When I needed my android phone the most this error message “SD Card is Blank” started coming up. I looked up the internet for hours to find a solution to my problem. But I couldn’t find a complete guide to solve this problem.
So I decided I would share my research and create an ultimate how-to guide to resolve this problem. In this post, I will describe all the possible reasons for this error and solutions for each of them.
List of Requirements
- You will need a spare working SD Card
- You will need a spare SD Card capable phone
MindMap of Possible Errors
In researching this problem I found that there are many reasons for this error message to be displayed. I created this mind map to systematically cover all possible reasons for this error message.
This mind map categorizes the possible reasons based on the problem area. Using this mind map you can narrow down to the exact cause of the problem.
Below I will cover each branch of this mind map one-by-one. I will ask you some questions to know where you are facing this problem. Then, based on your answer you will come to know why you are seeing this error message.
Once you have identified the root cause of your problem I will suggest you a couple of solutions to solve your problem. So Let’s start the process
Problem in Phone or Problem in SD Card
Does replacing the SD Card with a spare working SD Card in the phone solve the problem?
Does the faulting SD Card work properly on a different phone?
If you replied Yes and No to the above two questions, then your SD Card has the problem. Conversely, if you replied No and Yes then your Phone has the problem.
Hardware vs Software Problem
In any electronic equipment, the problem can be broadly divided into two types hardware and software. If the physical chip is causing the problem, then it is hardware related. If the code that is running on the hardware has some bugs or is corrupted then it is software related.
Hardware Related Phone Problems
#1. Factory Defect
Is this new phone?
Are you using SD card on this device for the first time?
No SD card has worked on this device ever?
If you replied yes to all. Then you have a phone with a factory defect. To solve this problem you have no choice but to go to your device manufacturer’s service center. Because this can be solved only by replacing the hardware that is causing the problem or a complete device replacement.
#2. Physical/Electrical Damage
Has recently this phone been exposed to water?
Has recently your phone fallen or had some kind of physical shock?
If you replied yes to any of the above. Again, this means a hardware component has malfunctioned. This can only be resolved by your device manufacturer’s service center.
#3. Not Supported
Does an SD card of a lower capacity works on this device?
Does the SD card exceed the maximum capacity supported by this device?
If you don’t know your phone’s maximum supported SD card size. You can Google “[phone model number] stats”. After checking your phone’s specification, if you answered yes to both of them. Then your SD card has corrupted because of this reason.
But don’t worry, you can recover your data and again reuse this SD card on another phone which supports it. Click here to view our step-by-step guide to Recover and Repair SD card.
#4. SD Card Connection Problem
Does restarting the phone solve this problem?
Does this error get resolved automatically after some time and then again reappears?
An SD card connector problem can cause such kind of problem. Check if there is any dirt on the card connectors in your phone.
You can use a cloth to wipe the metal connectors on your SD card. Also blowing some air in the SD card slot might help. Ensure that the SD card is tightly fixed into the phone when you insert it.
If you find the SD card moving after being inserted properly. This could mean a mechanical fault in your SD card slot. To fix this permanently you will need to go to your nearest mobile service center for repairing it if that is the case.
Software Related Phone Problems
#5. OS Problem
Have you recently flashed a non-stockroom or a custom recovery?
If you answered yes to the above question. Then it is not possible to suggest you a single solution which will work for you and everyone else in a similar situation. This is because of the large number of rooms, custom recovery and devices that are available.
One thing I can suggest you is to switch to your default stockroom or recovery. If it is possible or you can check the forum at www.forum.xda-developers.com. And search if someone has found a solution to your problem.
Did you recently install and used a new app?
Did you perform an SD card write operation using an app?
If you answered yes to any of them. Most certainly that particular app has caused this problem. People have reported some apps create files. Which interfere with the android’s SD card recognition task. This problem can be fixed and you will be able to recover your data from SD card. Click here to view our step-by-step guide to Recover and Repair SD card.
#7. Encrypted SD Card
Are you using an Encrypted SD Card on a different phone?
If yes to recover your data you have to open your SD card using the same phone on which you had encrypted it with. If you want to use this SD card without recovering the data. Click here to view our step-by-step guide to Repair your SD card
Hardware Related SD Card Problems
#8. Cheap/Fake SD Card
Are you using a non-branded SD card?
If Yes, this can be the case of a fake or faulty SD card. With the ever-growing demand for storage. There are several companies who take undue advantage of it. They produce SD cards which are either completely fake or have a lower capacity than what is advertised.
When you buy an SD card I would suggest you must always test it before you use them. Click here to view our step-by-step guide to Recover, Repair and Test SD card.
#9. Damaged SD Card
Does the SD card have cracks on its surface?
Does the SD card have loose connectors?
If yes, then sadly there is very little chance that you would be able to recover your data. The last hope can be to try hardware-based data recovery experts if you can afford it. They can recover your data if you just have a faulty controller, but if the actual chips are cracked then they also cannot do much.
#10. Bad Blocks
Have you been using your SD card for an insane amount of read/write operations continuously for a long time?
The SD card is based on flash memory and has a limited number of read/write cycle. However, if you use it for a normal purpose this limitation should not affect our SD card life at all. This is because the number of allowed read/write cycles is very big. Also, your SD card has inbuilt mechanisms to even elongate that lifespan.
But if you continuously read and write the entire capacity of the SD card. Then it is guaranteed to spoil the SD card sooner or later. This is because of the finite read/write cycles which also depends on the quality of the SD card.
If the number of blocks that is spoiled is not large. You can certainly recover some files. Click here to view our step-by-step guide to Recover, Repair and Test SD card.
Software Related SD Card Problems
#11. File System Corruption
Just before the error started coming was the SD card being used to write the data like audio video pictures etc. ?
Was the SD card capacity, higher than that of the maximum supported by the phone?
If you answered yes to any of the above. Then it means your SD card is failing to read because it’s file system has corrupted. This problem can be solved quite easily. Click here to view our step-by-step guide to Recover, Repair and Test SD card.
#12. Format Problem
Has this SD card been formatted on a different device?
If yes, then this can be the reason for your phone not being able to detect your SD card properly. Many android phones need the SD card to be formatted in the same phone. To solve this problem click here to view our step-by-step guide to Recover, Repair, and Test SD card.
#13. Incompatible Files
Did this problem start just after installing an app like data encryption app?
People have reported some apps create files. Which interfere with the android’s SD card recognition task.
Try uninstalling that particular app, then check your SD card again. If that doesn’t fix it click here to view our step-by-step guide to Recover, Repair and Test SD card.
Have some questions join the discussion.