – Marcelo
    Jun 28, 2013 at 7:13

2 Answers 2


Since the card isn't being recognized at all by either computer or phone, it's probably completely dead. And as an Micro SD card, it has less compatibility than regular SD cards in terms of SPI mode, which is how most Arduino libraries would access the sd card.

That said, you could try the Adafruit SD library with the CardInfo sketch (Tutorial on the Micro SD card breakout and Library usage: http://www.ladyada.net/products/microsd/), following up to the "Arduino Library & First Test" section. You will need a level shifter to bring the 5v Arduino down to the 3.3v SD card level. If it reads it, you have a chance. If it doesn't, the card is A) Incompatible with SPI mode, or B) totally dead for regular use.

Restoring Data from an SD card normally requires that the SD card be in working order, just with bad blocks or a corrupt filesystem. If it's physically dead, there is nothing that can be done.


This blog will help. It expands on the SD library provided by Adafruit and the poster provides some scripts to get the files back on a computer, though at the time of this posting the "raw recovery" sketch doesn't seem to be complete. I'd say more about it, but the card I have is dead and not eligible for this procedure...

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