Memory Cards: Problems and Solutions

Memory cards are widely used in a number of professional and personal settings. As devices like smartphones and cameras have a finite amount of storage, users often supplement them with memory cards for added data storage capability. Like any form of data storage media, memory cards are susceptible to many problems. Furthermore, if the card malfunctions, the internal card will likely be in danger as well. As such, regular backup of your memory card is suggested. Backups will have an especially beneficial effect in the event of data corruption. Beyond data corruption, there are many issues that your memory card can encounter. This blog will cover the eight most common memory card problems and how to solve them.

  1. The Memory Card is Write-Protected

Most memory cards come with a small switch that, when turned on, allows users to write data storage into the card. If you try this and get repeated failure or error messages, it likely means that the memory card is write-protected. To solve this, simply turn off the switch. If this fails, the next step is to toggle the switch on and off several times and wait a few minutes before trying to use it. If the error remains, you must format the card.

  1. The Card Cannot be Used/Read

Another common issue is when you try to use the card and receive an error messaging saying the card cannot be used or read. In this case, the solution is to simply restart the device and try again. This will fix the issue in the majority of cases. If the error persists, once again, you must back up the data and format the card.

  1. Invalid File System Within the Card

When attempting to access the memory card on your PC, you may receive a message stating that the card has no valid file system. This means one of two things: the card has no file system or the file system cannot be recognized by the PC. In this case, the solution is to run CHKDSK (check desk) to scan and repair the card. If this does not solve it, the only option is to format the card.

  1. Memory Card Runs Slowly

If you feel your memory card is running slower than usual, it means there is something wrong with your card. You can test this by transferring a very small amount of data to check the speed. If it is still slow, formatting the card may solve the issue.

  1. Memory Card Cannot Be Read by PC

When attempting to access your memory card from the computer accesrories, you will need a card reader. Occasionally, you will get an error message saying the card cannot be read. In this case, it is usually a problem on the computer’s end. One thing you can do is to make sure the drivers are updated and update them if needed. After this, re-connect the card.

  1. Missing or Unreadable Files in the Card

Files may sometimes be missing or become unreadable for a number of reasons. This could mean they are in ‘hidden’ status. You can manually change them back to ‘visible’ at which point you will be able to access them again. If this does not solve the problem, you may need to try using data recovery software.

  1. Memory Card is Empty

At times, your memory card may show up as empty despite you being sure there was data in it previously. In this case, it is likely the memory card is virus or malware infected. To solve this, you can first try an antivirus software. If you still cannot get the missing files back, it is recommended to use a data recovery service.

  1. Damaged Memory Card

Because memory cards are fragile devices, they can become physically damaged a number of ways. If the card is seriously damaged, there is not much you can do. If you wish to attempt to save it, it is best to seek help from a data recovery service or similar experts.

For memory cards and many other IT hardware parts, look no further than NSN Target. Owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we are an online distributor of aircraft parts as well as parts pertaining to the aerospace, civil aviation, defense, industrial, and electronics markets. We’re always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7-365. For a quick and competitive quote, call us at 1-714-705-4780 or email us at


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