How to Convert RAW to NTFS Without Losing Data

Jean updated on Sep 16, 2020 to Resource | How-to Articles


When a hard disk or partition suddenly becomes RAW, you cannot access its data. The general solution to this issue is to convert RAW to NTFS. Given that, we will show you how to convert RAW to NTFS without losing data with the help of RAW file recovery software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard.

What Does RAW File System Mean

When an (external) hard drive, USB flash drive, partition become the RAW format, it indicates three kinds of possibilities.

  • The file system of the disk is not recognized by the operating system of your computer
  • There is no file system on your disk
  • The file system of your hard drive or partition is damaged

For example, Windows supports the file systems including FAT, NTFS, exFAT, Live File System, and ReFS. If you connect an external hard drive that is formatted with AFPS to your Windows computer, you will see the file system of the disk shown as RAW in its properties.

Systems of Hard Drive/Partition Becoming RAW

You can decide whether the file system is RAW in properties or in Disk Management. However, you can only realize that your external hard drive or USB device may become RAW after you receive the following notifications:

"You need to format the disk in drive X before you can use it."

"The disk in drive X is not formatted. Do you want to format it?"

"There was an error accessing drive X: The disk is not formatted."

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

Why Do You Need to Convert RAW to NTFS

When your hard drive or partition becomes RAW, you cannot access the files on it. Besides, you are not able to use it for data storage until you convert the RAW hard drive to NTFS by formatting. But how can you repair the RAW disk and convert RAW to NTFS without losing your data? 

As we all know, converting will remove all the existing files on your hard drive or partition. And since the files on a RAW hard drive/partition is inaccessible, you can not back up them before the operation. Luckily, it's practical to convert RAW to NTFS without losing anything.

How to Convert RAW to NTFS Without Losing Data

Simply speaking, you can convert RAW to NTFS without losing data by doing RAW file recovery first and then formatting the RAW device to NTFS.

# 1. Restore Data from the RAW Hard Drive/Partition

As long as you apply the professional hard drive recovery software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to perform RAW file recovery in advance, you can convert your RAW hard drive to NTFS without data loss. EaseUS data recovery software fully supports RAW file recovery on a local hard drive, external hard drive, disk partition, USB flash drive, SD card, and other storage devices. It enables you to easily restore data from RAW disk or partition under Windows 10/8/7/Vist and more without any obstacles. In addition, it's 100% secure for your computer system and data, no second damage will be caused.

To perform RAW disk/partition recovery:

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.

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

In addition to RAW file recovery, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is helpful in deleted files recovery, formatted file recovery, recycle bin emptied data recovery, lost partition recovery, virus attack recovery, and other tough data recovery situations.

There is more than one way to format a hard drive. Choose a preferable way to convert RAW to NTFS.

# 2-1. Convert RAW to NTFS by Formatting

Step 1. Open "This PC" (Windows 10), righ-click the RAW disk/partition, and choose "Format".

Step 2. Select the NTFS file system and set up other necessary options.

Step 3. Click "Start" > "OK".

How to convert RAW to NTFS

When the process has done, your hard drive or partition is usable again. You can copy the files recovered in the first step back to the disk according to your needs.

# 2-2. Convert RAW to NTFS via CMD

Using the command line to convert RAW to NTFS is not necessary but it's also a way to do it. With the correct command, you can change RAW hard disk/partition to NTFS.

Step 1. Search "Command Prompt", right-click it and choose "Run as administrator".

Step 2. Type convert X(driver letter): /fs:ntfs and hit "Enter".

Click to copy

Step 3. Type the mane of the partition or disk you want to convert to NTFS and press Enter.

After this all you need is to wait patiently, the partition will be converted from RAW to NTFS automatically. When it has done, you have successfully convert RAW to NTFS without losing data.

Bottom Line

Some of you may think that you can get back lost and inaccessible files after converting RAW disk drive to NTFS. But, it is not the case. The fact is that you need to rely on data recovery software to recover files from the raw drive. So, whenever you want to convert RAW disk drive to NTFS, format it after full data recovery.

FAQs About Convert RAW to NTFS

Besides the solutions for converting RAW to NTFS on hard drive, partition, you may have more problems than concern about RAW issues. Check and find answers with the following FAQs asked on Google. You may find the desired answer to your own question. 

1. How can I convert my raw hard drive to NTFS without losing data?

Generally, you can convert RAW to NTFS without losing data by doing RAW file recovery first and then formatting the RAW device to NTFS. To perform RAW file recovery, you will need a powerful data recovery software for help. And EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is worth to try.

By following the provided methods on this page, you will simply make your RAW drive back to work again.

2. How can I convert RAW to NTFS?

To convert a RAW device to NTFS, you can either use CMD command or formatting in Disk Management/File Explorer.

For a simple guide, you may use Disk Management to format your raw device to NTFS:

  1. Step 1. Open Disk Management and find your RAW storage devices (SD memory card, hard disk, USB flash drive, etc.)
  2. Step 2. Among the volumes, right-click on your device. Select the format and the file system (NTFS)。
  3. Step 3. Click OK.

3. How do I fix a raw external hard drive without formatting?

If you don't want to format a RAW external hard drive, you will need to convert RAW external hard drive in CMD. Here are the steps:

  1. Step 1. Connect the RAW external hard drive to your PC.
  2. Step 2. Click Start and search command, then right-click on it and afterward click Run as Administrator.
  3. Step 3. Type in Diskpart and then press Enter.
  4. Step 4. Type the following command and hit Enter each time:
  • list disk 
  • select disk * ( replace * with the drive letter of the RAW device) 
  • clean 
  • create partition primary
  • format fs=ntfs (or format fs=FAT32)
  • ssign letter=* (replace * with a new drive letter)

4. How do I recover data from a raw hard drive?

When a hard drive becomes RAW, you cannot access the saved data by simply double-clicking it in File Explorer. As the file system is not supported by the Windows system. As long as your computer can detect the drive, you still have a chance to recover the hard drive data.

Professional data recovery software like EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is able to scan the RAW drive and restore all data in only 3 steps. For a detailed guide, you may refer to RAW Recovery for help.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why choose EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard?

"EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we've seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past, but it's fast and efficient..."PCMag

"The first thing you'll notice about EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is that its interface is very clear and uncluttered, with only a small collection of self-explanatory controls. You won't find lots of extra options hidden in a system of hidden menus, either; what you see really is what you get."techradar

"Recover lost files, even after deleting a partition or formatting your drive."Macworld

2. Why cannot I recover 2GB data for free?

It is recommended to check the version installed is Free or Trial because they are different versions.

Trial has data preview function but cannot save any files, while the Free version enables to recover 2 GB files. The default free space is 500 MB and you may share the product on social media to get another 1.5 GB.

3. Why cannot the recovered files be opened?

A file is saved as 2 parts on the storage device: directory info (which is comprised by file name, time stamp and size info, etc.) and data content.

If the files with original file names and folder structures cannot be opened, one possible reason is the corrupted directory info. There is still a chance to recover the data content with the RAW Recovery method in our software.

4. Why isn't it suggested to recover the files back to the original drive?

The storage structure of the lost files would be altered or damaged by any changes on the drive. If you save the recovered files back to the same drive, the original data structures and data content would be corrupted or overwritten, which causes permanent data loss. So you should prepare another disk to save the files.

5. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files to better verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

6. How long does it take to scan the drive?

It strongly depends on the capacity of your hard drive and the performance of your computer. As reference,most drive recoveries can be completed in around 10 to 12 hours for a 1-TB healthy hard drive in general conditions.

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