Have you ever encountered the track 0 bad error after a failed disk format? This post from MiniTool focuses on the topic of “invalid media or track 0 bad disk unusable” and provides you with a couple of useful ways to fix it. Besides, in this post, you can learn how to recover lost data from a track 0 Micro SD card.

Invalid Media or Track 0 Bad – Disk Unusable

According to a survey, a lot of users have encountered the “track 0 bad” error message. Here is a true example.

Q: I try to format my Micro SD card, but Windows fails to complete this task and prompts an error message as follows.

Invalid media or Track 0 bad - disk unusable

The “invalid media or track 0 bad – disk unusable” error for SD cards, USB flash drives, HDDs, and other disks usually occurs after a failed disk formatting. It means that the position of track 0 is bad. If there is a bad track on your SD card, USB drive, or other drives, you cannot open these disks.

Therefore, before repairing the “track 0 bad” error, you had better take the last chance to recover lost data from the problematic drive because any accident during disk repair could result in data loss permanently.

Now, you may be wondering:

“How to recover lost data from the disk that reports the “invalid media or track 0 bad” error?

In the following part, we take the SD card for example.

Part 1. Recover Data From SD Card That Reports Track 0 Bad Error

Here, we offer 2 effective data recovery services to help you recover lost photos, videos, and other files from your SD card before you repair track 0 bad.

Option 1. Use MiniTool Power Data Recovery

MiniTool Power Data Recovery, the best data recovery software, is effective in SD card data recovery, USB flash drive data recovery, external hard drive data recovery, HDD data recovery, and so on.

Besides, it offers wizard-like interfaces as well as easy operations that can help you effectively recover lost files (documents, images, videos, audio, etc.) in various data loss situations without any difficulty.

For example, it can help to recover files from formatted SD cards, recover lost files after an MBR to GPT conversion, recover data after disk boot failure, and more.

The major steps to recover data from an SD card that reports the “track 0 bad” error are as follows.

Step 1. Download and install MiniTool Power Data Recovery on your computer.

MiniTool Power Data Recovery FreeClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

After that, plug the SD card into a card reader and then connect the card reader to your PC.

Step 2. Launch MiniTool Power Data Recovery, and then select the target SD card that reports the “invalid media or track 0 bad” error to scan.

scan the target SD card


Note: To get the best data scanning and recovery result, you had better wait patiently until the full scan finishes.

Step 3. After scanning, MiniTool Power Data Recovery will display all found files on the selected SD card on the scan result window. Since there are a large number of files generally, you can make use of the following features to locate the needed files faster.

  • Path: By default, the found files will be listed in a tree structure under this category list. You can expand each folder to view files by file path.
  • Type: You can move on to the Type category list to specify the required file types to show.
  • Filter: You are allowed to filter found files by file type, file category, file size, and file modification date.
  • Preview: You can preview multiple types of files to check whether they are the desired ones.
  • Search: You can search for a specific file by using its file name.

view files by file path and file type

filter, search and preview found files

Step 4. Select all needed files and click the Save button to choose a directory to store selected files. It is recommended to store them to another drive to prevent data from being overwritten.

save required files


Tip: MiniTool Power Data Recovery Free supports 1 GB of free data recovery. To restore unlimited lost data, you need to update to an advanced edition.

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Option 2. Use MiniTool Photo Recovery

Alternatively, you can also use MiniTool Photo Recovery, a piece of professional and easy-to-use SD card photo recovery software, to recover data from the SD card that reports the “track 0 bad” error.

This read-only and free photo recovery software can help you quickly recover lost photos as well as videos from SD cards, USB drives, computer hard drives, etc. without affecting the original data because of its excellent performance, easy operations, and high security.

Download MiniTool Photo Recovery and try it out.

MiniTool Windows Photo RecoveryClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

Next, let’s see how to recover data from an SD card that reports the “track 0 bad” error with MiniTool Photo Recovery.

Step 1. Connect your SD card to your PC. After that, launch MiniTool Photo Recovery, then click on the Start button on the main interface to start data recovery.

click Start

Step 2. Select the SD card that prompts the “invalid media or track 0 bad disk unusable” error, and then click on the Scan button.


Tip: If the SD card is not shown here, you can click on the Refresh button to make MiniTool Photo Recovery detect the drive again until it is displayed in this interface.

select the target SD card to scan

Step 3. After scanning, preview found files to select all needed items. Then click on Save and Browse to select a suitable path for data saving.


Warning: Do not store needed files to the same SD card. Otherwise, the original data could be overwritten and there is no way to recover them.

save needed files


Tip: The free edition of MiniTool Photo Recovery enables you to recover 200 MB of data in total for free. Thus, to recover more lost data, you should get its advanced edition.

I recovered lost data from my drive that reports the “invalid media or track 0 bad” error with the help of MiniTool Photo Recovery.Click to Tweet

With data safely transferred, you can start to repair your SD card to move out the “invalid media or track 0 bad” error. How to fix track 0 Micro SD?

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Part 2. How to Repair Track 0 Bad

What Is Track 0

Track 0 is the area located at the start of a computer disk and typically consists of the first 64 sectors of the disk. It is predominantly used to store information regarding the layout of the disk (the partition table) and executable code needed to boot an operating system.

The first sector of track 0 is known as the Master Boot Record (MBR) and contains the initial code used to boot the operating system (bootstrap code).

Track 0 is also the name of a terminate-and-stay-resident MS-DOS program, which allows you to revive floppy disks with the defective track by swapping it with another track under the hood.

Once track 0 is bad, the master boot record and partition table will be damaged, and then you cannot access your drive.

Why Does Invalid Media or Track 0 Bad – Disk Unusable Occur

In addition to MBR and partition table corruption, there are several other reasons for the “invalid media or track 0 bad” error.

  • The drive is not connected well to your computer.
  • There are bad sectors on your disk.
  • The drive is write-protected.
  • The disk is damaged.

Solutions to Invalid Media or Track 0 Bad Disk Unusable

Solution 1. Check the disk connection.

To rule out disk connection issues, you can replace the USB cable/port, or connect your drive like an SD card to another computer and check if the problem persists.

Solution 2. Remove write protection.

As mentioned above, if your drive is write-protected, the error message “invalid media or track 0 bad” may occur. So, in this situation, you need to remove the write protection of the disk by referring to How to Remove Write Protection on Micro SD Card – 8 Ways.

Solution 3. Format the disk to another file system.

When you are trying to format the disk with an improper file system, the track 0 bad error may appear. To resolve this issue, you can try to use a professional third-party partition manager to format the disk to another file system.

MiniTool Partition Wizard is such a reliable partition management tool that can help to format your drive easily.

Step 1. Download, install, and run MiniTool Partition Wizard.

MiniTool Partition Wizard FreeClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

Step 2. On the home page of MiniTool Partition Wizard, select the target drive that needs to be formatted and then scroll down to choose Format Partition from the left panel.

format the drive

Step 3. Set up the partition label, file system, and cluster size. After that, click OK.

Step 4. Click the Apply button located in the lower left corner to make pending operations take effect.

Solution 4. Repair bad sectors.

The bad sector is one of the main causes of the track 0 bad error. To check whether there is a bad sector on your disk, you have the option of running CHKDSK, which will identify and flag the faulty sectors on the hard drive as unusable. As a result, the operating system will bypass these bad blocks in the future.

Here are the steps to detect bad sectors.

Step 1. Run Command Prompt as administrator.

Step 2. In the command line window, type chkdsk drive letter: /f /r and press Enter. Remember to replace the drive letter with the actual one. For example, you can type chkdsk e: /f /r.

run chkdsk

Step 3. You will be prompted that chkdsk cannot run because the volume is being used by another process. Here you are required to type Y and press Enter to continue. Then the volume will be checked the next time the system restarts.

Top Recommendation

If CHKDSK detects bad sectors in the disk, it is suggested that you back up the data. When it comes to data backup, MiniTool ShadowMaker is recommended.

MiniTool ShadowMaker is a professional and reliable data backup tool that is helpful for automatic file backup, folder backup, system backup, disk backup, and so on.

MiniTool ShadowMaker TrialClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

See Also: Can We Remove Bad Sector from Hard Disk Permanently?

Solution 5. Rebuild MBR.

Rebuilding MBR is also a feasible solution for the track 0 bad error. You can use MiniTool Partition Wizard to rebuild MBR.

Solution 6. Replace the drive with a new one.

If you still receive the “Invalid media or Track 0 bad – disk unusable” error after trying all the solutions above, the issue may be caused by the failure of magnetic media on the disk (maybe because of scratch or rough production process).

In this case, you can’t repair the disk. And, the only solution is to abandon it and use a new one.

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Bottom Line

Now, it’s your turn to repair your track 0 bad disk!

If you have any other great solutions to fix track 0 Micro SD card, please share them with us by leaving them in the following comment zone. Thanks in advance!

If you have any questions about recovering lost data from a drive that reports the “invalid media or track 0 bad” error, please feel free to contact us via [email protected]

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