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How to Format RAW SD Card/USB Drive in Windows 11/10/8/7 [Latest Tips]

Updated by Tracy King on Feb 22, 2023

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Method 1. Format RAW SD Card/USB Drive Without Data Loss

Recover Data from RAW SD Card First...Full steps

Format RAW SD Card with RAW SD Card...Full steps

Method 2. Fix RAW SD Card/USB Drive Without Formatting Here is the way out by turn to EaseUS 1-on-1 remote manual assistance. The EaseUS technical experts....Full steps

SD Card Becomes RAW, How to Format RAW SD Card

"I can't format my SD card in the camera. When I connect it to my Windows 11/10 PC, only to find that my Micro 32gb SD card changed to the RAW file system. And when I tried to format the card, Windows failed to do the job. How to format RAW SD card? I have some important photos on the SD card, can I format RAW SD card without losing data.”

raw SD card

Overview of RAW SD card, USB drive or hard disk formatting issue

Sometimes, when you plug your SD card, USB flash drive, pen drive, or external hard drive into PC, you get disk not formatted or you need to format the disk in drive error. And when you try to run CHKDSK to check and repair the error, you may receive another message saying, "This type of file system is RAW. Chkdsk is not available for RAW drives". When the error happens, the SD card or any other USB drives has become RAW and inaccessible.

It is a rather common problem Micro SD Card, HDD, SSD, USB flash drive, pen drive, or other data storage device's file system is corrupted and becomes RAW. The possible reasons for RAW SD card may be:

  • There are some bad sectors on the Micro SD card
  • The partition table of the SD card gets corrupted
  • Virus or malware attack 

In this case, you need to return RAW to FAT32, NTFS, or any other file system by formatting to use the SD card or USB drive again. It's not difficult to format RAW SD card, but the point is how can we format RAW USB without losing the data? Let's figure it out with two easy methods. 

How to Format RAW SD Card/USB Drive Without Data Loss

Try the following two methods to fix and format RAW SD card effortlessly. 

Method 1. Format RAW USB/SD Card/Pendrive Without Data Loss

In case if your SD card contains crucial files you need before you format the RAW SD card, we highly recommend you use a professional data recovery program to restore your data in advance.

#1. Important: Recover Data from RAW SD Card First

Usually, the SD card, pen drive, or USB drive tends to be RAW all of a sudden, in which case there might be a lot of important files on the device. To fix and repair the RAW SD card, you need to restore the files first. How to recover data from RAW partition? Turn to EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for help, which is good at RAW partition recovery with a few clicks.

If your files are small than 2GB, you can use its free version to recover files from RAW SD card for free.

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

#2. How to Format RAW SD Card with RAW SD Card Formatting Tool

To format SD card, the easiest way is to use a RAW SD card formatting tool. EaseUS Partition Master, is recommended as the best RAW SD card format software. It can help you easily format RAW SD card, USB flash drive, pen drive or external hard drive from RAW to NTFS, FAT32, EXT2, EXT3 in Windows 11/10/8/7.

Free Download 

Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure

In addition to formatting partition, EaseUS Partition Master provides other full around partition and disk management solutions for your Windows computer, for instances:

  • Resize/move partitions (the Pro version allows to move space from D drive to C drive directly), create, format, delete, and merge partitions
  • Copy and clone an entire disk to another even the target partition is smaller than the source
  • Convert a logical partition to primary or primary partition to logical, FAT to NTFS partition, MBR disk to GPT, or GPT disk to MBR
  • Completely wipe out all the data on the hard disk to prevent information from being leaked or recovered
  • Migrate OS to SSD to speed up Windows to upgrade hard disk and speed up Windows

Now, download and install this disk management program to format RAW SD card with a few clicks.

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

Method 2. Fix RAW SD Card/USB/Pendrive Without Formatting

If formatting doesn't work, or if you don't want to format your RAW SD card in terms of data security, how to repair RAW SD card without data loss? Here is the way out by turn to EaseUS 1-on-1 remote manual assistance. The EaseUS technical experts can fix RAW SD card, USB flash drive, pen drive, or external hard drive without formatting, ensure that the repaired partition is the same as the original drive, and there will be no loss of data. Any complex data loss problems can be solved.

Video Guide - How to Recover Lost File from SD Card

  • 0:30 When You Lost SD Card Files, Here Is What to Do:
  • 2:58 Plug in the SD Card
  • 3:43 Step 1. Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard.
  • 4:15 Step 2. Wait for the scanning process to complete.
  • 4:40 Step 3. Select files and click "Preview" to check lost files.

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)

To Sum Up

You have two ways to format RAW SD card without data loss:

1. Use EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to restore SD card files at first, then format RAW SD card or USB drive with EaseUS hard drive formatting tool. After formatting, copy the data back to the formatted memory card.

Free Download 

Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure

2. Use EaseUS manual data recovery service, repair the RAW SD card in its original location without formatting. And the files on the SD card will be intact.

How to Format RAW SD Card FAQs

The following are the four frequently asked questions on how to format RAW SD card, pen drive, or USB flash drive. Check the brief answers to these problems. 

How do I format a raw SD card?

The simplest way to format RAW SD card or USB drive is using an easy formatting tool:

Step 1. Download and launch EaseUS Partition Master. Right-click on the RAW SD card/pen drive/USB flash drive that you need to format and choose Format.

Step 2. Assign a new partition label, set the file system to NTFS/FAT32/EXT2/EXT3, and cluster size to the selected partition, then click OK.

Step 3. On the pop-up Warning window, click OK to continue.

Step 4. Click the Execute Operation button in the top-left corner to view all the changes, then click Apply to start to format RAW USB/SD/external hard drive.

How do you format SD card if it is not formatting? 

You can format SD card with Disk Management or File Explorer:

1. Format SD card/USB/pen drive using File Explorer: In File Explorer, right-click on the RAW SD card. Select Format > Set NTFS or FAT32 File System. Click OK.

2.Format SD card or USB flash drive using Disk Management: Right-click on This PC > Manage > Disk Management. Find the RAW SD card and right-click on it. Choose Format and select the file system, which can be FAT, exFAT, FAT32, or NTFS. Click OK.

How do I format a raw SD card to fat32?

You can format RAW SD card to FAT 32 using Command Prompt:

Step 1. Connect the RAW SD card to the PC. Right-click on Win + X and select Command Prompt (Administrator), then press the Enter button. Now type diskpart and press Enter again.

Step 2. Type list disk and hit Enter again. Select your RAW SD card and type: Disk F format fs=FAT32. (Replace F with the drive letter of your RAW SD card and, instead of FAT32, you can input exFAT, FAT or NTFS).

Step 3. Press Enter to format RAW SD card using Diskpart. After formatting, safely unplug the SD card and install it again.

How do I force an SD card to format?

To force format SD card, follow the tips below.

Step 1. Place the SD card into a card reader. Slide the card reader into the computer's card reader slot.

Step 2. Go to My Computer/This PC and find the SD card drive under Devices and Drives. Right-click the SD, then click the Format action in the drop-down menu. The Option Setting box will open for the SD card.

Step 3. Click the drop-down bar next to Format Type and choose the Quick option.

Step 4. Select Off in the second drop-down menu to the Format Size Adjustment option. Click OK to manually start to format the SD card. When the SD card is formatted, a notification will appear, displaying the amount of space available for the memory card. 

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About the Author

Updated by Tracy King

Tracy joined in EaseUS in 2013 and has been working with EaseUS content team for over 10 years. Being enthusiastic in computing and technology, she writes tech how-to articles and share technical solutions to resolve Windows & Mac data recovery, data backup, partition management, data transfer, Windows update issues, etc.

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