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My phone has been stuck in a boot loop and I need to safely retrieve the contents via card-to-PC transfer, then PC-to-new card, then new card-to-phone, etc. I read somewhere on here that you must reformat your SD card before you can connect it to your PC to copy its contents. Is this true?

If so, will I lose my stuff from reformatting my card? Every time I've tried reformatting my card, I get a dialog box that tells me all my card's contents could be destroyed if I go ahead, so I refrain.

Seems like it would be pointless to try and retrieve my card's contents if I must destroy them first. I'm fairly new to this stuff, so please excuse my lack of knowledge for it.

Also, once I get all of my content into my new SD card, do I need to format the new card when inserted in my phone? I notice that whenever I put an SD card with files on it into a new phone, I get a prompt saying that all contents could be destroyed if I format, even though I want these files on my phone and certainly not destroyed.

Thanks for any and all questions answered, I appreciate it.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

No, you MUST NOT reformat it before copying! Formatting a storage device means to prepare it to hold files, and it will delete everything on it (see the tag wiki of the formatting tag for details). So yes, formatting woul imply losing all contents on the formatted device (in this case, from your SDCard).

New cards usually come pre-formatted, so there's no action needed either: Simply insert and enjoy. I never heard a device prompting you to format a newly inserted card, and I've had some of them. Of course, a warning is issued when you manually select to format a card, so you do not accidentally fall into such a trap.

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This was precisely the info I was hoping for. Thanks! – user29281 Mar 1 '13 at 21:19
You're welcome! Luckily, sometimes things are easy -- and if so, we don't need to complicate them :) – Izzy Mar 2 '13 at 1:11
I bought an SD Card and card reader yesterday, just tried getting the content to my PC. All photos and videos merely display as "Invalid Image" :( Are these files corrupt forever, or is there any way I can recover them? They're extremely important to me :( Also, could this be caused by the program I am viewing the files in(just viewing them in my computer files)? Or how I placed the card reader in the USB port? I'm so frustrated :( – user29281 Mar 2 '13 at 19:15
As you correctly opened a new question for this new topic, I think it's best discussed there as well. – Izzy Mar 2 '13 at 20:57

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