SDHC cards, along with USB sticks, are among the removable media that everyone has to deal with today. They are in mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, drones, navigation systems, e-book readers and digital cameras to store photos and videos. For SD cards to work, they must be formatted. This is done by the SD Memory Card Formatter. The freeware comes from the Finnish manufacturer Tuxera and is offered by the SD Association for formatting an SD card.
SD cards are now already formatted
If you buy new SD cards or microSD cards, you will usually find them formatted in the packaging. Cards up to 2 GByte use the file format FAT12/16 and SDHC cards from 2 GByte to 32 GByte use FAT32, which is familiar to every smartphone tablet and every digital camera. SDXC cards over 32 GB use the exFAT file format from Microsoft, which more and more mobile devices and cameras know – but not all. This is the reason why mobile devices without exFAT support specify 32 GByte as the maximum size for the SD card and microSD card as these are formatted with FAT32.
Formatting SD Cards
Memory cards that are regularly written with new files should be reformatted completely on a regular basis in order to get rid of data remnants and to make better use of memory space.
The SD Memory Card Formatter comes with two different modes for this purpose. One is the “Fast format”, which only formats the card quickly. This format function creates a new table of contents on the partition for the files to be saved. The previously saved data will not be overwritten and will only not be displayed afterwards. With a recovery software version like Recuva the files could be recovered.
On the other hand, there is the format mode “Overwrite format”, which goes drastically to the point. Not only does it create a new table of contents, it also makes short work of the existing data and deletes it from the partition before formatting it. This process takes a long time depending on the size of the SD card. For an even more thorough deletion of the existing data, you can ask the freeware to overwrite all data on the card with random data, then delete it again and then start the formatting. This takes even longer, but is particularly effective if you want to avoid leaving any personal data on the card. Even recovery software can no longer recover them.
As the software manufacturer Tuxera is a member of the SD Association, SD Memory Card Formatter complies with the industry standard for SD cards and thus leaves the protected area of SD cards untouched.
Operating the SD Memory Card Formatter
The user interface of the SD Memory Card Formatter is quite simple. Once installed on the hard disk and started with administrator rights, the SD card to be formatted must be selected under “Select Drive”. Here you have to take a close look and be careful not to accidentally format the wrong storage medium. It is best to remove all storage media that should remain untouched – if possible. With “Refresh”, the software scans the selected memory card and displays various data such as the current and maximum memory space. The card name can be changed under “Volume label” and under “Formatting options” you can select the mode for formatting. After the start the SD card is formatted and you get a freshly formatted, empty SD card.
The Tuxera SD Memory Card Formatter is available for Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 and Mac OS X 10.7, Mac OS X 10.8, Mac OS X 10.9, Mac OS X 10.10, Mac OS X 10.11 and maxOS 10.12. The format tool can be surrounded with SD cards, SDHC cards, SDXC cards, microsSD cards, microSDHC cards and microSDXC cards. The computer in use also needs an integrated SD card reader or alternatively an external SD card reader which is connected via USB 2.0, USB 3.0, USB 3.1 or USB-C. The SD card reader can be connected via USB 2.0, USB 3.0, USB 3.1 or USB-C. In addition, the card readers must also be able to surround themselves with SD cards, microsSD cards, SDHC cards, SDXC cards, microSDHC cards and microSDXC cards.