How do I fix Apps that were on an SD card that got corrupted?

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Android Central Question

My SD card got corrupted somehow. I tried reformatting it, but that did not work. So, I took out the card. The 4 Apps that were on the card are greyed outed. I've tried everything that I could find to do on the internet. I still can not reinstall those 4 apps. Please help getting frustrated.


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Feb 12, 2012
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RecoverIt is $50, PhotoRec is free (and forensic - even if it fails, since it never writes to the drive [or card] it's recovering files from, you can run it over and over).

Whether the card is formatted as internal storage or portable storage, you're basically left with the app being listed, in Android, as having been installed, so you can't install it again. You first have to uninstall it, but that requires the ability to read all sectors the app resides in - which can't happen because at least one of those sectors is corrupt.

So you can't uninstall the app, you can't install it again, and you can't even update it (which requires reading all sectors in which the app is located). Basically, you have to do a factory reset, then install all the apps again, which means that unless you've been backing up all the date from all your apps, you're going to lose all your app data.

Which is why storing apps on an SD card is one of the worst ideas of the 21st century.

(PhotoRec, on the other hand, can at least recover some of your data - pictures, videos, music, documents, etc. It reads the data areas of the storage medium, it doesn't look for the directories. The "disadvantage" is that it can't get the file names [the names are stored in the directory], so you get files named File0001.mp4, File 123.jpg, etc. The extension is correct, but the name is just a name you can use to see what's in the file so you can rename it. [The dates are also stored in the directory, so the recovered file date is the date you recovered it.] The file you'll be downloading is a package - either a zip file in Windows or a file in Mac or Linux - with both TestDisk and PhotoRec in the package. [TestDisk is used to recover partition structures that have been destroyed.])

But get used to NOT moving apps to the SD card. If you have a phone with limited storage, and you'll be getting a newer phone in a short time (a week or so), the card may last that long (running an app from an SD card - internal or portable - destroys the card relatively quickly), but as a long-term solution it doesn't even come up to the "terrible idea" level.


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Feb 14, 2019
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Go and check the SD card in Windows Disk Management (This PC/My Computer > Manage > Disk Management).And there are many different SD card recovery applications out there, some are free and some cost a few dollars. They may get the job done well.