"Help! My external HDD suddenly went to a RAW format and I am unable to access the drive to retrieve my files. I searched how to fix a RAW drive problem but totally lost myself in the massive results. It's hard for me to find the right answer. Does anyone know clearly how to solve this kind of problem without losing data?"

hard drive shows as raw in disk management

What's RAW?

The RAW file system indicates a state of your hard drive which has no or unknown file system. A disk or drive with a RAW file system is also known as a RAW disk or RAW drive. When a hard drive or external storage device is shown as RAW, it could be: The file system of the drive is missing or damaged. The quick way to fix a RAW file system is to format the drive with a Windows recognizable file system like FAT or NTFS.

Here is the problem. Formatting a disk will help convert the RAW file system to NTFS, for example, but this behavior also erases data on this drive.

The proper way to handle a RAW HDD, USB flash drive, or SD card should be like this:

-> No data in the RAW drive

Handling a RAW drive without much data inside is much easier. The only fix is to choose a reliable and professional program to format the drive.

EaseUS Partition Master

-> There is important data inside the RAW drive

In fact, over 90% of the circumstances are having data involved. If you want to get the highest chance of successful recovery of inaccessible data from the RAW drive, you should perform data recovery before formatting the device (even Windows asks you to format the disk in drive X before you can use it), because formatting will overwrite the lost data which makes part of the data unrecoverable by any third-party EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard program.

Besides, you don't perform 'chkdsk' command or 'clean' command in Diskpart on the RAW disk before data recovery. Those Diskpart commands can somehow solve most of the hard drive corruption problems. However, they also do damage to the files in the drive and decrease the chance of data recovery.

If you're interested in getting a dependable RAW data recovery service, this video is helpful.

How to Convert RAW to NTFS in Windows 10/8/7 Without Losing Data

Download EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, an easy-to-use and powerful EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard that is good at retrieving data from an inaccessible or unreadable HDD, external USB flash drive, memory card, and many other storage devices. It is a do-it-yourself program that average computer users can easily operate, without requiring learning curves. It's able to recover up to 1000 types of files in all kinds of data loss cases, including that your hard drive starts malfunctioning, turning to RAW.

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.7

One of the salient features in EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, which is also the feature that surpasses its rivals, is that it can automatically repair videos, audio files, and documents that are corrupted after recovery. With the EaseUS data recovery solution, it's less possible to encounter the issue - files won't open after recovery.

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To recover data from a raw drive, follow the three steps.

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

Alternatively, whenever you find difficulty in running the software to find lost data on the RAW drive, e.g., the recovery process is too time-consuming on an incredible large RAW disk, or you've already tried data recovery but did not find the desired files, never mind, you can turn to the EaseUS manual data recovery service.

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

Best RAW to NTFS Converter Free Download for Windows 10/8/7

Despite the solution to fixing a RAW drive is simple and straightforward and there are many ways to do the job, we choose EaseUS Partition Master Free, a third-party RAW to NTFS converter program, over all other choices. The reasons are in the following.

① It's free, applicable to all Windows platforms, including Windows 10/8/7/XP/Vista and Windows Server.

② It won't cause further errors like [1]"Windows was unable to complete the format" in Windows Explorer, [2]"The format did not complete successfully" in Disk Management, and [3] "Chkdsk is not available for RAW drives" in Windows Command Prompt.

③ The way of Disk Management processing a RAW drive is to delete the RAW drive first and then recreate a new partition on the previously RAW partition. EaseUS Partition Master lets you directly format the RAW drive to many file systems like FAT and EXT, not limited to NTFS.

④  It's a program with multi-functional disk management solutions in it. The frequent and practical features include resize/move, copy partition, migrate OS, merge partitions, etc. We suggest personal and home users install EaseUS Partition Master so as to use it as a long-lasting friend who is accompanying around.

See how to use EaseUS RAW to NTFS converter to convert RAW to NTFS.

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.

By clicking Yes to allow this program to format the target RAW partition to the selected file system format on your drive.

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

RAW Drive Is Fixable, So Is Data!

Regarding the topic of "RAW to NTFS converter software free download", we outline an article that focuses on how to convert a RAW drive to a recognizable drive without losing data. To accomplish the job, we need two assistants:

1. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, which helps retrieve data from a currently inaccessible drive, like the RAW drive.

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.7

2. EaseUS Partition Master, which aims to fix the RAW drive issue by reformatting the RAW drive with an NTFS file system so it can be put in use again.

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Updated by Cedric

Cedric Grantham is a senior editor and data recovery specialist of EaseUS. He mainly writes articles and how-to tips about data recovery on PC and Mac. He has handled 10,000+ data recovery cases and is good at data recovery of NTFS, FAT (FAT32 and ExFAT) file systems, and RAID structure reorganization.

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Approved by Evan Galasso

Evan Galasso is a digital forensics and data recovery engineer with over 10 years of experience in the field. He presents opinions on the current state of storage media, reverse engineering of storage systems and firmware, and electro-mechanical systems of SSDs and HDDs.

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