Effectively Fix – 3DS Could Not Detect an SD Card

2 Situations to 3DS Could Not Detect an SD Card

3DS is a handheld game console produced by Nintendo. The shine of this game console is that it can display stereoscopic 3D effects without the use of 3D glass or additional accessories.

However, as a 3DS user, you may encounter an annoying issue that 3DS could not detect an SD card.

For the issue, there are two solutions. To figure out which situations you are facing, please prepare an SD card first, and connect it with your 3DS.

Situation1: If the SD card does not work either, there is a possibility that there is something wrong with your 3DS – such as a broken card slot. You will have to send out your 3DS for repair. 

Situation 2: If the SD card works, there is a problem with your previous SD card. In this situation, the following offers a detailed introduction to 3 measures to troubleshoot this issue.

Tip: If you are worried about data loss, you can try to recover data.

Measure 1: Remove Viruses or Malware

Here is the tutorial about removing viruses or malware.

Step 1: Connect your problematic SD card with your computer.

Step 2: Go to the Start menu, type cmdin the search bar. Give a right-click on the searching result named as CMD and choose Run as an administrator.

Step 3: Type # (# refers to the drive letter of SD card) and hit Enter on the keyboard.

Step 4: Type attriband hit Enter on the keyboard.

Step 5: Type arrtib -r -a -s -h *.* (*.* for all the files with all different types of file extensions) and hit Enter on the keyboard.

Step 6: Type del autorun.inf and hit Enter to delete the files. After removing the viruses or malware, you can check if the issue that 3DS could not detect an SD card.

If this measure cannot solve the problem, please move to Measure 2.

Measure 2: Format SD Card to FAT32

Since there are many games saved in your SD card, you should make a backup for them before formatting your SD card for 3DS.

Data Backup with MiniTool Partition Wizard Free 

Here I recommend you to use the third-party software to make a data backup easily and effectively, such as MiniTool Partition Wizard which you can get from its official website.

Here is the tutorial on making a data backup with MiniTool Partition Wizard.

Step 1: Connect the problematic SD card to your PC at first.

Step 2: Download MiniTool Partition Wizard Free from its official website and launch it to get its main interface in which you can see many features.

Step 3: Choose the Copy Disk Wizard feature from the toolbar, and then click the Next button in the pop-up window.

Step 4: Select the SD card you want to copy and then click the Next button.

Step 5: Choose a target disk on which the data in the source text will be stored and click the Next.

Note: Any data saved in the target disk will be destroyed by the new content being copied from the source disk.

Step 6: Choose a copy method and click the Next button.

Step 7: Click the Finish button and click the Apply after going back to the main interface.

All the data saved in the problematic SD card has been backed up, and you can format it right now.

Format SD Card with Disk Management

Disk Management is a Microsoft Windows utility first introduced in Windows XP. You can use it to view and manage the disk drivers and their partitions installed on your computer.

The following shows the tutorial about how to format SD card with Disk Management.

Step 1: Connect SD card to your PC.

Step 2: Run Disk Management by hitting the Windows icon and the R key on the keyboard at the same time and inputting diskmgemt.mscin the pop-up window and click OK.

Step 3: After accessing the main interface of Disk Management, please right click the SD card in the Disk Map and then click Format among the options.

Note: Windows won’t allow formatting a partition without a drive letter, but you can assign a drive letter for it.

Step 4: Select FAT32 as the file system in the pop-up window and click OK.

Tip: This formatting only can be used for the capacity of SD cards no more than 32GB. To learn more formatting ways, you can click SD Card Formatter | How Do I Format SD Card Quickly.

Measure 3: Buy A New SD Card

The last solution is to buy a new SD card for your 3DS to replace the old one, and then use the Copy Disk feature of MiniTool Partition Wizard to migrate the gamed saved in the original SD card to the new one.

Tip: SD card is wildly used on portable devices, like digital camera, mobile phones, and so on. However, SD card may be corrupted or damaged sometimes. If this happens, you can click here to know how to repair the SD card.


The two situations for 3DS could not detect an SD card and their solutions have been stated in this article respectively. Hope these mentioned solutions can help you solve your problem.

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