What if SD card is not detected after Windows restarts

By Alexandra Bagratian | September 12, 2018 |

greater than 4 minutes

‘We do not invent our missions,

we detect them’

Stephen Covey

Since you are here, you must be asking, “

Why is the SD card not detected on Windows 10?”. Well, to be honest, giving the exact answer to your question is not so easy because every case might have its own unique culprit behind the issue. And yet we have good news for you: Microsoft has acknowledged the problem and developed a fix for it. This fix is delivered through the Windows Update service, and updating your OS is most likely the only thing you’ll have to do to get your problem resolved.

To this end, here are the instructions needed:

  1. Navigate to your Taskbar and click the Windows start icon to invoke your Start menu.
  2. Click on the gear icon to open the Settings app.
  3. Once it is up, proceed to the Update & Security settings.
  4. Go to Windows Update and click the Check for updates button.

Wait until your updates are installed and downloaded.

Windows will start searching for updates. Follow the on-screen prompts to install them on your PC. When the installation process is over, restart your computer and check if your issue has gone. We sincerely hope it is here no more.

Nonetheless, some users have complained that updating Windows 10 has been to no avail. If that is your case too, we are sorry to inform you that you’ll have to spend a certain amount of your time on the manual troubleshooting of the problem. That said, there is no need to worry: below you will find a list of simple and effective tips on how to fix “SD card not recognized after Windows 10 restarts”. So, here is what you should do:

Unlock your SD card

That should be your starting point. The thing is, you might have accidentally locked your SD card. Therefore, inspect the little thing, locate a tiny switch and move it if the card is locked. This simple manoeuvre may spare you a lot of unnecessary work.

Make use of the hardware troubleshooter

One of the greatest things about Windows 10 is that it is literally packed with powerful and easy-to-use troubleshooters aimed at detecting and fixing the problems that spoil your user experience. Thus, if your SD card is not recognized in Windows 10 after your PC restarts, your best bet might be running the Windows hardware troubleshooter:

  1. Open the Settings app (you can either click the gear icon in your Start menu or press the Windows logo + I keyboard shortcut).
  2. Now that you are in the Settings app, proceed to the Update & security section.
  3. From the left-pane menu, select the Troubleshoot option.
  4. Go to Hardware and devices and click Run the troubleshooter.

Click Run the troubleshooter.

After the troubleshooting process is over, check if your SD card has become readable.

Configure the security permissions for your SD card

In some scenarios, an SD card becomes unreadable after a Windows restart due to improper security permissions. Fortunately, that problem can be easily solved by running a certain command in Command Prompt. So, here are the instructions for you to follow:

  1. Press the Windows logo + X keyboard shortcut.
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  3. Select Command Prompt (Admin) or Powershell (Admin) – whichever is present.
  4. This is the command you should copy and paste into your Command Prompt window (but make sure to replace X with the letter assigned to your problematic SD card): attrib -h -r -s /s /d X:\*.* . Input attrib -h -r -s /s /d X:\*.*.
  5. Press Enter to execute the command.

We hope now your SD card can be easily recognized.

Change your SD card drive letter

This simple and yet effective workaround may actually save your day. These are the steps you should take:

  1. Press and hold the Windows logo key and then press the X key.
  2. From the pop-up menu, select Disk Management.
  3. Locate your SD card. Right-click it.
  4. Select Change Drive Letter and Paths / Add Drive Letter.

Now assign a new letter to your SD card and save the changes. Check if this solution has proved helpful.

Format your card

This trick might seem a bit painful since it implies your losing all the data on the SD card you are going to format, and yet it might be your only way to get the card up and running again. What is more, formatting your card is actually not a big drama as you can recover the files you’ve lost by using Auslogics File Recovery: this powerful tool brings back everything you need even after a quick format.

Here is how to format an SD card:

  1. Use the Windows logo key + X shortcut and select Disk Management from the menu.
  2. Navigate to your SD card and right-click it.
  3. Select Format from the menu.
  4. Click Yes when you see the message warning you about your losing all the data on the chosen partition.
  5. In the next window, go to the File system option and set it to FAT32.

Click OK to proceed. After formatting, you card should become recognizable.

Update your drivers

If all the fixes above have proved to no avail, some of your drivers may be out of date and therefore prevent your SD card from being recognized. Unfortunately, it is impossible to locate the culprit immediately, so you should open the Device Manager tool (Windows logo + X -> Device Manager) and check all your devices for driver issues. The problem is, this process is ridiculously taxing. Fortunately, there is another way to do the job: you can use a dedicated piece of software such as Auslogics Driver Updater to automate the process and have all your drivers fixed and updated in just one click.

Click on Scan for driver issues.

Disable and then enable your card reader

Reportedly, this simple fix has helped a lot of users, so it’s time to give it a try:

  1. Open Device Manager (you can access it by simultaneously pressing the Windows logo key and the X key and clicking Device Manager).
  2. Locate your card reader. Right-click on it.
  3. From the menu, choose Disable device.
  4. Wait for a while.
  5. Then right-click the card reader again and select Enable device.

See if you can use your SD card now.

Check your BIOS

If you have made this far, your SD card issue might have something to do with your BIOS settings. To this end, we recommend you to check your BIOS and see if its configuration prevents your OS from recognizing SD cards. You might even need to update or reset your BIOS to get the issue resolved.

We hope your SD card problem is no more. If you need extra help, do not hesitate to post a comment below.

Fed up with your slow PC? Tired of waiting for Windows to start up? Take a look at the most common reasons behind poor performance and the best ways to deal with them here.
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