Unable to Read Micro SD Card

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Davourak

New member
Oct 22, 2020
4
0
I have a 128 GB micro SD card that I was using in a smartphone. I took it out and used it in a card reader, as I wanted to backup all its data and transfer some of it to a new card.
However, part way through the copying, it stopped reading the card, after copying about 5 MB of data (out of many GB).
Now I cannot read the card at all. It is seen by the computer but it will not mount, as the OS says that the partition is unknown in Disks on Ubuntu. The same in gparted. I.e. they can see that there is a 128 GB partition, but have no idea what type it is.
So what can be done to read the data from the card? To at least get the partition type recognised properly again, so I can copy data from it. I don't need to use the card again after I get the data, it is a few years old.
Apologies if this is posted in the wrong place.
 

JulioHM

Active member
Oct 25, 2020
35
14
Definitely sounds like the filesystem got corrupted. Did you turn off the smartphone before ejecting the card? I mean, a complete shutdown. Just pulling it out with the OS still running might cause corruptions like this.

I would try running a low level tool, like fsck. Maybe Spinrite? If nothing helps, you might be out of luck, and the card could be physically damaged. Those puppies are small and sensitive even to small static electric discharges from our own body.
 

Davourak

New member
Oct 22, 2020
4
0
Definitely sounds like the filesystem got corrupted. Did you turn off the smartphone before ejecting the card? I mean, a complete shutdown. Just pulling it out with the OS still running might cause corruptions like this.

I would try running a low level tool, like fsck. Maybe Spinrite? If nothing helps, you might be out of luck, and the card could be physically damaged. Those puppies are small and sensitive even to small static electric discharges from our own body.
This is what I tried and the result:

$ sudo fsck /dev/sdh1
fsck from util-linux 2.34
e2fsck 1.45.5 (07-Jan-2020)
ext2fs_open2: Bad magic number in super-block
fsck.ext2: Superblock invalid, trying backup blocks...
fsck.ext2: Bad magic number in super-block while trying to open /dev/sdh1

The superblock could not be read or does not describe a valid ext2/ext3/ext4
filesystem. If the device is valid and it really contains an ext2/ext3/ext4
filesystem (and not swap or ufs or something else), then the superblock
is corrupt, and you might try running e2fsck with an alternate superblock:
e2fsck -b 8193 <device>
or
e2fsck -b 32768 <device>
 

DiskTuna

Well-known member
Jan 3, 2021
84
8
Netherlands
File system issue is a possibility but often the problem lies deeper, ranging from purely physical issue like corrosion, to firmware, corrupt translation table, broken controller or degraded NAND.

Do not attempt repair, instead try extract data.

If data on it is important see if you can image the card using ddrescue. Imaging from Windows if card may be possible too if card is detected with correct capacity in disk management and physically okay. If imaging hangs, these USB connected flash drives don't respond well to (soft) resets, power cycling is only practical way to continue. Treat the SD Card as if it may fail any minute, so imaging needs to be done with some sense of urgency.

Try data extraction from image file using good file recovery software.

diskmansd.png


Good file recovery software: ReclaiMe, R-Studio, DMDE. IMO ReclaiMe is easiest to use, DMDE is most inexpensive but tad harder to use. I pick those because they're (or the pro version they're derived from) tried and tested on a daily basis in many data recovery labs.

If that all does not work, remaining option is recovery directly from NAND which can be a pain in the bottom with MicroSD and not a DIY thing.

This is all assuming data on the card wasn't encrypted.
 
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