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SanDisk Repair Tool: Fix Corrupted SanDisk USB/SSD

Home > HowTos > Troubleshooting Tips Updated by Robert on July 1, 2024 | Approved by Anthony Spadafora

SanDisk storage devices are known for their reliability and excellent performance. Yet, even with the most reliable technology, your SanDisk USB flash drive or SSD cannot avoid corruption. It's often a question of when rather than if this will happen, and the consequences can be catastrophic – especially if you haven't backed up your data elsewhere. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore effective SanDisk repair tool software, ensuring that you can salvage your data and extend the life of your storage device.

Preparation Before Using Tools for Repairs

Rushing to repair a corrupted SanDisk USB drive, SSD, or other drive without a backup may further lead to losing important data. Therefore, to ensure maximum safety, before using the SanDisk USB repair tool to fix the issue, and before trying to use data recovery software to recover important files from it.

  • Your Best Data Recovery Software

    Even if your SanDisk drive denies access, does not show up, or otherwise malfunctions, it can rescue your files.

  • Try for Windows Try for Mac

Fix Corrupted Drive with SanDisk Repair Tool

When a SanDisk drive fails or encounters an error, the specific message you see can vary depending on the operating system and the nature of the failure. However, users might encounter several common error messages across different platforms. Understanding these messages can help diagnose the problem and find an appropriate solution. Below are some typical USB drive failure messages, their potential causes and solutions:

#1. "The file/directory is corrupted and unreadable, or The disk structure is corrupted and unreadable."

Potential Cause:

The file system on the SanDisk pen drive, SSD, etc, might be corrupted, preventing access to the data stored on the disk. The corruption can occur for various reasons, including improper device ejection, power failures, hardware issues, or virus attacks.


1: Use the CHKDSK Utility

This SanDisk repair tool can scan and repair errors on your disk, including file system corruption.

  1. Press "Windows Key + X" and select "Command Prompt (Admin)" or "Windows PowerShell (Admin)" from the menu.
  2. Type "chkdsk /f /r X:" replacing "X" with the letter of the affected drive and pressing Enter.

  3. If the drive is in use, you might be asked if you want to schedule the check for the next system restart. Type "Y" and press "Enter."
2: Use SFC Scan

The System File Checker (SFC) scan is another SanDisk repair tool that scans for and restores corrupted Windows system files. It can sometimes indirectly help with external drive issues by fixing related system files. To run it:

  1. Open Command Prompt as an administrator.
  2. Type "sfc /scannow" and press Enter.

  3. Wait for the progress to complete and then restart your computer.

3: Use Windows Error Checking

  1. Press "Windows Key + E" to open File Explorer.
  2. Right-click on the affected SanDisk drive and choose "Properties."
  3. Click the "Tools" tab and click "click " under the "Error checking" section.

#2. "USB Device Not Recognized, Not Accessible"

Potential Cause:

This error on your Windows computer indicates that the PC failed to properly identify the connected USB device. This can occur with various types of SanDisk USB devices, including flash drives, pen drives, external hard drives, and more. Software conflicts, outdated or corrupted drivers, power supply issues, or hardware problems may be the issue.


1: Basic Troubleshooting Steps
  • 🔌 Try a Different USB Port: Sometimes, the problem is with the USB port itself. Please try a different port.
  • 🖥️ Restart Your Computer: A simple restart can often resolve temporary glitches that might be causing the error.
  • 🔎 Check the USB Device on Another Computer: This helps determine if the problem is with the USB device or your computer.
  • 🔗 Cable Check: If you use a USB hub or extension cable, connect the device directly to the computer. If possible, try using a different cable.
2: Advanced Troubleshooting

This can happen for several other reasons, including hardware issues, outdated or corrupt drivers, logic errors, etc. This will involve different Sandisk repair tool software, so you can go here to see more ways to fix USB not showing up in Windows 11, 10, and Mac.

#3. "The disk is write-protected."

Potential Cause:

This message appears when trying to modify or delete files on a SanDisk USB drive that has become write-protected. It can be caused by several factors, such as physical switches on the drive itself, settings within your operating system, a virus or malware infection, or issues with the drive's software or firmware.


1: Check for Physical Locks

Some SanDisk removable storage devices have a physical switch that enables write protection. Check the sides of your drive to see if there is a switch. If there is, slide it to the opposite position to disable write protection.

2: Use Diskpart in Windows

Diskpart is a powerful SanDisk USB repair tool that allows you to manage your disks and drives from the command line.

  1. Click the "Window" key and type "CMD."
  2. Choose "Command Prompt" and click "Run as administrator."
  3. Type "diskpart" and press Enter.
  4. Type "list disk" and press Enter.
  5. Type "select disk *" and press Enter. replacing * with the number of your SanDisk drive.
  6. Type "attributes disk clear readonly" and hit Enter.

3: Use the Registry in Windows
  1. Press Windows Key + R, type "regedit," and press Enter to open the Registry Editor.
  2. Navigate to "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\StorageDevicePolicies." If the "StorageDevicePolicies" key doesn't exist, you may need to create it.
  3. Inside "StorageDevicePolicies," look for a value named "WriteProtect." If it exists, double-click it and set its value to 0.
  4. Close it and restart your PC.
4: Use Third-Party Software

Some third-party SanDisk repair tool utilities are designed to manage and fix your drives, like SD Card Formatter, which can sometimes bypass or remove write protection.

5: Check for Viruses and Malware

Sometimes, malware can cause your SanDisk drive to become write-protected. Perform a full scan of your drive using your antivirus software to ensure it's not caused by malicious software.

6: Contact Manufacturer Support

If your SanDisk USB drive is still under warranty or if you suspect it has a defect, contacting the manufacturer's support might help. They can provide specific advice or possibly replace the drive if it's faulty.

#4. Inaccessible/Disappear Files on SanDisk Drive

Potential Cause:

When files on a SanDisk USB drive become inaccessible or seem to disappear, it's important to proceed carefully to avoid further data loss. Various factors, including file system errors, corruption, virus attacks, or improper removal of the USB drive from the computer, can cause this issue.


1: Check for Hidden Files

Sometimes, files may not be gone but are simply hidden. You can check for hidden files by:

  1. Connecting your SanDisk USB to the computer.
  2. Opening File Explorer and navigating to the USB drive.
  3. Click the "View" tab on the top menu and check the "Hidden items" option.

If your files appear, you can right-click on them, select "Properties," and uncheck "Hidden" in the Attributes section.

2: Recover Files Using Data Recovery Software

You may need to use data recovery software if the files are still missing. Reputable programs include iBeesoft Data Recovery, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, and Disk Drill. Follow the software instructions to scan your SanDisk USB and recover the files.

#4. SanDisk USB Transfer Speed is Very Slow

Potential Cause:

The performance of SanDisk USB drive transfer can be influenced by the USB port type, the device's file system, system settings, and even the quality and condition of the USB device itself.


1: Use a USB 3.0 Port and Device

Ensure your SanDisk USB flash drive and the port you use support USB 3.0 or later. USB 3.0 ports are marked with blue or the SS (SuperSpeed) logo. They offer significantly higher transfer speeds than USB 2.0.

2: Update USB Controller Drivers

Outdated or corrupt USB controller drivers can negatively affect transfer speeds. Therefore, you can go to this to update the driver.

3: Format the USB Device

Consider reformatting your SanDisk USB drive to NTFS or exFAT if it uses an older file system like FAT32. NTFS is well-suited for larger files and may offer better performance on Windows systems, while exFAT is compatible with both Windows and macOS and handles large files efficiently. Be aware that formatting will erase all files on the SanDisk drive, so back up any important files first. If you're ready, go here to format the drive. If you're ready, go here to format the drive. If your system is macOS, check out how to fix Mac USB transfer very slow.

#4. "Please insert a disk into Removable Disk (Drive Letter):"

Potential Cause:

The error message typically appears when your computer cannot properly read a SanDisk USB drive or other removable storage device inserted. This can be due to various reasons, such as the device being improperly inserted, a corrupted file system, a damaged device, or issues with the drive letter assignment.


For Windows Users
  1. Connect the SanDisk drive to your computer.
  2. Press "Windows Key + X" and choose "Disk Management" from the menu.

  3. In Disk Management, look for the drive. It should be listed as "unallocated" or "not initialized."
  4. Right-click on the unallocated space of your drive in Disk Management and select "New Simple Volume."

  5. This will launch the "New Simple Volume" wizard; follow the prompts to complete it.

If the SanDisk USB drive or SSD is not initialized (it will show as "Unknown" and "Not Initialized"), you need to initialize it before creating a volume.

  1. Right-click on the "Unknown" disk and select "Initialize Disk."
  2. Choose between MBR (Master Boot Record) or GPT (GUID Partition Table) and click "OK."
For macOS Users
  1. Open "Finder" and go to "Applications" > "Utilities" > "Disk Utility."
  2. Select the your SanDisk drive in Disk Utility.
  3. Click on "Erase." At the top of the Disk Utility window.

  4. Enter a Name for your drive and choose a Format (exFAT is recommended for USB drives).
  5. Click "Erase" to begin the process. After completion, the drive will be ready for use.

#5. "You need to format the disk (Drive Letter) before you can use it."

Potential Cause:

This message typically appears when Windows cannot read the file system of a USB drive, external hard drive, or other storage device. It can be caused by corruption within the file system, improper drive ejection, or even hardware issues.


1. Check SanDisk Drive for Errors

There are two ways to use the system's built-in SanDisk USB repair tool to repair damaged storage devices: CHKDSK and Error Checking. Click on the corresponding link to see the detailed steps.

2. Format Your SanDisk Drive
  1. Before repairing your corrupted SanDisk USB drive, or SSD, please use data recovery software to extract data from it.
  2. Press "Windows + X" and select "Disk Management."
  3. Locate the disk that's giving you the error.
  4. Right-click on the volume and select "Format". Choose the desired file system and proceed with the format.

#6. "Windows was unable to complete the format."

Potential Cause:

This issue can arise for various reasons, such as the write-protected device, bad sectors, physical damage, or corruption within the file system.


1: Use Disk Management
  1. Open Disk Management and find your SanDisk device in the list.
  2. Select the your SanDisk drive in Disk Utility.
  3. Right-click on the device and select "Format." Choose the desired file system and proceed with the format.
  4. If it doesn't allow you to format, right-click on it, choose "Delete Volume" or "Delete Partition," and then try creating a new volume and formatting it again.
2: Use Diskpart Command
  1. Open Command Prompt as an administrator.
  2. Type "diskpart" and press Enter.
  3. Type "list disk" and press Enter.
  4. Identify your disk number from the list and type "select disk *" (replace * with your SanDisk drive number).
  5. Type "clean" and press Enter. This command deletes all partitions or volumes on the disk.

  6. After cleaning the disk, type "create partition primary" and press Enter.
  7. Finally, type "format fs=ntfs" (or "format fs=fat32" for a FAT32 format) and press Enter.
3: Check for Bad Sectors

The device might have bad sectors if the above methods don't work. You can use SanDisk USB repair Tool like CHKDSK to scan and fix bad sectors:

  1. Open Command Prompt as an administrator.
  2. Type "chkdsk #: /f /r" and press Enter (replace # with the letter of your SanDisk drive).

4: Try Third-Party Formatting Tools

Several reputable third-party SanDisk repair tools are available that may succeed where Windows has failed. These tools often provide additional options for dealing with stubborn drives. Examples include the SD Formatter and EaseUS Partition Master. Make sure to download these tools from their official websites or trusted sources.

#7. "There is no media in the specified device."

Potential Cause:

The error message typically occurs when your computer attempts to access a storage device (like a USB flash drive, or external hard drive) but cannot find any readable media. This can be due to various reasons, such as hardware issues, corruption, or the device not being properly connected.


1: Check if the SanDisk device is recognized in Device Manager
  1. Press "Windows + X" and choose "Device Manager."
  2. Expand the categories to check for any devices marked with a yellow exclamation point or listed as "Unknown Device."
  3. If you find the device listed incorrectly, right-click it, select "Update driver" or "Uninstall device," then disconnect and reconnect the device to let Windows attempt to set it up again.

If the above steps don't work, you can recreate the volume here. But before starting, use data recovery software for Mac or Windows to retrieve your important items.

# 8. "This device cannot start. (Code 10)"

Potential Cause:

It indicates the system's inability to properly communicate with your SanDisk devices. This fault can occur for various reasons, including outdated or corrupt drivers, hardware conflicts, or faulty hardware.


1: Use Diskpart Command

A simple reboot can sometimes solve the problem by resetting the hardware configuration.

2: Check Your Hardware
  1. Ensure the device is properly connected to your computer. If it's an external SanDisk device, try disconnecting and reconnecting it.
  2. Verify that the hardware is compatible with your system.
  3. Inspect the device for any physical damage.
3: Update Device Drivers
  1. Right-click the "Start" button in the lower-left corner of the PC screen and choose "Device Manager."
  2. Find the SanDisk device with the error, right-click on it, and choose "Update driver."
  3. Select "Search automatically for updated driver software" and follow the prompts.
4: Uninstall and Reinstall the Device
  1. Open "Device Manager," find the device, right-click on it, and select "Uninstall device."

  2. After uninstallation, click "Action" on the menu bar of Device Manager and select "Scan for hardware changes" to reinstall the device.
5: Check the Device Status in the Device Manager

Sometimes, the "General" tab in the device's properties (accessible via Device Manager) provides additional details or specific errors related to the device, which can guide further troubleshooting.

6: Use the Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter

Go to Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshoot > Additional troubleshooters, select "Hardware and Devices," and run the troubleshooter.

7: Check System BIOS/UEFI

Make sure your BIOS/UEFI is up to date. Sometimes, updating BIOS/UEFI can resolve compatibility issues with hardware.

Tips to Avoid SanDisk Drive Corruption

To avoid SanDisk USB/SSD damage and ensure the longevity and integrity of your data, there are a few key recommendations you can follow:

The following tips above can significantly reduce the risk of damage to your SanDisk drive and ensure your data remains safe and accessible.


  • A SanDisk device usually needs repair if you notice the following symptoms:

    1. Your device stops responding or is inaccessible.
    2. You receive error messages related to the storage drive on your computer.
    3. Data corruption issues are frequent when using the device.

    In any case, backing up your data regularly can help avoid significant data loss due to potential device malfunctions.

  • The SanDisk Repair Tool can handle various types of repairs, including resolving issues such as:

    1. Logical errors related to file systems.
    2. Bad sectors on the storage media.
    3. Firmware-related problems.
    4. Repairing components affected by wear and tear.
  • They are designed to work with several operating systems, including Windows and macOS. When downloading the tool, select the appropriate version for your system. Keep your system and device drivers updated for the best compatibility and performance.

  • The duration of repairing a damaged SanDisk USB drive, SSD, or pen drive can vary depending on the issue's severity and the storage device's capacity.

    Simple repairs may take minutes, while more complex issues may require several hours. The tool usually provides a progress bar or estimated time to completion during the repair process.

  • They are compatible with traditional rotating hard drives (HDDs), solid-state drives (SSDs), and USB flash drives.

    The type of storage media doesn't affect the compatibility of the repair tool, although some specific issues may differ in the diagnostic and repair process.

  • The use of diagnostic or repair tools generally doesn't void the warranty, but check the warranty terms and conditions of your SanDisk product.

    If the device's issues are covered under warranty, it's recommended that you contact SanDisk support for assistance before performing any repairs yourself.

  • If your device contains valuable data, back up your files before running any repair tools.

    While the repair tool's primary purpose is to fix issues without affecting data, there is the potential for data loss in severe cases. Therefore, a backup is essential to ensure you can recover your files as a precautionary measure.


SanDisk repair tool is a valuable resource for digital repair, offering a robust solution for troubleshooting and repairing issues with storage media. By understanding the damage symptoms, selecting the right tools, and executing the fix process carefully, you can maximize your chances of returning your precious data. With this guide, you're well on your way to becoming a SanDisk repair and recovery expert.