How to Repair Damaged Memory Cards

Written by derek king
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How to Repair Damaged Memory Cards
Fix damaged memory cards by using your computer's formatting utility. (memory card image by Dariusz Urbanczyk from

Damaged memory cards are inoperable within portable devices. The cards will be unable to store or create new data. Files previously stored on the media card may be lost due to the damage as well. To use a memory card again, you must format the drive. Formatting returns the memory card to its earliest state of usability and storage capacity. Personal computers include a formatting function to fix every type of memory card.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Connect the damaged memory card to your personal computer. To do this, insert the card into the computer's installed memory reader. If your computer does not have a memory card reader, you can purchase a multi-format USB memory card reader at any major electronics retailer.

  2. 2

    Double-click the "My Computer" icon located on the desktop. If that icon is not there, click the "Start" button located in the bottom-left portion of the desktop, and select "My Computer" from the Start Menu.

  3. 3

    View the section within My Computer entitled "Devices With Removable Storage." Your memory card will be located among that list with an "(E:)" or "(F:)" located next to it.

  4. 4

    Right-click directly on the damaged disc drive. Select "Format" from the list of available options. A new window will open up that lists the details of the removable disc, as well as the file system, allocation unit size and volume label. In the file system window, select "FAT32" for memory cards with 4GB or greater capacities, or "FAT" for 2GB or lower cards.

  5. 5

    Click "Start" (located at the bottom of the window). Allow several minutes for the computer to completely format the memory card. The computer will notify you of successful formatting. Remove the memory card, and begin to use it in your devices.

Tips and warnings

  • Formatting a memory card will erase all of the data contained on it.

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