Most Effective Methods to Fix “SD Card Not Recognized” Error

When you insert an SD card into your PC and find a notification titled “SD Card Not Recognized”, then you have to fix it immediately. Some of the perks of having an external hard drive are the liberty to take it everywhere you go without having to carry an entire laptop with you. To make it easier, you can have your files in a micro SD card and insert it to an available PC whenever you need to. In a micro SD card as well, you can store every type of file and insert it to your phone too. If you do not have a USB drive, then a micro SD card can work splendidly to save your files.

Similarly to any hard drive errors, the micro or Nintendo 3ds SD card often face some issues when inserted into a PC. In case you experience this type of problem, then you must check whether or not you insert the card correctly. If the PC cannot recognize the SD card, then we can trace back the problem to the PC drivers. Just like any other Windows PC problems, the faulty drivers may have caused the errors in the system unknowingly. If you wish to fix the faulty drivers, then you can try to update them using the best driver updater.

“SD Card Not Recognized” errors may not be a big problem, but it can reveal some errors in the system. When you inspect the faulty drivers which may trigger this error, you can also prevent further errors in the system in the process. Some of the outdated, corrupt or incompatible drivers can result in a lot of driver issues which may cause several Windows services to shut down. Other than the driver problems, you can also look for some hardware issues, device issue, and more things related to SD card to fix the problem right away.

If you wish to know the cause of the problem immediately, you can try to insert the SD card to another PC available. See if another PC can recognize it and reveal the items in it. In case the SD card cannot be read in another PC, then the problem may come from the SD card itself. While you try to do this, you can update your PC drivers at the same time. Once you update all the drivers available, then you can try to insert the SD card once more.

More Issues Regarding “SD Card Not Recognized”

SD Card Not Recognized
SD Card Not Recognized

It is important to know that a certain model of computer or laptop may not be able to read certain types of micro SD cards. Usually, a memory card with 1 GB or 2 GB storage space is easy to read for most of the types of PC today. However, the technology develops as time passes and the new type of SD card begins to emerge. With a 4 GB or 8 GB, or even higher storage space, some of the old PC hardware cannot read the new type of SD card. 

The new type of SD card with higher storage space is equipped with SDHC technology. In case your PC cannot read it, then it means it may not be SDHC compliant. As it were, an SD card initially only has 2 GB capacity. With the SDHC technology, the mini SD card can increase the capacity of the storage to 32 or 64 GB. Therefore, a PC produced in no later than 2008 may not be compatible with such a card. In other words, it can result in the “SD Card Not Recognized” error, whether it takes the form of a micro SD or a Nintendo 3ds card.

Other than the incompatibility of the PC hardware and the SD card, the system of a PC itself may fail to recognize the card. It often happens after the card is successfully inserted and recognized, but the File Explorer cannot detect it. If you ever experience any of this inconvenience, you should fix it immediately by performing the methods we have curated in this article.

What to Check Upon Fixing the “SD Card Not Recognized” Error

SD card inserted in card reader
SD card inserted in card reader

If you wish to perform some methods to fix the “SD Card Not Recognized” error, whether it takes the form of a micro SD or Nintendo 3ds card, you must check these following things first.

  1. Clean your SD Card and make sure there is no dust on the surface of the card.
  2. Insert the SD card on the other computer and see if the other computer can read it.
  3. Try to insert another SD card on your current PC and see if the PC can read it or not.
  4. Check whether or not the SD card is locked. To unlock it, simply slide the switch to the bottom.
  5. See if the SD or SDHC card is not broken in any form. Try to check whether or not a slightly damaged card can be read by your current PC or not.

Methods to Fix “SD Card Not Recognized” on Windows PC

Methods to Fix SD Card Not Recognized
Methods to Fix SD Card Not Recognized

In case you have checked every part of your SD card and your PC, but finding nothing wrong, then you can fix the “SD Card Not Recognized” error, whether it is in the form of micro or Nintendo 3ds, with these methods below. We have curated a list of methods which can get your PC to read the card like it is supposed to. Take a look at each one of the methods below. Try each one of these and see which one works for you.

Try to Disable and Enable SD Card

In case your PC cannot recognize an SD card, you can try to disable and enable it back. To do so, you can follow the steps below.

  1. Open the Run box by pressing Windows and R buttons at the same time.
  2. On the Run box, type devmgmt.msc and press the Enter button. Soon after, the Device Manager window will appear.
  3. Afterward, locate the section SD Host Adapters or Memory Technology Devices and expand it. Under the section, you will see the SD card reader device called Realtek PCI-E Card reader.
  4. Proceed to right-click on it and choose the option “Disable” among the options on the list.
  5. Choose the option “Yes” on the confirmation window to continue.
  6. Go to the SD card reader device again and right-click on it. Select the option “Enable” afterward.
  7. If the steps above do not fix the issue, then go back to the Device Manager window.
  8. Now, expand the tab “Portable Devices” and proceed to right-click on the letter of your SD card.
  9. Proceed to choose the option “Disable”.
  10. Once more, right-click on the SD card device again and choose the option “Enable”.

Changing the SD Card Drive Letter

If you cannot access your SD card on your PC due to “SD Card Not Recognized” error, then you can try to change its letter. In order to do this method, you can follow the steps below.

  1. Open the Run box by pressing Windows and R buttons.
  2. Once the Run box appears, type diskmgmt.msc and press Enter.
  3. Afterward, head to the name of your SD card and right-click on it.
  4. Proceed to choose the option “Change Drive Letter and Paths”.
  5. A new window will appear. Proceed to choose the “Change” option.
  6. Afterward, you can select any alphabet you want except the one used by the SD card currently. Click OK to proceed with the change.
  7. Your SD card will now have a new letter next to its name.
  8. Check whether you can access the files inside of it or not.

Updating SD Card Drivers

In case your PC experiences an error, always try to update the drivers corresponding to that error. This time around, you can update your SD card drivers, whether micro or Nintendo 3ds, to fix the “SD Card Not Recognized” error. To do so, you can follow the steps below.

  1. Open the Run box by pressing Windows and R buttons at the same time.
  2. Once the Run box appears, type devmgmt.msc and press Enter to open Device Manager.
  3. Locate the tab “SD host adapters” or “Disk Drives” and expand it.
  4. Head to the name of your SD card and right-click on it.
  5. Afterward, you can choose the option “Update Driver”.
  6. Next, you can choose the option “Search automatically for updated driver software”. Wait until the updating process finishes.
  7. At last, reboot your PC to save the changes.
  8. If you cannot still access the SD card, then try to update the driver software by selecting the option “Browse my computer for driver software” this time around.
  9. Proceed to choose the option “Let me pick from a list of available drivers on my computer”.
  10. Choose the latest driver from the list and click Next to continue.
  11. Wait until the updating process finishes.
  12. At last, reboot your PC to save the changes.

Uninstalling the SD Card Reader

If neither the driver and the micro SD card device is not recognized, then it must be the reader. In case of the SD card reader malfunctions, you can simply uninstall it. To do so, you must follow the steps below.

  1. Open the Run box by pressing Windows and R buttons at the same time.
  2. Once the Run box appears, you can type devmgmt.msc and press Enter to open Device Manager.
  3. Find the tab “SD host adapters” or “Disk Drives” and expand it.
  4. Locate the name of your SD card and right-click on it.
  5. Proceed to choose the option “Uninstall”.
  6. On the confirmation window, select “Yes”.
  7. At last, reboot your PC to save the changes.
  8. Windows system will automatically install the default drivers for the card reader.

Set BIOS to Default Configuration

If none of the methods to fix the “SD Card Not Recognized”, whether micro or Nintendo 3ds, above works, then you can try to set the PC BIOS to its default configuration. In order to do that, follow the steps below.

  1. First, you must shut down the power of your PC.
  2. Afterward, you can turn it back on while pressing F2, DEL or F12 to enter into the PC BIOS setup.
  3. Proceed to find the reset option to load the default configuration. Find the option with the name similar to “Reset to default”, “Load factory defaults”, “Clear BIOS settings”, or “Load setup defaults”.
  4. Click on the option and press Enter to continue.
  5. Afterward, confirm the operation and wait for it to finish. 
  6. The PC BIOS will now use the default settings.
  7. At last, try to log in with the username and the password you have to log in your PC.

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