Unable to detect SD card after writing file using balenaEtcher

Just got started with a Jetson Nano and was given a micro SD card to work with. It was a spare SD card that my coworker was using for deployment (FYI he was working on Nano as well) and he said I could format the SD card and setup the Nano with the installation guide from Nvidia. However, right from the start I was unable to access the SD card on my laptop (no popups, was not detected) and I thought it was just faulty. But the weird thing is that very same SD card was able to boot when inserted into the Nano.

I had a second SD card and decided to follow the set up instructions using it instead. I was able to write the file with balenaEtcher on my laptop (meaning the SD card was detected by my laptop) and boot the Nano. However, when I inserted the SD card back into my laptop a few hours after it was unable to be detected just like the first SD card. Any idea on why this is happening and anyway I can format the entire SD card?

Well. Etcher does a verification pass so if you wrote the .zip, it should boot. You may wish to verify your download with md5sum just to ensure no accidental corruption while downloading. If you’re sure the image is good, what happens when you boot (do you get an error message, blank screen, etc)? Did the particular Nano ever work?

Hi, thanks for your input. Yes, the Nano is still working fine but I think because I kept on installing packages there seems to be some ‘system error’ which popped up after a few days of using it. I didn’t worry too much about that because it was not present when I first booted the Nano.
Is it possible to check if the SD card is corrupted on windows because that’s the OS of my laptop used to write the SD card or should I do so on the Nano using md5sum since my laptop is unable to detect the SD card at all.
One thing to note is that the SD card can be detected when I run Disk Management but no drive letter or whatsoever is assigned to the particular SD card.

Windows cannot read Linux file systems. The file format is different so Windows does not automatically recognize the SD card. It may recognize a little bit. For example, with Raspberry Pi, it can recognize the boot partition but not the rest of the OS. I believe there are tools to read it but you don’t need that if you are just trying to reflash the SD card. Balena Etcher is smart and can detect the SD card even if Windows does not list it as a drive.

Thanks for your help! I just realised this point and was able to flash my image on it using balenaEtcher despite not having a drive assigned. Cheers.

You didn’t have something else plugged in by chance? Etcher will warn you If you try to write to a large drive, but it will happily let you overwrite a USB stick.

Nope, nothing else plugged in! Yes, I was able to flash my image despite not having a drive assigned. That’s good enough for me, thanks for helping!

My recollection is that if there are no partitions windows can read you won’t see any drive letters assigned, but don’t quote me on that since windows is not my daily driver. I know the “disk management” applet will show you everything. I think you can just hit the windows key, type “disk management” and you should see it in the results.

You can use that to view partitions that haven’t been assigned letters. In any case, Etcher should be able to flash the device anyway. It shouldn’t need a drive letter to flash. A drive letter is just a mount point for a partition, not the raw block device.