Memory or data cards, also known as SD cards are in widespread use in digital cameras and mobile ‘phones. They are useful in that they either add additional memory to that already contained in the device or act as a storage device without using any of the device’s memory. They can also allow for the transfer of data between devices so long as they can read the card or a card reader can be attached to them. Unfortunately, as with so much other modern digital equipment, memory cards can suffer in a number of ways that result in problems in retrieving data. What follows is a look at some common memory card problems.

Memory cards have read and write data speeds. Sometimes there will be delay in accessing or storing data or transferring it. This can be caused by the quality of the card itself as less expensive cards can run more slowly than those more expensive. In the event, however, that there is a problem in the card’s performance beyond its inherent quality it could be that it is not correctly formatted.

Some devices require an SD card to be correctly formatted. A lot of mobile phones do this automatically, whilst others ask if the user wishes to format the card. This is always best done before storing data as the formatting process will erase any data already written to the card to be formatted.

Sometimes when using a card in different devices one or more may say that the card cannot be read. This could be because the card has been formatted to work with one device in which case it will not work on others. The card must be formatted again to work with a different device but remember that formatting will erase the data already written to it.

Sometimes a memory card becomes write protected; in this case it will not be possible to write new data to it or edit or delete existing data. One way to disable the write-protection is to look at the card itself; if it has a small switch located on its exterior this can be moved and will turn off the write protection.

Memory cards are small and can be quite delicate and as such are susceptible to physical damage. When this happens it sometimes results in the device in which it is being used failing to read the card.

All is not lost, however. There are data recovery specialists who can recover data from cards even when they are damaged; one such specialist service can be found at