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Windows 7: Can't format SD card

08 May 2014   #1

Windows 7 Pro 64bit
Can't format SD card

hey guys i am trying to help my teacher format one of her cards that came from a camera and when we put it in her laptop which is Windows 7 Professional like my own personal computer she then gets the error that it needs to be formatted and then when we try to format it, it keeps giving an error saying that it cannot be formatted is there any possible fix for this

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08 May 2014   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, & Mac OS X 10.9.2

can you not format it from within the camera? as youll need to do this any way to set it up for the cameras file storage?

if not chances are its fubar.
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08 May 2014   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 10 Pro x64

I guess the first thing I would check is if it's locked.

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08 May 2014   #4

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)

If you're using the card reader on your laptop, my next question would be what software you're trying to use to format the SD card? And are you wanting it to be FAT32?

The two best software products for formatting SD (and microSD) cards of all sizes to FAT32 are:

(1) GUIFormat

(2) SD Association Format Utility (sometimes referred to as the Panasonic format utility)

Of course there's a possibility that the card reader in the laptop is causing the problem, in which case using an external USB card reader instead is something you could try. But you still want to use one of the above two software tools.

Assuming that the "lock" on the card is not set, and with the assumption that the card itself is legitimate and fully operational, it's also never a bad thing to run an "integrity check" to ensure it's not a fake or counterfeit (with is common, especially when you bought the card at "a fabulous deal price").

The one and only software product you should ALWAYS use to confirm that any SD card (and microSDHC card, for example that you might use in a phone or DAP) is H2Testw.
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09 May 2014   #5

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10

I have used the clean all via the command prompt it is simple on an SD card.
Disk - Clean and Clean All with Diskpart Command
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24 Nov 2014   #6

windows 7 pro, 32 bit

im having the same issue with my HP all in one 200
happens with ALL sd cards.. i can read them, but cannot format, delete, write data too etc...
i can format the card with my camera, i can format write data with my other PC's... this is clearly an issue with my card reader on my computer. any ideas on what i can do.. i used an external SD card reader, and that worked obviously, but i would like to use the internal one on the machine.

i have uninstalled the SD drivers under device manager and re-installed.. rebooted, still the same issue.
any other ideas
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24 Nov 2014   #7

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pjrey View Post
any ideas on what i can do.. i used an external SD card reader, and that worked obviously, but i would like to use the internal one on the machine.
Not worth any additional effort. Whatever the hardware problem is with the card reader on the machine, if you can work perfectly using the external card reader, just go with that solution.

Are these very large SD cards you're having trouble with? I have a Cowon J3 music player that was designed to support up to 32GB microSDHC cards. And it works perfectly, reading or writing or formatting or whatever you want. Plug the J3 into the PC with a USB cable, and its internal storage and external storage appear as two drive letters for Windows (i.e. MSC connection), and Windows has no problem reading or writing and all of the recommended FAT32 formatting utilities (which I mentioned in my earlier post) work fine.

However, try to support a 64GB microSDHC card the same way? DOES NOT WORK. Windows has a real problem with figuring out the capacity of the card, and actually writing to it properly. The card gets corrupted, as it appears Windows 7 and FAT32 on this card and with the firmware in the J3 (which was not built or designed or tested with 64GB or larger cards) simply can't support larger than 32GB and FAT32 with the J3's firmware.

Now if the same card is put into an external SD card reader which is plugged into the PC with a USB cable, well now everything works absolutely perfectly in WRITE/FORMAT mode with FAT32. It's not Windows and FAT32 which are clearly the problem in the earlier setup with the J3... it's obviuosly the J3 itself that simply cannot support larger than 32GB cards and is giving wrong info to Windows when trying to write to a 64GB card.

Then, after writing to that 64GB card through the card reader, and removing it and reinserting into the J3, well now the J3 has no problem READING all 64GB of the card. Obviously its firmware problem is only on WRITING to the 64GB card, not READING.

So... I have simply adopted that method whenever I want to write to the card. I remove it from the J3, place it in the reader, do my work, and then reinsert it back into the J3. That's just how it has to be if I want to use a 64GB card... which miraculously works perfectly in READ mode, even though Cowon never designed the J3 for larger than a 32GB card.

And that's what I'd suggest to you as well. Just forget about trying to figure out what the story is with your PC's card reader. Just use an external card reader and be done.
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24 Nov 2014   #8

windows 7 pro, 32 bit

no, it happens with my 512MB, 1GB, 2GB and 16GB cards...
i can read them, just cannot write to them
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25 Nov 2014   #9


Use an external card reader. Must be some compatibility issue
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25 Nov 2014   #10

windows 7 pro, 32 bit

wow, that was some answer! worked for ages.. now it doesn't, with any card, any size.. can read but not write... just use an external card reader. ok.... thought some people like to get to the bottom of things, try to figure out what changed to make it just stop working.. guess not here
thanks for your 'help'

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