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How to Format SD Card Without Losing Data

SD card become raw and inaccessible? Recover or export all your files with EaseUS file recovery software allows you to fromat SD card without losing data.

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.6
 

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 Data Recovery Wizard 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 4.6

The process just takes a few simple steps.

Step 1. Select the SD card to scan

  • Download and install EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard on your Windows PC.
  • Use the proper way to connect your SanDisk/Lexar/Transcend SD card to the computer. 
  • Open EaseUS SD card recovery software. All connected drives will display here. Select your SD card and click "Scan".
select the sd card and click scan

Step 2. Check for scan results

  • Wait for the scanning process to complete.
  • Click "Filter" and specify one or several file types to show up, like Pictures, Word, Excel, PDF, Videos and so on.
  • Click "Preview" to check if they are the wanted files.
find wanted sd card files

Step 3. Recover SD card data

  • Choose desired files and click "Recover".
  • Choose a different location to save the recovered files instead of the original SD card.
recover sd card files

If the data recovery software failed to restore RAW files, you still have a good chance of retrieving the data by using EaseUS RAW recovery services.

Consult with EaseUS data recovery experts for one-on-one manual recovery service. We could offer the following services after FREE diagnosis:

  • Repair damaged RAW drive without formatting<
  • Recover data from RAW drive, including BitLocker encrypted drives
  • Recover RAW partition, RAW USB, RAW flash drive, RAW external hard drive, etc.

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 free partition manager. 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. For the first time you use EaseUS Todo Backup to back up files, click Create backup on the home screen and then mouse click the big question mark to select backup contents.

backup files step 1

Step 2. Since you're going to back up files and folders on your computer, go on with the "File" backup mode, where you can select pictures, videos, documents and all other types of files to back up.

backup files step 2

Step 3. Follow the paths to locate the files, folders or directories you want to back up, select them all and click "OK".

backup files step 3

Step 4. Now you need to select a backup location to save and retain the backup.

backup files step 3

Step 5. EaseUS Todo Backup allows users to save the backup files to every device that is handy for you, like a local hard drive, external USB drive, SD card, network drive, or a NAS drive, plus a cloud drive of the EaseUS brand. We personally recommend users to choose the cloud drive prior to a physical drive to save important backups due to the greater accessibility, flexibility and safety.

backup files step 5

To be able to access to EaseUS cloud, all you need is an email registration and login. 

backup files to cloud

Step 6. If you're interested in an automatic and intelligent backup schedule for the next file backup task, go on with the "Options" setting. There you can encrypt a confidential file backup, compress the backup image size, or customize a backup scheme to tell the software in what time to start the next backup. 

Customize an advanced and automatic backup task here:

backup scheme

Step 7. Click "Backup Now" to start the file backup process. Your completed backup files are visible on the left area in a card style.

backup files step 6

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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.

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Approved by Evan Galasso

Evan Galasso is a digital forensics and data recovery engineer with over 10 years of experience in the field. He presents opinions on the current state of storage media, reverse engineering of storage systems and firmware, and electro-mechanical systems of SSDs and HDDs.

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