How to Format Raw SD Cards

By Faith Alessio

Computers and other devices often can not recognize an SD memory card that is in RAW format, making it almost useless for most practical purposes. But before you give up hope and return your memory card or buy a new one, try formatting it to a FAT format, and it should work perfectly.

Step 1

Type \"http://www.sdcard.org/consumers/formatter/#download\" into your Web browser address bar. Click the large green “Download the SD Formatter” button at the very bottom of the page. Click \"I Accept\" at the bottom of the EULA page that it takes you to.

Step 2

Click “Save” in the run/save window. In the save window that pops up next, browse through the folders on your computer until you find the folder that you wish to save the SD Formatter installation file to. When you have successfully found the folder, open it in the browser, and click the “Save” button at the bottom right of the save window. This will begin the downloading process.

Step 3

Find the SD Formatter installation file and open it by double clicking on the icon. Follow the instructions given by the installation wizard to install the program onto your computer hard drive.

Step 4

Insert the RAW SD card that you wish to format into an SD memory card reader. Insert the card reader into any USB port in your computer. Open the SD Formatter program from your start menu.

Step 5

Select the target drive of your memory card (i.e. “E:\\” or “G:\\”) in the drive list menu at the top of the SD Formatter program window. If you wish to change various formatting options such as the format type, click the “Options” button to go to the options window. When you are finished setting the desired options, click “OK” at the bottom of the options window.

Step 6

Click the “Format” button at the bottom of the main program window to begin the formatting process. In the confirmation window that will pop up, click “OK.” The program may take several minutes formatting your memory card. Click “OK” in the completion window that pops up when the formatting process finishes.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not try to format memory cards other than SD or SDHC cards with the SD Formatter program. If you do so accidentally, reformat the memory card with software that is compatible with the type of card that you have.
  • Formatting a memory card erases all data that had previously been on the card. Make sure that you back up all data that you wish to keep before formatting your memory card.