Having a corrupted SD card for your Android phone need not be the end of the world, but it might be the end of a couple of hours of your time!

This isn’t a tutorial of any sort, but I hope it might help someone!

I always say to everyone, backup, backup and test your backups. I’m not the best at following my own advice but when my SD card failed last night I knew I didn’t need to panic that much.

How did I know it had failed? 

Firstly a couple of my apps installed to SD card failed, then when I went into the Gallery it was empty. A quick check of free storage space on the SD card showed it as unreadable… Uh-oh!

The Important Stuff

I was aware that all of my photos and videos are backed up daily to our NAS drives using an Android app called SweetHome, this saved me a lot of pain – there’s 15 months of our baby son on there!

Secondly I use Sprite Backup software to backup all of my contacts and app settings to Dropbox every single night, so all my data was safe I hadn’t lost that, but I was going to lose a number of hours correcting it!

Checking the Card

Android wouldn’t even mount the SD card so there was no chance of doing anything over a USB tether.

I hunted out my micro-SD->SD convertor.

Camera’s couldn’t mount it either using the converter. So I put it into my netbook, there was all my data but it was painfully slow!

After a lot (and I mean a lot) of tinkering it turns out that if I use the lock tab on the micro-SD to SD converter then data transfer speeds went from circa 100KB/second to several MB/second. I soon had my 6GB stored on my netbook.

Is the card re-usable?

Now to see if I could rescue the card, obviously to wipe it I need to mount it as writeable, using the converter it just died every time during a format or chkdsk, not good.

Using the converter in a camera, it still wouldn’t let me format it 🙁

I can now pretty much assume the card is dead, although it does hold all my data still so makes a fairly effective long term backup!

Getting back up and running…

I grabbed an old 8GB SD card that was in my last phone, mounted it through the converter to my netbook and backed up all of the data on that. I tried to format it under Windows and got absolutely nowhere because I had to have the lock tab on the sd card converter swtiched off.

So, last resort time, I popped the working SD card in to my HTC Sensation and wiped it via Android, then tethered Android and started write (selectively because there was a lot of junk!) the contents of the original SD card to it. It’s still got 45 minutes of writing to go (there’s a lot of video!) but the signs are positive!