My Laptop Won't Recognize the SD Card

Secure Digital (SD) cards are a form of storage that is used as an alternative to flash drives. The micro versions of the cards are commonly found in cameras, MP3 players and cell phones. Many laptops now come with a built-in reader capable of mounting the cards like any other removable drive. Unfortunately, the cards can become unreadable over time without proper maintenance.

...
SD cards get dirty over time, which makes it harder for the laptop to read them.

Cleaning

Step

Place one end of the cotton swab into the alcohol to saturate it.

Step

Flip the SD card upside down and firmly scrub each gold-colored contact on the bottom. If it is a micro card, clean the contacts on the card and the adapter.

Step

Use the dry end of the swab to dry the excess alcohol. Alternatively, wave it a few times in the air or let it air dry.

Reinstall Drivers

Step

Type "Device" in the start menu and click "Device Manager."

Step

Click the triangle or plus sign to expand "Storage Controllers."

Step

Right-click the SD card from the list. It should say something like "Integrated MMC/SD Controller."

Step

Click "Uninstall." Do not place a check mark beside "Delete the Driver Software for this Device."

Step

Click "OK" to confirm and restart the computer.

Update Drivers

Step

Go back to the Device Manager as directed in "Reinstall Drivers."

Step

Right-click the SD card driver and select "Update Driver Software."

Step

Click "Search Automatically for Updated Driver Software." Your PC and the Internet will be searched for an updated driver.

Step

Click "Close" when the update is complete.