What to do if your Galaxy S9 won’t detect your SD card anymore

Hello guys! Welcome to another troubleshooting article. Today’s post will talk about on things that you can do if your #GalaxyS9 no longer detects or recognizes your SD card. We also cover a frequently asked question about how to get files back from a stolen phone. We hope you’ll find our answers helpful.

Problem #1: What to do if your Galaxy S9 won’t detect your SD card anymore

Hi, I purchased a Samsung Galaxy S9 three months ago. About a 4 days ago, I tapped on Bixby to register it. Well, 2 days ago, I was at home listening to music from my phone (my songs are saved on an sd card). I had my phone plugged into a external speaker too. Now, I cannot access my songs, pictures, nothing.  Phone keeps giving me different error messages such as sd card error rewrite, card not supported, card not found. I tried inserting my card into two computers and nothing comes up, not even the card itself. It’s like my card is now a ghost. I did not rewrite it because I have photos and songs on it. The card will not show up.  I’ve tried the steps you have listed on your site. — Erica

Solution: Hi Erica. There’s no perfect electronic storage medium. That’s one sad fact when it comes to digital storage. If multiple devices no longer recognizes your SD card or read the contents in it, it must have become corrupted or damaged. That two computers are not able to access your music and photos is a clear indicator that this storage medium is no longer working properly or at all. Unfortunately, there’s no way reverse whatever occured that caused your card to become unreadable. At most, you can let a professional try to recover your files but even that is not a guarantee because a computer won’t even recognize your SD card at all. In regular data recovery scenarios, there are some minimum requirements that must be met before the actual recovery of files is attempted. One such requirements is that a computer must still be able to read or recognize (detect) the card. Data recovery is hard and not guaranteed. If you think those files are worth spending a few hundred dollars, you can use Google to find services of companies that specializes in data recovery.

Try data recovery services

Data recovery needs technical expertise and right tools to work so it can be expensive. If money is not an issue and you really need to those files, do some research using Google. While there can be many reputable companies that you can try, there are also tons of scammers that may offer similar services, so use judgement when picking one. We don’t specialize in this field and we haven’t tried using any such services so there’s no particular company that we can recommend. Based on how you describe your situation though, it looks like there’s a very slim chance that you can recover your files. We won’t discourage you any further but keep in mind that once an SD card becomes corrupted, that’s for good.

While looking for a way to recover those files, try to avoid using your SD card. Remove or disconnect it from your phone or computer to avoid overwriting possible working sectors at this time.

Format your SD card

If you think you can just forget your files, try to reformat your SD card using your S9 to see if it will continue to work at this time. Here’s how:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Device maintenance.
  3. Tap Storage.
  4. Tap SD card.
  5. Tap More settings at the upper right (three-dot icon).
  6. Select Storage settings.
  7. Tap SD card.
  8. Tap Format.

Prevent data loss

In the future, always make it a habit of backing up irreplaceable files or photos to at least two devices. For example, if you have memories in photos that you can’t afford to lose, try to back them up in a cloud service like Dropbox (or any other cloud services) and/or to your computer. You can also use a flash drive, a portable hard drive, or another SD card. Remember, any electronic storage device can fail at any time and there’s often no way to fix them effectively, just like what we’re saying in your case above. While there’s little to nothing that you can do for your current problem, you can prevent losing important data by doing a common sense action — creating a backup.

Why do SD cards fail?

SD cards can fail due to a number of possible reasons. Below are the common causes why an SD card may stop working unexpectedly:

File corruption

A corrupted file means that said file has lost the necessary coding markers and characteristics for it to become readable by a device like your phone. Such situation may be due to physical defect of the SD card, an operating system glitch, or a firmware bug. Some corrupted files can be “repaired” by special tools. Such software tools are usually proprietary and needs a trained technician to operate. Low level recovery tools may also allow file repair as long as the SD card itself is working. If your SD card was not physically damaged or broken and the files can still be fixed, there’s a chance you’ll be able to recover them. Knowing what the real reason for your SD card failure though is very difficult.

Physical damage

Due to its size, SD cards are vulnerable to physical damage if not taken care of properly. Aside from the fact that it can break pretty easily, an SD card can also physically fail if subjected to electrostatic discharge or water exposure. To minimize the chance of causing physical damage to your SD card, you should treat it like your phone.

Loss of good sectors

The more you use the SD card, the higher the chance of it accumulating bad sectors. This means that the aging SD cards can potentially develop problematic areas to hold bits and bytes.

This is a natural phase for storage devices though and today’s SD cards can continue working for several years under normal circumstances.

Improper removal of SD card

Not many smartphone users realize that they can damage their SD card or cause file corruption by not unmounting properly. In fact, this is one of the most common reasons why SD cards or files stored in them may become inaccessible. Before you remove an SD card from a running Galaxy S9, you want to make sure that you unmount it. Unmounting means that you’re telling the operating system to stop whatever activity it is doing with the card, whether reading or writing (saving) on it. Disconnecting the SD card from your S9 while it’s trying to save something to it can lead to errors which oftentimes causes file corruption. To prevent this from happening, you must unmount the SD card before physically removing it.

To unmount an SD card from your Galaxy S9:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Device maintenance.
  3. Tap Storage.
  4. Tap SD card.
  5. Tap More settings at the upper right (three-dot icon).
  6. Select Storage settings.
  7. Tap SD card.
  8. Tap UNMOUNT at the bottom.

If you find unmounting via Settings too cumbersome, you can simply turn the phone off, then remove the SD card.

Virus or malware

Sometimes, virus or malware designed to target a device’s storage device may also cause an SD card malfunction or file corruption. Make sure that you observe the standard malware prevention tips like making sure your device regularly update its apps and operating system, avoiding suspicious websites, not clicking on booby-trapped links, or installing bad apps from suspicious developers.

READ: How to remove popup ads and viruses from your Galaxy S9 Plus

Manufacturing defects

Like other electronic devices, some SD cards may come with manufacturing defect/s. Some defects may show sooner than others. There’s no telling what specific defect may occur in an SD card but to minimize an unexpected data loss from this factor, we suggest that you buy brands with good reputations. There are many excellent SD card brands out there so it’s up to you which one to get. Samsung also manufactures its own line of SD cards so we suggest that you use them to greatly decrease the chances of incompatibility and manufacturing defects.

Problem #2: How to recover files from a stolen Galaxy S9

My Galaxy S9 was stolen and I’m trying to recover my media files as well as lock my phone so the thief cannot use my phone. It was stolen yesterday so it might be too late but I thought I had my anti theft already set up as well as a backup for my files and I can’t access either of those things…what can I do?! This man stole so much more from me when he took my phone! All of my babies pictures and videos were on my phone from the time she was born and she is 3. I just want my files in all honesty! — Aminah Hines

Solution: Hi Aminah. The Anti-theft feature on your Galaxy S9 Plus should be activated if you’ve successfully added a Google account or ID before and if you enabled one of the following screen lock protections:

  • Pattern
  • PIN,
  • Password
  • Fingerprint
  • Iris lock

If you’ve used any Google services on your phone like Play Store before it was stolen, you can rest assured that the thief won’t be able to access your data. However, all the videos and photos that were saved locally, which means they were not saved elsewhere outside your phone, are gone for good. Apps like Dropbox, Google Photos, or even the standard Samsung app can be configured to upload photos automatically. Unless you enabled an app to automatically upload your photos to the cloud before your phone was stolen, there’s no way for you to recover your files remotely.

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