I bought a Kingston Digital 16 GB microSDHC Class 10 UHS-1 Memory Card 30MB/s with Adapter (SDC10/16GB), http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0036V9AGU?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_search_detailpage, a little over a year ago, and it suddenly stopped working. Both of the phones I tried it in don't even show that it has been inserted. My Windows 7 computer shows that the adapter (sold with the card) is plugged in because it shows up under "Disk Drives" in the Device Manager, but it doesn't act like the micro SD is in the adapter. I cannot even assign it a drive name as pasted below from http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-hardware/windows-7-not-recognizing-sd-card-in-device/a24fc1c8-6d06-4506-a65b-402d5b0e56ce?auth=1.

"Right click on My Computer, select Manage. On the following screen, click on Disk Management. You should now see the flash card drive on the right hand side of the screen, assign it a drive letter, and voila, it should now show up in Windows Explorer."

Does anyone have any suggestions for recovering data if the card even fails to mount?

  • Just got my computer to recognize the card, but now it says that it's write protected and won't let me do anything with it. Any further suggestions? – Padawan Aug 3 '15 at 3:13

I've occasionally had positive results when booting a system that didn't recognize a flash drive or memory card into an alternative operating system, such as booting a system with Windows installed on it from a Linux Live CD, instead, and then mounting the card/drive there and copying the data from it to other media. It may be a long shot to be able to attempt to mount it on the same system under Linux when it didn't mount under Windows on that system, but it doesn't cost you any money. And, if you use a forensics Live CD, such as CAINE, DEFT Linux, etc., you may be able to use a forensics tool to at least get some of the data from it, e.g., pictures, etc., even if not all of the data is recoverable. And once, when I was unable to mount media on a couple of Microsoft Windows systems, but then connected it to a third system, it mounted there where I was able to recover the data, though I don't know why I was able to do so on the third system when I couldn't on the other two.


I'm not an expert but here are my suggestions:

there is the possibility that the microcontroller inside the sd card is broken by seeing that it suddenly stopped working. If this is the case, I expect it would be hard to overcome this by software approaches since the hardware is damaged.

If not, then perhaps try recognizing it from linux? I noticed that windows tend to fail to recognize a flash drive's filesystem properly in some cases. Perhaps for some reason windows is also failing to recognize the sd card. But on Ubuntu, I had no problem with it(using commands like parted). If parted -l shows the existence of the sd card, then try mounting it afterwards. If your lucky, it might work.

  • additional note: linux may also fail to recognize sd card because it did not initialize the sd card reader device during bootup. If you google on this matter, there are some guides to fix this. – do_os Aug 2 '15 at 18:56

Sometimes contacts between external pins and internals components may get lost(Especially a case for USB flash drives where plug/unplug operations may broke soldered contacts). With USB drives it is much easier, just apply some mechanical pressure in different directions when it plugged to force restore contacts inside of drive. There bunch of such ones was successfully "restored" this way. MicroSD is more hard case, but I recovered successfully twice such unrecognizable microSD by inserting something(thin, flat piece of plastic, papers...) between SD card adapter and microSD itself to make a mechanical pressure on micoSD. It is unrepairable though, but at least it allows to extract files from such devices.

Try also official formater made by Panasonic. to attempt to bring drive to live. It was designed especially and ONLY for Flash drives because OS'es not really following low level format standard for SD cards.

There is also pretty good free utility PhotoRec that can restore a bunch of files(not only photos) on a broken drives.

  • As I mentioned in the comment to my question, I just got my computer to recognize the card, but now it says that it's write protected and won't let me do anything with it. Any further suggestions? – Padawan Aug 3 '15 at 3:14

I have similar issue and it seems in my case any of software-aided answers not work. It's probably one chance as shown here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjB6wliyE_Y

I won't do it myself.

In my case card was probably overheated and damaged because it was inserted to laptop many days while computer was working and was boiling hot, but I'm not 100% sure. It now also blocks BIOS and computer on startup so definitely hardware damage, I don't believe in software ghosts.

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