Convert RAW External Hard Drive to NTFS without Formatting

Tracy King updated on Aug 30, 2019 to Storage Media Recovery | How-to Articles


If your external hard drive suddenly becomes RAW, and you cannot access the saved data, what should you do? EaseUS file recovery software with effective methods are available here help you convert external hard drive from RAW to NTFS file system without formatting, getting all your precious data back.

Part 1. Recover data from the RAW external hard drive (3 steps)
Part 2. Convert RAW external hard drive to NTFS without formatting
Tips to prevent storage device from becoming RAW

"Hey, guys. Do you know how to change a RAW external hard drive into NTFS? My Seagate external hard drive is showing as RAW on my PC and I have some very useful documents saved on the drive. The computer keeps asking me to format the drive. I don't want to.

So I'm wondering to know can anyone of you tell me how to recover data from the RAW external hard drive and convert RAW to NTFS?"

External hard drive becomes raw.

So how to fix this issue, converting your RAW external hard drive back to NTFS without losing data? Find the answers below.

Phrase 1. Recover data from the RAW external hard drive (3 steps)

To avoid unnecessary data loss, you should recover data from the RAW external hard drive first. To do so, you'll need professional data recovery software which supports raw recovery for help.

EaseUS hard drive data recovery software - Data Recovery Wizard can help you fully restore data from a RAW device. Computer hard drive, external hard drive, USB or other storage devices are all supported.

Download this software and follow the 3 steps below to retrieve your external hard drive data:

Activation is required for unlimited file recovery. If your data saved on the device is less than 2GB, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Free Edition is available to help.

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

If you don't want to format the drive, you can follow Part 2 to convert and change the RAW external hard drive to NTFS.

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)

Phrase 2. Convert RAW external hard drive to NTFS without formatting

Notice that formatting a RAW device is one of the most direct ways to convert RAW to NTFS. Another way to execute the operation is to use CMD command.

Notice that to do so, you'll need to delete the partition on the RAW external hard drive first and then create a new partition, making the device usable again.

This method can also be used to convert RAW to NTFS, RAW to FAT32 without formatting any disk or drives:

  • Step 1: Type cmd in the search box and right-click on Command Prompt, select "Run as Administrator".
  • Step 2: Type diskpart and press "Enter".
  • Run cmd command tool to fix raw external hard drive.
  • Step 3: Type list disk to list all the available drives and press "Enter".
  • Type select disk * ( replace * with the drive letter of the RAW device) and press Enter.
  • Step 4: Type clean to clear the selected externa hard drive and press "Enter".
  • Clean RAW hard drive.
  • Step 5: Type create partition primary and hit "Enter".
  • Step 6: Type format fs=ntfs (or format fs=FAT32) and hit Enter. 
  • This will set the new external hard drive partition back with a new supported file system, making the device accessible again.
  • Set new partition file system on external hard drive.
  • Step 7: Type assign letter=* (replace * with a new drive letter) to assign a drive letter to the drive and press "Enter".
  • After this, exit DiskPart.

Now your RAW external hard drive will be available for you to save data again.

Tips to prevent storage device from becoming RAW

How do you prevent your storage media devices from becoming RAW? Learn the causes first:

Causes of RAW external hard drive

Knowing the causes will be very helpful for us to prevent the external hard drive from becoming RAW. Here is a list of reasons that may cause your device RAW:

  • File system corrupted or damaged.
  • File system is not supported by the current OS.
  • Access to the external hard drive denied.
  • Improper operations on external hard drive.
  • Virus attack.

Tips to prevent external hard drive becoming RAW

Here are some tips to help protect your devices such as external hard drive from becoming RAW:

  1. 1. Use storage devices properly: plug and unplug the device from PC with the right operation steps.
  2. 2. Use anti-virus software to scan and clean up the virus on storage devices and PC frequently.
  3. 3. Use CMD or partition manager tool to repair file system error on the device.
  4. 4. Backup important data regularly.

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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.

About Data Recovery Wizard

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