SDHC cards, thanks to their small form factor, are an incredibly convenient form of storage. But, what happens when something goes wrong and your invaluable files seemingly vanish into thin air? This could be the result of file corruption, formatting, or even just accidental deletion.
Luckily, in the event of data loss, there are solutions. In this article, we’re going to go over different methods you can use the recover your files.
I accidentally deleted important photos from my SDHC card
I accidentally formatted my SDHC card and I need my data back
My SDHC card is corrupted. I receive error messages like “memory card error” or “corrupt memory card”
Files on my SDHC card are missing but I didn’t delete them
My SDHC card is not being recognized by my PC
I think my SDHC card was affected by a virus
I think my SDHC card is dead/damaged
I accidentally formatted the SDHC card in my camera
I deleted important files from my SDHC card in my Android phone
The Difference Between Physical & Logical Damage
Damage that’s not caused by hardware is referred to as logical damage. Logical damage is easier to fix because the problems can usually be remedied through the use of software.
Examples of logical damage include:
- Lost, deleted, or formatted data
- Bad sectors
- Corrupt partitions and file systems
Anything that has impacted the SDHC card’s performance physically is considered physical damage. In most cases, physical damage can only be fixed through the use of specialized tools.
Example of physical damage include:
- Damaged connectors
- Water damage
What’s the Difference Between an SDHC Card & Standard SD Card?
In terms of appearance and functionality, both SD (SDSC or Secure Digital Standard Capacity) cards and SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) cards are almost identical. In terms of performance and storage, they differ greatly.
SD cards have a storage limit of up to 2GB, while SDHC cards can support up to 32GB of storage. SDHC cards cannot be used in SD-compatible devices, but SD cards can be used in SDHC-compatible devices. Both SD cards and SDSC cards are available in three sizes: microSD/SDHC, miniSD/SDHC, and SD/SDHC.
SD and SDHC cards are used as storage in all sorts of host devices like mobile phones, cameras, and laptops.
Step-by-Step Guide to SDHC Card Data Recovery
Recovering data from an SDHC card is a methodical process. Starting from the top, if one method doesn’t work for you, move onto the next. We’re going to take a look at some of the common reasons why your SDHC card data may not be appearing, and how to recover it if it has been lost or deleted.
Step #1: Make sure the SDHC card is accessible and readable
In some cases, it could be that the device you’re using to access the data on your SDHC card can’t pick it up. If your computer is detecting the SDHC card, move onto the next step.
- Try a different USB port – If you’re using an SD card reader, try moving that SD card reader into a different port. If it works, it means that the port that was tried first may be faulty.
- Try a different card reader – If the computer isn’t reading the card reader in another USB port, test the SDHC card in a different card reader. The card reader may be faulty. If you don’t have another card reader, try testing another SD card in that card reader.
Step #2: Fix logical issues with the SDHC card
If your SDHC card is being recognized by your computer but is inaccessible, it could be a logical issue that needs correcting. If your computer can access your SDHC card fine but the files are not appearing, move onto the next step.
🔤 Assign a new/different drive letter
For the computer to access the SDHC card as a storage device, it needs to have a drive letter assigned to it. If it already has a drive letter, we can change it to see if it fixes the issue.
- Right-click the Start button, then click Disk Management.
- Right-click on the disk number associated with your SDHC card, and click Change Drive Letter and Paths.
- Select the drive and click Change.
- From the dropdown menu, assign the drive a new letter. Press OK.
🔍 Show hidden files
Perhaps your files are there, but for whatever reason, they have been marked as hidden. To see hidden files, we need to enable a setting to do so.
- Right-click the Start button, then click Settings.
- Click on Update & Security.
- Click on For developers.
- Next to Change settings to show hidden and system files, click on Show settings.
- In the new window, make sure that the radio button for Show hidden files, folders, and drives is selected. Click Apply, then OK.
⚙️ Reinstall the necessary drivers
Before your computer can access the contents on the SDHC card, it needs to be able to communicate with it. If the drivers are outdated or corrupted, the SDHC may be rendered inaccessible.
- Right-click the Start button, then click Device Manager.
- Expand the Disk drives dropdown, then right-click on your SDHC card. Click on Uninstall device.
- When the confirmation window appears, click on Uninstall.
The SDHC card will disappear from the Disk drives list. Take it out of the computer, then put it back in. This will cause your computer to automatically download and install the latest drivers.
🦠 Remove any viruses on the SDHC
SDHC cards are susceptible to viruses, much like other storage media. Antivirus software usually comes with the ability to remove viruses from the card directly. If you can’t use antivirus to remove the virus, you can use the command prompt within Windows.
- Click on Start and search Command Prompt. Right-click and select Run as administrator. If Windows prompts you to confirm, click Yes.
- On the command line, type ATTRIB -H -R -S /S /D X:*.* and press Enter. Replace D: with the drive letter assigned to your SDHC card.
This command will make any virus-infected files on your SDHC card visible in Windows Explorer.
Step #3: Recover lost or deleted files using recovery software.
If your computer can read and access your SD card fine but your files aren’t appearing, it could be that the files have been lost for one reason or another. If this is the case, your next step is to try recovering the lost files using specialized file recovery software.
The below methods will show you how you can recover your files using software based on what combination of devices you’re using. Depending on your situation, we’re going to use one of two applications: Disk Drill or Disk Digger.
💽 Recovering your files using a computer with Disk Drill.
Disk Drill is a highly rated SD card recovery application that you can use on your Windows or Mac computer. Because of its easy-to-use interface and proven reliability, it makes file recovery much simpler and faster.
Before we begin, the SDHC card needs to be connected to your computer. This can be done through the use of an SD card reader, or by connecting a disk-based device to your computer that can be read as storage (like a GoPro, digital camera, or phone).
- Download and Install Disk Drill.
- Click on your SDHC card, then click Search for lost data. Disk Drill will begin to scan your SDHC card and present to you the recoverable files in real-time.
- When the scan has finished, click on Review found items to go through files found by Disk Drill.
- Go through the dropdown menus to see the files that were found. To preview the files, you can right-click on them and select Preview. Select the files you’d like to recover by ticking the checkbox next to each item. Click Recover.
- In the recovery screen, choose the destination you’d like the files to be recovered to. It’s recommended that you choose a location that’s not on the same SDHC card that they’re being recovered from. Press OK.
- When recovery is complete, Disk Drill will present you with a confirmation screen advising that the selected files were recovered successfully.
🤖 Recovering your files using an Android phone with DiskDigger
Disk Digger is a powerful Android SD recovery tool that allows you to recover files directly from the SDHC card on your phone. This is a great option if you’ve lost files and have no access to a computer to use Disk Drill.
- Download and Install DiskDigger from the Play Store.
- Open the app. On the welcome screen, select Start basic photo scan. If you’re prompted to allow access to your storage, press Allow. DiskDigger will start its basic scan.
- When the scan is finished, you’ll be presented with all of the recoverable files. To select a file for recovery, tap on it and make sure it’s ticked. Press Recover.
- Lastly, specify a location for recovery. It’s recommended that you choose a location that’s not on the SDHC card you’re recovering from.
Losing your data is never a great situation to be in. Thankfully, we have access to a wide range of solutions that can bring that data back without too much hassle.
To make sure that you’re never in a situation like this again, consider implementing a backup solution. Keeping backups of your data is a proactive way of being one step ahead in case your files suddenly disappear without a trace.