How to Fix SD card/ USB drive Showing 0 Bytes Error

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The 0 bytes error is not new. Many users complain about facing this error while trying to access their SD card or Flash drive on the computer.

Zero bytes implies no data in the storage drive. The error is bound to make you panic as it points towards data loss from the removable storage media.

However, there are various ways to repair USB or SD card showing 0 bytes error and restore the lost data.

What causes USBdrive 0 bytes error?

How to Fix SD card/ USB drive/ Pen Drive Showing 0 Bytes Error
Figure: Removable disk showing 0 bytes

Following are the probable factors that can trigger 0 bytes error in removable disks:

  1. Virus infection
  2. Bad sectors in the storage drive
  3. Failed USB connection with computer
  4. Files are hidden in the USB storage
  5. Damaged Master Boot Record (MBR) of removable media
  6. Sudden interruption during the read/write process
  7. Improper unplugging of SD card, pen drive, or USB flash drive from the computer
  8. Physical damage in your USB flash drive or memory card

How to fix 0 bytes on a USB flash drive/ SD card?

No media error does lead to permanent loss of files from the storage drive, if not fixed. If your camera card or pen drive contains important photos and videos, immediately repair the 0 byte drive and restore its files.

Follow the below troubleshooting methods to fix USB 0 bytes error problem:

  1. Connect the removable media with another computer.
  2. Change the card reader.
  3. Install anti-virus on your computer.
  4. Unhide files in 0 byte SD card using CMD command.
  5. Run CHKDSK command.
  6. Create a partition in Disk Management.
  7. Repair Damaged MBR Using Command Prompt.
  8. Format USB/ SD card showing 0 bytes error.
  9. Restore 0 bytes photo and video files from SD card/ USB pen drive.

Solution 1: Connect the removable drive with another computer

Connect your SD card, USB drive or pen drive to another computer. Check if the 0 bytes error appears or not.

If you can access the storage media without error, it means the issue is with your computer. Immediately backup the files stored in the removable disk and format the media to fix the issue.

In case you still see the 0 bytes or empty media on another computer, then move to the next solution.

Solution 2: Change the card reader

If the SD card is showing 0 bytes error, try by changing the card reader. The SD card error may be due to the damaged card reader.

Solution 3: Install anti-virus on your computer with SD card/ USB drive Showing 0 Bytes

If the SD card or USB drive error is not a hardware issue, it could be a virus in the computer or the storage media.

Install a trusted anti-virus software to scan your computer and the removable media. The anti-virus would delete malicious software causing 0 bytes error.

After which, you should be able to access the photos, videos, or music stored in your pen drive or memory card.

Solution 4: Unhide files in 0 byte SD card using CMD command

The files may be there in the USB or SD card but hidden due to corruption in the media. Unhide and view the files by using CMD command in Windows.

Steps to run CMD command in Windows 10:

  1. Connect the removable drive with PC.
  2. Note the drive letter name of USB/ SD card/ pen drive in the drive list.
  3. Press Win+R and in the Run box type CMD and hit Enter.
  4. A command prompt window opens. Type the following command: attrib -h -r -s /s /d g:\*.* Here ‘g’ is the drive letter of your removable media.
  5. Press Enter.

Once the process completes, check the storage drive if you can access its files.

Solution 5: Run CHKDSK command

You can run the Check Disk Utility (CHKDSK) command to fix storage media corruption and view the files on SD card/ USB or pen drive showing 0 byte error.

CHKDSK utility can repair the file system errors which may be the cause of the USB 0 bytes problem.

Steps to run CHKDSK command:

  1. Connect the removable drive with PC.
  2. Note the drive letter name of USB/ SD card/ pen drive in the drive list.
  3. Press Win+R and in the Run box type CMD and hit Enter.
  4. A command window opens, type “chkdsk” followed by the drive letter of USB/ SD card/ pen drive, then a colon and /f. (e.g., chkdsk G: /f). Here G is the drive letter.
  5. Press Enter
  6. Chkdsk will check for possible errors and try to fix the file system errors in the removable media. Next, follow the subsequent message prompts.
  7. Once the process is finished, restart your system. Now access the storage media. The 0 byte error should be fixed.

Solution 6: Create partition in Disk Management with SD card/ USB drive Showing 0 Bytes

Use this method if the 0 byte SD card or pen drive shows its data unallocated in disk management.

Steps to fix SD card/ USB error in disk management:

  1. Connect the USB/SD card to PC.
  2. Right-click on This PC > Manage > Disk Management.
  3. Right-click on the unallocated space of the SD card/ USB and select New Simple Volume.
How to Fix SD card/ USB drive Showing 0 Bytes Error
Figure: Unallocated drive in Disk Management

4. Set partition size, drive letter, and file system (FAT 32 or NTFS).
5. Click Finish.

Solution 7: Repair Damaged MBR Using Command Prompt 

Master Boot Record or MBR contains information about the logical partitions on the storage drive. When MBR of a drive gets corrupt or damaged, it may show disk errors such as 0 bytes.

Windows allow you to rebuild and fix damaged MBR. Automatic MBR repair tools are also available that can fix removable media MBR. 

But, if you are a novice and not familiar with command lines, avoid this method to fix the 0 byte error.

Steps to fix MBR in Windows 10

  1. Boot your PC using the original Windows bootable CD or DVD.
  2. At the first screen, click to follow Repair your computer > Troubleshoot >Advanced > Command Prompt.
  3. In the Command Prompt window, type the below commands lines. Press Enter after each command:
  4. bootrec /FixMbr bootrec /FixBoot bootrec /ScanOs bootrec /RebuildBcd
  5. Wait for the process to finish and exit the Command Prompt window.
  6. Remove the CD/ DVD and restart your PC.

Now check if the removable disk 0 byte error is fixed or not.

Solution 8: Format USB/ SD card showing 0 bytes error

If the above methods don’t fix the ‘no media or 0 bytes problem’, try to format the removable media. Formatting fixes all kinds of corruption and errors in a storage drive.

Steps to format USB/ SD card/ pen drive in PC:

  1. Connect the storage drive to PC.
  2. Right-click the removable drive showing the error.
  3. Select Format.
  1. Next, click Browse to select a location and save the recovered files. Note: Do not select the same storage drive that shows 0 bytes or no media error. Choose a different location to save the recovered photos, videos, and music.


No media or 0 bytes error in the SD card or USB drive makes your photos and videos inaccessible. You may also lose data on your USB drive permanently. But you can try the above methods to fix the 0 bytes error in USB flash drives, SD cards, and other media.

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