How to Fix 'Memory Card is not Formatted' Error


Have you ever met similar "memory card is not formatted" or "can't format memory card" errors on your cell phone’s or digital camera’s mass memory? And wondered if there is a way to fix such memory card format error or at least recover data off the error memory card? It seems such kind of error is common thing especially for digital device users.


"Each time I go to the gallery of my Nokia N96 cell phone and access the SD memory 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?"  - Ghetto from United States


"This kind of strange problem happened a few days ago, I tried to see the photos in my Canon camera when connected it 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 insides and don’t want to lose it. Any way to fix it and recover photos out of my camera? " – Livvy from Canada

Possible Reasons Causing Memory Card Format Error

  • The memory card is totally corrupted after years of using. Such memory card (SD, CF, XD, memory stick etc) is not life-long and are easier to crash with improper operation.
  • Bad sectors. Your PC (with Windows operation system) 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 (File Allocation Table). If you push to format it as NTFS (New Technology File System), then there might be some errors when use it.
  • Incompatibilities in the drivers or BIOS. For most cases, the incompatibility problem only concerns the memory card format procedure. Once the card is formatted, it would work fine.



How to Fix Memory Card Not Formatted Error & Recover Files

Step 1: Take the problematic memory card out of your digital camera or cell phone and connect it to another computer (better runs Windows OS). See if the memory card can be accessed normally. This way sometimes clears the buffers and eliminate incompatibility and make the card be good working again.


Step 2: Still won’t help? Then try recovering data first of all if you have precious files in the memory card. Just connect it to your computer that has installed a data recovery software and then start to perform data recovery.


Step 3: After you perform memory card data recovery, then follow those steps to format the error memory card on your PC. My computer -> Management -> Storage -> Disk Management -> select the problem memory card and then format it here. After reformat, it should make your memory card working again. If this way won't work, use HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool to format it. It should help.


Step 4: Things are not over. After formatting, re-try the recovery software recommended above to see if you can retrieve more data from the memory card.

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