Article ID : 00109363 / Last Modified : 17/01/2024Print

The memory card is not recognised by the camera and an error message appears

    Before you start

    • IMPORTANT: This article applies only to specific products and/or operating systems. Check Applicable Products and Categories for details.

    • The steps to open and close the memory card covers of ILCE-7, ILCE-9, and ILCE-1 cameras may differ based on the model. Visit How to open and close the memory card cover on an Alpha camera to find out more. For other models, refer to your camera's Help Guide.

    Solving memory card issues

    A memory card might not be recognised if the card doesn't connect properly with the memory card slot in your camera. Any of the following error messages may be displayed on the camera LCD screen when the memory card is not recognised.

    Icon / Error Message

    Possible causes and troubleshooting steps

     (Warning) icon /  (Malfunction) icon
    • There is something wrong with the memory card. Replace the memory card with a different one.
    Unable to use the memory card. Format?
    • The memory card was formatted on a computer, and the file format was modified. Select [Enter], and then format the memory card. You can use the memory card again; however, all previous data on the memory card will be erased. It may take some time to format the card. If the message still appears, change the memory card.
    Memory card error
    • An incompatible memory card is inserted. To check the compatibility of a memory card, memory stick, or SD card with Sony cameras and camcorders, refer to our Accessories Compatibility Information page.
    • Formatting has failed. Format the memory card again.
    Unable to read the memory card. Reinsert the memory card.
    • An incompatible memory card is inserted. To check the compatibility of a memory card, memory stick, or SD card with Sony cameras and camcorders, refer to our Accessories Compatibility Information page.
    • The memory card is damaged.
    • The terminal section of the memory card is dirty. If the terminal of the memory card is dirty, it may cause a loose connection, and the camcorder may not recognise the memory card correctly. Clean the terminal with a dry cloth or cotton swab, and then re-insert the memory card.
    Memory card locked.
    • You are using a memory card with a write-protect switch or a delete-protect switch with the switch set to the LOCK position. Set the switch to the Record position. Take the memory card out of the camera and move the Lock tab to the UNLOCK position.
      Image showing A (the location of Lock Tab)
      A: Lock Tab
    This memory card may not be capable of recording and playing normally.
    Cannot create more folders.
    • The name of a folder in the memory card begins with these first three digits: “999.” This means you cannot create any more folders on this camera.
    Reinsert the memory card.
    • Reinsert the memory card a few times. If the indicator continues to flash even after reinserting, the memory card could be damaged. Try with another memory card.
    Cannot recognise this memory card. Format and use again.
    • Format the memory card. Note that all the recorded movies and photos are deleted when you format the memory card.
    The maximum number of still image folders has been reached. Cannot record still images.
    • You cannot create folders exceeding 999MSDCF. You cannot create or delete created folders using this product.
    • Format the memory card or delete folders using your computer.

    Additional troubleshooting steps

    Check that the memory card is not inserted in the wrong direction or at a slant Check if there is anything wrong with the memory card. Check if another memory card can be recognised.