Fix: The Volume Does Not Contain A Recognized File System in Windows 10/8/7

Roxanne updated on Sep 17, 2020 to Resource | How-to Articles


You may receive the notification 'The volume does not contain a recognized file system' in USB/external hard drive/partition on your computer when there is something wrong with the file system of your device. Relax and just follow to recover data from the RAW hard drive or inaccessible USB/external hard drive/SD card and more with EaseUS RAW drive recovery software now and fix your device to make it usable again.

About "The volume does not contain a recognized file system" error

You may feel familiar with the following descriptions.


Sometimes, when you plugged in an external hard drive, USB flash drive, SD card or some other storage devices into your Windows computer, Windows prompts "You need to format the disk in drive G: before you can use it. Do you want to format it?"

You need to format the disk before you can use it. Do you want to format it

You might click Cancel to refuse to format the disk or card if there are some important data files. Then Windows will prompt "Drive G:\ is not accessible. The volume does not contain a recognized file system. Please make sure that all required file system drivers are loaded and that the volume is not corrupted." This is how usually "The volume does not contain a recognized file system" error occurs in Windows 10/8/7.

The volume does not contain a recognized file system


To fix "The volume does not contain a recognized file system" error in Windows 10/8/7 without losing data, you should first figure out why this error happens. Why you receive the error message?

As we know, the most possible reason is file system errors. When there is a file system error on your device, it will become RAW, which is not really a type of file system but presents a problem of your drive. It typically occurs when the file system type information is missing or inconsistent between several system tables. Simply speaking, the file system errors that may lead to the issue in the discussion include:

  • The file system of your storage device is not recognized by your computer
  • The file system of your device is missing
  • Your device is not correctly formatted or the file system is damaged

Such errors will happen if you have ever forcibly unplugged your external hard drive from the computer without "Safely removing" them first. After figuring out what results in "The volume does not contain a recognized file system" error, fixing it without data loss becomes quite easy. 

Fix "The volume does not contain a recognized file system" error and recover data

The most effective way to fix file system related issues is to format the storage device. By formatting, you will assign a new file system to the device, which will make the device usable again. However, since formatting will erase all the existing files on your hard drive, you will need to perform data recovery before the fix if you don't want to lose them all. Therefore, to fix an external storage device that has file system errors, all you need to do is to:

  • First, find a reliable data recovery tool to get back the files
  • Second, format the device
  • And then copy the recovered data back to the device according to your needs.

Procedure 1. Recover data from devices with "The volume does not contain a recognized file system" error

Offering powerful and easy RAW recovery solution, EaseUS hard drive recovery software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard allows you to recover your data from the RAW drive before formatting the device to change RAW to NTFS/FAT32 file system. It is a proven way to solve "Drive is not accessible. The volume does not contain a recognized file system" issue in Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP and Windows Server 2012/2008/2003.

Step 1. Select a location to scan.

Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, hover on the partition, external hard drive, USB, or memory card where you lost data, and then click "Scan".

select a location and click scan

Step 2. Select files to recover.

Wait until the scanning completes. Afterward, choose the files you want to recover. To locate the data faster, use the search bar or filter to search for specific files. To check a file, double-click the item to preview its content.

Choose files to recover

Step 3. Recover lost data.

Click "Recover" and choose a location on another drive to save the files.

Recover lost data
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. Fix and repair disk with 'the volume does not contain recognized file system' error

After restoring data from devices which are not accessible or cannot be recognized, you can now follow below steps to repair and fix devices such as external hard drive, USB drive, SD card or hard drive partition etc and repair the file system to be recognizable/detectable again:

  • Right-click "This PC"/"My Computer" > "Manage" > "Disk Management";
  • Right-click on the RAW drive, USB, SD card... > Format Volume > Reset File System (NTFS/FAT32 etc.) and rename the device;
  • Click "Finish" to complete 'the volume does not contain a recognized file system' error repair process on storage devices.

Procedure 3. Copy the files back to your storage device

After formatting your removable disk you can open it and use it for data storage again. You can copy the files you recovered back to your external hard drive, USB, memory card... to make it just like before.

The Bottom Line

If there is no data on the external storage device or you don't want to keep the files on it, you can format the device directly to remove the error message "The volume does not contain a recognized file system." But if you don't want to lose any item, you are highly recommended to retrieve the data first before the formatting. Although EaseUS data recovery software supports formatted data recovery, it's always better to rescue your files before the operation.

Next are some questions that people also ask. To utterly remove the error ' the volume does not contain a recognized file system', the answers might be useful for you.

1. How convert RAW to NTFS without formatting?

CMD is one of the several effective ways to help you convert RAW to NTFS without formatting it.

Step 1. Click on Start, then type: cmd and hit Enter.
Step 2. Right-click on cmd and then click on "Run As Administrator".
Step 3. Type "Diskpart" and then hit Enter.
Step 4. Type H: /FS :NTFS and hit Enter. (H shall be the drive letter of your RAW storage device)

2. What is file system RAW?

Definition: RAW file system is a state of the hard drive or other storage devices which has no known Windows file system. Because no file system exists on the drive, there can be no files or folders on the drive, and it cannot be used to store data.

When an (external) hard drive or USB flash drive becomes 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

Whenever you encountered a RAW drive on your computer, try to perform RAW drive recovery and convert RAW to NTFS or other file systems for proper use.

3. How do I fix error formatting disk in drive using CMD?

Using CMD is able to check and repair most of the hard drive issues. You can apply the below commands to fix the 'you need to format the disk before you can use it' error.

Step 1. Press Windows + X keys and choose Command Prompt (admin).
Step 2. In the CMD window, type chkdsk G: /f and hit "Enter". (Replace "G" with the drive letter of your external storage device.)
Step 3. Then Windows will start checking and repairing disk errors and damaged files. Wait for the process to finish.

Was This Page Helpful?


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.

About Data Recovery Wizard

It's super easy to recover 250+ types of files after deletion, disk formatting and virus infection. Click the links and compare the difference of each version.