The card error on the GoPro Hero 7 indicates there is an issue with the SD card you are using with the camera. This error typically shows when the camera is unable to read or write to the SD card properly. There are several potential causes and solutions for the GoPro Hero 7 card error which we will cover in detail.
What Causes the GoPro Hero 7 Card Error?
Here are some of the most common reasons you may get the card error on your GoPro Hero 7:
- Using an incompatible, slow, or defective SD card
- The SD card is full and there is no space left for the camera to write files
- The file system on the SD card is corrupted
- There are bad sectors on the SD card
- The SD card contacts are dirty or damaged
- The SD card is not inserted properly into the camera
- The camera’s SD card reader is faulty
Let’s go over each of these potential causes in more detail:
Incompatible, Slow, or Defective SD Card
One of the most common reasons for the GoPro Hero 7 card error is that you are using an SD card that is not fully compatible with the camera. The Hero 7 requires an SD card that is Class 10 or UHS-I rated for optimal performance. Using a slower card that does not meet these speed requirements will result in issues recording or accessing files on the card.
Likewise, if the SD card is defective or damaged it can cause data transfer issues or prevent the camera from being able to read files on the card properly. Always make sure you are using a high quality, name brand SD card from a reputable manufacturer that is rated for HD video recording.
SD Card is Full
If the SD card you are using is completely full, the camera will not be able to save new photos or videos to it. This will result in the card error displaying when you try to record. You’ll need to free up space on the card by transferring files to your computer or another storage device.
As a rule of thumb, you should aim to keep at least 10% of the SD card storage space free at all times. This allows new files to be recorded without filling up the card completely.
Corrupted File System
The file system on an SD card can sometimes become corrupted. This means the data structure that manages the files on the card has errors and prevents proper reading/writing. File system corruption on an SD card can happen if the card was not properly ejected from a computer or device before being removed. Improperly formatting the card can also cause file system issues.
When the Hero 7 cannot make sense of the corrupted file system, you will get the card error. The only way to fix a corrupted file system is to reformat the SD card.
Bad sectors are small physical defects on different parts of the SD card that make those areas of the card unusable. As an SD card ages and endures normal wear and tear, bad sectors can start to develop.
If the Hero 7 attempts to read or write files to a bad sector on the card, it will be unable to complete the operation and give you the error message. The only true fix is to replace SD cards that have developed multiple bad sectors.
Dirty or Damaged SD Card Contacts
The small metal contacts on your SD card are what allows the Hero 7 camera to communicate with the card. If these fingers get dirty or sustain physical damage, then the connection between the camera and card can be interrupted resulting in card errors.
You can try cleaning the contacts gently with a cotton swab and rubbing alcohol. If the contacts appear damaged or scratched, you may need to replace the SD card.
Improperly Inserted SD Card
Another simple issue that can cause the GoPro Hero 7 card error is if the SD card is not fully inserted into the camera. The SD card slot on the GoPro has a spring mechanism that needs to click the card firmly into place. If the card comes loose or is not mounted properly, you will get errors trying to access the files.
Be sure to insert the SD card fully into the camera until it clicks. Check that the card sits flush within the card slot and does not protrude at all.
Faulty Camera SD Card Reader
In rare cases, the SD card reader hardware inside your GoPro Hero 7 camera could be faulty. If the internal card reader has any physical defects or damage to the pins, card communication will be disrupted and result in errors.
You can test with multiple known good SD cards to help determine if your GoPro itself has a hardware issue. Any consistent card errors across different cards likely indicate a problem with the camera rather than the cards themselves.
How to Fix the GoPro Hero 7 Card Error
Based on the potential causes we covered, here are the steps you should take to troubleshoot and fix the card error on your GoPro Hero 7:
- Try removing and reinserting the SD card to make sure it is properly seated in the camera.
- Inspect the condition of the SD card contacts and clean them if necessary.
- Format the SD card in the GoPro camera to repair any file system issues.
- Copy files from the card to your computer to back up data, then format the card.
- Test the SD card in another device like a computer to see if the card is readable.
- Try a different SD card that meets the GoPro Hero 7 requirements.
- Update your camera to the latest firmware.
- Reset your GoPro to factory settings if necessary.
Let’s look at these troubleshooting steps in more detail:
Reseat the SD Card
Start by removing the SD card from your Hero 7 and examining it for any damage or dirt on the contacts. If needed, clean the contacts gently with a cotton swab and rubbing alcohol. Blow on the contacts to remove any residual dust.
With the GoPro powered off, reinsert the SD card fully into the card slot until it clicks into place. Power on the camera and see if the error persists.
Format the Card in the Camera
If reseating the SD card does not resolve the issue, the next step is to format the card using the GoPro’s built-in formatting function:
- Go to Settings > Delete All > Format SD Card
- Select Yes to confirm and wait for the formatting process to complete
Formatting through the camera will fix any file system corruption issues and delete bad sectors if possible. Just be aware formatting erases all data, so copy any important files off the card first.
Test the Card in a Computer
After formatting, remove the SD card and insert it into your computer or another device to see if it can be read properly. This will help determine if the issue is with the card or with your GoPro camera.
If the card shows up normally and the files are accessible on a computer but you still get card errors in the camera, then the issue is likely with the GoPro itself.
Try a Different SD Card
At this point, you’ll want to test with a different SD card that you know works properly in other devices. Use a name brand card that is Class 10 or UHS-I rated for best performance.
If a brand new SD card fixes the GoPro Hero 7 card error, then you know the original card was faulty or incompatible. You can either purchase a fresh card or try re-formatting your old card.
Update GoPro Firmware
Outdated camera firmware can also sometimes be the culprit behind SD card errors. Go to the settings on your GoPro Hero 7 and update to the latest available firmware version.
This ensures full compatibility with SD cards and may resolve quirks causing card errors after updating.
Reset GoPro to Factory Settings
If all else fails, resetting your GoPro Hero 7 camera back to factory default settings can help clear out any software bugs that may be interfering with the SD card reader.
Go to Settings > Reset > Factory Reset to wipe your camera back to a clean state. You will have to reconfigure your settings after resetting.
How to Avoid the SD Card Error
When using your GoPro Hero 7, following best practices around SD cards can help prevent card errors:
- Use name brand SD cards from reputable manufacturers
- Only use SD cards rated Class 10 or UHS-I
- Avoid cheap, off-brand, or counterfeit SD cards
- Format cards in the camera before first use
- Format cards on a regular basis to clear bad sectors
- Don’t remove cards while camera is recording or writing
- Always properly eject SD card before removing
- Keep SD cards away from dust, moisture, and extremes of temperature
- Don’t overfill SD cards – keep 10% free space minimum
The GoPro Hero 7 card error typically indicates some issue with reading or writing files to the SD card you have inserted in the camera. The most common fixes include reseating the SD card, formatting the card in the camera, testing the card in a computer, trying a different SD card, updating camera firmware, and resetting the GoPro to factory defaults.
With some troubleshooting and maintenance of your SD cards, you can avoid or resolve the Hero 7 card error to get back to capturing amazing footage with your GoPro.