How to Fix 'Memory Card is not Formatted' Error


Have you ever met this weird "memory card is not formatted" or "can't format the card" error with your mobile phone or digital camera when plugged into your computer? and wondering if there is a way to fix such card error, or at least recover the data stored in the memory card? You are not alone.

"Each time I go to the gallery of my Samsung Galaxy cell phone and access the SD card. It says memory card not formatted and then asks me to format it. I followed the instruction and formatted it, but still got same message again. How to fix this kind of error?"  - posted by Sarah in Facebook.


"The problem was found a couple days ago, I tried to get the photos in my Canon camera, but when connected to my PC, it gave an error message indicating the memory card is not formatted, do you want to formatted it now? Please help me, I have so many precious pictures that can't be lost. " – asked by Jeff in a Q&A site.

Possible Reasons Causing Memory Card Format Error

  • The card is corrupted due to improper use. Memory cards (SD, CF, XD, memory stick etc) are not life-long, and very likely to suffer crash if used improperly (such as hard plug-out without ejecting).
  • Disk bad sectors. Your PC refuses to format it because bad sectors exist in the memory card which is required for a file system such as for a boot sector or the FAT table sector etc.
  • Memory card file system error. Usually a memory card (volume less than 32GB) is originally formatted as FAT. If you push to format it as NTFS, there might be some errors occured.
  • Incompatibilities in the drivers or BIOS. In most cases, the incompatibility problem only concerns the memory card format procedure. Once the card is formatted, it should work fine.

How to Fix Memory Card Not Formatted Error & Recover Files

Step 1: Take the problematic card out of your device (phone, camera, game consule etc) and connect it to another computer (better runs Windows operating system). See if it can be accessed correctly. Sometimes this way helps clear the buffers, eliminate incompatibility and make the card function well.


Step 2: Still won’t help? Now try memory card photo recovery software to see if your precious media files (pictures, videos, audio) can be recovered. How to do? Just connect your device to a computer that has installed the program, then start to scan and restore the files.


Step 3: Then format the error memory card on your PC. Go to -> 'My computer' -> 'Management' -> 'Storage' -> 'Disk Management' -> select the disk drive your card represents and format it here. After that, your card should work properly. If the quick format option doesn't work, use HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool to format it.


Step 4: After reformatting, retry the recovery software you used in step 2, hopefully you can get back more photos.


That's it. Good luck.

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