This memory card cannot be used. Card may be damaged. Insert another card. Have you ever encountered the same issue? Do you know how to solve the issue? Now, you can try using MiniTool Power Data Recovery to recover lost data from this card.

Error - This Memory Card Cannot Be Used

“Last weekend, I took some amazing shots in a beautiful mountain. However, yesterday, I could not access my beautiful photos, and I received the error message saying 'this memory card cannot be used, card may be damaged, insert another card'. Now, what should I do?

memory card cannot be used

Have you ever encountered the same or similar problems? How to fix damaged SD card? Can we access the data saved in the damage SD card again? Is it possible to fix the error “this memory card cannot be used” without affecting the original data?

Top recommendation: This “ Solved- 4 Most Common SD Card Errors ” post will show you other 4 common memory card problems and how to solve these problems.

According to a survey, people that succeed solve this error do two things very well:

First, they recover data from memory card that cannot be used.

Second, they fix 'This memory card cannot be used. Card may be damaged. Insert another card' error.

Now, you might be wondering:

“How do I get back files from a damaged SD card when it asks me to insert another card and tells memory card cannot be used?”

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Watch the following video to know how do I solve this issue.

Chapter 1 – Recover Data after Memory Card Cannot Be Used

Note: If you don’t care about data, you can skip this chapter and directly move on to chapter 2.

Damaged Memory Card Data Recovery

“I have a Nikon Coolpix 665. Was using it the other day when suddenly it started to show the message ‘This card cannot be used’, for no apparent reason. Does anyone know the reason behind this message? What's more, does anyone know how to access the data saved in this memory card again? Please help me!”

In general, when it comes to memory card data recovery , we have 2 direct and effective options. One is to turn to data recovery companies and another is to turn to a piece of professional data recovery software.

Data recovery companies indeed can help us recover lost data, but they ask for high data recovery fees and may leak customer’s privacy. Therefore, most users prefer a professional data recovery software equipped with high security. MiniTool Power Data Recovery, a simple and professional tool developed by MiniTool Solution Ltd., is recommended here.

  • All-in-one free data recovery software
  • Read-only free data recovery software
  • Concise interface and easy to use
  • Detailed instructions guide you to complete data recovery successfully
  • 4 recovery modules to help you recover files regardless of the reasons for data loss
  • Recover lost, deleted, formatted, corrupt files safely and within only 3 steps
  • Supported OS: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008 (R2), and Windows Server 2012
  • Supported device types: Hard Drive, External Disk, USB Drive, Memory Card, and RAID…
  • Supported file types: document, image, video, audio and email

Free Download

Step-by-step Guide to Recovering Files from Memory Card That Cannot Be Used

Step 1. Connect memory card to computer, launch MiniTool Power Data Recovery and then click Removable Disk Drive .

click Removable Disk Drive

Tip: In this window, we can see 4 different data recovery modules. Here, to recover files after memory card cannot be used, we had better choose Removable Disk Drive since this recovery module is specially designed to recover lost data from memory card, USB drive and other removable drives.

Step 2. Select the damaged memory card, and click Scan button.

scan Removable Disk Drive

In this window, we can click Settings feature to make this tool scan needed files only by file systems and file types. For example, if we just want to recover pictures or photos, we can check the option “ Graphics & Picture ”.

Step 3. Check all needed files, and click Save button which is located at the lower right corner to specify a location to save all selected files and click OK . Do not save selected data to the device where data loss appears, for this may cause permanent data loss.

save all needed files

1. If we are recovering pictures, we can preview them before saving.

2. If we can remember the file name, we can use the Find feature to find a specified file directly. However, if this feature doesn’t work, we can turn to the Filter feature to filter out needless data by file name, file size, creating time, and so on.

filer files

3. After scan, we can export all scanning results to a specified place, which makes it possible to load previous results without rescanning. In addition, please do not export results to the location where data loss appears, because this may overwrite lost data.

See, with only three steps, we recovered lost data from memory card that cannot be used without affecting the original data.

With MiniTool Power Data Recovery, I quickly and effectively recovered data from memory card that cannot be used without bringing any damage to the original data. Click to Tweet

Note: Although the trial edition can help to look for lost data, you had better choose the personal or business edition since the trail edition can only scan lost data.

In general, as long as you get the personal edition, you not only can recover data but also can directly load previous scanning results if you have used Power Data Recovery to scan a device.

  1. Load recovery result : as we know, in step 3 we can export scan result to a specified place. If we have made such an export, now we are able to load saved results by clicking this feature.
  2. Recovery scan result : if we have performed a scan with This PC, Removable Disk Drive or Hard Disk Drive module, this software will automatically save the scan result. Then users can select it and click Load Result to load the scan result. This design helps save much time.

recovery result

After recovering lost data, let’s see how to fix the error “This memory card cannot be used. Card may be damaged. Insert another card”.

Chapter 2 - Fix Error “This Memory Card Cannot Be Used”

If you encounter the "memory card cannot be used, card may be damaged, insert another card" error, you can try the following 2 solutions to fix it.

Solution 1: Repair Damaged Memory Card by Using Chkdsk

Chkdsk , a system tool in DOS , OS/2 and Windows, verifies the file system integrity of a volume and fixes logical file system errors .

Step 1. Open the command prompt and please choose “Run as Administrator”.( 10 Ways to Open the Command Prompt in Windows 10 )

Step 2: Type chkdsk /r [ Drive Letter ], and press Enter. (Here, we type chkdsk /re: as shown below.)

chkdsk hard drive

Step 3: Type Exit and press Enter.

If this method doesn’t work, you can try formatting the memory card that cannot be used.

Solution 2: Format The MemoryCard That Cannot Be Used

To format damaged memory card, you can directly connect this card to computer, and open This PC (or My Computer ), and then right click the targeted card, and finally choose “Format…”

Next, specify file system, allocation unit size , volume label and check Quick Format , and finally click Start button.

click quick format

Third, click OK when you receive the following error:

Warning: Formatting will erase ALL data on this disk. To format the disk, click OK. To quit, click CANCEL.

Thus, all work has been done.

Unfortunately, however, according to a survey, some users failed and received the “ Windows was unable to complete the format ” error.

Now, what should they do? Is there any other effective way to format damaged memory card. Yes! Of course! We can effectively and quickly format damaged memory card by using a third-party partition magic .

Want to know the best way?

MiniTool Partition wizard, a green, simple, professional and free partition magic, can help us format memory card with ease.

1. Launch MiniTool Partition Wizard.

2. Select the memory card that cannot be used and choose "Format Partition" feature from the left panel.

3. Set partition label, file system and cluster size for the selected partition and click "OK".

MiniTool Partition Wizard format card

4. Click "Apply" button on the top to apply the change.

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Chapter 3 - 11 Simple Tips to Avoid Memory Card Problems

As a matter of fact, in addition to the error “memory card cannot be used”, other common errors also occur with memory cards. For instance, Blank SD card SD card is blank or has unsupported file system .

Now, I guess you might be wondering:

“Is it possible to avoid these problems, or at least to minimize the frequency with which they occur?”

Of course, we can. Here are 11 tips to help you avoid memory card problems.

  1. Think twice before deleting files.
  2. When you are saving or displaying photo and video files, you should not remove the memory card from your device.
  3. It is recommended to let the memory card stay in the camera or Android device while turning on and off the device.
  4. Never switch the memory card while the camera or Android is on.
  5. Stop viewing and taking photos and videos when the battery is low.
  6. Stop shooting before the memory card is full.
  7. It is recommended to choose memory cards from reputable manufacturers, such as SanDisk, Panasonic, Sony, Kingston, Lexar, and so on.
  8. Keep memory card in a safe environment. (Many things can damage your memory card, including water, dust, and static electricity, and even the smallest amount of static.)
  9. Stop using the memory card immediately when you see errors.
  10. Please note that memory card do not work forever. For instance, a typical memory card has a lifespan of around 10,000 write/erase operations.
  11. Don't put all eggs in one basket –always backup. (Here, I guess you might be interested in this post - Clone SD Card to PC .)

Bottom Line

See! If our memory card cannot be used, we can format this card to reuse it. However, formatting will delete all original data on this card, thus we have to recover lost data from the damaged card before formatting it.

If you have any questions or suggestions about damaged memory card data recovery with MiniTool Power Data Recovery, you can leave it in the following comment zone or directly send email to [email protected] . Thanks in advance!

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