How to fix corrupted SD card on Raspberry Pi

by Aleksandar Ognjanovic
Aleksandar Ognjanovic
Aleksandar Ognjanovic
Troubleshooting Expert
Aleksandar's main passion is technology. With a solid writing background, he is determined to bring the bleeding edge to the common user. With a keen eye, he always... read more
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Raspberry Pi community was often struck by the lack of proper troubleshooting steps for certain issues. Of course, there’s a good probability the OEM puts all users in the same experienced journeyman category. One issue which isn’t quite common but it happens from time to time is the SD card failure. Corrupted SD card on Raspberry Pi can be quite infuriating, especially if you haven’t backed up your work. Even though they’re scarce, there are a few ways to deal with this.

How to fix corrupted SD card on Raspberry Pi

The only thing making this worse is the absence of backups for the affected SD card. If you don’t have backups, you have low chances of retrieving the content of the corrupted SD card.

There are various reasons why an SD card will get corrupted on your Raspberry Pi, but the most common one is powering off without the ”halt” command. In addition, if you’ve meddled with the CPU clocks, power problems might break SD cards, as well.

So what you can do when this happens? You can format the SD and use backups to restore Raspbian on your SD card. However, if you’ve made a mistake to work without timely backups, there are only two things you can try. There’s the “fsck” command, which will unlikely fix your corrupted SD card.

On the other hand, the second and a more reliable way is to use an alternative SD card and build a fresh copy of Raspbian. After that, use the USB adapter and attach the affected card. Once it’s there, you might be able to fix it within the new system.

At the end of the day, you should be able to scavenge at least some of the data. Once you’ve got what you can, and fancy using the SD card again, use any third-party formatting tool (or digital camera) to format it.

With that said, we can conclude this article. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to tell us in the comments section below.


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