How to recover a dead SD card?

Discussion in 'Application Software' started by varso, Jan 25, 2010.

  1. varso

    varso MDL Junior Member

    Sep 10, 2009
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    My computer hung up while formating a 16 GB SD card. Now some SD card readers ask to reformat the card but fail, others do nothing while some allow me fo launch the format program .
    Unfortunately, my 16bg is detected as 128 MB and I can't change this setting. Even if I try with the 128 MB setting, Windows 7 reports it can't format the card.

    Obviously the card controller is not dead. It is just a bad format.

    Any idea how to recover from this?

    Thanks
     
  2. dar45

    dar45 MDL Novice

    Sep 10, 2009
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    #2 dar45, Jan 25, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2010
    Google this formatter , I use this on all my sd cards.
    panasonic sd formatter
    sdfv2003.exe
     
  3. varso

    varso MDL Junior Member

    Sep 10, 2009
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    I have already tried SD formatter from Panasonic and it did not perform better than the W7 formatter.

    I simply do not accept that a failed format should render an SD card useless. We were always able to recover from a failed format of a floppy or hard disk. By all means, a 16GB SD card is not cheap.

    If a technology is not robust to withstand day to day operations, it is not ready for prime time....
     
  4. RCOO

    RCOO MDL Senior Member

    Jan 15, 2009
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    SD cards technology is still very fresh, and hangs a lot.
    May i suggest a low level format?
    Worked on my USB stick. It is 4GB, I installed chromium on it to test it, formatted using windows and only 980MB were recognized. So, i did a low level format and it works perfectly, recognizing 3,86 GB, like it should.
    Good luck.
     
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  5. varso

    varso MDL Junior Member

    Sep 10, 2009
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    I am not sure what you mean by low level format. I assume you meant in the Disk Manager. My card is detected as a 1854.86 GB card. Based on your experience with your 4 GB card, I took a chance and initiated a format (in disk manager). It is not looking too good at this point. It has been formating for the last 2 hours and the format is at 1%.
    If I am lucky( and believe in miracles) I will end up with a 1.8TB card.:D

    I will post my results when the format completes
     
  6. Stannieman

    Stannieman MDL Guru

    Sep 4, 2009
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    - type diskpart in the runwindow (winkey + r)
    - in diskpart type "list disk" without quotes
    - type "select disk x", x represents the disknumber in the left collum, be carefull to select the right one, you don't want to erase your external hd or anything like that.
    - type "clean", ALL partitions will now be removed from the card, as well as an mbr or bootsector wich might be there if you ever made it bootable. Your card is now not more than an expensive brick
    - type "create partition primary", a new primary partition will be created as big as possible (16GB in your case)
    - type active if you want to set the partition active

    now exit diskpart and format the sd card and you're ready to go
     
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  7. varso

    varso MDL Junior Member

    Sep 10, 2009
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    Whoa! what a nice tool. Thanks for the info. I like learning.

    I followed your instructions but it failed after the clean instruction.

    The clean instruction reports the card as successfully cleaned but the create partition primary command failed because there is no free space left on the card.
    I then did a list disk which reported my card as 1854 G bytes 0 bytes

    Disk manager reports my card as 1854.86 GB RAW Healthy (primary partition)

    Looks like the clean command does not delete the partition. I am stuck.
     
  8. urie

    urie Moderator
    Staff Member

    May 21, 2007
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  9. ozzyboy

    ozzyboy MDL Member

    May 18, 2009
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    diskpart
    list disk
    select disk "x"
    clean
    create partition primary
    list volume
    select volume "X"
    format fs=fat32

    good lock!!
     
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  10. varso

    varso MDL Junior Member

    Sep 10, 2009
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    @OzzyBoy
    Your instructions are the same as the one provided by Stannieman. I tried and it failed because diskpart reads a wrong SD card size. Diskpart and DiskManager detects my 16 GB SD card as a 1854.86 GB card. Somehow, the data used to store the SD card size is corrupted.

    My SD card has no partition and the create partition primary command cannot create a 1854 GB partition on a 16 BG card. I need a way to overwrite the size detected by diskpart or create a partition of 16BG.

    I tried create partition primary size=1. It failed but I do not know why. It just listed a list of parameters options which I can't read because there is no pause command and I can't scroll back more than a screen.

    @ Urie

    I downloaded Partition Wizard Home Edition V4.22 and it does not detect any SD cards. What version should I get or how do I get the software to see my SD card?
     
  11. genuine555

    genuine555 MDL Expert

    Oct 3, 2009
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    I once had the same issue with a MicroSD card. After a partially completed (and failed) format, it couldn't be recognized anymore.
    Tried several card-readers, digital camera devices. Tried reformatting, low-level format and several partitioning apps.
    NOTHING worked, so I ultimately threw it away and donated 5 bucks in a store to buy a new one.

    I'd say, don't bother. It's a waste of time. Considering the low price-tag AND the fact that you did a format (which means no important data needs to be recovered), I recommend just buying a new one.
     
  12. varso

    varso MDL Junior Member

    Sep 10, 2009
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    @genuine555

    Euh! a 16 BG card is a lot more tha $5. I think it is worth asking around a bit. I know the card has just few bytes off and reports a false card size. If someone knows a utility to fix this, it would be super. If nothing exist YET, well, I will have to put it aside ad move on until something shows up.

    Just to vent a bit, I was not doing a low level format, just a regular format... It should not skrew-up the detected card size, just the partition. I just want to prove to everyone that SD card technology is not ready for prime time.

    I will not invest more time until someone find a trick to fix this.

    Thanks to all for your help. You're the BESTS...
     
  13. Animeniac

    Animeniac MDL Novice

    Dec 19, 2008
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    Have you tried running "chkdsk X: /f" (X = your card's drive letter)?
     
  14. Stannieman

    Stannieman MDL Guru

    Sep 4, 2009
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    That can't work cause hic card has no partitions so it can't have a driveletter.
    And can you actually low level format a sd card? The low level format on harddisks keeps the info about the clusters, their size etc. But flash memory works in a completaly different way, so is there a real low level format like it is with harddisks?
     
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  15. varso

    varso MDL Junior Member

    Sep 10, 2009
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    No can't do that because there is no assigned drive letter but once inserted. I can access the SD card by a right-click/property/chkdsk. The command failed because there is no partition. Back to square 1...:(
     
  16. Stannieman

    Stannieman MDL Guru

    Sep 4, 2009
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    I think you need a program that ignores what's now your sd card and just writes. But I don't know if the driver will allow that (if a driver can do that, I don't knwo much about drivers).
     
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  17. varso

    varso MDL Junior Member

    Sep 10, 2009
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    Yes that's what I think too. Will put the card on a shell and wait for some miracle software to show up one day.:(
     
  18. M8R-d4kps4

    M8R-d4kps4 MDL Novice

    Oct 21, 2010
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    #18 M8R-d4kps4, Oct 27, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2010
    SD card rescue

    You may wish to try TestDisk, I've had some luck with it before when working on flash drives that were mucked up.
     
  19. vivek.krishnan

    vivek.krishnan MDL Novice

    Dec 13, 2009
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    What card is it? If it is cheap unbranded chinese stuff , then you will have this problem. Forever.

    Had a 1GB flash drive, after formatting became 120MB in size and after trying lots of things showed up as a 8GB drive. Still have it, as a showpiece.

    Try to format it using a camera or some other electronic equipment. Might be worth a try.
     
  20. sam3971

    sam3971 MDL Guru

    Nov 14, 2008
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    You can also try Paragon Partition Manager Boot(I cannot link to it, it would be warez). I have personally used Paragon for all my hard drive managements like partition creation/deletion, formats, and so on. It might be worth a try.
     
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