How do I read an unformatted SD card?

Written by greyson ferguson
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How do I read an unformatted SD card?
Read the information on an SD card with an SD card reader. (sd cards image by timur1970 from

Unformatted SD cards are usually store-bought memory cards that have not yet been used. Although most SD cards do not have information saved on them, some data may be placed on the SD card, such as a driver or additional programming used on your computer system. Regardless, it is possible to read the unformatted SD card, as long as you have some sort of SD card reader connected to the computer.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • SD card reader

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  1. 1

    Connect the USB cable running from the back of the SD card reader into one of the USB ports of the computer system, if there is no SD card reader already pre-installed on the computer.

  2. 2

    Insert the SD card into the SD card receiver. In a moment the computer will state that it has detected a new, removable device.

  3. 3

    Select "Start," followed by "My Computer" or "Computer" (depending on the operating system), then double-click the removable device icon. A window should load displaying the content that may be saved on the unformatted SD card.

  4. 4

    Double-click the file or other data on the SD card you want to view on the screen.

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