It is a common misconception that memory cards that you use in digital cameras or the mobile phones will last forever. In fact these memory cards also have a limited life cycle, just like your SSD (solid state disk) drives or the pen drives (also called the USB flash keys). So if you use your mobile phone’s memory extensively, one of these days you might get an error message – “SD card is damaged. Try reformatting it.” This could mean several things – the file system on your memory card has become corrupt making it difficult for the Android OS to read any files, the contacts on the mobile phone’s SD card socket have become dirty, or in the worst case the memory card has served its life and is now permanently damaged.
There are some things that you can do to fix this problem:
- Clean the memory card contacts. Yes it might sound strange, but mobile phones get awfully dirty from inside. We keep these phones in our pockets or in our hands and because of this they collect both the moisture and the dust. If you open the back cover of your phone, you will find that the metallic contacts where the memory card is placed and the memory card itself has become dirty. Because of the dirty contacts, the memory card might not work properly. All you have to do is clean the metallic contacts for the memory card socket and the memory card itself using rubbing alcohol or acetone (used for cleaning nail polish). But make sure to turn off the mobile phone and take out the battery before this.
- Reboot Android OS. Sometimes the memory card is temporarily inaccessible because of some incomplete file operations. For example, when you suddenly yank the USB data cable that is connecting the Android phone to your PC, it could make memory card inaccessible or unreadable momentarily. In these cases, just reboot your phone and it will fix the problem.
- Format memory card through in Windows. Even though Android itself gives you the option to format the memory card to recover from corrupted file system, it might not work in some cases. What you can do is remove the memory card from the phone, plug it in the SD card slot of your notebook computer and format it. If your PC does not have any SD card slot then you will have to use a memory card reader adapter.
Conclusion: The error message – “SD card is damaged”, does not always mean that the SD card is actually damaged. Before jumping to Amazon and buying a new memory card, you can try fixing it to see if it still has some life left in it.