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Micro SD card can't be read by phone or PC

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  • Phones
  • SD Card
  • Galaxy S
  • Memory Card
Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
January 1, 2015 10:33:42 AM

I'm having an issue with the micro SD card that was mounted in my Galaxy S4.

My phone died somewhat unexpectedly last night. There was ~25% left on the battery last I had checked, but later I noticed it was completely dead when I was on my way to bed. I'm not sure if it matters, but I did NOT drop or damage the phone on any way. I plugged the phone in, let it charge, and turned it on again this morning.

Now, any apps I had saved to my SD card won't open, and if I try to click on them it says "Application not installed." Any pics saved to SD are not displayed either.
If I go to the storage menu in the phone's system manager, the SD card does not show up as even being read/mounted.

I also tried connected the phone via USB to my PC as well as inserting the card directly into the built-in card reader. Explorer does not even show a disk drive pop up. The card seems to be totally unreadable in either the phone or the PC, so I don't even know how I would go about reformatting it, if that truly is the only solution.

I've come across this problem in a few other threads. Someone suggested trying Search and Recover after having a similar issue with a CD that couldn't be read. I installed the trial version, and it just says, "The source location you have specified does not exist" when I select the drive the micro SD card is plugged into.

Should I just cut my losses and call the card dead, or is someone out there aware of some kind of fix?

Thanks in advance!

edit: After exploring a few other threads, I realize there's little hope left for the card itself, but is there any way to get the pics off the card before moving on to a new one?

More about : micro card read phone

January 1, 2015 11:14:03 AM

It won't help this time, but I use Sweet Home to backup my pictures to my network. It automatically figures out what are new pictures and only copies the new ones to the network.
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January 3, 2015 12:33:42 AM

carlyi said:
I'm having an issue with the micro SD card that was mounted in my Galaxy S4.

My phone died somewhat unexpectedly last night. There was ~25% left on the battery last I had checked, but later I noticed it was completely dead when I was on my way to bed. I'm not sure if it matters, but I did NOT drop or damage the phone on any way. I plugged the phone in, let it charge, and turned it on again this morning.

Now, any apps I had saved to my SD card won't open, and if I try to click on them it says "Application not installed." Any pics saved to SD are not displayed either.
If I go to the storage menu in the phone's system manager, the SD card does not show up as even being read/mounted.

I also tried connected the phone via USB to my PC as well as inserting the card directly into the built-in card reader. Explorer does not even show a disk drive pop up. The card seems to be totally unreadable in either the phone or the PC, so I don't even know how I would go about reformatting it, if that truly is the only solution.

I've come across this problem in a few other threads. Someone suggested trying Search and Recover after having a similar issue with a CD that couldn't be read. I installed the trial version, and it just says, "The source location you have specified does not exist" when I select the drive the micro SD card is plugged into.

Should I just cut my losses and call the card dead, or is someone out there aware of some kind of fix?

Thanks in advance!

edit: After exploring a few other threads, I realize there's little hope left for the card itself, but is there any way to get the pics off the card before moving on to a new one?


Unfortunatley there is little to no hope to get the files recovered off of the SD card...
When SD cards break, it is almost always the SPI (or Serial Peripheral Interface - the interface that allows communication between the card and the host). So unless you are a adept electrical engineer, and have the tools to dismantle a micro sd card, you can pretty much kiss whatever was on that card goodbye.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but I'm just telling it to you straight
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January 4, 2015 7:26:37 AM

carlyi said:
I'm having an issue with the micro SD card that was mounted in my Galaxy S4.

My phone died somewhat unexpectedly last night. There was ~25% left on the battery last I had checked, but later I noticed it was completely dead when I was on my way to bed. I'm not sure if it matters, but I did NOT drop or damage the phone on any way. I plugged the phone in, let it charge, and turned it on again this morning.

Now, any apps I had saved to my SD card won't open, and if I try to click on them it says "Application not installed." Any pics saved to SD are not displayed either.
If I go to the storage menu in the phone's system manager, the SD card does not show up as even being read/mounted.

I also tried connected the phone via USB to my PC as well as inserting the card directly into the built-in card reader. Explorer does not even show a disk drive pop up. The card seems to be totally unreadable in either the phone or the PC, so I don't even know how I would go about reformatting it, if that truly is the only solution.

I've come across this problem in a few other threads. Someone suggested trying Search and Recover after having a similar issue with a CD that couldn't be read. I installed the trial version, and it just says, "The source location you have specified does not exist" when I select the drive the micro SD card is plugged into.

Should I just cut my losses and call the card dead, or is someone out there aware of some kind of fix?

Thanks in advance!

edit: After exploring a few other threads, I realize there's little hope left for the card itself, but is there any way to get the pics off the card before moving on to a new one?


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January 4, 2015 7:30:57 AM

Hi,i have face the same problem wif u , also the same model of phone , my phone cant read my sd card juz before this few days ,all my apps and pic tht install and save in my sd card was lost and uninstalled, may i knw how u face ur phone problem ??
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April 27, 2015 5:51:58 PM

Hey did my samsung some how broke my sd card?

I locked my phone and plugged my phone, trying to let it charge but u know whats weird, you can't see the red light thing when everytime you charge the light goes on.
Tried to unlock my phone and my phone would not go on. i even tried spamming buttons but it is still dead so i take off the battery and reconnects it and it is on!

Before my phone died, i transfer all my apps to my sd card and few minutes later it goes off.

The next day i unlocked my phone and sees all my apps that i transferred it to my sd card were gone.
i mean all apps were grey and theres an sd card written on the bottom right corner of the grey apps
this happens before so i was like psssh just have to take out and put it in again
did that and my apps were still grey
now, the last thing i did was re transferring them back to my phone memory but it says that there is no sd card
and here i am looking for answers
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October 18, 2015 2:30:35 AM

shen yee said:
Hi,i have face the same problem wif u , also the same model of phone , my phone cant read my sd card juz before this few days ,all my apps and pic tht install and save in my sd card was lost and uninstalled, may i knw how u face ur phone problem ??


same problem with my sd card same phone and model. now I can really say that it has something to do with s4 that broke a lot of my micro sd's.. starting to hate Samsung>>>
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November 24, 2015 6:17:07 AM

I have the same problem on my Nokia Lumia 532 & windows PC not detecting my 16GB micro SDHC card. It was brand new but went & got it replaced & hey presto it worked. So I suggest buy a new one & replace the old one. P.S. You wont be able to retrieve anything that was on the SD card I tried a thousand way even diskpart via CMD with admin rights & still not a fix. Sorry to put it so straight forward but that the only fix get it replaced & throw the old one away its DEAD.
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February 23, 2016 3:47:10 PM

carlyi said:
I'm having an issue with the micro SD card that was mounted in my Galaxy S4.

My phone died somewhat unexpectedly last night. There was ~25% left on the battery last I had checked, but later I noticed it was completely dead when I was on my way to bed. I'm not sure if it matters, but I did NOT drop or damage the phone on any way. I plugged the phone in, let it charge, and turned it on again this morning.

Now, any apps I had saved to my SD card won't open, and if I try to click on them it says "Application not installed." Any pics saved to SD are not displayed either.
If I go to the storage menu in the phone's system manager, the SD card does not show up as even being read/mounted.

I also tried connected the phone via USB to my PC as well as inserting the card directly into the built-in card reader. Explorer does not even show a disk drive pop up. The card seems to be totally unreadable in either the phone or the PC, so I don't even know how I would go about reformatting it, if that truly is the only solution.

I've come across this problem in a few other threads. Someone suggested trying Search and Recover after having a similar issue with a CD that couldn't be read. I installed the trial version, and it just says, "The source location you have specified does not exist" when I select the drive the micro SD card is plugged into.

Should I just cut my losses and call the card dead, or is someone out there aware of some kind of fix?

Thanks in advance!

edit: After exploring a few other threads, I realize there's little hope left for the card itself, but is there any way to get the pics off the card before moving on to a new one?


If an SD Card does not seem to respond when connected via an adapter, just keep it connected to the usb port at least 2 hours to ensure it does not try to read the card in the background without showing any indication. If your card is not dead yet, waiting that long will save the day and you will reach your files just as always you did, believe me.

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May 3, 2016 3:12:27 PM

carlyi said:
I'm having an issue with the micro SD card that was mounted in my Galaxy S4.

My phone died somewhat unexpectedly last night. There was ~25% left on the battery last I had checked, but later I noticed it was completely dead when I was on my way to bed. I'm not sure if it matters, but I did NOT drop or damage the phone on any way. I plugged the phone in, let it charge, and turned it on again this morning.

Now, any apps I had saved to my SD card won't open, and if I try to click on them it says "Application not installed." Any pics saved to SD are not displayed either.
If I go to the storage menu in the phone's system manager, the SD card does not show up as even being read/mounted.

I also tried connected the phone via USB to my PC as well as inserting the card directly into the built-in card reader. Explorer does not even show a disk drive pop up. The card seems to be totally unreadable in either the phone or the PC, so I don't even know how I would go about reformatting it, if that truly is the only solution.

I've come across this problem in a few other threads. Someone suggested trying Search and Recover after having a similar issue with a CD that couldn't be read. I installed the trial version, and it just says, "The source location you have specified does not exist" when I select the drive the micro SD card is plugged into.

Should I just cut my losses and call the card dead, or is someone out there aware of some kind of fix?

Thanks in advance!

edit: After exploring a few other threads, I realize there's little hope left for the card itself, but is there any way to get the pics off the card before moving on to a new one?


Mate I had a similar issue with my 2 months old top of the range Micro SD card in my Galaxy phone. Obviously, I immediately asked Mr. Google what to do about it and that’s how I got to this site. As none of the responses provided any help to you or me I decided to approach the problem my way and use the same tricks, I use with computers. I am a computer guy, who hates smart phones however, smart phones are in the end of the day computers too. BTW so called best solution on this page really got me laughing. SPIs on SD cards which were inserted to smart phones once or even a few times do no break just like that and in 99.99% of cases, you will be able to recover data from your SD card. That 0.01% stands for the cases when someone smashed your SD card with a hammer. 

The good news is I solved the problem in less than a minute and if you still have you SD card I am for 99.99% sure, it would work for you and all the others with the same problem as well.

Here is what to do to fix the SD card problem:

1) Turn off your phone and take off its back cover
2) Take out your battery a pull out your SD card
3) Put you battery back into your phone and turn the phone on with your back cover still off and your SD card out of the phone.
4) Once the phone’s on, go to settings > storage and scroll down to SD card heading
5) Under SD card heading you should see “Insert SD card” message
6) Now, without turning off your phone, insert your SD card carefully into the phone
7) You should be able to see it now on your phone and on your PC exactly as before with all the files, that you originally had on it
8) Put your phones’ back cover back on and be happy 

Why did it happen to you and so many others? You can all write a thank you letter to Google for its brilliant android OS. That’s the bloody culprit... I run Lollipop 5.1.1.
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May 26, 2016 3:16:45 PM

None of this worked for me. Happened to two 64gb cards on mine and my wife's phones. Both S4's. I need a fix. We have lots of stuff on these cards!
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June 15, 2016 9:22:56 AM

I_know said:
carlyi said:
I'm having an issue with the micro SD card that was mounted in my Galaxy S4.

My phone died somewhat unexpectedly last night. There was ~25% left on the battery last I had checked, but later I noticed it was completely dead when I was on my way to bed. I'm not sure if it matters, but I did NOT drop or damage the phone on any way. I plugged the phone in, let it charge, and turned it on again this morning.

Now, any apps I had saved to my SD card won't open, and if I try to click on them it says "Application not installed." Any pics saved to SD are not displayed either.
If I go to the storage menu in the phone's system manager, the SD card does not show up as even being read/mounted.

I also tried connected the phone via USB to my PC as well as inserting the card directly into the built-in card reader. Explorer does not even show a disk drive pop up. The card seems to be totally unreadable in either the phone or the PC, so I don't even know how I would go about reformatting it, if that truly is the only solution.

I've come across this problem in a few other threads. Someone suggested trying Search and Recover after having a similar issue with a CD that couldn't be read. I installed the trial version, and it just says, "The source location you have specified does not exist" when I select the drive the micro SD card is plugged into.

Should I just cut my losses and call the card dead, or is someone out there aware of some kind of fix?

Thanks in advance!

edit: After exploring a few other threads, I realize there's little hope left for the card itself, but is there any way to get the pics off the card before moving on to a new one?


Mate I had a similar issue with my 2 months old top of the range Micro SD card in my Galaxy phone. Obviously, I immediately asked Mr. Google what to do about it and that’s how I got to this site. As none of the responses provided any help to you or me I decided to approach the problem my way and use the same tricks, I use with computers. I am a computer guy, who hates smart phones however, smart phones are in the end of the day computers too. BTW so called best solution on this page really got me laughing. SPIs on SD cards which were inserted to smart phones once or even a few times do no break just like that and in 99.99% of cases, you will be able to recover data from your SD card. That 0.01% stands for the cases when someone smashed your SD card with a hammer. 

The good news is I solved the problem in less than a minute and if you still have you SD card I am for 99.99% sure, it would work for you and all the others with the same problem as well.

Here is what to do to fix the SD card problem:

1) Turn off your phone and take off its back cover
2) Take out your battery a pull out your SD card
3) Put you battery back into your phone and turn the phone on with your back cover still off and your SD card out of the phone.
4) Once the phone’s on, go to settings > storage and scroll down to SD card heading
5) Under SD card heading you should see “Insert SD card” message
6) Now, without turning off your phone, insert your SD card carefully into the phone
7) You should be able to see it now on your phone and on your PC exactly as before with all the files, that you originally had on it
8) Put your phones’ back cover back on and be happy 

Why did it happen to you and so many others? You can all write a thank you letter to Google for its brilliant android OS. That’s the bloody culprit... I run Lollipop 5.1.1.


BIG THANK YOU TO "I-Know"

Have Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime with 64gb ultra sandisk card. Working fine for 6 months then out of the blue it was no longer reading data from the sd card. It was showing I had 47gb of data on card in storage app menu but I could not access information. Tried unmounting then mounting sd card from storage app, turning phone off then on, placing sd card directly into computer. Nothing worked. Searched for a few hours and tried everything. I was getting ready to reformat my phone knowing 1) I'd lose everything and 2) reformatting still might NOT work. I tried this and low and behold it worked! I could see my file folders with the phone connected via usb to my computer. I DID NOT try to access the pictures at this time either through the phone or the computer but rather immediately copied the entire pictures folder into my computer even though I had some pictures previously downloaded. Did the same for each subsequent important folder. I did not want to chance the phone suddenly repeating the same issue. Now I am debating whether to reformat the card which I probably will in the event there's some bug on it.

I was very close to reformatting before seeing this solution so again a BIG THANK YOU TO "I-Know!" You saved me from losing all my important info!!!
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July 12, 2016 2:47:03 PM

Hi same thing happened to me but when I follow the solution instructions, the"insert sd card" option is greyed out and I can't select it. It didn't work just putting it in without pressing that. Please help!
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August 18, 2016 7:28:58 PM

I_know said:
carlyi said:
I'm having an issue with the micro SD card that was mounted in my Galaxy S4.

My phone died somewhat unexpectedly last night. There was ~25% left on the battery last I had checked, but later I noticed it was completely dead when I was on my way to bed. I'm not sure if it matters, but I did NOT drop or damage the phone on any way. I plugged the phone in, let it charge, and turned it on again this morning.

Now, any apps I had saved to my SD card won't open, and if I try to click on them it says "Application not installed." Any pics saved to SD are not displayed either.
If I go to the storage menu in the phone's system manager, the SD card does not show up as even being read/mounted.

I also tried connected the phone via USB to my PC as well as inserting the card directly into the built-in card reader. Explorer does not even show a disk drive pop up. The card seems to be totally unreadable in either the phone or the PC, so I don't even know how I would go about reformatting it, if that truly is the only solution.

I've come across this problem in a few other threads. Someone suggested trying Search and Recover after having a similar issue with a CD that couldn't be read. I installed the trial version, and it just says, "The source location you have specified does not exist" when I select the drive the micro SD card is plugged into.

Should I just cut my losses and call the card dead, or is someone out there aware of some kind of fix?

Thanks in advance!

edit: After exploring a few other threads, I realize there's little hope left for the card itself, but is there any way to get the pics off the card before moving on to a new one?


Mate I had a similar issue with my 2 months old top of the range Micro SD card in my Galaxy phone. Obviously, I immediately asked Mr. Google what to do about it and that’s how I got to this site. As none of the responses provided any help to you or me I decided to approach the problem my way and use the same tricks, I use with computers. I am a computer guy, who hates smart phones however, smart phones are in the end of the day computers too. BTW so called best solution on this page really got me laughing. SPIs on SD cards which were inserted to smart phones once or even a few times do no break just like that and in 99.99% of cases, you will be able to recover data from your SD card. That 0.01% stands for the cases when someone smashed your SD card with a hammer. 

The good news is I solved the problem in less than a minute and if you still have you SD card I am for 99.99% sure, it would work for you and all the others with the same problem as well.

Here is what to do to fix the SD card problem:

1) Turn off your phone and take off its back cover
2) Take out your battery a pull out your SD card
3) Put you battery back into your phone and turn the phone on with your back cover still off and your SD card out of the phone.
4) Once the phone’s on, go to settings > storage and scroll down to SD card heading
5) Under SD card heading you should see “Insert SD card” message
6) Now, without turning off your phone, insert your SD card carefully into the phone
7) You should be able to see it now on your phone and on your PC exactly as before with all the files, that you originally had on it
8) Put your phones’ back cover back on and be happy 

Why did it happen to you and so many others? You can all write a thank you letter to Google for its brilliant android OS. That’s the bloody culprit... I run Lollipop 5.1.1.


Hey whats up .. i tried did exactly how you instructed and it says that i have 60.gb available space and i can't see none of my pics or videos .. i just took my daughter too disney world and i need to get those pics and vids back .. please help
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August 19, 2016 1:56:23 PM

Open the "Computer" and select the "System Properties" tab.
•In the task bar on the left click "device manager"
•Next to " USB controller" that shows name of your phone hopefully, right click and click on update driver.
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September 7, 2016 10:05:58 AM

yovinnie22 said:
Open the "Computer" and select the "System Properties" tab.
•In the task bar on the left click "device manager"
•Next to " USB controller" that shows name of your phone hopefully, right click and click on update driver.


By doing this will it show the SD Card ?
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September 9, 2016 7:58:24 AM

I was on holidays two weeks ago and my Micro SD card 32gb stopped working (and its a SanDisk!). I had over 5 years of photos on the card that I had not backed up (Oops!). I was searching the internet to see how I could recover the data but because the card wasn't reading anymore in the phone, G Pad or computer I couldn't use the recover files. I found on another thread a website called Recoverfab.com. I sent the card to them in Germany (from Ireland) and within 4 days they emailed me to say they had recovered all my photos (over 3800 photos and videos!). I was delighted. Its not cheap but if if you really want the photos it is a great option.

Best of luck with it!
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September 9, 2016 8:08:58 AM

cfly90 said:
I was on holidays two weeks ago and my Micro SD card 32gb stopped working (and its a SanDisk!). I had over 5 years of photos on the card that I had not backed up (Oops!). I was searching the internet to see how I could recover the data but because the card wasn't reading anymore in the phone, G Pad or computer I couldn't use the recover files. I found on another thread a website called Recoverfab.com. I sent the card to them in Germany (from Ireland) and within 4 days they emailed me to say they had recovered all my photos (over 3800 photos and videos!). I was delighted. Its not cheap but if if you really want the photos it is a great option.

Best of luck with it!


yeah, backup.
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