Sony NEX-5N unable to use memory card

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Jan 22, 2014
So I have this Sony NEX-5N that I've been using for a while now, but suddenly I'm having this issue where the camera says that it can not use the memory card. When I power on the camera it says on a white screen that says, "Unable to use memory card. Format?" I tap on the screen and press the middle button the confirm the format but that does nothing. Nothing happens when I press the button or tap the screen. I find this issue odd because of that fact that even if I don't have the memory card in the camera this white screen still shows up. I don't know if this helps but, this issue started after I recharged the battery...
Please help me in any way that you can!
Thanks in advance.


Did you try a different memory card? They do go bad after some time depending on usage and wear out.

I would also try the card in a card reader on a computer and see if it formats.

Between the two moves, you will be able to isolate the issue to the card, or the camera.


Mar 12, 2016
I had an identical problem after my kid dropped the camera. After some research I found out that there is an internal spring loaded mechanism on the internal side wall of the card reader that is designed to detect the position of the SD card lock switch. However if the mechanism is bent or broken it can incorrectly sense the position of the switch telling you the card is in read-only mode when it is not. At first I tried to use a small hair clip to dislodge the spring mechanism, however that failed. Then I did something interesting that worked. I moved the SD read only switch only half way between the lock and un-lock position, Like magic the camera was happy again and something that simple saved me what would have been a very expensive replacement of an otherwise fully functional camera. Hope it works for you too.

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