Although today seems to be the world of a cell phone camera, many people are still more inclined to use a digital camera since their pursuit of photo quality is getting higher and higher. And I found many people said that their camera says card cannot be accessed. To help them with this, I will provide workarounds in the following content.

Among the wide variety of digital camera brands, Canon always has a place; it is no exaggeration to say that Canon has gradually become the industry benchmark.

While you indulge in the happiness brought by Canon cameras, one day, it may break your heart. Have you ever thought of this? As you can easily discover by searching in Google, the card cannot be accessed error appears on Canon camera from time to time. Lots and lots of Canon camera users have reported the problem – camera says card cannot be accessed . Due to a lack of relevant experience, these people have chosen to resort to others by writing help-seeking post in all major forums.

card cannot be accessed

Face the Problem – Camera Says Card Cannot Be Accessed

Don’t be shocked when you suddenly find your card cannot be accessed in Canon camera. After all, the memory card is a type of storage device that is more fragile than a common hard drive. In other words, digital camera card can be damaged more easily.

However, does it mean that the card is declared unusable when the card access is denied? Absolutely no! Though a memory card cannot be accessed currently, the photos saved on it can be recovered and the problem may be fixed by appropriate means. The question is how ordinary users could possibly finish the recovery & repair work alone.

This is exactly what I know & want to share with you. Please get MiniTool Power Data Recovery to complete camera card recovery.

Memory Card Is Not Accessible - A True Example

Card cannot be accessed. Reinsert/change the card or format card with the camera.

Really this is The Worst Message any Photographer could have! First, I own Canon T4i/650D, I was photographing a concert and suddenly this message appears on the screen and memory card cannot be read! I tried to insert my SDHC memory in the laptop to check the all day images I photographed, but I shocked that all my files are gone as it asks me to format the memory on the laptop too! Imaging how all your daily photos can be deleted without any warnings! I have this memory card: Dane-Elec Pro 8GB 200x Class 10 SDHC Memory Card It's Working well in most of the times, but this message appear suddenly after long period of photographing ... I really need your help, is it memory problem, or the card slot pins in my canon T4i. Share your experience :) Sorry for my bad English... Thanks in Advance, Amro.

Amro Ashraf said in the post that he saw “ The Worst Message any Photographer could have ” – the card cannot be accessed. All his files are gone and the camera asks him to format the memory card. At this critical moment, he should stop operating the camera and say no to the formatting request unless the files on that memory card are not useful. In the meantime, he ought to find a powerful tool help him with SD card recovery .

Find the Solution – Complete Memory Card Recovery Easily

Fortunately, I discover a good choice for both ordinary users and senior users: MiniTool Power Data Recovery. And I’d like to walk you through all the steps to recover photos from SD card without formatting.

MiniTool Power Data Recovery

Camera SD Card Recovery – A Detailed Tutorial

First of all, you need to use the trial edition to see whether it can find needed files for you. Then, you should decide which edition of software suits the most for your case.

  • Please install and run the trial edition to scan your SD card thoroughly.
  • If you are a home user and don’t have special needs, you should get a Personal License to recover files that software have found for you.
  • If you want to use it in a business environment, you should choose from Business Standard, Business Deluxe, Business Deluxe, and Business Deluxe according to needs.
Note: Please click here to see the comparison of different license types . In the following content, I’ll just take the trial edition as an example to show you how to recover data from digital camera memory card.

How to recover:

1: Please get and install the data recovery software on your computer immediately.

Free Download

2: When this operation is completed, you should take out the card properly from the camera and connect it to the current computer ( you’ll need a card reader unless your computer has a special interface for memory card/SD card ). Now, launch the software to recover data from inaccessible memory card ( you can also select it to recover deleted photos/images/pictures from camera card ).

3: Choose “ Removable Disk Drive ” from the main interface in order to recover data from corrupted SD card . Then, check whether your card appears in the list on the picture below.

choose Removable Disk Drive

  • If it appears, please select it and press the “ Scan ” button to start detecting files in it.
  • If it doesn’t appear, please read this post to figure out what happens and fix the problem.
Note: You may click on the “Settings” button for setting the software to scan only specified file systems or file types.

4: Though the full scan may last for a long period of time (depending on the usage of your card), you need to wait for the completion of it if you want to get the best recovery result.

wait for the scan

When it finally finishes, all the possible partitions ( including all kinds of files and folders ) will be listed in the software in order.

5: Please expand the partitions one by one to have a careful view of the items included in them, so as to find out the files need to recover.

view found items

6: If you have found out all the photos or other files you need in the partitions displayed currently in the software, you have 2 choices:

  • Click on “ Export Scan Result ” to save the recovery result manually; then, register and launch the software to load manually saved scan result. After that, check the files you need and press “ Scan ” to recover them to another place.
  • Register the software; then, repeat the scan process so as to recover data by checking them and clicking on “ Scan ” button to choose a storage path.

export scan result

This is the end of the camera card photo recovery tutorial.

Remember, this method will also take effect when you plan to recover data from a formatted SD card after you have clicked to format it mistakenly or recover photos from damaged memory card.

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In case that you may be interested in dead SD card recovery or the data recovery from the external hard drive that is not working, I prepare two other articles for you:

Repair the Card – Some Practical Methods for You

How to format the camera memory card? The methods and steps are shown below.

Format the Card in Camera

  1. Make sure the SD card is inserted properly into your camera. In general, you can find the SD port in the battery compartment ( but its location is not fixed in all cameras ). Please gently push the card into the slot you see; then, you’ll hear and feel it clicks in the right place.
  2. Turn your camera on, and then press the " Menu " or " Preferences " button. Remember, the name of the button changes with the camera.
  3. Press the Multi-controller in order to navigate to the “ Camera Settings ” menu. And then, look for the “ Format ” or “ Format card ” option.
  4. Select the format option and click on the “ OK ” button to confirm the action. Please note that all the data on the SD card will be lost during the formatting process, as the prompt message says.
  5. Wait for the formatting, which may take a few minutes, depending on how many files need to be erased from the card. Once this process is completed, you’ll get a blank card ready to store new photos.

Format the Card in Computer – 4 Choices

Also, you can take out the memory card from the camera, and then connect it to your computer for formatting. Under such circumstances, you can format the card through 4 ways.

Method 1: format with MiniTool Partition Wizard

MiniTool Partition Wizard is a tiny but powerful tool that helps you to manage your disks and solve disk problems easily. In addition to this software, you can also choose another third-party program that you trust for memory card formatting.

1: Download and install the software correctly on your computer and then connect the memory card to the same computer.

get the software

2: Click on “ Launch Application ” to go to its main interface and find out your camera card from the right panel.

3: Do the following things to format it quickly.

  • Select the card.
  • Choose “ Format Partition ” from the left pane.
  • Set the “ Partition Label ”, “ File System ” and “ Cluster Size ” and press “ OK ” button.
  • Click on the “ Apply ” button in the upper left corner of the software main interface.
  • Click on the “ Yes ” button to allow changes.
  • Then, the formatting will be finished very soon.

format card in Partition Wizard

Please note that you can also right click on the card and choose “ Format ” from the context menu to start formatting the card.

Method 2: format in Windows File Explorer.

1: Connect the SD card to computer via a card reader ( or connect it directly if your computer has an SD card slot ) and then open Windows File Explorer.

How to check whether your computer has an SD slot or not?

2: Click on “ This PC ” option from the left pane and then find your card from the right pane, by looking at the drive letter and label.

3: Right click on the SD card and choose “ Format… ” from the pop-up menu.

choose Format in File Explorer

4: After that, you’ll enter the format window, in which you should click on the “ Start ” button to confirm your selection. ( Please note that you should get to know the file system types that are compatible with your camera; if the default file system is not suitable, you have to choose another one in this window )

Method 3: format in Windows Disk Management.

1: The first thing you should do is also connect the card properly to the computer. Then, you need to open Windows Disk Management by a few clicks ( the detailed steps are not the same in different Windows operating systems ).

2: Find your card from the volume list and then right click on it to see the context menu shown in the picture below.

3: Choose “ Format… ” here and then follow the prompt messages to finish formatting easily.

choose Format in Disk Management

Method 4: format in Command Prompt

1: Connect the card to the computer and make sure it appears in Windows Disk Management.

2: Open Command Prompt on your computer and run it as administrator.

3: Type “ diskpart ” and press “ Enter ”.

4: Type “ list disk ” and press “ Enter ”.

5: Type “ select disk * ” ( “*” stands for the number of the card you see in current command prompt window ). Please make sure that you have selected the correct disk and then press “ Enter ”.

6: Type “ clean ” and press “ Enter ”.

type clean and press Enter

7: Type “ create partition primary ” and press “ Enter ”.

8: Type “ format fs=* ” ( “*” is the file system that you want the card to be formatted with; as I said before, you must make sure that the file system you type here is compatible with the camera ). Then, press “ Enter ” and wait for a while.

type format fs=

9: Type “ assign letter=* ” ( “*” represents the drive letter you want to assign to the card; don’t use the letters that have already been taken by local disks ) and press “ Enter ”.

10: Close the command prompt window by clicking “ X ” in the upper right corner or by typing “ exit ” & pressing “ Enter ”.

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Draw a Conclusion – Camera Card Recovery Is Not Difficult

The error – camera says card cannot be accessed – is not as terrible as some of you thought it would be. When you really encounter this error, please stay calm and keep this in mind: you can fix the error totally by your own.

After that, you should read the tutorials given above carefully to know how to recover data from camera card and how to fix the error when the memory card is not accessible. Please be careful when operating and I believe you will eventually succeed.

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