MicroSD Card Unmounting After Sleep

MicroSD Card Missing After Sleep

Applies To: Surface RT, Surface 2, Surface 3, Surface Pro 1/2/3

So, more than a few folks have contacted me with a problem where the MicroSD card was unmounting after their Surface went to sleep.

For the longest time, I gave them some advice but, having never experienced the issue myself, I hadn’t had the opportunity to really dig into it and come up with troubleshooting steps to resolve the problem.

Fortunately (although I didn’t think so at the time), I recently had the problem happen to me on my faithful Surface Pro 2 and finally had the chance to deal with this MicroSD card unmounting problem first-hand.

While the problem happened on my older SP2, the same troubleshooting steps apply on all Surface tablet models. So, without further adieu, here’s the  troubleshooting steps I came up with….

MicroSD Card Unmounting After Sleep: Clean and Re-seat

Adhering to the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) principle, start your troubleshooting efforts by turning off your Surface (not just sleep) and removing the MicroSD card. To eject it, simply push it in slightly. there should be a faint click then the card will eject.

MicroSD Card Missing After Sleep - MicroSD Card Location

After it’s ejected, inspect it and the MicroSD slot to make sure they’re clean and free from debris. Use a flashlight to inspect the slot. If there is any dust or lint present, with the Surface off, try blowing into the slot to clear it.

Yes, just like you used to to with Nintendo cartridges….

MicroSD Card Missing After Sleep - Nintendo

Next, since you have the MicroSD card out anyway, you might as well clean the contacts. There are two ways to do this:

  • Use a Q-Tip and some isopropyl alcohol
  • Use a pencil eraser

MicroSD Card Missing After Sleep - Clean

If you go with the alcohol, make sure the card is completely dry before reinserting it. If you go with the pencil eraser, be gentle and only rub the contacts lengthwise, not across, until any tarnish or dirt is removed.

After the card and slot are clean and free from debris, re-insert the card and see if the problem persists.

MicroSD Card Unmounting After Sleep: Look For Updates

Another KISS principle solution; you should make sure all of the latest updates have been installed. Even if your Surface is set to automatically install updates, there will almost always be some optional updates that won’t automatically install.

  • Go to Update and Recovery under settings  and tap Check Now to make sure your Surface has found all of the available updates

MicroSD Card Missing After Sleep - Updates

  • After Windows is done looking for updates, tap View Details
  • Select all of the available updates and install them

After the updates install and your Surface is restarted, see if the problem persists.

MicroSD Card Unmounting After Sleep: Look for updated Driver and Check Policy

Another possibility is that a driver is screwed up or one of the policy settings when you put your Surface to sleep is hampering the card from being recognized when it wakes up.

Check for updated drivers:

  • Open Device Manager
  • Expand the Disk Drives section
  • Tap and Hold (right click) on your MicroSD card and choose Update Driver Software
  • When the Update Driver Software window appears, select Search Automatically for Updated Driver Software

MicroSD Card Missing After Sleep - Update Driver

If there is updated driver software,install it and restart your Surface. Check to see if the problem persists. If it does or if there are no updated drivers, continue on…

Check Policy Setting:

  • Tap and hold (right-click) the MicroSD card device again then select Properties this time.
  • Select the Policies tab then select Better Performance (Default) if it’s not already selected

MicroSD Card Missing After Sleep - Performance

  • Tap OK

This happened to be the solution that fixed my issue. I had been screwing around with my power settings and had it set to Quick Removal.

MicroSD Card Unmounting After Sleep: Try Reformatting the Card

Another possibility is that the card is, somehow, corrupt. This can happen even though it appears to be working fine. To resolve this, you can try reformatting it.

  • Next, open Windows Explorer then tap and hold (right-click) on the MicroSD drive and select Format from the menu

MicroSD Card Missing After Sleep - Format 1

  • Next, ensure it’s set to format the drive as NTFS from the pull-down list and that the Quick Format option is unchecked

MicroSD Card Missing After Sleep - Format 2

  • Tap the Start button

After the format is complete, copy your data back to the MicroSD card and see if it is working better.

MicroSD Card Unmounting After Sleep: Try a Different Card

Well, it’s possible that you simply have a bum MicroSD card or that it’s incompatable with your Surface. So, the next thing to try is to replace the card.

I know the card may work fine in other devices but there’s a huge variety of MicroSD card types and sizes and it’s possible you have a card your Surface simply doesn’t like.

Hopefully, one of these steps helped you with your MicroSD card unmounting problem on your Surface tablet.


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