Fixes for The Type of the File System Is RAW, CHKDSK Is Not Available for RAW Drives

If you receive "The type of file system is RAW. Chkdsk is not available for RAW drives" while running CHKDSK, you won't be able to open your device and access your files on it. To fix it, you can use EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to recover data from the inaccessible drive and then repair the RAW hard drive, USB, SD card, or other devices by formatting.

Table of Contents

Applies To: Local/External Hard Drive, USB Flash Drive, SD Card, Memory Card...

"The type of the file system is RAW. CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives."

You may receive "The type of the file system is RAW. CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives." when you attempt to use the CHKDSK command to check and repair disk errors like file system errors and bad sectors.

The type of the file system is RAW. CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives.

Feel familiar with the error message shown in the image above? This message means you fail to run CHKDSK on your drive due to the problematic file system of your device.

What Does RAW File System Mean

The RAW file system is a file system that can't be recognized by your computer. The file system of a hard drive or storage device like a USB or memory card may become RAW due to the following reasons:

  • The file system is missing or damaged
  • The RAW drive has not been formatted with a file system
  • The current file system of the drive is not recognized by the computer 

When your hard drive or storage medium becomes RAW, running CHKDSK will fail and you will get the message "The type of the file system is RAW. CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives." If you try to open the drive, you may get the notification "You need to format the disk in drive X before you can use it. Do you want to format it?" Besides, you cannot open your drive and access files existing on the device. 

How to Fix "The type of the file system is RAW. CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives."

When the file system of your drive or external storage device is RAW, it becomes inaccessible and unusable. To make it for data storage again, you need to convert RAW to NTFS or other Windows-compatible file systems by formatting. By formatting your drive, you can assign a new file system to it and thus make it usable. However, as you may know, formatting will erase the existing files on the storage medium. Thus, the procedures to fix the error "the type of the file system is RAW" are:

  • Recover data from the RAW drive
  • Format the drive

You can format your hard drive directly if there is no data in it or the files existing are not needed.

Procedure 1. Recover Data from the RAW Drive

Although you can't access the existing files on a RAW drive, a hard drive recovery software tool like EaseUS Data Recovery Software can. EaseUS data recovery software not only supports common deleted data recovery, formatted file recovery, lost partition recovery but also helps recover files from inaccessible drives when the file system becoming RAW, data not showing up in Windows, and more.

To recover data from your drive or storage device that reports RAW:

Step 1. Locate and scan the RAW hard drive.

On EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, locate the RAW drive and then click "Scan". The program will automatically scan all lost files and data on the RAW drive.

If the RAW drive lost its label, it will be detected as "Lost Partition".

select the raw drive

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

When the scanning process finishes, find lost RAW drive data in "Deleted Files", "Lost Files" or "Existing Files". Filter and Search features also can locate the found files with ease. Check and double-click each file to preview them. 

scan the raw drive

Step 3. Restore and save RAW drive data.

Choose the found files from RAW Drive and click "Recover" to save the items to a new location.

select files and click recover
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)

Procedure 2. Convert RAW to NTFS/FAT32 by Formatting

After retrieving all the files saved on the RAW drive, you can now format the device using one of the three ways below:

Method 1. Format RAW Drive via File Explorer

Step 1. Open "This PC". Right-click the RAW partition and choose "Format".

Step 2. Assign a file system (NTFS, FAT32, exFAT) to your device and click "Start".

Step 3. In the Warning window, click "Yes" to start formatting the drive.

Fix the type of the file system is RAW - format the drive in File Explorer

Method 2. Repair RAW to NTFS/FAT32 Using Diskpart

Diskpart is a command-line utility that is used to create, deleted, and modify a computer's disk partitions, including formatting the partition.

Step 1. Press "Windows + R" and enter diskpart. Click "Yes" in the prompt to run diskpart.exe.

Step 2. Then enter the command lines below in order:

list volume
select volume X ("X" means the volume number of the RAW drive)
format fs=ntfs quick (or format fs=fat32 quick)

Method 3. Change RAW to NTFS/FAT32 with Format Tool

One of the many features of the free partition software - EaseUS Partition Master is formatting. Unlike Windows built-in features that only allow you to convert RAW to NTFS, FAT32, or exFAT, this tool also helps you change the RAW file system to EXT2 or EXT 3. In addition, there are other features included in this software that you can use to manage your computer better, like merge partitions, check partitions, delete partitions, and more.

Format RAW drive with EaseUS Partition Master

To learn the details about how to format a hard drive using EaseUS Partition Master, you can refer to the article about how to format a hard drive in Windows 10.

The Bottom Line

"The type of the file system is RAW. CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives." caused by file system error can be caused by a virus infection, format failure, accidentally shutdown of the operating system, power outages, and other factors. Luckily, you can rescue your files from a RAW drive that is inaccessible and make your hard drive, USB, SD card... usable again by formatting. If this guide is useful to you, don't hesitate to share it with others to help them, too.

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Updated by Tracy King

Tracy is enthusiastic to share technical tips and solutions about computing and technology. Being an EaseUS member since 2013, she also writes instructional content about data recovery, file/disk partition/system backup and recovery, partition management and iOS/Android data recovery.

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Written by Jean

Author Jean has been writing tech articles since she was graduated from university. She has been part of the EaseUS team for over 5 years. Her special focuses are data recovery, disk partitioning, data space optimization, data backup and Mac OS. By the way, she's an aviation fan!

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