Today, in this digital world, everything is based on data transfer possible through portable memory storage devices: the memory card, pen drives and hard drives.
However, sometimes viruses and improper ejection of these drives lead to corruption. And in that case, Windows cannot properly format your portable memory drive.
The best ways to fix corrupted memory card/USB pen drive
So to solve this problem, we are here with the best methods to repair damaged memory card or USB drive. With these methods, you can easily repair and use your drive.
1. Connect the USB device to another computer
We mainly deal with SD card or Pendrive issues due to incompatibility or related issues. So before you conclude that your USB or SD card is corrupted and unusable, try connecting it to other devices.
If the USB device works fine on other devices, you should be working on your computer instead of a USB or SD card. So this is the very first step you need to take to check or repair your SD card or USB stick.
2. Use the troubleshooter
You can use Command Prompt to run the Windows hidden hardware and devices troubleshooter. Running the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter finds and fixes existing problems with all your connected hardware, including the USB flash drive.
So if the USB flash drive is corrupted due to some unknown issue, running the hardware and devices troubleshooter can help. Here’s how you can run it.
1. Click Windows Search and type CMD. Right click on the CMD and select Run as administrator.
2. When the command prompt opens, run the command:
msdt.exe -id DeviceDiagnostic
3. This will open it Troubleshooter for hardware and devices. Click the Next one knob.
4. Now follow the instructions on the screen to complete the troubleshooting part.
That is it! The Windows Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter will automatically find and fix any existing hardware or device problems.
3. Update USB driver
If Windows is not reading your USB drive, outdated drivers may be the reason. Sometimes updating the device driver can solve any existing problem. Here’s how to update the device drivers
1. Open the WALK dialog box and type in devmgmt.msc. It opens Device Manager.
2. Now you need to expand it Universal Serial Bus controllers. Here you will see the corrupted or unrecognized USB devices as ‘Unknown devices’
3. If there are no unknown devices, right click on the USB mass storage device and select Update driver.
If the connected USB device needs an update, the Driver Update Wizard will let you know. Just update it to fix existing memory card/pendrive issues.
4. Change the drive letter
Sometimes your computer cannot assign the drive letter to your storage media. This may be the reason why the files on it are not accessible. Therefore, make sure your drive has a letter, or you will have to assign the drive letter to your device. Here’s how to fix your pen drive or memory card by assigning a correct drive letter.
1. First, click Search and type Windows Disk management. Then open the Disk Management utility from the list of matching results.
2. In the Disk Management utility, right-click the drive whose letter you want to change. Here you need to choose your connected USB drive. Select in the right-click menu Change drive letter and paths.
3. Click the Change Drive Letter and Path prompt for the prompt Change knob.
4. At the next prompt, select Assign the following drive letter And select the drive letter from the drop-down list.
5. You will see a confirmation question; Click the Yes button to change the drive letter.
That is it! This changes the drive letter of your Pendrive.
5. Scan the corrupted memory card with an antivirus program
Malware and viruses are prominent reasons for corrupted data on the PenDrive. Although the latest version of Windows has a robust security tool called Windows Security, some malware can still end up on your USB drive.
So it’s best to use a reliable one antivirus solution scan for malware and viruses. You can use antivirus programs such as Malwarebytes, AVG or Kaspersky to find and remove viruses and malware from your USB flash drive.
6. Reinstall the device
Sometimes your computer cannot install the correct drivers for your USB device. If this happens, you will not see the connected USB device in File Explorer. It can be solved by reinstalling the device itself; Follow the steps below.
1. Right-click My Computer/This PC, then click To manage. Or open Device Manager via Windows Search.
2. You need to expand it Disk drives from the list and select your pen drive.
3. Now you need to click To delete and click OK.
Now remove your Pendrive and reboot your PC. Now plug your Pendrive back in; your PC will detect it.
7. Repair PenDrive using Windows Explorer
If you want to recover the USB drive from Windows Explorer, you have to forget the data. Because in this method we have to format the USB drive which leads to data loss. Therefore, you can follow the steps to fix the PenDrive.
1. First, open My Computer or This PC and right-click on the corrupted drive.
2. Now select Format from the drop-down menu and click Restore device defaults in the pop-up window.
3. Now click Get started to start the formatting process. You can uncheck the Quick format option for a deeper scan.
Now press OK, and you have the error-free SD card or Pendrive.
8. Using CMD
1. Connect your first Memory card/USB hard disk to your computer and remove any other drives if you have them connected.
2. Now click on Find Windows, type CMD, right click on the CMD and select ‘Run as administrator‘. Then type on the command prompt
diskpart and press Enter. A pop-up may appear asking for permission; click on OK.
3. Now type
list disk, and you will see all drives listed there. You see your external drive; note the disk number.
4. Now type
select disk disk_number (for ex-select disk 1) and press enter.
5. Then type
clean and press enter.
create partition primary and then press enter.
7. Now type
active and press enter.
8. Then enter the command
select partition 1.
9. Then type
format fs=fat32 and press enter.
That will take a while; after that your drive is successfully formatted and ready to use.
9. Format the SD card partition
Follow this only if the CMD method shows you an error while formatting the disk partition. This method came in handy when Windows was unable to complete formatting. In this method, we use EaseUS Partition Master to completely format the SD card. However, it is worth noting that this method deletes all files stored on the SD card.
1. First of all, download and install the EaseUS Partition tool on your Windows computer. You can get the download link here.
2. Connect the SD card to your computer and launch the EaseUS partition tool. Select the card you want to format and then choose the option “Format Partition”
3. In the next step, select the file system you want to format. You can choose from FAT/FAT32, NTFS, EXT2/EXT3.
4. Now click ‘To apply’. The tool will now format the unreadable USB or SD card.
That is it. Now your Disk Manager can recognize your SD card without any problem.
10. Using USB Fix software
There are several reasons why your USB drive may be corrupted; this could be due to viruses, malware or hardware problems. However, the USB Fix tool scans your USB drive for possible viruses and malware. If the tool finds malware or viruses, it will be removed immediately.
1. Download and install the USBFix software on your Windows computer and then run it.
2. After installation, you will be prompted to restart your computer. Restart your computer, run the software again and click the Beautiful knob.
3. Wait a few minutes or seconds for the tool to complete the scan. If USBFix finds a problem, it will fix it for you.
Thus, you can use USBFix to fix your corrupted Pendrive.
11. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions
If you have followed all the methods but are still unable to fix your corrupted USB flash drive, it is best to take the help of the manufacturer.
You need to visit the official website of the USB flash drive you are using and then follow the instructions it shares to fix it. If there is no information, you can claim under warranty (if applicable).
If the manufacturer has a forum, you can post your question and expect answers from people who have faced the same problem.
So, these are some of the simple steps to fix corrupted memory card or pen drive in Windows. If you followed all the methods carefully, you would have already repaired your corrupted USB drive. If you need more help in fixing a corrupted memory card or Pendrive, let us know in the comments below.