How To Recover Photos From SD Card Without Formatting

Does your SD Card need formatting but you don’t want to format it because you certainly can’t afford to lose your important stuff? Well, keep reading this article to learn the best workarounds to fix and recover pictures from a memory card without formatting it.

Reasons Why SD Card Becomes Inaccessible:

Oftentimes, when you try to access your memory card on a Smartphone, Digital Camera or Camcorder, you may witness the error message “You need to format the disk in drive L: before you can use it. Do you want to format it?”.

In general scenarios, a damaged or corrupted Memory card can result in such types of errors and advise you to format it to resolve the issue. Below are some common reasons why your SD card gets damaged or inaccessible:

  1. Your SD Card has developed bad sectors over time
  2. Improper way or inserting or removing SD card
  3. Continued use of SD Card even when it is low on storage
  4. Portable device doesn’t support memory card
  5. Any manufacturing defects
  6. Virus infection
  7. And many more!

When Windows Asks To Format The SD Card. Should I Agree?

Well, you should only agree on formatting the memory card if you don’t need the files/folders stored on the same. But in case you want to have your precious pictures and other multimedia files back safely on your device, you should consider repairing it first and then using a professional photo recovery software to get your files back in its original quality.

What To Do First: Repair SD Card Before Recovering Images On SD Card

The very first thing you should do to fix a damaged or inaccessible Memory Card is run the CHKDSK command line. Follow the instructions below to learn the procedure:

WORKAROUND 1 = Run Built-In Windows Utility CHKDSK

STEP 1= To check the error on SD Card, all you have to do is – Insert the memory card into a card reader and connect it to your PC.

STEP 2= Go to the search bar and type CMD. Launch the very first result that appears, right-click on the same and choose the option Run as Administrator.

STEP 3= From the Command Prompt window, type the command line: CHKDSK (Drive Letter).

For instance: CHKDSK H: /F

Once the scanning gets completed, you’ll be able to verify the content stored on the SD card. Now you should try accessing your memory card again. The problem should be resolved by now and you will be able to recover photos from SD Card without formatting it. 

WORKAROUND 2 = Assign New Drive Letter

This method is beneficial if your SD card is not visible when you try connecting drives on PC. Implement the instructions mentioned below:

STEP 1 = Simply connect the SD Card to your Windows PC.

STEP 2 = Now go to the Start menu and right-click on the same to choose option Disk Management.

STEP 3 = From the right-pane, right-click on the drive you wish to assign a letter.

STEP 4 = Simply, choose options Change Drive Letter and Paths. . . from the context menu.

STEP 5 = As soon as you do that, a dialog box will appear on the screen, check the option Assign following drive letter.

STEP 6 = Simply choose the letter you wish to assign and hit OK!

That’s all! You need to close the computer management window and reinsert your SD Card like the usual way. Hopefully, your memory card will be detected and you can access it without any error. Further, you can try to get pictures off a SD Card without formatting.

WORKAROUND 3 = Run Windows Troubleshooter

Windows comes with an excellent functionality that helps users to locate and fix hardware or driver related issues in just a few clicks. Let’s take a look at how you can run Windows Troubleshooter can fix the problem appearing with your Memory card.

STEP 1 = Get started by connecting your Memory Card to your Windows PC.

STEP 2 = Now, navigate to the Start menu and go to Settings.

STEP 3 = Click on the Update & Security module and choose Troubleshoot option.

STEP 4 = Simply select the option that states – Hardware and Devices.

Hit the option Run the Troubleshooter to start fixing issues related to your Memory Card. This will further help you to recover photos from SD Card without formatting it.

How To Recover Data From SD Card Using A Professional Photo Recovery Software?

After accessing your memory card, if you find that some of your pictures are missing due to any specific error, use a professional data recovery solution like Photos Recovery by Systweak. The application works brilliantly when it comes to scanning both external and internal storage media to locate lost or accidentally deleted images. To start the recovering process, follow the instructions mentioned below:

  • Connect your SD Card to your computer.
  • Install and launch Photos Recovery by Systweak on your Windows 10, 8, 7 PC.
  • From the main dashboard, click on the Removable tab and choose the SD Card location. Also, you’ll presented with two scanning modes: Quick Scan & Deep Scan. For best results, we suggest choosing Deep Scan.
  • Hit the Start Scan Now button and let the software start locating missing, permanently deleted and lost photographs from Memory card.
  • As soon as the scanning gets complete, preview the snaps and carefully review the pictures you wish to restore on your system from the memory card.

Hit the Recover button to get pictures off a SD Card without formatting!

Hope you found this guide useful and will be able to successfully recover data from SD Card without formatting it. If you have any suggestions or feedback to share, do mention them in the comments section!


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