What's RAW Drive Recovery

What does RAW drive mean? For a non-system disk, when you try to open it in Windows Explorer, it opens a window asking you to format the disk before you can use it. It's very likely that the disk has file system errors on it.

raw drive - you need to format the disk before you can use it

The "Format disk" usually fixes the hard drive problem, but it deletes data on it. If you do not format the disk, you'll get an error message that says "The volume does not contain a recognized file system. Please make sure that all required file system drivers are loaded and that the volume is not corrupted."

raw drive - the volume does not contain a recognized file system

This is quite a common hard drive issue in Windows 10/8.1/8/7. When you cannot open a local drive or a removable disk, like a USB flash drive or SD card this way, do not panic. It's usually because the hard disk file system has become RAW. Go to Windows Disk Management(This PC/My Computer - Manage - Disk Management) and you will see the RAW drive like this:

raw hard drive in disk management

In addition, there are many other symptoms that suggest your hard drive has become RAW. For instance:

(1) Run the chkdsk command. It will say "the type of the file system is RAW. CHKDSK is not available for RAW drive."

raw drive - the type of the file system is raw. chkdsk is not available for raw drives

(2) The computer cannot boot from the system disk and it says, "Operating system not found".

In conclusion, many reasons would turn a new or used hard drive into RAW, and we list some usual reasons here.

  • System failure
  • Power issues
  • Disconnection without safe ejection
  • Power off a computer in the wrong way
  • HDD/USB/Memory card malfunction, bad sectors, or corruption

If it's a new hard drive that you haven't used at all, directly format the disk and convert RAW to NTFS or other file systems as instructed. This will bring it back to normal. However, if it's a hard drive that carries plenty of data, you need to use professional RAW drive recovery software to recover data from RAW drive or partition. 

Read on to learn how to recover data from RAW drive with a professional RAW drive recovery tool. We also offer effective methods to help you fix a RAW HDD/USB flash drive/pen drive/SD card without losing any data. We hope all of you can easily resolve the RAW drive problem with this guide.

How to Recover Data from RAW Drive with EaseUS RAW Drive Recovery Software

It's sad to see a RAW drive and you have to format it to make it usable again. Formatting a hard disk helps allocate a recognizable file system like NTFS, FAT, or FAT32 to it, but disk formatting will completely remove data, and it's impossible to restore the lost data from the Recycle Bin. Therefore, we strongly suggest that you perform a RAW data recovery and export data from the raw drive before formatting it.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is such capable EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. It's super easy and quick to scan and recover data from RAW drive. 

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

One solid reason you should choose EaseUS RAW drive recovery software is that even if you’ve formatted the disk, you can still recover files from formatted hard drive without an issue. It works as an all-around expert in retrieving data after deletion, partition loss, disk formatting, or virus/trojan attack.

Video Tutorial: Recover Data from RAW Drive

EaseUS RAW drive recovery step-by-step guide:

Step 1. Select and scan the RAW partition

If the RAW partition contains a partition label, you can directly select it from drives list 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 initiate an overall scan on the RAW drive.

select RAW partition and click scan

Step 2. Preview found data from the scan result

After the scan is completed, all available files in the RAW hard drive will be displayed. View these files and find the files you want to recover. You can sort the scanned data by file format or search directly in the "Search files or folders" box. 

scan the lost partition to find desired data

Step 3. Recover data from RAW partition

Select all files and click "Recover" to get all the data back. Select another internal or external hard drive to save the recovered data and click "OK" to start RAW drive recovery.

recover all found data from RAW partition

How to Recover Data from RAW Drive with Data Recovery Services

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

Consult with EaseUS data recovery experts for one-on-one manual RAW 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.

How to Fix RAW Drive Without Losing Data or Without Formatting

After recovering data from RAW partition with EaseUS raw data recovery program, you can continue to fix the RAW HDD, SD card, or USB drive by formatting it in various ways.  For example, you can use EaseUS free partition management tool to format the RAW drive to FAT, NTFS, EXT effortlessly.

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/EXT4/exFAT, and cluster size to the selected partition, then click "OK".

Format RAW Drive Partition - Step 2

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

Format RAW Drive Partition - Step 3

Step 4. Execute the operations.

Click the "Execute 1 Task(s)" button in the lower right 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

In addition to formatting partition, EaseUS Partition Master Free provides other comprehensive partition and disk management solutions for your Windows computer. Other features are: Resize/move partitions, create, format, delete, and merge partitions; copy and clone an entire disk, convert FAT to NTFS partition, convert MBR disk to GPT or GPT disk to MBR, and so on. 

In addition to using EaseUS Partition Master to format a RAW drive, you can also use Disk Management, Windows File Explorer, or Diskpart command to do the job. 

How to Fix RAW Drive Without Formatting

If formatting doesn't work, or if you don't want to format your RAW hard drive for data security, then how to repair RAW partition without data loss in this case? Here is how: turn to EaseUS 1-on-1 remote manual assistance. The EaseUS technical experts can fix your RAW SD card, USB flash drive, pen drive, or external hard drive without formatting it, ensuring that the repaired partition is the same as the original drive and that there is no loss of data. Any type of complex data loss problem can be solved.

Do You Need Specialized Data Recovery Services?
You might require further help in extreme 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 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)

To Sum Up

The possible causes of a RAW drive are bad sectors on the device, corrupted partition table, virus, or malware attack. By using a reliable RAW drive recovery tool, like EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, you can recover data from RAW partitions with ease.

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

Although RAW drive data recovery can be done in most cases, it is still advisable for you to note the following things to avoid turning a drive into a RAW drive again:

  • Safely eject the external drive
  • Back up important data regularly
  • Use an advanced file system such as NTFS file system

RAW Drive Recovery Tips  

Learn more about the RAW file system and how to recover data from RAW drive below.

What is a raw drive?

RAW file system indicates a state of your hard drive, which has no or unknown file system. Regardless of whether the memory card, computer hard drive, or other device displays as RAW drive, you cannot access the data inside. The RAW file system is not a standard file system. When a hard drive shows RAW, the operating system cannot recognize it. The quick way to repair the RAW file system is to format the drive, but sometimes it may not work.

How do I recover files from a raw drive?

Here's how to recover files from a RAW drive with EaseUS RAW drive recovery software in three steps:

Step 1. Locate and scan the RAW hard drive.

Step 2. Find and preview found data in the RAW drive.

Step 3. Restore and save RAW drive data.

How do I restore a RAW partition to NTFS?

You can change RAW to NTFS using Disk Management:

  • Right-click the Start button and choose Disk Management. 
  • Find your RAW storage device (SD memory card, hard disk, USB flash drive, etc.).  
  • Right-click on the RAW drive and choose Format. Then, follow the on-screen instruction to format your device to the NTFS file system.

How do I fix a RAW drive without formatting?

To fix a RAW drive without formatting it or without losing data, turn to the 1-on-1 manual assistance of EaseUS for help. The EaseUS technical experts provide you help for extreme data loss situations, like reformatting drive, RAW disk, partition loss, repartition failures, and system boot error. They can fix your RAW storage device without formatting it and making sure the repaired partition is the same as the original drive. 

Was This Page Helpful?

Updated by Brithny

Brithny is a technology enthusiast, aiming to make readers' tech life easy and enjoyable. She loves exploring new technologies and writing technical how-to tips. On her spare time, she loves sharing things about her favorite singer - Taylor Swift on her Facebook or Twitter.

Read full bio

Approved by Mahesh Makvana

Mahesh is an experienced computer tech writer. He's been writing tech how-to guides for about 8 years now and has covered many topics. He loves to teach people how they can get the most out of their devices.

Read full bio