Computer Does Not See Microsd Flash Drive

Good day to all!

Today, the popularity of SD flash drives, I think, is not inferior to USB flash drives. Judge for yourself: phones, tablets, cameras, cameras. SD-sticks are used everywhere (sometimes they are called SD-cards)!

Generally, I must admit that SD cards are enough “moody” devices, and it’s not uncommon that a computer does not recognize or see it. In these cases, usually, we immediately recall that the USB flash drive has important photos, files, data. which simply need to be returned and restored 100%! ☝

In this article I will give the most common reasons for the invisibility of an SD card by a computer (laptop), as well as recommendations for their elimination. I hope my humble advice to someone will be useful.

Not recognized or not visible?

Many users confuse one point (although it is not a key one, it will help in solving the problem). I will show it on the example of one user question.

I took the card from the phone (microSD) and inserted it into my new device, but he suggested formatting it.

Then I returned it back to the old phone, but he also wanted to format it. My laptop also does not see this card and offers to format it. What to do? Help return data from a flash drive.

To use a drive, format it first (Windows 10)

Case in point. The laptop sees your flash drive, and even offers to format it. those. he does not understand that there is data on it, cannot recognize your flash drive, cannot read the file system (in this case, the file system is marked as RAW).

This often happens because of:

  • a file system crash on a flash drive;
  • Windows cannot read an unfamiliar file system (for example, it often happens with disks connected to a TV. it can reformat them to its file system, and then Windows does not see it).

By the way, when connecting a microSD to a computer, many people make one mistake: when you insert a card into the adapter, they do not push it to the end (see photo-1 below). As a result, the PC simply does not see anything when the SD adapter is connected.

Insert microSD card into SD adapter

Flash drive check: file system error correction

In this case, you can try to restore the flash drive and all the files on it using the utility for checking and fixing errors. chkdsk (built-in to Windows).

To do this, do not agree with the Windows offer to format the media (screenshot above), but simply run the command line (The easiest way: press WinR, then enter CMD and press Enter, see the screen below).

cmd. command line launch

Next, at the command prompt, type chkdsk g: / f (Where g: Is the drive letter of the flash drive) and click Enter.

An example of recovery is shown in the screenshot above. After such a simple procedure. the flash drive returned to its working condition and is functioning normally to this day.

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When the test succeeds, usually the command line reports something like: “Windows checked the file system and found no problems. No further action required”.

As a rule, if there was a small file system crash, then chkdsk it will be eliminated and the flash drive will become readable (after this procedure, it will be able to read both the phone and the laptop).

Now what if chkdsk did not help, but you need to recover files from a flash drive.

Recovering files from a flash drive

If, after trying to correct errors, Windows still intends to format it (i.e., the OS sees it, but does not recognize it), then first of all, I will recommend that you restore files from it (unless, of course, you need them).

Instructions to help!

After you format the USB flash drive, it will be more difficult to recover data from it (and in the case of writing new files, it is generally impossible!).

There are special programs for data recovery. Some of the free and popular ones, I will give in the tablet below.

3 free data recovery programs

  • Recovery Wizard: walks you through the steps through everything “thorns” and difficult points in this procedure;
  • the ability to recover files even from damaged media;
  • support for flash drives, SD-cards, hard drives, SSD;
  • file system support: exFAT, FAT32, NTFS;
  • the ability to search and restore an unsaved Word document;
  • preliminary assessment of the possibility of restoring a particular file;
  • fast and deep disk analysis.
  • file system support: exFAT, FAT12, FAT16, FAT32, NTFS, NTFS5;
  • the ability to recover deleted files;
  • the ability to reconstruct damaged file systems;
  • data recovery after formatting;
  • automatic settings for recovery (relevant for novice users).
  • recovery is not only “ordinary” files, but also hidden, encrypted, compressed, and system files;
  • simple and intuitive interface;
  • there is an appraiser: evaluates the ability to restore certain files;
  • the ability to recover files on network and disk drives (including flash drives);
  • Russian language support;
  • Support for Windows 7, 8, 10.

In principle, you can use any of the recovery tools. simple for beginners is Recuva, in the arsenal of which there is a master who follows the steps from A to Z in steps.

Computer Does Not See Microsd Flash Drive

The screenshot below shows my scanned hard drive in Recuva for the search for old deleted pictures, photos. Many of the deleted files were found and were restored (the green circle opposite the file is a good sign, so the program appreciates the possibility of recovery).

Recuva. recover photos from disk

An important point: when restoring files. restore them to another medium! ☝ i.e. if you want to restore a file from a USB flash drive, save it to your hard drive (if you save to the same USB flash drive that was scanned in the program, the restored file will overwrite the other data that has not been restored). Such is the tautology.

In general, the recovery procedure requires another rather lengthy article (to dot all).

Formatting a flash drive

Option number 1

If you don’t need the data on the flash drives or you have already recovered them, and Windows still continues to ask for media formatting (that is, microSD cards). just agree.

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Option number 2

This computer. Windows 10

You can also format a USB flash drive by going to “My computer“/”This computer” (screen above) :

  1. First click on the SD card right click and in the context menu select ” Format “;
  2. Next, select the file system (I recommend starting from which file system the device in which it worked / will work. Typically: FAT 32, exFat);
  3. Press button “To begin” (Windows will ask you again if you want to format the media exactly. you agree. );
  4. If everything went as usual. You will see a message that formatting is completed (each step is shown in the screenshot below).

How to format a flash drive

Option number 3

If in “My computer” your flash drive is not visible, or Windows can not format the media. you must use special. utilities for working with such flash drives.

HDD Low Level Format Tool

One of the best programs for low-level formatting of various drives: hard drives, flash cards, etc.

  • supports the following interfaces: S-ATA (SATA), IDE (E-IDE), SCSI, USB, Firewire;
  • supports drives of most manufacturers: Western Digital, Maxtor, Hitachi, Samsung, Toshiba, Seagate, Fujitsu, IBM, Quantum, etc.;
  • supports formatting SD cards when using a card reader (which is what we need!).

How to format SD card in HDD Low Level Format Tool:

  1. Insert the SD-card into the card reader of the laptop (computer) and run the utility;
  2. In the first window, click Continue (continue). The difference in the paid and free versions is only in the speed of work (for working with a flash drive. the difference in speed is not significant);

Next, in the list, select your drive: you need to navigate by the size and brand of the manufacturer. By the way, my SD card is marked as a USB drive. After selecting a drive. press the button Continue (continue).

Last step: select a section “Low-level format” and press the button Format This Device (format this drive). Next, just wait for the operation to complete. As a rule, after such formatting. the flash drive starts working as it should.

Letters Conflict: Change Drive Letter

In general, when you connect a drive (including a flash drive). Windows automatically assigns a letter to this drive (for example, F :).

But it happens “glitch”, that the letter is assigned incorrectly: for example, the one that is already in the system. as a result: a conflict occurs and your flash drive is invisible!

Therefore, if the flash drive is invisible, the first thing I recommend to do is go to “Drive management”: look at the drive letter, change it (it is possible to format the media).

1) To do this, first press the buttons Winr , in line “Open” enter command diskmgmt.msc and press Enter.


In this way, you can open a lot of applications and Windows settings. Full list here:

Drive management. how to open

2) Next, find in the list the drive (microSD-card) that you don’t see (not visible). Right-click on it (sign-1 in the screenshot below) and select in the context menu “Change drive letter or drive path”.

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1) If in “Drive management” the flash drive you are looking for is not in the list. go to the next subsection of this article.

2) If the file system is marked as RAW, the USB flash drive must be formatted (more on this in the beginning of this article).

Change drive letter

3) In the next step, press the button “Edit” (number-1 in the screenshot below), then set the slider to “Assign a drive letter (A-Z)” and select some unique letter (one that is not in the system).

Agree to the changes made. Sometimes, you may need to restart your computer (laptop).

Drive letter selection

If the problem was related to the incorrect drive letter, the flash drive will become visible and will work in normal mode.

Classes and formats of SD cards

SD-card SD-card is different. they differ not only in volume and manufacturer, but also in size, class (speed), generation. All this, of course, can affect the visibility of the SD-stick in the card reader.

SD Card Sizes

There are three form factors for SD cards: SD, miniSD, MicroSD (vary in size). Cards are used in a variety of portable devices: phones, cameras, camcorders, tablets, etc.

The most widely used are microSD cards (due to their compact size, they can even be inserted into a miniature phone or MP3 player).

SD, miniSD, MicroSD cards

To connect a microSD card to a laptop or computer, a small adapter always comes with it (see photo below).

Adapter for microSD card

Typical information on the SD card

SD card information

Manufacturer : here without comment. The only moment. when you buy yourself an SD card, I recommend stopping at well-known manufacturers: SanDisk, Transcend, Sony, etc.

SD card type

Original file system: FAT16;

SD will read and work on all devices supporting: SD, SDHC, or SDXC.

SD High Capacity

Original file system: FAT32;

Since SDHC works on a different principle than standard SD cards, the new format does not have backward compatibility with SD card readers.

Note: card readers released after 2009. must support SDHC format.

SD Extended Capacity

Original file system: exFAT;

Card readers on laptops until 2009 do not support SDXC cards. SDXC cards will work in SDHC compatible readers (not SD) if the computer operating system supports exFAT (Windows 7, 8, 10).

Ultra high speed

When the card and card reader support UHS. maximum speed will be reached (up to 50 MB / s. UHS-50; 104 MB / s. UHS-104). Otherwise, the card reader and card will use the slower, maximum available SD speed.

There is no compatibility problem for UHS cards with non-UHS devices.

Important! Compatibility Chart for Card Readers and SD Card Types

In principle, on each card reader (on the package with it) it is indicated which cards it supports. Naturally, if you insert a newer card, he simply will not see it, and you will not be able to read it. The table below will show you the compatibility of card readers and types of SD cards.