How to Fix the Problem of SanDisk SD Card Not Formatting

Home > HowTos > Troubleshooting Tips Updated by Robert on May 11, 2024 | Approved by Cesar C

You have landed at the right place if your SanDisk SD card cannot format for some reason. The prominent factor is file system corruption due to excessive use of the card on several devices. Figure out how you can solve the issue with the solutions described in this article.

Quick Navigation
Part 1. Possible Reasons for SanDisk SD Card Not Formatting
Part 2. Five Possible Solutions to Fix Unable to Format SanDisk SD Card
Part 3. How to Retrieve Files from SanDisk SD Card That Cann’t Be Formatted

Part 1. Possible Reasons for SanDisk SD Card Not Formatting

Your SanDisk micro SD card cannot be formatted, which you often use in your Android, digital cameras, and other devices due to file system corruption. Even though a card serves as storing data, its purpose may change according to your need. For instance, you can choose to use it for storing photos on your digital camera.

When you find that your card is not responding or functioning as it did yesterday, you will feel frustrated because you did not take a backup of the contents. You will see the message "SD card not formatted" error pop-up each time you try to access the card's contents. The following are additional reasons why such error display occurs:

Part 2. Five Possible Solutions to Fix Unable to Format SanDisk SD Card

Method 1: Formatting the SD Card Using Windows Disk Management

Using the Windows Disk Management utility will help you fix Corrupted SanDisk sd card in a few simple steps.

  1. Open "Windows Disk Management" on your computer by right-clicking the Windows button and selecting the option.
  2. In the window that appears, identify the micro SD card, and select "Format" option.
  3. In the format property window, choose the file system type, such as NTFS, FAT32, or exFAT. You can format the card in two options - quick and regular. Pick the preferred method and press "OK". to fix cannot format SanDisk micro SD card.

Tips: this way can also fix the hard drive show 0 bytes.

Method 2: Using Diskpart to Clean SD Card to Format

You can use the Diskpart feature in the Windows operating system to attend to the SanDisk card not formatting error. You can clean the SD card and then try to format the same. The following are the steps to follow:

  1. Launch the command prompt by pressing both Windows and R buttons.
  2. Enter "diskpart" in the command screen. Then enter "list disk" to list the available drives on the computer.
  3. Enter "select disk 2" (make sure to replace the number with the drive number of the SanDisk SD card).
  4. Enter "clean" and press Enter to run the cleaning utility. The process will erase all the contents present on the SD card. Therefore, make sure that you created a backup of the card before proceeding with the process.
  5. Enter "create partition primary". It will help you in creating a partition for the SD card. At last, enter "format fs=ntfs or format fs=fat32" to format the SD card to the required file system.

Method 3: Change Letter and Path to Allow Windows to Identify the SD Card

SanDisk not formatted error shows up at times because the system is unable to identify the letter or the designated path. You can proceed with the steps below to change the drive letter and path to make Windows recognize the SD card:

  1. Connect the SanDisk micro SD card to the computer. Right-click on the Windows symbol and select "Disk Management".
  2. Identify the SD card and right-click on the same. Choose the "Change Drive Letter or Path" feature.
  3. You can select a new letter for the SD card and click "OK" to confirm the change in the drive letter.

Method 4: Disable Write Protection for Cannot Format SanDisk SD Card

Once you activate the write protection for an SD card, you cannot continue to write or format any longer, as you did previously. Write protection is one of the primary causes of  SanDisk unable to format. You can continue to use the SanDisk SD card once you remove the protection. There is a physical switch that you can turn-off to disable the feature. For protection caused due to software, follow the steps:

  1. Click Windows and R button together to launch the command prompt. Enter "list disk".
  2. Select the SanDisk SD card using the drive letter, for example, drive 1. In the next line, enter "select disk 1" and press Enter.
  3. Enter "attributes disk clear read-only" and hit the "Enter" key.

The process will remove the writing attributes and protection of the SD card.

Method 5: Check for Bad Sectors and Repair the Same

You cannot format SanDisk micro SD card if there are any bad sectors. They are not visible, and you must use the command prompt to clear them. You will first check the number of bad sectors present on the disk and then proceed for repairing the same. After removing the segments, you can easily format the card and re-use it for any purpose.

  1. Press Windows and R keys together to start the command prompt window.
  2. In the command prompt screen, enter the following instruction: chkdsk E: /f /r /x 

Note: Ensure to replace the letter E with the SD card drive letter.

As you can see, any of the options that you choose from the above will erase the contents. If you do not have a backup of the contents, you will lose the data present on the SD card. Therefore, it is essential to recover the files present on the card before choosing any option to overcome the SanDisk micro SD format error.

Part 3. How to Retrieve Files from SanDisk SD Card That Cann’t Be Formatted

The recovery tool you will use for the recovery is iBeesoft Data Recovery. The software possesses advanced technologies that help in the retrieval of content from storage devices, including SanDisk SD cards. The robust algorithm, along with a plethora of options provided, makes it simple to get lost or stolen data from hard drives, SSDs, SD cards, digital cameras, and other digital devices in a few simple steps.

Your Safe & Effective SanDisk SD Card Data Recovery Tool

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  • You can restore files deleted by pressing the Delete or Delete + Shift keys and retrieve data from hidden or lost partitions of a hard drive.
  • You can get back contents present on a disk lost due to improper operation, such as removing the media during process. 
  • The data recovery software for Mac or Windows PC helps in retrieving contents from drives that display the file system as RAW.
  • You can also extract contents from storage devices corrupted due to virus attacks.
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Guide for Restore Data from SanDisk SD Card After Formatted

  • Install Data Recovery Software
  • iBeesoft is available for trial. You can download the standalone program by clicking the DOWNLOAD button and install it on the computer. Ensure that you established a connection between the computer and the SD card. Proceed with the following steps to get back the files on the card with ease:

  • Select the SanDisk SD card
  • The next window will show the different partitions of the hard drive and externally connected storage devices. Here, you must choose the SanDisk SD card. Click the "Scan" button to allow the software to begin scanning the SanDisk SD card.

  • Preview and Recover Formatted SanDisk Card
  • The time to complete the scan depends on the file format selected and the size on the SanDisk SD card. Once the scan is complete, iBeesoft will show the recoverable files in a new screen. It arranges the records according to the file type in order. You can choose a file to preview the content. Use this feature to mark important files and click "Recover" to save them on the computer.