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

If you see the "The type of file system is RAW. Chkdsk is not available for RAW drives" message while running CHKDSK, you can't open your device and access your files on it. To fix this, use a data recovery program like the one from EaseUS to recover files from your inaccessible drive, and then format the drive to fix the issues on it.

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Table of Contents

Applies to: Local/external hard drives, USB flash drives, SD cards, Memory cards, and more.

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

You may get the "The type of the file system is RAW. CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives." error 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 failed to run CHKDSK on your drive due to a problem with the file system of your device.

What Does RAW File System Mean?

The RAW file system is a file system that your computer can't recognize. The following are the reasons your hard drive or storage device like a USB flash drive or memory card’s file system goes RAW:

  • The file system is missing or damaged
  • The RAW drive has not been formatted with a file system
  • The computer can't recognize the current file system of the drive

When your hard drive or storage medium becomes RAW, running CHKDSK will fail and you will get a message that says "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?" Also, you cannot open your drive and access files stored 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 goes RAW, it becomes inaccessible and unusable. To make it ready for data storage again, you need to convert RAW to NTFS or other Windows-compatible file systems by formatting. When you format your drive, you can assign a new file system to it and thus make it usable. However, as you may know, formatting erases 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 directly format your hard drive if there is no data on it or you don't need the files stored on it.

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. Not only does this software help recover deleted data, formatted data, lost partitions, but it also helps recover files from the drives that have gone RAW and have thus become inaccessible.

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

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Note: To restore all your lost files, install EaseUS data recovery software on another disk instead of the RAW disk where you lost files.

Step 1. Locate and Scan the RAW Hard Drive

Locate the RAW drive with its original drive letter and then click "Scan". If the RAW drive has lost its label, it will be detected as "Lost Partition", select it and click "Scan". 

The program will automatically scan all lost files and data on the RAW drive.

select the raw drive

Step 2. Find and Preview the Found Data on the RAW Drive

When the scan process finishes, find lost RAW drive data in "Other Lost Files" or "Files Lost Original Name". The "Filter" and "Search" features can also help locate specific types of files with ease.

You can double-click a file to preview it. 

scan the raw drive

Step 3. Restore and Save Data Out of the RAW Drive

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

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 may now format the drive using one of the three ways below:

Method 1. Format RAW Drive with File Explorer

Step 1. Open This PC, right-click the RAW partition, and select Format.

Step 2. Select a file system (NTFS, FAT32, or exFAT) for your drive and click Start.

Step 3. Select Yes in the prompt to start formatting your 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 you can use to create, delete, and modify a computer's disk partitions, including formatting the partition.

Step 1. Press Windows + R, type diskpart, and hit Enter.

Step 2. Enter the following commands hitting Enter after each line:

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 A Format Tool

If you prefer to keep it simple, use free partition software - EaseUS Partition Master to format your drive. In addition to what formats the Windows OS supports, this tool supports EXT2 and EXT3 as well. The other tool features include the ability to merge, check, and delete partitions.

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

The Bottom Line

There are several reasons the "The type of the file system is RAW. CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives" error occurs. Your PC might be infected with a virus, there's a format failure, you accidentally shut down your PC, power outages, and many more factors are responsible for this error.

Luckily, you can recover files from your RAW inaccessible drives and then format the drives to make them reusable. If you found this guide useful, we'd appreciate it if you share it with the people who need this guide.

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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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Approved by Mahesh Makvana

Mahesh is an experienced comuter 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.

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