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what does format SD card mean

When it comes to SD card formatting, what do you think of? If the following questions stick into your mind, like “what does format SD card mean”, “why format SD card”, and more, read the post from MiniTool Partition Wizard to find their answers.

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What Does Format SD Card Mean?

Simply put, formatting an SD card means deleting all the existing data stored on the SD card, and the data become inaccessible. In this way, the SD card becomes a “new” one for storing files.

Let’s go on to see the further exploration of SD card formatting meaning.

Further Exploration of SD Card Formatting

What does format SD card at a high level and low level?

There are two ways to format a storage device. One is high-level format (HLF) and the other is low-level format (LLF). When people mention formatting, it usually refers to HLF.

Generally, performing HLF on an SD card means initializing portions of the SD card, and reinstalling the file system structures on the SD card; performing LLF on an SD card means writing zeros to the SD card.

What does format an SD card mean on a Windows computer?

In Windows computers, there are two options to choose to format a storage device like an SD card. They are quick format and full format and belong to high-level format.

Selected by default, the Quick Format will rebuild the file system, volume label, and cluster size. A Full Format will not only do these operations but also scan the storage device for bad sectors, and writes zeros to all data sectors since Windows Vista.

the Format function on Windows

What does format an SD card mean in a camera?

In Cannon camera, there are also two ways to format an SD card and they are Format and Low level. The Format function works as Quick Format.

Format card interface on C

What does format SD card mean on Dash Cam?

Formatting an SD card on Dash Cam means a process of initialization, that is, all the files on the SD card will be cleared.

Format SD card on Dash Cam

What does format SD card mean? Check its answer in this post.Click to tweet

That’s the answer to the question “what does it mean to format an SD card”. Let’s go on discussing a new question “is it possible to recover data from a formatted SD card”.

SD Card Data Loss After Formatting

Whether you use high-level format or low-level format in Windows computers or cameras, formatting an SD card will remove all existing data. Therefore, it is very important to back up the files on the SD card before formatting the SD card.

However, for some reason, lots of people forget to make an SD card backup and format it, and suffered data loss. An example is as follows:

So, I'm stupid, and formatted an SD card and thus lost a crucial video file. Been looking up ways to recover data, and have tried a few, not many to any degree of workable avail. Has anyone had a similar problem and found a workable solution? Thanks a lot.archinect.com

Is it possible to recover the lost data from a formatted SD card? There is a chance if you perform Quick Format or Format (of the Canon camera or Dash Cam) on your SD card and after that, no new data is written into the SD card. This is because this function simply deletes the file allocation table and creates a fresh blank one but the data on the SD card continues to stay.

How to recover data from a formatted SD card? You can use an SD card recovery program, and here MiniTool Partition Wizard is highly recommended. It is a great data recovery tool that can deep scan the storage device to find the lost data caused by formatting, virus attack, and so on.

Free Download

Here is how to use MiniTool Partition Wizard to recover the data from a formatted SD card.

Step 1: Insert the SD card into the SD card slot of a Windows computer and then launch MiniTool Partition Wizard to access its main interface.

Step 2: The SD card should be loaded by the program. Then you can click the Data Recovery feature at the top left corner of the user interface.

choose Data Recovery

Step 3: After accessing the Data Recovery window, find your SD card. Once find it, double-click it.

choose a storage device to scan

Step 4: See the program starts scanning your SD card. When the process ends, find the files you need, tick their checkboxes, and click the Save button.

Tip: During the scanning process, you can click the Pause icon or the Stop icon based on your needs.

the scanning process

Step 5: Choose a destination to save these files.

Note: It is highly recommended that you save these files on another drive rather than the SD card to avoid overwriting the unrecovered files on the SD card.

Now you can go to the destination you choose in Step 5 to see the recovered files.

MiniTool Partition Wizard is a great tool for recovering data from a formatted SD card.Click to tweet

This is not the ending of this post. We would like to continue talking about SD card formatting, mainly focusing on another two questions “why format SD card” and “how to format SD card”.

Why and How to Format SD Card

Why Format SD Card?

Although formatting an SD card means data loss, it is quite beneficial sometimes. Let’s see why format an SD card.

Reason One: Clear Space

When the SD card is full, formatting an SD card can remove all files, and thus there is free space for new files.

Reason Two: Change File System

Formatting an SD card can easily switch one file system to another. In this way, the incompatibility between the SD card and a device or software can be eliminated. Here takes GoPro SD card for example: the file system should be set to FAT32 for 32GB or smaller SD cards, and exFAT for 64GB and larger SD cards.

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Reason Three: Fix Issues

Apart from deleting all existing data and creating a new file system, formatting an SD card can fix some issues.

For example, when an SD card is infected by viruses, formatting the SD card might the quickest and effective way to kill these viruses. Plus, formatting an SD card can solve the issue like SD card not showing up in Windows 10, RAW SD card, and so on.

How to Format SD Card?

Here shows you how to format an SD card via a Windows computer, a camera, and Dash Cam.

Note: Before formatting your SD card, do not forget to back up the important files on it.

Format SD card on a Windows Computer

On a Windows computer, you can format your SD card via File Explorer, Disk Management, and Diskpart Format.

Here are the steps to format an SD card via Disk Management in Windows 10:

  1. Connect the SD card to the Windows computer.
  2. Right-click the Windows icon on the taskbar and choose the Disk Management option.
  3. Once inside the Disk Management window, right-click the SD card and then choose the Format option.
  4. On the Format window, customize the parameters including Volume label, File system, and Allocation size according to your own demands, and then click the OK button.
  5. Click the OK button again to confirm the operation.

format SD card via Disk Management

As you see, in this way, it is easy to format an SD card. However, you will run into an issue when you format an SD card over 32GB to FAT32 via Disk Management or other two Windows tools. In this case, you need to utilize an SD card formatter like MiniTool Partition Wizard which can break the limit.

Free Download

Here is the tutorial:

  1. Launch MiniTool Partition Wizard to access its main interface.
  2. Highlight the SD card partition and then choose the Format Partition feature from the left panel.
  3. On the Format Partition window, set the file system to FAT32 and then click the OK button.
  4. Click the Apply button on the main interface to execute the pending task.

format SD card via MiniTool Partition Wizard.

Format SD card on Dash Cam

Tip: It is advised that regular everyday users format the SD card every 3-4 weeks and heavy users format it every 2-3 weeks to free up its space for new recordings.

Here is how to format an SD card via Dash Cam:

  1. Turn on the Dash Cam.
  2. Stop the Dash Cam from recording.
  3. Open Settings.
  4. Go into Setup.
  5. Scroll across and click Format.
  6. Follow the on-screen instructions.

You can also format an SD card for Dash Cam via a Windows computer.

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Format SD Card on a Camera

You can format the SD card for your camera after you back up the files on the SD card to your computer or cloud storage service.

How to format the SD card for the camera? It is suggested that you use your camera rather than other devices like a computer. Notice make sure the camera is fully charged before formatting your SD card on your camera.

Here are the steps:

  1. Turn off the camera and insert the SD card into the proper slot.
  2. Tune on the camera.
  3. On the camera, select Menu.
  4. In the camera display, choose Setup.
  5. Choose Format, Format Memory Card, Format SD Card, or something similar.
  6. Select OK.
  7. Wait for the camera to finish formatting the SD card. Once it finishes, you can turn off the camera.

How to format an SD card on a Windows computer, Dash Cam, or camera? The tutorials are displayed in this post.Click to tweet

Bottom Line

Simply put, formatting an SD card means removing all the files from the SD card. Therefore, it is quite important to back up the files on your SD card before you format it.

If you forgot to make a backup and format your SD card on your computer, Dash Cam, or camera, please do not panic and you can use an SD card recovery program like MiniTool Partition Wizard to recover the lost files.

Do you have any questions about “what does it mean to format an SD card”? If yes, please leave it in the comment zone. If you run into some issues when recovering data from an SD card or formatting an SD card via MiniTool Partition Wizard, please send an email to [email protected]. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

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