Formatting of memory cards and various other forms of external storage devices seems to have become the norm among our not too tech savvy populace. It is hard to believe the eagerness with which some people choose the format option the moment they notice a glitch in their phone’s memory cards.
Please and please, until the device (phone or computer) notifies you saying, “Memory card not formatted; format now?”, try, please try and keep your itchy fingers off the format option. There are quick fixes for most memory card glitches which do not entail the loss of any of your files.
A very popular memory card trouble is one in which all the files seem to disappear and all folders appear as shortcut links when the said card is viewed on a PC. Funny enough, when checked, the space for the apparently missing files is still occupied on the card. In the said scenario, the files are simply hidden and can be unhidden with these simple steps:
- with the memory card inserted in a phone, connect the phone to a PC in USB/mass storage mode
- when the PC reads the card, take note of the drive letter assigned to the card (F: is our example)
- in the windows startup menu, search for “cmd”, right click cmd.exe and run it as administrator
- once cmd is open, type in “attrib -r -s -h F:*.* /s /d” without the quotes.
That’s that for hidden files.
Many other glitches have their quick fixes online as well. All you need is a Google search query concisely describing the encountered issue and you’re more likely to find a solution than not. Formatting a memory card is hardly ever the only way to go.