How to Format SD Card Without Losing Data

The SD card becomes RAW and the Windows asks you to format the SD card. What to do? Here are the solutions to format an SD card without losing data. Even your SD card becomes RAW or gets corrupted/damaged, you can still format the SD card by following the details below.

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.4

Table of Contents

SD Card Becomes RAW and Windows Asks to Format It

My SD card shows that there is a RAW file system on my camera. When I insert it to my laptop, an error message pops up saying "Micro sd card is not formatted, do you want to format it now?" But the thing is I don't want to lose my photos on the SD card. How can I convert RAW to NTFS or fat 32 without losing SD card files? 

Here's a video tutorial on converting the RAW file system to NTFS and how to recover data from a RAW system. Watch the guide and fix your RAW SD card.

SD cards are a popular storage device that is commonly used in digital cameras, mobile phones, and camcorders. Sometimes the card becomes RAW and inaccessible due to certain reasons: 

  • human mistakes
  • system errors
  • unexpected disasters

When you are faced with this error, Windows often asks you to format your devices. But this operation causes data loss too. How to format the RAW drive and keep your data safe. Here is the solution: recover data from the RAW SD card. Then format the SD card. 

Part 1. Restore Data from RAW/Inaccessible SD card 

The hard drive which has not been formatted by the NT file system, such as FAT and NTFS, is called the RAW hard drive. When your drive becomes RAW, you cannot access it. Meanwhile, its capacity used space, and unused space will all be shown as "zero". That is to say, all data originally saved in that "RAW" disk are lost. You can neither see them nor transfer them to a safe place for further use.

But a third-party data recovery program can access this RAW drive and get back data before formatting. EaseUS disk data recovery software is an ideal choice for recovering RAW drive data. It's fully compatible with all Windows and macOS. What's more, it allows users to restore data from an SD card, USB drive, HDD, etc.

EaseUS Data Recovery Software

  • Restore files from lost partitions, RAW drives, and formatted hard drives effectively.
  • Support data recovery for 1000 types of files like .png, .jpg, .doc, .mp4, .mkv, .exe. pdf, and more.
  • You can initiate, pause, or resume a data recovery scanning process at any time so you can customize your data recovery schedule.
 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.4

The process just takes a few simple steps.

Step 1. Select SD card to scan

  • Downoad and install EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard on your Windows PC.
  • Use the proper way to connect your SD card to the computer. Let Windows recognize the card and assign it a drive letter.
  • Launch EaseUS SD card recovery software. All connected drives will display here. Select your SD card according to its drive letter under the Devices section. Click "Scan" to start finding lost data on your SD card.
select the sd card and click scan

Step 2. Check for scan results

After the scanning process, you can click "Filter" and specify one or several file types to show up, like Pictures, Word, Excel, PDF, Videos and so on. This will help you quickly find wanted files of one kind.

find wanted sd card files

Step 3. Preview and recover data

  • After the scan, you can check and preview found files by double-clicking each one of them.
  • Choose desired files and click Recover.
  • Choose a different location to save the recovered files instead of the orginal SD card.
recover sd card files

Do You Need Specialized Data Recovery Services?
You may need further help for tough data loss situations like format errors, RAW disk, partition loss, repartition failures, and system boot error. Consult with EaseUS Data Recovery Experts to retrieve lost data in time.

Part 2. Format the RAW SD Card Without Losing Data

After restoring data from the RAW SD card, you can now format the RAW SD card to NTFS or FAT32 without losing data: 

1. Manually format your SD card

Step 1. Insert your SD card into a card reader and connect the card reader to your computer.

Step 2. Right-click "This PC", choose "Manage", enter "Disk Management".

Step 3. Locate and right-click on your SD card, choose "Format".

Step 4. Click "Yes" to continue, set a new label, file system - exFAT, FAT32, or NTFS to the card. Then click "OK" to format your SD card.

format your SD card

2. Format your SD card with software

Here, we recommend a third-party SD card formatting tool. It is totally free for SD card formatting. What's more, it is pretty easy and fast. To format SD cards in Windows 10 and all other operating systems, simply download and install the free partition manager on PC. 

Details: How to format an SD Card

Part 3. Back Up Files to Protect Your Data 

Take preventive measures before anything happens to you. If you have a backup of your SD card, you don't have to worry about the data loss problem. And backup can be one of the best ways to prevent data loss.

To back up files in advance, you need free file backup software. Here, EaseUS Todo Backup is my suggestion. With it, you can create a file backup. And you can enjoy more useful features during the process. You can set a schedule to back up files daily, weekly, or monthly. Besides, you can enjoy other features like disk clone, partition clone or system clone, and more. 

Step 1: Open EaseUS Todo Backup and select "File" as the backup mode.

click the file mode to back up files

Step 2: Select the files that you want to back up. You can quickly locate the desired files, folders or directories under the "User Defined" mode or "File Type" mode.

click file backup to back up files

Step 3: Next, click the Browse area to select a destination to save your backup file. EaseUS Todo Backup allows for a variety of backup locations that are available to you, including an internal and external storage drive, a cloud drive or a NAS drive. Among all the backup options, we recommend you the most secure and convenient to reach location - EaseUS Cloud.

choose easeus cloud to backup files

You can directly login the cloud drive with your account and password. If it's the first time you use the cloud drive, use your email to sign up.

log in easeus cloud to backup files

Step 4: Click "Proceed" to execute your operation.

Was This Page Helpful?

Updated by Cedric

Cedric Grantham is one of the senior editors of EaseUS who lives and works in Chengdu, China. He mainly writes articles about data recovery tutorials on PC and Mac and how-to tips for partition management. He always keeps an eye on new releases and likes various electronic products.

Read full bio

Written by Roxanne

Roxanne is one of the main contributors to EaseUS and has created multiple posts on digital devices like PCs, Mobile phones, tablets, Mac, etc. She loves to share ideas with people of the same interest.

Read full bio

Product Reviews

TrustScore 4.7 | 323 reviews
  • EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is a powerful system recovery software, designed to enable you to recover files you’ve deleted accidentally, potentially lost to malware or an entire hard drive partition.

    Read More
  • EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we have seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past.

    Read More
  • EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro has a reputation as one of the best data recovery software programs on the market. It comes with a selection of advanced features, including partition recovery, formatted drive restoration, and corrupted file repair.

    Read More