How to find out if SD card is corrupted or damaged
Signs that show SD card is failing
Secure Digital card, also known as SD card (or SDSC, SDHC, SDIO, microSD, etc.) have become the most convenient mode to save data in many electronics gadgets such as digital camera, music player, cell phones, video player, iPod, iPhone, iPad, etc. However, like all the memory cards, SD cards too are prone to corruption or damage that might make it non-functional.
A damaged or corrupted memory card does not allow its data to function properly. If a card gets corrupted, you may not be able to access data from it and all the stored photos, videos, and other files may simply disappear.
So, how can one find out if the SD card is at fault? The first step here would be check if the device is at fault.
If the device is not at fault, then you need to check if the SD card is mounted properly. There are usually three ways to put the SD card in a device.
Method 1: Used by mainly many PC multi-card readers, in this method, the card slides into its slot without any spring tool to hold it in.
Method 2: This technique is used by digital cameras/camcorders a lot, wherein the card slides in with the help of a spring instrument to hold it in place, such as a push-and-click-in/push-and-click-out, to hold it in place.
Method 3: Used mostly in smartphones, in this method, the card is placed down and then “sealed” into place with a metal flap by moving it into place manually.
In Method 1, since there is hardly any pressure applied while placing a SD card in a device, it rules out the possibility of device’s fault as it requires only minimal effort to place the SD card in and remove it out.
In Method 2, there are chances that the device could be at fault, as considerable amount of pressure is put on the card and contacts due to the click-in/click-out methods of mounting cards used.
Lastly, in Method 3, it is very doubtful that the device is at fault because at no time there is significant pressure applied on the card, except for the “flap-and-click” where the card is laid down, pulled over the flap, then the flap is pulled with the finger and the contacts are clicked into place.
WHAT ARE OTHER SIGNS THAT SHOW THE SD CARD IS FAILING?
• SYSTEM INITIALIZATION FAILURES
While switching on a digital camera, for instance, the screen shows that there’s no card in it. However, the card is then recognized after switching off the camera and starting again. In such a case, it is most likely that the card has failed completely and its time you should replace it.
• READ AND WRITE FAILURES
Another sign that the SD card is nearing its end and needs to be replaced is when you check that the data written on it is corrupted or you are unable to locate it.
• BAD CONTACTS
The click-in/click-out method of mounting an SD card is the likely reason for bad contacts due to the frequently inserting and removing of the card. As a result, contact points can go bad on the card and the device both in turn wearing out the SD card.
PRECAUTIONS THAT CAN BE TAKEN TO AVOID CONTACT FAILURE
The simple solution to avoid SD card failure is to simply not move it. Alternatively, you can use the USB cable to get off the data stored on the SD card. For instance, you can plug your digital camera into your PC via USB cable to get data and photos off the SD card without ever physically removing it from the device.
WHY DEVICES DON’T PROMPT ME “FRIENDLY” ERRORS TO TELL ME WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE SD CARD?
Generally, majority of the SD cards are not designed to notify any errors. Older devices in earlier days that used SD would report “system failure” in case of a card failure. However, this error does not give more information such as where, how and when. In most cases, it is always a memory card fault.
However, with the advance in technology, the latest devices report an on-screen error such as, “CARD READ FAILURE”, or show an on-screen red icon with a picture of a card with a slash through it notifying outright that there is a problem with the card and needs to be replaced.
Please remember that most often when an error pops up, you will have to figure it out for yourself what is the cause of the error, as little computers that are in devices like digital cameras, for instance, aren’t exactly the most user-friendly.
Still, in the event the other causes are ruled out, more often than not it is probably the SD card that’s causing the error in the first place. Further, if the error still persists after replacing the SD card, then try and clean the contacts on the device either by blowing on them yourself or with a can of compressed air using very short spurts.
The author Kavita Iyer
An individual, optimist, homemaker, foodie, a die hard cricket fan and most importantly one who believes in Being Human