How to Troubleshoot a "Can't Read Memory Card" Condition on a Nikon Camera

Written by greyson ferguson
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How to Troubleshoot a "Can't Read Memory Card" Condition on a Nikon Camera
Make sure your digital camera is always ready. (Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images)

When using a Nikon digital camera, you store all images onto an inserted flash memory card. Occasionally, an error appears on the LCD display screen, stating the camera "Can't Read Memory Card." When this occurs, it means the card is either write-protected or formatted incorrectly. Both issues can be corrected, although you need an SD card reader installed on a computer to fix the format issue.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • SD card reader

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  1. 1

    Eject the memory card from the Nikon digital camera.

  2. 2

    Examine the card. There is a small write-protection switch on the side of the flash memory card, directly opposite the angled corner. If the switch is in the down position, the write-protection is activated. Push the switch up to remove the write-protection.

  3. 3

    Connect an SD card reader to your computer, if one isn't installed. External card readers connect to a computer through the USB cable running out of the rear of the reader.

  4. 4

    Insert the SD card into the SD card reader, then close any auto-play windows that appear on the screen.

  5. 5

    Click "Start," then "Computer," then right-click the removable device icon. Choose "Format" from the pull-down menu to load the format application wizard. Click "OK." Once the formatting is complete, eject the flash card from the card reader and reinsert it in the Nikon.

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