Solved Android Thinks There's an SD Card (There's Not!)

Discussion in 'Android Support' started by Klif, Sep 3, 2017.

  1. Klif

    Klif New Member

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    • Moto G 3rd Generation
    • XT1548
    • Android 5.1.1
    • Republic Wireless
    • Kernel Version: 3.10.49-g7f2a07b hudsoncm@ilclbld53 #1
    • System Version: 23.41.59.osprey_repw.repw.en.US sprint
    • Build Number: LPI23.72-59
    • SD Card SanDisk Ultra PLUS 32GB Micro SD HC I

    My phone suddenly stopped recognizing my SD card. I've removed the card, and my computer can read it just fine. I had a little trouble reformatting the card, but finally got it to reformat (fat32). I was about to stick it back in the phone, when I noticed the phone had a notification: "Blank SD Card", but there was no SD card in it!

    I restarted the phone, had the same error message. I then went to settings -> storage, to the SD card section, where I had the option to Mount or Erase SD card.

    I tried mounting, got the same error message "Blank SD Card". I tried erasing. It asked for my password, then gave me the option to erase. I clicked the erase option, and it took me right back to the option to erase.

    I restarted the phone into safe mode (or whatever it's called, sorry), and cleared the system cache. Restarted the phone. Same error "Blank SD Card". I put my actual SD card into the phone, and tried all the previous steps of Mounting and Erasing. Same outcomes.

    Throughout this process, I would also occasinally get an error message stating "SD card safe to remove". Again, Mounting and Erasing did nothing. I would also occaionslly get a notification "Preparing SD card / Checking for errors".

    I haven't lost any files from the SD card -- I was able to backup to my computer. I would rather not have to reformat my phone (because settings, etc), but understand I may have to eventually. What I'd really like to avoid is reformatting my phone just to realize that the problem is still present.

    I'm convinced it's a phone issue, rather than a card issue, because it's giving me error notifications *even when the SD card is not present*.

    What can I do to fix this, and sorry for the wall of text.
     
  2. Sajo

    Sajo Diamond Member

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    Have you tried using the phone while in Safe Mode? Use it for a little while and see if you are still having the same issues. If so, then a Factory Reset (FDR) may be the only option... maybe. If you don't have any of the issues describes while in Safe Mode then that normally points to a Play Store app causing the problem; not always but normally.

    I'm not real familiar with that issue, don't think I have ever read anything about an Android phone behaving the way you described. Hope you can sort it out and maybe avoid a FDR.

    At least you backed up important files from your SD card to your PC; smart decision.

    Edit: Welcome to the Forum!


    Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk
     
  3. me just sayin

    me just sayin Diamond Member

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    that wasn't a wall of text. You separated into paragraphs :) and that makes a difference.

    did you try a different sdcard? it could reset the error message. you kept saying you tried to mount or erase but did you try to reformat the card in the phone?
     
  4. Klif

    Klif New Member

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    I have not tried safe mode. I'll do that now, results to be posted momentarily.
    i haven't tried a different SD card. I'll try that, but I don't have immediate access to one, so I'll have to hold off.​

    Come to think of it, I have not tried reformatting the existing SD card while in the phone, nor the imaginary card in the phone. Only while it was in the computer. I guess I assumed the "Erase SD Card" option would have done that. Dumb mistake. I don't see an option to format, tho', so how do I?
     
  5. Klif

    Klif New Member

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    With SD Card inserted, Entered Safe Mode
    1. No error messages upon boot.
    2. Went to to Settings -> Storage
    3. All three SD card options are grayed out (Move Media, Mount SD Card, Erase SD Card)
    4. Immediately removed SD card and replaced it (Should have waited between steps, sorry, didn't!)
    5. Notification "Checking SD Card / Checking for errors"
    6. Wait
    7. Notification "SD card safe to remove / You can safely remove SD card."
    8. Two of the three options are now available (Mount SD card & Erase SD card)
    9. Selected Mount SD Card
    10. Notification "Blank SD card. / SD card is blank or has unsupported filesystem."
    11. Selected "Erase SD card"
    12. Confirmed "ERASE SD CARD"
    13. Put in passcode
    14. Confirmed "ERASE EVERYTHING"
    15. Bounced back to the settings screen, notification "Blank SD card / SD card is blank or has unsupported filesystem."
    16. Removed SD Card.
    17. Options to Mount or Erase are still available.
    18. Mounting leads to "Blank SD Card"
    19. Erasing leads me to the same endless circle as above.
    With SD Card removed, Entered Safe Mode
    1. No error messages upon boot
    2. Went to Settings -> Storage
    3. All three options grayed out.
    4. Inserted SD Card
    5. Notification "Preparing SD card / Checking for errors"
    6. Wait
    7. Notification "SD card safe to remove / You can safely remove SD card."
    8. Two of the three options are now available (Mount SD card & Erase SD card)
    9. Same as above, two options available.
    With the variable of safe mode, and the clarification of both of these methods not having any errors until after I inserted (or removed and inserted) the SD card, I'm hedging more toward an SD card issue than a phone issue. Thoughts on that?
     
  6. Klif

    Klif New Member

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    If one of my coworkers has an SD card with stuff on it, what's the best way to troubleshoot without hurting their own information?​
     
  7. Sajo

    Sajo Diamond Member

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    It does sound like an issue with that particular SD Card. If you can get another, or borrow one, that would help rule out the phone software / rogue app or the card itself.

    I had the same 32GB SD Card in my current phone for months, and had used the same card in numerous previous phones for years. Never had an issue. Then recently one Friday night, in a hotel on a work trip, for no reason Android tells me my card is unsupported. And the phone just starts going bonkers. I was flying home the next day and lost over 10 GB of music, and didn't even have my SIM / SD Card slot removal tool with me. I managed to get the card out and downloaded some music onto Internal memory for the flight. That card was toast, nothing would read it. Sometimes these high tech devices develop a mind of their own.

    Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk
     
  8. me just sayin

    me just sayin Diamond Member

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    rereading your original post...you may want to do a chkdsk to make sure it is good. insert the card into the slot on the computer.. Enter the following command: chkdsk [sd card drive letter]: /r

    if okay, remove the format in disk management. see the following steps copied from motos website
    • Insert the card in the device
    • You should see a “Set Up SD card” Notification
    • Tap on ‘setup SD card’ in the insertion notification (or go to settings->storage->select card-> menu->format as internal)
    • Select the ‘internal storage’ option, after have carefully read the warning
     
  9. Klif

    Klif New Member

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    I did a chkdsk on my windows computer somewhere along the way, as well. Crashed at 81% every time but one, in which it got to 100% without any errors and gave me all the info. I didn't do the /r parameter, tho', I think I did /f maybe? What's the difference, should I try again?

    As an aside to all this, is it possible that my phone runs BETTER without the SD card in it?

    I've only ever used the phone with that SD card in it, and it's just been annoying unresponsive pretty much all the time. I blamed it on being a third-tier provider and a cheap phone. But now that I don't have the SD card in there, everything seems to be working much faster! Even after reinstalling most (all?) of the apps onto main memory.

    Does it even work this way?!
     
  10. Sajo

    Sajo Diamond Member

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    The Moto G may be a mid tier phone, but definitely not a "cheap phone" when it comes to specs and built quality. My daughter has a Moron G4+ and that thing is smooth and super fast. If that card is not fast enough for Android and you had it set as Adoptive Internal storage, or even External in some cases, then yes...that could make the phone feel laggy and unresponsive at times.

    If you have plenty of Internal Storage to do what you need to do, the way you operate your phone, maybe don't worry about an SD Card right now?

    Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk
     
  11. Klif

    Klif New Member

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    I won't be able to live with myself without figuring out what's wrong, first. But, knowing that, I may go without an SD card to see if the speediness holds up. Or maybe -- again, let me know if I'm thinking wrong -- I'll get a smaller SD card and just put music/podcasts/etc on it, and keep all the apps on the internal storage.
     
  12. me just sayin

    me just sayin Diamond Member

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    did it give any error messages when it crashed at 81 percent? the /r tries a repair if any errors are found.

    as far as running better without the sdcard? when the major phone manufacturers were taking the sd card ports off their phones, they were claiming the phones would run better without them. true or not, I cannot say since I am not a tech wiz but... consider when using a computer and running programs and files that is on a removable drive, things are slower so they may be right.