Blank SD Card Recovery

Blank SD Card Recovery: How to Fix the “SD Card Is Blank Or Has Unsupported File System” Error & Recover Data

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Written by Ojash Yadav Ojash Yadav Contributing Writer • 20 articles Ojash Yadav is a contributing writer for Handy Recovery, having joined the project in November 2021. He specializes in articles about recovering various types of files and addressing data loss issues on logically damaged devices. LinkedIn Approved by Andrey Vasilyev Andrey Vasilyev Editor Andrey Vasilyev is an Editorial Advisor for Handy Recovery. Andrey is a software engineer expert with extensive expertise in data recovery, computer forensics, and data litigation. Andrey brings over 12 years of experience in software development, database administration, and hardware repair to the team. LinkedIn

If you’re using an Android device like Samsung Galaxy S5, S7, or Note 4, you might have come across the error message “SD card is blank or has unsupported file system.” It means that your SD card has turned unreadable, along with all your photos and videos stored inside.


But it does not mean that they are lost forever, as there are several ways to perform a blank SD card recovery. In this article, we will be going over the reasons behind this issue and multiple possible fixes that you can apply without needing a professional background in data recovery.

Reasons Behind the “SD Card Is Blank Or Has Unsupported File System” Error

Before we jump to fix blank SD cards, it’s worth looking at the reasons that lead to this issue. The SD card blank error could be caused by corrupt RAW file systems, bad sectors, logical damage, virus infection, and even improper usage. But more often than not, the root cause can be narrowed down to the following points:

  • The SD card was removed from a smartphone without switching off the device.
  • The SD card was mounted on an unsafe computer.
  • You migrated the card from one operating system to another (say from a Windows phone to Android).
  • The card was extracted from a computer without being properly ejected by the “Safely remove hardware” tool.

Methods to Fix “SD Card Is Blank Or Has Unsupported File System” Error

Now that we know the main culprits behind the “SD card blank or unsupported” error, we can move on to the methods of fixing it.

Before we Start

We recommend trying the following quick fixes before attempting an actual fix:

Reboot your device

Sometimes, the “unsupported SD card” or “blank SD card” error can arise due to a bug in the operating system, and as such, you can try to reboot your Android device to fix it.

Eject and reinsert your SD card

If the first troubleshooting didn’t work out, you could also try to eject and reinsert the unsupported SD card. Be sure to clean the card tray before reinserting, as accumulated dust can also lead to readability issues.

Connect SD card to another device

One last thing you can try is testing the SD card on another smartphone. If it works, then it means that the issue is from your smartphone’s end.


If none of these methods proved helpful, it means that your SD card went blank. However, you don’t have to get concerned as you can follow the procedures mentioned below to get rid of this issue.

Method 1: Using Disk Drill to Scan and Recover Lost Files

Disk Drill logoDisk Drill is an excellent data recovery software, making it perfect for the job of retrieving deleted files from an SD card that is unreadable or from a blank SD card. Although you could use any data recovery software available online, Disk Drill offers a level of simplicity with its easy-to-read UI and minimal-step recovery process that makes it a great option for casual users. Here’s how to use it to recover data in case of an “SD card unavailable” error.

  1. Download Disk Drill for Windows from the official website.Download Disk Drill for Windows
  2. Once downloaded, install and launch Disk on Launch to Launch disk drill
  3. Go to your Downloads folder once you’re on the Disk Drill home screen. Click on Drive Backup located on the left-hand side of your screen. click on drive backup
  4. A list of all your partitions and connected drives will show up on your screen. Here, select your blank or ​​unsupported SD card and click on Byte-to-Byte Backup.disk drill byte to byte
  5. A dialogue box will appear on your screen where you can rename the backup file select file type and destination folder. Once you’re all set, click on OK to proceed. click on proceed
  6. Be patient as Disk Drill creates a backup of your blank SD card. The time may vary depending on the size of your SD card. byte to byte backup in progress
  7. Once the process is complete, head to the destination folder where you saved the backup. You will find a folder with a “.dmg” extension.

    This folder is a byte-to-byte copy of your original drive, and you can interact with it as you would with a physical drive. Naturally, you can use this disk image to recover the data of your SD card using Disk Drill.

    navigate to the saved folder

  8. Now, go to the Disk Drill homepage and click on Data Recovery on the left-hand side of your screen.disk drill home page
  9. Click on the ‘three-dot icon’ on the right-hand side of your screen, and select Attach disk image…open preference menu
  10. Now, select the backup disk image of your SD card that you’ve just created and click on Open. It will appear under a new category called Mounted Images. open the created disk imageselect drive
  11. Finally, click on Search for lost data to run a recovery process on the disk on Search for lost data
  12. Once the recovery process is complete, click on Recovery all items.recover all items
  13. Now, select a destination for all your recovered files and click on OK to save recovery location

Once you’ve recovered all your important files and folders, you can format the SD card to solve the issue and later transfer the data back to it.

Method 2: Check Blank SD Card For File System Errors

Another method you can try is using the Command Prompt to check your SD card for any file system errors. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Connect your SD card to your PC.
  2. Now, go to This PC or My Computer and search for the SD card you’ve just mounted and note its drive letter (In our case, our Sandisk SD card was assigned drive letter D).search for the SD you mounted
  3. Now, go to the Windows search bar, type cmd, and click on Run as administrator.Run CMD as Admin
  4. In the Command Prompt screen, type the following command and press Enter to fix the error: chkdsk X: /f (here, X denotes your SD card’s drive letter).type the CHKDSK commandCHKDSK command output

Once the scan is complete, eject your SD card from your PC and insert it into your smartphone to see if it’s working or not.

Method 3: Show Hidden Files on Blank SD Card

It may be possible that your SD card contains some files that are causing this issue, but they might be hidden. You can try to unhide them and delete them manually to fix the problem.

  1. Connect your SD card to your PC.
  2. Now, open Control Panel and go to control panelgo to control panel and open programs
  3. Click on Appearance and Personalization on the left-hand side.Click on Appearance and Personalization on the left-hand side
  4. Next, go to File Explorer and open the View file explorerclick on the view tab
  5. Make sure you have the Show hidden files, folders, and drives option selected.check hidden files is on
  6. Click on Apply and OK to proceed.Click on Apply and OK to proceed

Doing this will reveal all the hidden content on your drive. Now, you can delete the files which you may find to be harmful to your SD card.

Method 4: Reinstall the Drivers For Your SD Card

Another cause for the error could be outdated or corrupt drivers, which you can easily update to resolve any issues. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Go to the Windows search bar and look up Device device manager
  2. Search for your SD card in the list and right-click on it. Now, select Update update driver
  3. On the next screen, you’ll have to option to update the driver manually or let Windows do the job for you.let windows automatically find drivers for youbest drivers already installed windows

Once you’ve updated your Windows driver, your phone should not display the blank or unsupported SD card notification any longer.

Method 5: Quick Format Blank SD Card

Although formatting your SD card should be your last bet, it’s still a viable way to solve the “SD card unavailable”, “SD card not mounting” or “Unsupported SD card” error.

  1. Go to the Windows file explorer (This PC), right-click on your SD card, and click Format.format SD card from file explorer
  2. Make sure the Quick Format box is checked. Then, click on Start to begin formatting.make sure quick format is checked
  3. Now, launch Disk Drill and select your SD card. Then, click on Search for lost data to begin the for lost data disk drill

You can either opt for a quick scan or a deep scan in the Recovery Methods menu on Disk Drill.

Let’s take a look at some commonly asked questions related to the blank SD card or unsupported SD card issue:


Why is my SD card blank?

If your phone says “SD card is blank”, it could be due to several reasons including, but not limited to physical damage, improper handling, virus, and corrupt file system. However, it may be possible that the SD card is not faulty, and the issue is arising on your phone’s end. You can easily test it out by using the memory card on another device.

How do I recover files from a blank/corrupt SD card?

You can use free SD card recovery software like Disk Drill to recover data from a corrupted SD card that’s showing up as blank in the operating system, or throws an “unsupported SD card” error when you connect it to a PC or a smartphone.

To do that, go to Disk Drill and select your SD card from the list of drives and partitions. Now click on Search for lost data to initiate a scan. Once Disk Drill has located all your files and folders, you can copy them to a new destination.

How to fix a blank SD card on an Android phone without using a computer?

Although using a computer is the most efficient and trusty way of recovering lost data and fixing the “SD card is blank” error, there are a few methods you can try on your Android phone as well. Start by rebooting your smartphone to eliminate any OS-related errors. If it doesn’t work for you, try to eject and reinsert the memory card back in its slot. Hopefully, your SD card should show up in the drive list.

How to fix an unsupported SD card without formatting?

Formatting a malfunctioning SD card is often the last option as you risk losing all your data. That is why you can try out a few methods such as using the CHKDSK command, running the Windows ‘error checking’ feature, and even reinstalling drivers to fix this issue. However, it is tricky to recover data from a dead SD card, so it’s best to seek professional help if you don’t see any results

How to format an unsupported SD card on Android?

When all else fails, it’s best to format your unsupported SD cards to fix any issues with it, as you can always recover data from formatted SD cards. However, be mindful that it’s easier to recover data if you quick format your memory card as opposed to standard formatting. To do it, connect your SD card to your computer and go to the Windows File Explorer. Now, right-click your SD card and select Format. Here, select the quick format option and hit OK to format your memory card.

How do you fix SD card is blank or has unsupported file system?

There are many methods you can use to fix an SD card that is blank or has unsupported file system. Some of them are as follows:

  1. Use DrillDisk to create a byte-to-byte backup and perform data recovery on the disk image.
  2. Use the chkdsk command on the command prompt to repair your SD card.
  3. Use Windows ‘Error Checking’ feature.
  4. Reinstall your SD card drivers.
  5. Quick format your SD card and perform data recovery using Disk Drill.

Final Word

SD cards are a compact and handy way of storing your precious photos and videos on your smartphone. However, your data is not entirely safe as it is always at a risk of loss if the SD card is improperly handheld. Luckily, the methods we have discussed in this article provide an easy way for casual users to recover their lost files. But, we recommend creating backups on a separate storage unit so that you never permanently lose any of it.

About article
Contributing Writer Ojash Yadav

This article was written by Ojash Yadav, a Contributing Writer at Handy Recovery Advisor. It was also verified for technical accuracy by Andrey Vasilyev, our editorial advisor.

Curious about our content creation process? Take a look at our Editor Guidelines.

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