TL;DR: I have a Micro-SD card that has a primary partition that isn't formatted and can't be selected and I have tried:

  • DBAN nuke (wiped)
  • Windows formatting
  • 3rd party program formatting
  • diskpart.exe
  • Windows partition manager

I can't get it to work, please help.

I bought a micro-SD card which I had Kali Linux on and later wiped it as I wanted to use the card in my phone instead. The card failed and I think I messed up with the format of the card or my phone is too bad to work properly with an SD (cheap Chinese android). I am trying to re use it again to put Kali back on it but I am having problems.

When I try to connect it, it detects and no damage that I can recall reader is working too, Windows says I need to format it before I can use it. It just tries to and says Windows could not do it. I tried to check if there was maybe an issue with the partitions in it so I tried to select it in diskpart.exe and it recognizes the card but when I try to select the "primary" part, it just spits out: "There is no partition selected". The primary partition is active and I can't delete it because it won't select it and I can't create a new partition because the primary partition is there is taking the full size of the SD card but can't be selected.

I have also tried a DBAN nuke to clear any and all data off, it and, it just plain won't work. Formatting, partitioning and wiping it have all failed and it has no clear damage on it (bought this year). Anyone have something else I could try?


I have had some luck recovering cards using the SD Card Formatter utility from SD Association.


Once formatted back to the SD standard you may be able to then do something else.

  • It said 'write protection enabled'. Anyone know how to change this? – Matty G Dec 4 '16 at 6:44
  • If you are using a micro-SD to SD adapter the adapter may have a write-protection or lock switch. Make sure the switch is in the unlocked position. – otherted Feb 17 '17 at 20:43

Many cards and USB sticks go into "read only" mode when the controller decides the memory is malfunctioning. Had this happen to SanDisk USB sticks when you wear them out (used as continuous backup). No idea how the device decides when it can't take any more. Only the manufacturer can answer that.

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