Effectively keeping your data secure and accessible doesn’t come as easy especially considering that data storage devices may fail without notice. As technology evolves, many programs designed to help you recover lost files have emerged, enabling you to dig deep and recover vital data. Whether it’s a folder that contains photos and videos of your most memorable family vacation or documents that are essential to your company’s activities or just some other data you find very useful – and it doesn’t matter if these files were lost through a hardware failure or some kinda mistake, we have outlined the best SD card repair tools that will ease your data recovery efforts.
What to Consider when selecting your SD Card Repair Tool
If you’re looking to choose a data recovery app that will do just what it promises to do, be sure to consider performance, features and usability as your major benchmarks for selecting the right software. In some cases, the price category should influence your decision as well though high price tags don’t always translate into value for money.
Top 7 Best SD Card Repair Tools
1. Disk Drill (Windows & macOS)
Disk Drill is a free recovery tool and allows users to recover files up to 500MB (on Windows), protects user data with recovery vault and runs byte-level backups of your failing storage device at no charge. For businesses and individuals who want something extra, Disk Drill provides the option to upgrade to Pro for $89.00 which offers a variety of features including unlimited recovery, support for 1 user and 3 activations, data recovery for home users: Quick & Deep Scan, Rebuild HFS+, Lost Partition Search & more and recovery for all storage types and file systems. Enterprise users, on the other hand, are required to pay something extra ($499.00) to gain access to unlimited recovery, support for 10 users & unlimited activations, full-featured commercial data recovery package with top-level support for the whole company and Forensic data export (DFXML).
2. Recoverit (Windows & macOS)
Users can either choose between the free version or any of the paid options depending on the volume of files you need to recover as well as other perks. The free plan allows you to recover files up to 100MB. Recoverit’s paid plan comes in 3 different bundles. The Essential plan which costs $59.95/yr allows you to restore unlimited files per 1 PC, recover data in 1000+ file formats and with various devices, deep scan & preview files and free tech support. The remaining paid plans which are the standard($69.95/yr) & advanced ($79.95/yr) plans offer additional options by giving users the ability to create a bootable disk/USB, recover files from crashed PC and solve blue screen of death. The perks don’t end there for users on the advanced plan who enjoy advanced video recovery, repair for corrupted videos and the capability to merge video fragments. Recoverit’s 7-day money-back guarantee means your money is insured during that period in case you decide to opt-out.
3. Stellar Data Recovery (Windows & macOS)
4. EaseUS (Windows & macOS)
If you want to do more with the EaseUS recovery wizard which includes getting access to the one-on-one remote recovery assistance, you need to upgrade to the Technician version for $299.00. But if you want more features for a bit less, the EaseUS Pro is also available for $69.95 and $89.95 for the Windows and macOS platforms respectively.
Overall, this software is good. While you can get more from using the free version, the paid versions seem like a good bet as well. Lifetime upgrades, on the other hand, may cost you a couple of bucks and unfortunately, you need separate licenses for the Windows and Mac versions.
5. R-Studio (Windows & macOS)
The software’s advanced data recovery algorithm enables users to retrieve unrecognized files undiscoverable during the disk scanning process, recover files from devices with unknown file systems including HD, CD, DVD, floppy disk, Compact-Flash Card, USB drive, ZIP drive, Memory Sticks and other removable media and increase the quality of recovering from file systems that are not damaged.
Also, files can be viewed and edited with a hexadecimal editor which supports NTFS file attribute editing. The premium paid version which is the R-Studio technician is priced at $899.00 with the basic version being the R-Studio FAT priced at $49.99. Due to the advanced features of R-studio, it is mostly recommended for professionals who require additional features to be able to do more than just data recovery. However, if you are an individual looking to save a couple of bucks, R-Studio may not be the best option for you.
If you are looking for advanced features, this app may well be suited for you but if you’re looking for something with a not-so-big budget, you should consider looking elsewhere.
6. Photorec (Windows, macOS & Linux)
For users who prefer working with programs that have a more user-friendly interface, Photorec may come off as a less preferred option but if you are okay working with a program that will simply do the job without the assistance of your bank account, then this should be in your shortlist of potential apps for recovering your files.
7. Remo Recover (Windows & macOS)
Remo supports file systems such as NTFS, NTFS5, FAT16, FAT32, exFAT, and Mac volume supported file systems including HFS, HFS+, APFS. Like other recovery tools mentioned in this blog, Remo allows users to preview lost files before deciding to recover them. Users can also save scan sessions so they can continue the process later without having to restart the entire scanning process.
Unlike the basic edition which costs $39.37 and offers very little in terms of the features, the Remo Recover Pro which offers a lot more cost $99.97.
Reasons Behind SD Card Corruption
While SD card corruption is a very common phenomenon, there are several causes. Becoming aware of the possible cause of your failed SD Card should offer some valuable insights into how you can recover your data. The following are some of the major causes of SD Card corruption.
- Viruses & Malware. If you are in the habit of transferring data between your SD Card and multiple devices, chances are that you could be transferring malware unto your SD Card unknowingly. Malicious software and computer programs are very common these days and such programs intend to cause damage to both your files and devices by rendering some or all of your data inaccessible, so it’s important to double-check the state of devices & files when connecting to your SD Card.
- Physical Damage. Another reason behind SD card corruption is through physical damage. Accidents are bound to occur and you are more likely to spill water over an SD Card, or place a heavy device over it than receive your COVID-19 test results on time. The possible scenarios of physically damaging your SD Card are enormous.
- Human Error. There are several human errors associated with SD Card corruption. A couple of such examples is when you accidentally remove your SD Card while transferring files or when you overload it with more than enough data to a point where the available storage can no longer accommodate the most minute of files.
- Manufacturing Defect. Manufacturing defects are a possible factor for SD Card corruption and it doesn’t matter which brand of SD Card you come across. While this may be uncommon, such defects may cause your SD Card to work for a while, well ahead of their intended lifespan.
- Wear & Tear. Sometimes the reason why your SD Card is unreadable is that it has reached its maximum lifecycle. Like Lithium-ion batteries, SD Cards have embedded in them electrons that may eventually be damaged through a series of write/erase cycles.
How To Fix SD Card Without Software
Despite the ease of using software to fix errors associated with your SD Card, you may also consider the following hacks to get your SD card working like normal.
Use the CHKDSK command-line tool
One popular, yet effective approach that you can use to scan for disk errors and potentially fix them is by using the CHKDSK command-line tool in Windows. This may be slightly daunting for some but you shouldn’t rule it out. Here’s how to go about it:
- Click on the Start option from Windows taskbar and select Computer.
- Locate your SD card under Devices & Drives whiles taking note of the drive letter assigned to it.
- Click the Start option again. Type “cmd” in the search box.
- Right-click cmd and select Run as administrator.
- A command window should pop up and you must type “chkdsk” followed by the drive letter linked to the SD card, then by a colon and /f. (e.g., chkdsk X: /f)
- Follow the remaining prompts.
Assign a new drive letter to the SD Card
Changing the drive letter of your SD Card can provide a fix to your unreadable SD Card. Here’s how:
- Use the Windows + X command and choose Disk Management.
- Now right-click on your SD card and select the option that allows you to Change Drive Letter and Paths.
- Assign your preferred letter and confirm by clicking ‘OK’.
Reinstall the driver of your card reader
In some instances, an outdated or glitchy driver may be the culprit for your SD Card woes. You can reinstall your SD Card reader driver by doing the following:
- Use the Windows + X command and select Device Manager.
- Connect the SD card reader
- Expand “disk drives” and right-click on your SD Card reader.
- Select Uninstall Device.
- Proceed to restart your PC and Reconnect the SD Card reader.
Are these programs really worth it? Well yes! But here’s the catch. Despite the enormous capabilities of the data recovery programs highlighted, the surest way to keep all your data secure and accessible in the future if you lose them is to perform periodic backups. Data recovery tools undoubtedly are a great resource, to begin with, if you need to recover files that have been either deleted, lost through hardware failure or some other means but what you also need to know is that such programs, no matter how advanced, may not recover all of your data. So, it’s recommended that you exercise an extra layer of caution by performing regular backups of all your data.