Can You Convert/Format RAW Drive to NTFS Without Losing Data

When your hard drive becomes RAW, keep calm. All you need to do is follow the two parts to convert RAW to NTFS safely. Part 1: recover data from a RAW drive to avoid data loss. Part 2: format the RAW disk to NTFS. Read on to learn more details.

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Does your drive have changed to the RAW file system all of a sudden? Here, you are going to find three effective ways to format RAW to NTFS

Before you take actions to format a RAW drive, you must understand what is a RAW drive? What does a RAW drive mean?

What Does A RAW Drive Mean in Windows 10/8.1/8/7

The RAW drive means that the file system is corrupted. The system can't identify whether it is FAT, NTFS, EXT2 or EXT3, etc. You can't access this RAW drive, or use files on this drive. The issue can be caused by many reasons - virus infection, format failure, accidentally shut down the Operating System, power outages, etc. If a disk becomes RAW, possible (but not all) symptoms are:

  • Invalid media type reading drive. Abort, Retry, Fail?
  • The file system is displayed as "RAW" - RAW file system
  • Windows may ask if you want to format the drive, such as warning "disk not formatted. Do you want to format now?"
  • File names contain "weird" characters
  • Receive "Sector not found" messages

If you get any of the error messages mentioned above when you are trying to access a drive, it suggests that the drive has become RAW. If you don't know how to get started, here are some instructions that can help.

How to Recover Data from RAW Drive Before Formatting

When the file system of the hard drive becomes RAW, the hard drive couldn't be accessed. You may wonder how to convert the RAW drive to NTFS. Some users may suggest formatting RAW to NTFS directly. However, one more important thing that you should first do is to save data on the hard drive. Thus, before you converting RAW to NTFS, recover data from the RAW drive first. There is a lot of RAW drive recovery software, but the most powerful and efficient one is EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Professional.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for RAW and Formatted Drive

  • Recover lost or deleted files, documents, photos, audio, music, emails effectively
  • Recover files from formatted hard drive, emptied recycle bin, memory card, flash drive, digital camera, and camcorders
  • Support data recovery for sudden deletion, formatting, hard drive corruption, virus attack, system crash under different situations

This data recovery software guides you to precisely locate and recover all of the lost files from your PC, laptop, hard drive, SSD, USB, memory card, digital camera, etc. Follow the steps below to recover data from the RAW partition.

Step 1. Select and scan the RAW partition

If the RAW partition contains a partition label, you can directly select it and click "Scan" to look for the lost files. 

If the RAW partition lost its label, it will be recognized as "Lost Partition", just select the "Lost Partition" and click "Scan" to find the lost data.

select RAW partition and click scan

Step 2. Preview found data from the scan result

When the scanning completes, find the lost files in "Other Lost Files" folder. You can also use "Files Lost Original Name" or "Tags" to locate the files in RAW partition. "Filter" > "Type" can help you to locate a specific type of file.

Then, check and double-click to preview found files. 

scan the lost partition to find desired data

Step 3. Recover found data from RAW partition

Select all found files and click "Recover" to get all the data back.

Select another secure location to save the found data and click "OK" to start the RAW recovery.

recover all found data from RAW partition

If your hard drive or SSD becomes RAW due to a virus attack, improper operations, bad sectors, or power outage, you can try to format this RAW partition to NTFS.

Solution 1. How to Format RAW to NTFS with Disk Management

Usually, in Disk Management, you can right-click on the RAW drive and select "Format" to convert RAW to NTFS in Windows 10. Here are the steps:

Step 1. Go to This PC or Disk Management, and right-click on the RAW partition or drive, select "Format".

Step 2. Set the Volume Label, File System (NTFS), and Allocation unit size. 

Step 3. Click "OK" to start the operation. 

convert RAW to NTFS with disk management

After reformatting, you can access and use the RAW partition.

Solution 2. Convert RAW to NTFS via Software (4 Simple Steps)

If the first solution cannot do you a favor, you can turn to professional RAW to NTFS converter for help. EaseUS free partition tool with disk formatting feature is a nice choice. It can help you format the RAW drive to NTFS, FAT32, or other file systems in Windows 10/8/7 with ease. See the details below:

Step 1. Launch EaseUS Partition Master.

Right-click on the RAW partition or RAW external hard drive/USB/SD card that you need to format and choose "Format".

Format RAW Drive Partition - Step 1

Step 2. Format RAW Partition and reset the file system.

Assign a new partition label, set the file system to NTFS/FAT32/EXT2/EXT3, and cluster size to the selected partition, then click "OK".

Format RAW Drive Partition - Step 2

Step 3. In the Warning window, click "OK" to continue.

Format RAW Drive Partition - Step 3

Step 4. Execute the operations.

Click the "Execute Operation" button in the top-left corner to view all the changes, then click "Apply" to start formatting your RAW partition/USB/SD/external hard drive.

Format RAW Drive Partition - Step 4

Solution 3. How to Convert RAW to NTFS via CMD

If you are familiar with CMD, you can run Command Prompt to convert RAW to NTFS. How to convert RAW to NTFS file system with CMD? Just follow the guide.

Step 1. Press the Windows logo key + R to open the Run dialog box.

Step 2. Enter cmd to open the command prompt window.

Step 3. Type the following command and press "Enter".

  • diskpart
  • list disk
  • select disk n 
  • clean
  • create partition primary
  • active

n means the disk number of your external hard drive which contains the RAW partition

Then, type format fs=ntfs and hit the "enter" button.


There are three solutions to convert RAW to NTFS. Method 2 is the most recommended one, for it is easy and fast. One important thing is that, no matter what method you are taking, recover data first. EaseUS RAW drive recovery software supports recovering RAW drive data within three steps.

Do You Need Specialized Data Recovery Services?
You may need further help for tough data loss situations like reformatting drive, RAW disk, partition loss, repartition failures, and system boot error. Consult with EaseUS Data Recovery Experts for cost-efficient one-on-one manual recovery service. They could offer the following services after FREE diagnosis:
1. Unformat the drive
2. Repair the RAID, RAW disk, or operating system
3. Recover lost partition (the one that cannot be recovered by software)

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Updated by Daisy

Daisy is the Senior editor of the writing team for EaseUS. She has been working in EaseUS for over ten years, starting from a technical writer to a team leader of the content group. As a professional author for over 10 years, she writes a lot to help people overcome their tech troubles.

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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.

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