"Damaged SD Card" or "SD Card Is Blank or Unsupported File System" - SOLVED

Issue

Ever had problems with your Micro SD card and received messages from your phone like; "Damaged SD Card" or "SD Card Is Blank or Unsupported File System"?

I had a new SD Micro 64gb card and inserted it into my Samsung S3.  The usual message came up to say "SD Card Is Blank or Unsupported File System", so I formatted it from my phone.  I then connected my phone to my Windows PC and started copying some music over.  After restarting my phone, these files seemed to have disappeared from my card so I repeated the process.  Then I got a message on my mobile saying "Damaged SD Card" so I had to reformat.  Anyhow, I got to a point where all I got, no mater how many times I formatted my card was the, "Damaged SD Card" message.  So I decided to do some research on-line.  I discovered that many people were, or have been, having issues with their SD cards and not just on the 64gb ones.

Many suggested that you need to format your card as FAT32 then it should work, but surely if I allow the phone to do the format then all should be fine?

exFAT is an update to FAT32 file system and is commonly found on 64GB or larger sdcards. exFAT has a different and much more restrictive license compared to FAT32. Due to this restrictive license, we'll probably never see exFAT support in the Linux kernel. Many Android manufacturers (e.g. Samsung, HTC) have cross-licensing agreements with Microsoft that allow them to add exFAT support in Android, but that agreement doesn't mean that we're able to add exFAT support for your device in TWRP.

You can reformat your 64GB card to FAT32. You may need to remove the card from your device and use a computer to accomplish the reformat. You also may have to find and download a third party utility to format to FAT32 if you're using a Windows PC. The biggest downside to using FAT32 is that FAT32 doesn't support files larger than 4GB.

If you need a file system that can support files larger than 4GB and works in recovery, you pretty much have one choice: ext4. Unfortunately Android often doesn't handle ext4 formatted sdcards automatically.  You'll probably have to mount the sdcard manually using a shell script, GScript (free app in the market), or an init.d type of script. You also won't be able to pop your sdcard into a Windows computer because Windows doesn't recognize the ext4 file system.

You're also welcome to try NTFS, but the majority of the time, NTFS will only mount as read-only in recovery. The Linux kernel doesn't have very good NTFS support either.

http://teamw.in/exFAT

I started trying to find a way if I could format my SD Card as FAT32 to see if this would work.  However, no mater what utility or driver I downloaded I couldn't get my SD card to function correctly!

 

Solution

Finally I tried this:-

  1. I removed my SD Card from my phone and placed it in a USB card reader.
  2. I download "EaseUS Partition Master Home Edition" from http://download.cnet.com/EaseUS-Partition-Master-Free-Edition/3000-2248_4-10863346.html
  3. Then once installed and ran I was able to locate my removable SD Card.
  4. I then formatted it using FAT32 for the File System, and 32KB for Cluster Size.
  5. Remember to press the Apply button for you request to run.
  6. I then placed the card back in my phone, it did report "SD Card Is Blank or Unsupported File System".
  7. So I hit the format button.

My SD Card now seems to be working correctly, so although it has been reformated back to exFAT, the above process has meant I don't now keep getting the "Damaged SD Card" message and it is working as it should, or at least has so far.

Although this solution seems to have worked for me, I do hope it works for others.

 

RESOURCES

http://teamw.in/exFAT
http://forum.xda-developers.com/galaxy-s3/general/how-to-format-64gb-micro-sd-card-to-t2041679
http://download.cnet.com/EaseUS-Partition-Master-Free-Edition/3000-2248_4-10863346.html