Sometimes we just mistakenly hit the Format button or not properly format a SD Card after getting the message “You need to format the disk in drive XXX before you can use it.”, and then we lost all important files stored on the SD Card, like family photos, confidential documents, precious videos, etc. There is no function to directly reverse or undo the SD Card formatting, but we can still unformat a SD Card by recovering data from formatted SD card with tools.
Now, let’s see how to unformat SD card on computer and Android phone, there is freeware available for this task.
Yes. Surely you can unformat an SD card by specific data recovery tools if acting quickly.
Most people think formatting SD card on computes, phones, camera, etc. would remove all the data from it instantly. But actually, your files won’t disappear immediately, the formatting just restores your memory card to default setting and marks the SD Card as blank.
In other words, the formatted SD Card will write the boot sector and the empty file system to the partition, and will be filled with new data until all previous formatted files are overwritten. Your file has not yet been completely deleted and you still have the chance to unformat SD card. Any operation might overwrite the existing data, which gives rise to permanent data loss. Before unformatting SD card, please stop using it.
Here we will recommend 3 ways altogether to unformat SD Card on computer. You can choose the one meeting your needs the most.
With the aid of Cisdem Data Recovery for Mac or Windows, you can carry on SD card unformatting yourself on your computer, without asking an expert. As the best unformat memory card software, it can recover files from internal and external hard disk, SD card, USB flash drive, digital camera, game console, whatever be the device that connect to your computer.
It offers quick and deep data recovery modes dedicated to different data loss scenarios: deletion, formatting, partition loss, repartition, virus attack, system crash, macOS update or downgrade, etc. Cisdem allows preview recoverable items before recovery too, saving your time and space to recover unwanted files.
In addition to Cisdem Data Recovery, another 2 free alternative solutions will be also introduced as following. What calls for your attention is that the coming applications are not guaranteed to be 100% working on your Mac or Windows, but are still worth a try if you want to undo the format on your SD memory card and get the formatted files back for free.
Short for Command Prompt, CMD refers to the default command-line interpreter program available on Windows operating systems. To some extent, CMD is capable of detecting and fixing errors on your SD card, thus to restore files from the memory card.
If CMD is successful, your important files will be recovered and saved in a newly created folder on the SD card.
PhotoRec is an open source data recovery program developed for recovering lost files from hard disks, memory cards, CD-ROM. It supports virtually all file systems: FAT, NTFS, exFAT, HFS+…
Though PhotoRec uses read-only principle to read the drive and card which makes it is safe to use, it uses commands to recover files, so users will have to use the arrows keys to make options when the commands run in Terminal app. It is not user friendly, but useful to get the files back from a formatted SD card. Assuming you would like to do the SD card unformatting on Mac with freeware, try PhotoRec.
On Android phones, you can directly unformat the SD Card without computer, with the help of a Android SD Card recovery application. There are many options available in Google Play, we tested several high-ranking apps and pick the best for you: Photo Recovery developed by Daniel Braga.
The program can undelete photos, SMS, videos, documents and other files from both Android SD Card & internal storage, no rooting will be required and your files are still safe on your Android phone.
Unformat error is one of the common errors, which doesn’t delete files from SD card but disables you to read or write the data. Consequently, to fix the memory card unformatted error, some measures should be taken.
Mistaken or improper SD card formatting could result in files loss. Luckily, with useful tools like Cisdem Data Recovery for Mac or Windows, you are able to unformat your SD Card and recover files in a easy and quick manner. Moreover, backup is always the best solution for all kinds of data loss. Thus, we should keep good habit of backup by copying your important files from SD card to multi-devices, even to cloud devices.
Peter has always had great enthusiasm for writing, programming and web development. He likes writing about software and technology, his works are featured on some tech blogs or forums like Tom's Hardware, CNET, etc.
Editor, can you please provide more details of the method 2# Using PhotoRec? Now I'm having some trouble in the recovery process...