SD Card Won’t Format, How to Deal With it?

“The SD card won’t format even though I bought it a couple of weeks ago. I use this SD card mainly to store my photos taken with the Samsung phone I use. I am not sure what has happened with the SD card. And I cannot figure out if it is infected with a virus or corrupted in some other way. When I connect the SD card to the computer, it says the card should be formatted. Even if I will lose data, I tried to format the card through the PC. But I am continuously getting the message saying that it cannot format the SD card. Can any expert help me out? Please!”

The above paragraph is just a single example that shows an issue associated with SD cards. This issue takes place when you try to read the SD card with the assistance of a computer. When you insert the SD card, the PC says that the SD card won’t format. As of today, SD cards are becoming incredibly popular because of their miniature size. So, if you’re using an SD card to store valuable data, the above issue can be a huge issue. Here, we intend to explain how to resolve this matter.

What can cause the issue “SD card won’t format.”

Before we go to the solutions, it is better to take a look at the reasons behind this issue. There are a couple of general reasons behind this issue, and let’s take a look at them.

When an SD card runs into problems and wants to be formatted, there’s something wrong with its file system. In other words, the requirement to be formatted can appear due to a file system incompatibility.

  • For instance, some devices use only the FAT32 SD card.
  • Also, the SD card file format can suddenly turn raw.
  • Windows simply cannot recognize the SD card you have inserted.
  • The SD card doesn’t show up as a mass storage device. Instead, it may appear as an unallocated space.

And so on.

Nevertheless, the error message you see would say that the respective SD card should be formatted. Even though the system says so, the same system doesn’t allow you to format the SD card. According to the research, however, we were able to end up finding several causes behind this issue.

  • The SD card you are trying to format is write-protected. As a result, Windows cannot make any changes to it. So, you cannot format your SD card at all until you remove the write-protection.
  • SD card is with bad sectors, or it has corrupted due to some reason. As a result, Windows cannot necessarily format a corrupted SD card.
  • You are using the SD card on various devices and computers. As a result, malware such as viruses can enter your card and make it inaccessible. When the card is infected with a virus, you cannot format the SD card.

PS: let’s figure out how to permanently Format SD Card on Android and how to Recover Data from SD Card Online with ease.

What should you do if your SD card won’t format?

In this part, we explain how to fix if your SD card won’t format. The methods we try here will be applied to all the Windows operating systems that are currently in use.

Besides, if you are facing the issue like SD card not showing up on Windows, here are the top solutions. Also, click to try the best Android SD Card Recovery tool.

01. Use Windows Disk Management to format the SD card.

There is no shortage of individuals who cannot format the SD card for the first time through Windows Explorer. In general, Windows File Explorer should be good enough to format many SD cards. However, the problem is that the respective method can fail at times. In that case, you should move to an advanced method and get the SD card formatted. In this case, you should use Windows Disk Management to get the job done.

  • First, you should launch Disk Management in your Windows OS. To do that, you should go to “This PC” or “My Computer” (depending on your OS version). Then, go to the option called “Manage” and choose “Disk Management.”
  • Then, locate and right-click on the SD card and select the option called “Format.”
  • Make sure you choose the correct format (such as FAT32, NTFS or exFAT). Then, you should quickly format the SD card. Choose that option and click “OK.”
Use Windows Disk Management to format the SD card

02. Use Diskpart and clean the faulty SD card.

  • Make sure that you press the Windows key + R keys at the same time. Then, in the run box, you should type the text “CMD.” After that, hit Enter so you can open the command prompt.
  • Now, you should enter the text “diskpart” and hit enter so it will run the Diskpart Utility.
  • Enter the text “list disk” and hit enter so you can list the drives on the computer.
Use Diskpart and clean the faulty SD card
  • Now, you should type the text select disk “X.” Please note that the “X” should be replaced by the drive number of the faulty SD card.
Use Diskpart and clean the faulty SD card
  • Enter the text “clean,” so you can run the clean utility. This option will wipe all data on the SD card.
Use Diskpart and clean the faulty SD card
  • Enter the text “create partition primary,” and it will create a new partition on the SD card.
Use Diskpart and clean the faulty SD card
  • Now, enter the text “format fs=ntfs” or “format fs=fat32,” so the system will format the respective SD card.
Use Diskpart and clean the faulty SD card

Please note that you should hit the “Enter” key after typing each command line.

03. Use a Third-party SD Card Formatter to Format SD card.

If you were not able to fix the issue, you should alternatively switch to a professional, third-party tool. This can be used if you don’t want to try the complex command prompt method. When you choose a third-party tool, however, you must be careful to find a reliable option. In that case, you should do a considerable amount of research and get it done. This is exactly when a third-party tool like EaseUS Partition Master. It is highly reputed and trusted by many users across the globe. This tool works perfectly to format the memory card if it is corrupted, damaged, or inaccessible. Also, it can format the SD cards that cannot be formatted in the Windows platform.

If you compare it with Windows’ built-in tool DiskPart utility, the functionality of EaseUS Partition Master is impressive. It has an intuitive, wizard-based, very simple, and straightforward SD card formatting functionality to make things easier. Are you a novice user with little computer knowledge? If so, you can use this tool to troubleshoot the SD card without much hassle.

Get EaseUS Partition Master

How to use the software?

Mentioned below are the steps you should follow in order to format the SD card using EaseUS Partition Master.

  • First, you should launch EaseUS Partition Master. Then, you should right-click the partition on your external hard drive/USB/SD. That means the card which you want to format. Then, you should choose the “Format” option.
EaseUS Partition Master
  • Now, you should assign a new partition label, a file system, and an appropriate cluster size. Once you have done that, just click “OK.”
EaseUS Partition Master
  • Once the Warning window pops up, you should click “OK” so you can proceed.
EaseUS Partition Master
  • Make sure that you click on the option called “Execute Operation” button as well. This option is located in the top-left corner. By pressing this, you can review the changes. After that, click “Apply” so you can start formatting your external hard drive or SD card.
EaseUS Partition Master

04. Change the Driver Letter and see if the faulty SD card is detected.

In certain cases, we cannot proceed with the process because the SD card is not showing up at all. To get it done and proceed with formatting, you should rectify that issue first. Mentioned below is the procedure you should follow.

  • As the first step, you should connect the SD card (that doesn’t get formatted) to your PC.
  • Now, you should right-click on “This PC” or “My Computer.” Then, go to Manage and choose Disk Management.
  • Navigate to and right-click on the faulty SD card. Then, you should select the options related to changing a drive letter and paths.
  • Once you have done that, just re-select a new drive for the same SD card. Click “OK” and confirm the changes.
Change the Driver Letter and see if the faulty SD card is detected

05. Remove the Write Protection if the SD card is write-protected

As we have mentioned before, your SD card won’t format if it is write-protected. This is true for hard drives and even for USB flash drives. This could be the reason for a large number of users to experience an “SD card won’t format” issue. It can be seen on mobile devices as well as on PCs. So, if this is the case, you should try to remove the write protection from the faulty SD card. You can either use the CMD interface or EaseUS. Those who aren’t familiar with the command lines can rely on EaseUS. Thankfully, EaseUS has introduced a new kit to rectify this very issue. It is applicable for your hard drive, external hard drive, or USB flash apart from SD.

The name of this tool is EaseUS Tools M. Basically; it is a one-click tool that can solve the write-protection issues on your own.

Mentioned below are the steps to follow in order to use this tool and fix the issue.

  • First, you should download EaseUS Tools M and install it (it is for free).
  • Then, launch EaseUS Tools M on your PC and select the option called “Write Protection.”
  • You should now select the device which is currently “Write-Protected.” Then, you should click “Disable” so you can remove the protection. It’s that simple!
EaseUS Tools M

06. Check for bad sectors and repair them.

There can be bad sectors on your storage media, but there are invisible. However, they will prevent you from accessing the data in the device and using the existing files. To get rid of the bad sectors, you can simply format the respective disk. Well, what if you cannot directly format the faulty SD card that has bad sectors in your Windows PC? In that case, you should run the command lines to check the number of bad sectors. After that, you can repair them all. Once you have removed the bad sectors from the SD card, it’s time to format it.

  • Invoke the Run utility by pressing Windows key + R keys at the same time.
  • Then, enter the text cmd in the Run box. After hitting Enter, you will see the command prompt.
  • Once you are in the command prompt, just enter the command chkdsk E: /f /r /x. Be sure to Replace the letter E with your SD card’s actual drive letter.

Other instances in which you cannot format an SD card

01. Fixing a RAW SD card that cannot be formatted

Do you see the SD card in RAW, when you have checked it in the Disk Management? If so, you should first convert the RAW file system to NTFS or FAT32. Otherwise, you cannot use it normally. So, to convert a RAW SD card to NTFS or FAT32, you should go for a disk format. You can easily fix this issue with the assistance of Disk Management by using the methods we have mentioned earlier. For instance, you can either use Command Prompt or EaseUS Partition Master.

02. Repairing SD Card installed on an Android/Canon Camera

Before everything else, you should remove the card from the device. Then, insert it again. If you still can’t format the SD card, take out the SD card once again. This time, connect it to a Windows PC or laptop. Then, you can choose one of the methods mentioned below and format the SD Card.

  • Use Disk Management to format the SD card.
  • Use CMD to format the SD card.
  • Use EaseUS Partition Master to format the SD card.

03. Formatting an SD card larger than 32GB

You should know that Windows does not allow you to format SD cards larger than 32GB to FAT32. So, if your SD card larger than 32GB, use EaseUS Partition Master to format it.

Get EaseUS Partition Master

So, that’s how to deal with if the SD card won’t format!