I just took off my SDHC card from my camera in order to save all my pics on my pc, but when I plug it in it says it cannot be opened and I need to format it.

I tried several programs that do recover files from such drivers, like:

  • Ease US
  • Yodot Photo Recovery
  • Test Disk
  • Remo Recover

but none could help.

Fact is they see no partition, however I don't understand how this could have happened... I took photos and saw them while the SD card was in the camera.

What should I do? Format it and then trying to recover the files? (It's possible even if the SD card is formatted, but I'm scared of loosing all the files)

The SDHC Card is a 32GB Lexar.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Have you tried putting the card back in the camera and seeing if the camera sees them? I would not format the card until every other option has been exhausted. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented Jul 30, 2018 at 17:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ We've got several existing "How do I recover images on a corrupt card" questions here. There's really nothing in this question that distinguishes it from some of those, but it might take one of us a while to find which one is the closest to your situation. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented Jul 30, 2018 at 17:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ 1. When was the last time your PC could read the SDHC card? 2. Have you recently updated/installed/reinstalled major versions of Windows? 3. Is the SD card reader built-in to your PC, or is it external, attached via USB? 4. What is your camera make & model? \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb
    Commented Jul 30, 2018 at 17:40
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Possible duplicate of How can I recover photo files from a memory card with a corrupt filesystem? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 30, 2018 at 18:38
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Possible duplicate of New SD XC card, works fine in T5i, Windows is prompting to format \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented Jul 30, 2018 at 22:09

1 Answer 1


It is possible that the card does not have a partition table. I have encountered a few problematic cards that were formatted this way. In these cases, the card was formatted with a file system, but no underlying partition structure. 

Such cards would still be readable by your camera, and you can try transferring files through your camera. However, this is unlikely to work if your camera simply presents the SD card as an additional drive.

If you have access to a camera that multiple card slots, you may be able to transfer files to a card that is known to work with your computer.

Linux computers, and possibly also Macs, can also read such cards. Most distributions have a "live" edition that can be used from DVD or USB without installation to a hard drive. Even if you are not a regular Linux user, these editions are useful for recovery purposes.

Once you have successfully copied the files from the card, you should use a utility, such as gparted to create a partition table and reformat the card. It is also possible that Windows' built-in formatting tool will create the partition table for you.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes I was thinking about inserting the card back in the camera and then transferring the files onto my pc, will try and let you know how it goes! \$\endgroup\$
    – FET
    Commented Jul 31, 2018 at 7:57

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