The computer does not see the SD memory card
SD cards will remain a popular storage format for a long time to come. The standard has become very closely entrenched in the photo and video equipment market, and therefore the need for card readers has been, is and will continue to be. From time to time, users encounter a problem with the operation of SD cards (or card readers) in computers running Windows 10. The card is inserted into the appropriate port, but the computer cannot recognize it and the SD card is not displayed in Explorer. This is a very common and rather unpleasant problem, which, fortunately, is very easy to fix in the vast majority of cases. In this article, you will find some tips to help you if your computer does not see your memory card.
Although in this manual we are mainly talking about SD cards (the ones that are larger), the instructions are also relevant for microSD cards. Modern computers (Surface tablets, for example) are often equipped with microSD slots lately. The tips in this article also apply to these devices.
The computer or laptop does not see the memory card. what to do
First you need to make sure the card is working. To do this, insert it into another device with a slot for SD (or microSD using an adapter) cards. It can be a camera, camcorder, second computer, tablet, smartphone or any other device equipped with a corresponding slot. If the memory card is not recognized in this device or works intermittently, then it is either damaged or needs cleaning the connectors.
Take a cotton ball, ear stick, or piece of cotton wool, lightly soak them in alcohol or an appropriate cleaning agent (in theory, plain water will do, but either a special cleaning agent or plain alcohol will do the job best) then lightly walk over the metal contacts on back of the memory card. Important: do not pour liquid onto the card (you only risk killing it) or insert it wet into the port. Make sure the contacts are dry and clean, and then try again to connect the memory card to the computer.
Check for dirt in this area of the memory card or adapter you are using.
If after this procedure the memory card works in other devices, but does not work in the computer, then it makes sense to also clean the slot itself. Perhaps there is too much dust in it, which prevents the computer from reading information normally. You can clean the memory card slot in a computer or laptop using compressed air.
Another tip: make sure you insert the card the right way round. The computer should show which side to insert the card. Some slots use a latching mechanism to secure the card into the slot. In such a computer, you cannot insert the card upside down because it will not lock. Other computers may not have this mechanism, so make sure the memory card is installed correctly. Do not use force when connecting or removing a card, as you risk breaking the slot, card or locking mechanisms.
Let’s say the memory card is working, you insert it in the correct direction, the slot in your computer is clean, but the PC still does not see the SD card. In this case, there are some more tips that should help.
Check if the memory card is detected in the disk management interface. If a letter is not assigned to the memory card, the drive will not be displayed in Explorer, although both the slot and the memory card are physically working.
- Unplug any flash drives from your computer and leave only your SD card. This will help streamline the process.
- Click Win X and select Disk Management.
- At the bottom of the utility interface, your hard drives and SSDs will be displayed first. They are labeled as “Basic”. Any removable drives (flash drives, memory cards, external hard drives, and so on) are marked as “Removable Device”. See if it’s on the list. Disk Management should display the type of media, its size and the label “Online”. this means that the card is working properly.
- Check if a letter is attached to the card. If there is no letter ((G :), for example) next to the name of the map, then it is because of this that it is not displayed in Explorer.
- Right-click on the map and select Change Drive Letter or Drive Path. In the window that appears, click Add, and then select the Assign Drive Letter (A-Z) option. Choose any letter you like and click OK.
- After that, the system should inform you about the new found disk and the memory card will appear in Explorer.
Check if the memory card slot is enabled in the BIOS settings of your computer. Sometimes it happens that the card reader on the PC motherboard is simply disabled for some unknown reason. You can check this by simply diving into the BIOS settings. Restart your computer and during startup press F2 / Delete (or another button chosen by your manufacturer) to get into the BIOS. Each computer has its own BIOS (UEFI), which differs depending on the manufacturer or model of the motherboard, so we cannot publish all the options here. You need to find the section with ports and devices (Onboard Devices / Miscellaneous Devices and so on), and then look for something like “Media Card Reader”, “SD Reader”, “Enable ExpressCard” and so on. Make sure it is turned on, then save the settings, restart the computer and try again to connect the memory card.
The checkbox that is responsible for activating the built-in SD card slot in the BIOS of Dell computers. If the checkbox is not checked, the port will not work.
In the case of desktop computers, it is also possible that the SD card slot on the front of the case is not connected to the computer’s motherboard. Here you will have to open your case (before that, completely disconnect the computer from the outlet) and see if the wire is connected from the front panel of the case to the motherboard. The wire with a 9-pin connector must be connected to the appropriate comb on the motherboard.
Sometimes the source of the problem may be an adapter that does not work as expected. This is the case if you are using an SD adapter for microSD cards or other format cards paired with an adapter. Of course, an extra adapter is not always on hand, but this option is also worth considering if you can’t get your computer to work with a memory card. Fortunately, the adapters cost mere pennies and it will not be difficult to find them.
You can refer to the system’s built-in diagnostic and troubleshooting methods. Perhaps Windows itself will be able to find the cause and successfully fix it.
- Click Win I and go to Update & Security.
- In the left menu, click Troubleshoot. Find Hardware and Devices in the list. Click this item and then click Run the troubleshooter.
- Wait while the wizard checks your system and reports the results. If he does not find anything, proceed further along this instruction. If the diagnostics still find something, apply the tips suggested by it, and then try to reconnect the card to the computer.
The next option is to turn off and on the card reader. Perhaps a trivial bug in the operating system or controller led to the failure of the card reader.
- Press Win X and select Device Manager. Alternatively, you can press Win R and enter devmgmt.msc.
- In the list of devices, look for Host Mass Storage Adapters. This is your SD reader. Expand it and the adapter controller should appear on the screen. This can be a Standard SDA-Compliant SD Host Controller, some Realtek PCIe CardReader, or an adapter from another manufacturer.
- Right click on the adapter and select Properties. Go to the Driver tab and click the Disable device button. Confirm Action.
- Then reopen the properties and turn the card reader back in exactly the same way.
If a peculiar reboot of the adapter does not help, you can try reinstalling or updating the card reader driver. Go to your manufacturer’s website and check if there is a new version of the driver. If there is, download and install it. Previously, you can remove the old version of the driver in the Device Manager.
- Press Win X and select Device Manager.
- Expand Host Mass Storage Adapters, then click on the adapter and select Properties.
- On the Driver tab, click Uninstall device. Confirm deletion.
- After that, download the driver on the manufacturer’s website and install it. Restart your computer and then try plugging in the card again.
- If the slot stopped working after a recent driver update, click Roll Back on the Driver tab to revert to the previous version of the driver. Please note that the function to roll back a driver to a previous version will only be available if you have updated the driver at least once. If there are no previous versions of the driver in the system, the Rollback button will be grayed out, as in the screenshot below.
It should be understood that none of these methods will help if your computer’s slot is damaged or broken. If the memory card works in other devices, but is not detected in your computer in any way, even after all these dances with a tambourine, then you need to contact a specialist who will check the physical health of the port, repair or replace it. To extract information from the card, insert it into another device (the same camera), and then connect it via a USB cable to your computer, or transfer the data you need from another PC.
We hope these tips will help you fix the problem and you will not have to contact a service center, repair your computer or change a memory card.
The flash drive stopped working due to a relatively complex breakdown of the USB drive
No one is immune from serious damage to a USB flash drive, including physical damage to internal components, chip chips, short circuit of the flash drive’s electronic board, or deformation as a result of temperature rise or improper operation of the device.
The easiest way to determine the breakdown of a flash drive is by eye: deformation of the case, thermal effects, and other mechanical damage. If a USB flash drive fell to the floor, the connector connecting the board with the USB connector on the computer could break off.
What to do? How to repair a Kingston USB flash drive and other models, you can read about Honor in the article at the link. However, we must honestly admit: most likely, repair is impossible, or repairing the drive will cost a lot of money. In addition, not every specialist in your city will undertake the soldering of chips without a donor.
Damage to the file structure of a flash drive by a virus
One of the types of relatively harmless viruses (Trojan-Downloader.Win32.VB.hkq) makes all files hidden (without deleting them), replacing them with executables with the same name. As a result, the Windows operating system does not see the files on the flash drive and you will not be able to see the contents of the flash drive without removing the protection and neutralizing the media from viruses. If the computer does not see the phone’s memory card. it can also be the result of a virus attack.
What to do. Any antivirus program should fix the problem, fix the errors. One of these utilities is Dr.
Click the Select Items to Check button to select a storage device
Start scanning files on a USB flash drive
In this article, you will learn how to remove protection from a flash drive, remove viruses, make all necessary files visible, fix errors on a storage device.
Small and easily fixable hardware malfunction of the flash drive
It is likely that the PC does not see the USB flash drive due to the fact that there are malfunctions on the device. Due to the presence of bad sectors, the USB flash drive stops working, is not recognized correctly by Windows, or reads files with problems. Also, due to the presence of bad blocks, information from the device is read slowly, with errors.
What to do? We recommend installing the Flash Memory Toolkit on your computer. It allows you to check errors on a USB flash drive, conduct a series of small and quick tests of the speed of reading and writing information. The test results will reveal the full picture for you and you can determine why your computer does not see the USB flash drive and fix the problem under Windows.
Frequently asked Questions
My camera, computer, tablet and even my phone do not see the micro flash drive from the camera, and on it there are photos of my child for 3 years! There is hope?
Hope, as they say, dies last. In general, it would be interesting to hear after what events the problem arose. The fact is that, according to your description, it is difficult to diagnose what happened to your micro SD card.
For example, if no device sees files on a USB flash drive after you dropped this same USB flash drive into water or on a hard surface, then write it down. Try to connect the USB flash drive to the computer via a card reader. maybe you just connected it to the device incorrectly.
I borrowed a USB stick from a friend. After “cleaning” the antivirus program on any PC does not see the USB flash drive (none of the programs). During the connection, a sound is emitted that the USB is connected and the notification diode on the flash drive is also working.
Perhaps the file table has flown, so Windows does not see the USB flash drive. Try to format the USB flash drive with proprietary software (if available on the manufacturer’s website). Alternatively, try a low-level formatting program. HDD Low Level Format Tool.
If there is no physical damage on the flash drive and the reason was the antivirus, there should be no other options. over, formatting. the only method to programmatically affect this storage device.
When you connect a USB flash drive, the software is installed. Windows shows the device is ready to use, but the PC still doesn’t recognize.
Go to “Disk Management” and check if the flash drive is defined as a file volume or unallocated space. Further it is necessary:
- assign a USB flash drive through the Windows Disk Management panel a new letter
- create a new file volume
- format the flash drive to FAT32 or exFat
Silicon Power 32GB flash drive, PC can’t see it. Shows as unallocated space in Disk Management, but I get an error when I try to create a simple volume.
You can create a new partition by going to Disk Management through the Control Panel. The file space can be marked as RAW, and you need to create a new partition on it. In addition, there are specialized programs for working with sections and formatting. Check out our guide on how to format a USB flash drive.
Explorer does not see the memory card after formatting, when you try to turn it on, the phone says “could not safely remove the device: sandisk SD card”.
The memory card model may not be supported by your mobile device. this happens often. Besides exFAT, try formatting Fat32.
Test the card on any other Android device: is the flash drive readable? If Windows Explorer does not see the card, go to Disk Management through the Control Panel and check if there is an unallocated area. If there. it needs to be formatted and assigned a drive letter.
I try to recover photos using Recuva, but when connected via USB, the computer does not see the memory card, the phone is displayed as a portable device. USB debugging icon is enabled.
When restoring files from the internal memory, you need to make an image of it (see instructions), and only then mount a copy of the internal memory as a separate disk. Only after these complex manipulations will Recuva be able to detect the disc.
If the computer does not see the SD card, and not the internal memory, then this is another question. The fact is that you need to connect a memory card to a PC not via a cable, but using a card reader. Only then will the SD card show up as a disk.
When I tried to format the USB flash drive, my computer gave a message: “The disk is write-protected.” It was not possible to format, but the PC stopped seeing the flash drive.
You can check the performance of the flash drive through Disk Management (Start. Run. diskmgmt.msc).
When a USB storage device is connected, a new device will appear in the list. In order for the flash drive to be detected again, you need to create a new disk on it and format it. This can be done using the SDFormatter utility.
The USB port of the computer or laptop does not work; the port is faulty, damaged, or not attached to the motherboard
Quite a banal reason, and nevertheless, this also happens. The problem is solved quite simply. remove the flash drive from the USB socket and try other free ports for reading the flash drive. If successful, you will hear a characteristic “victory” sound of Windows or, at least, an icon in the notification area that the flash drive is connected to the PC.
Consider a case where all of your USB ports are not connected to your PC. In principle, this is impossible, since the motherboard de facto has sockets available for connecting devices. here the only question is in the support of the specifications, the relevance of the mat. boards. However, many users are accustomed to connecting a flash device through the front panel of their computer. And on this front panel you need to output the wires from the motherboard.
How to solve a problem. In such a case, calling a specialist will help. If you. an experienced and courageous computer technician, you will figure out for yourself why the USB port does not work.
Here you need to make a remark: such a case of a non-working USB is relatively rare, and it makes no sense to start investigating why the computer does not see the USB flash drive by unscrewing the screws on the system unit.
The card reader does not see the memory card
When an external card reader is connected to the USB port, the computer does not see the card reader. Alternatively, the computer does not see the SD card when reading from a card reader.
What to do? If your card reader does not see the SD card, the reasons can be quite commonplace. For example, this may well be due to the breakdown of the card reader. If possible, use a different card reader, such as the one built into your laptop. It also makes sense to replace the cable connecting the USB port with the card reader.
Flash drive drivers are missing or outdated “firewood” for Windows is installed
Conflict between USB flash drive drivers and the OS is rare: modern operating systems in most cases determine the drive model and install the drivers without any problems. In other words, it is unlikely that the computer does not see the USB flash drive due to missing drivers. Nevertheless, such a mistake does take place. You may find that Windows XP is installed in the Print Center, and your USB flash drive is simply not detected on the “old lady” Windows. In fact, the laptop does not see the USB flash drive due to the outdated operating system installed in the service center.
What to do. Make sure your USB flash drive is compatible with the current operating system. As a rule, information about the supported OS is on the box or on the website of the device manufacturer.
Checking the drivers
When MicroSD is not detected, you can use programs to identify outdated drivers and update them to the latest version. DriverPack Solution is a utility that allows you to check the system configuration and update drivers. Download the utility, install it on your PC and run. After starting, the program will analyze the system and check the relevance of the drivers. Select the “Configure components automatically” tab and wait until the installation of the required files is complete.
Operating system errors
In some cases, a computer or laptop does not see the SD card due to errors in the operating system, we will give a list of common failures:
- Incorrect BIOS settings. Possibly deactivated USB device support module;
- Driver problem. If the memory card was detected by the system up to a certain point, you can use the “System Restore” function. open the “Control Panel” and enter the query “Recovery” in the search box. In the window that opens, select “Start System Restore”. In the list, select the restore point where the date when the flash drive was detected by the OS is indicated;
- In some cases, it is required to install drivers for a specific SD model. To do this, see what model the card has, go to the manufacturer’s website and download the necessary files.
File system conflict
In some cases, the flash drive can be detected, but it cannot be opened. The reason is a conflict of file systems or a damaged file system on the media itself. If the data stored on the flash drive is not important, you can format the card to the NTFS file system:
- open the explorer and right-click on the desired disk;
- select “Format” in the context menu;
- in the formatting window, set the parameters as indicated in the screenshot;
- click “Start” and wait for the process to complete.
Viruses on the computer
The reason why the SD card is not detected may be the presence of viruses that can interfere with the operation of USB ports. Install an anti-virus program such as “Kaspersky Antivirus” or “Dr.Web Cureit” and scan the system. If any malicious files are found, it is recommended to delete them.
Important! To prevent files from being deleted from the flash drive, back up.
We check if the card is supported by the card reader
Users often confuse different types of drives, at the moment there are only three: “microSD”, “miniSD” and “SD”. At the same time, a specific format is required for each device. requirements for the speed of work, the amount of memory are different.
Briefly about the types and characteristics of memory cards:
- “MicroSD”. Form factor (size). 11 x 15 mm. This storage format is used in phones and portable players. An adapter is often included with it so that a USB flash drive can be connected like an SD card. It also connects to a laptop through the appropriate adapter.
- “MiniSD”. Form factor. 21.5 x 20 mm. Previously, it was a very common format and was most often used in portable technology. Now the format is used less and less, mainly due to the popularity of “microSD”.
- “SD”. Form factor. 32 x 24 mm. It is used in devices that require a large amount of memory and high speed of data exchange (cameras and video equipment). There are several generations of this format: SD 1, SD 1.1, SDHC and SDXC.
Working with a card reader, checking compatibility:
- microSD with card readers can be used as an SD card. But it is not always recommended to do this (due to different data exchange rates);
- SD card readers are backward compatible: i.e. if you take a device that reads SDHC, then it will read 1 and 1.1 generation SD cards, but will not be able to proHonor SDXC. Pay attention to which drives are compatible with the adapter.
Computer hardware problems
If it does not open or is not detected when Micro SD is connected via an adapter to a computer, it is worth checking the card reader for operability. First of all, try to insert a known working USB flash drive into the adapter, if it is not detected, then reinstall the drivers on the card reader.
- use the “WINR” key combination to call the “Run” utility;
- enter the command “devmgmt.msc” into the line;
- in the “Device Manager” window, check the item “Other devices”, “Portable devices” and “Controllers”. If any item is marked with a yellow triangle with an exclamation mark, then the problem is in the drivers, you need to update or reinstall them.
We check the flash card and card reader for serviceability
To check the flash drive for serviceability, just install it on another device. If there is another card of the same model, check if it is recognized on the computer. There are several reasons that affect the operation of the memory card: improper removal of the device, physical wear, or damage. In the first two cases, you can try to restore the performance of the media using special low-level formatting utilities.
- download the program;
- after starting the utility, select the drive model and click on the “Continue” button;
- go to the “LOW-LEVEL FORMAT” tab;
- a warning will appear stating that all existing data will be deleted;
- click “FORMAT THIS DEVICE” to start formatting.
We use the SDFormatter program to recover a flash drive in SD, SDHC and SDXC formats:
- download, install and run the software;
- after starting the program will initialize the connected devices;
- go to the “Option” tab to set options for formatting;
- “Quick”. quick formatting, “Full (Erase)”. permanently deleting data without overwriting and “Full (Overwrite)”. complete deletion and overwriting;
- In the main window of the program, click “Format”.
If the problem lies in the card reader itself, then in this case you will need to contact the service center. If you need to immediately use the drive, purchase a special USB adapter equipped with a card reader, it can be connected to a laptop.
The problem can also arise due to incompatibility, at the moment there are several types of flash drives: SD with byte addressing and SDHC with sector-by-sector. To eliminate incompatibility, it is better to use an SD-MMC USB adapter. With it, you can use several types of memory cards.
What to do if the computer does not see the card reader or memory card
SD cards are a type of storage used in phones, cameras and camcorders. In some cases, a problem arises when the computer or card reader does not see the memory card of the camera or phone. User inserts it into the appropriate port, but it doesn’t show up in explorer.