How to Fix/Repair RAW SD Card in Proven Ways

Your SD card may become RAW due to file system errors. Fortunately, there are ways to fix a RAW SD card. You can run CHKDSK to have a try first. If it doesn't work, there is a certain way to repair the RAW SD card without losing data: use EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to retrieve your files from the RAW drive and then format the SD card.

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.4

Table of Contents

To fully repair a RAW SD card without losing data, follow the three quick steps:

raw sd card

Step 1. Execute chkdsk H: /f /r to repair RAW SD card without formatting.

Step 2. Run EaseUS SD card recovery software to recover data from RAW SD card.

Step 3. Format RAW sd card to the NTFS or FAT32 file system.

Why SD Card Becomes RAW

When an SD card or another storage device becomes RAW, Windows will prevent you from opening the device and ask you to format the SD card, prompting you with the error "you need to format the disk in drive before you can use it" or something similar every time when you are trying to access the files inside. That's because the RAW file system is not a file system that can be recognized by the computer. Generally, the file system of your SD card turns to RAW due to the following reasons:

  • The file system of your SD card gets damaged or corrupted
  • The file system of your memory card is missing
  • The current file system of your SD card cannot be recognized by the computer
  • Your SD card is not properly formatted with a file system

The issues listed could be caused by a virus attack, misoperations on the storage medium, format failure, and more. Although not being able to open and access your RAW SD card is quite annoying, fixing a RAW drive is quite easy actually.

2 Ways to Fix a RAW SD Card Without Losing Data

If you want to repair a RAW SD card without formatting, you can run CHKDSK command to have a try. If CHKDSK fails to work, you can use the proven way to fix your SD card in RAW format with ease.

Method 1. Repair RAW SD Card Without Losing Data by Formatting

Since a RAW SD card indicates file system errors, it's understandable to format the SD card to fix it. Formatting will assign a new file system to your SD card and thus make it usable again. However, formatting will erase all the existing files on the SD card, that's why you need to perform RAW drive recovery first.

You cannot access the files on a RAW device. But the hard drive recovery software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard can. It will help you effectively recover data from RAW SD card, USB flash drive, external hard drive, disk partition, and more in simple steps. After performing RAW SD card data recovery, you can format the RAW SD card to repair it without worrying about losing data.

To recover data from RAW SD card:

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.4

Step 1. Download EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard - the dependable SD card recovery software for Windows on your PC. Connect the SD card to your computer with either a card reader or by attaching the device that contains it. Launch the software so you can see the SD card from the disk list presented on the interface. Select the SD card and click "Scan".

select the sd card and click scan

Step 2. The scan process should run quickly to find the files that were recently deleted, items emptied from the Recycle Bin, and files that lost file names. During the course of scanning the SD card, you can start checking the results from the leftside tree-view pane, or simply use the Filter function to show up only the pictures, doucments, videos, emails and so on.

find wanted sd card files

Step 3. Double-click on a file will allow you to preivew its content. At last, select the desired files you wish to recover and click the Recover button to get them all back. When you're asked to choose a location to save the recovered files, do not use the SD card but another drive, to avoid data overwriting.

recover sd card files
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)

To format the SD card:

Step 1. Insert your SD card into your computer via a card reader.

Step 2. Open "This PC". Right-click your SD card and choose "Format".

Step 3. In the new window, set a file system and click "Start".

Step 4. In the Warning window, click "OK" to start formatting your SD card.

Format RAW SD card

Method 2. Fix SD Card Without Formatting

CHKDSK is helpful to repair a RAW drive only when the $MFT (Master File Table) on the device is intact. If it's corrupted, you will get the error message "The type of the file system is RAW. CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives."

Caution: The CHKDSK command will permanently erase all data on your disk. So make sure that you recover all data from the RAW SD card first with reliable file recovery software

Step 1. Click "Start" and type cmd.

Step 2. Right-click "Command Prompt" and choose "Run as administrator".

Step 3. Enter the following command: chkdsk H: /f /r

Replace "H" with the drive letter of your RAW SD card.

If you are lucky, CMD will help you fix RAW SD card successfully while keeping all your data after finishing all the steps. If you get the error message mentioned above, no worry. You can fix the RAW SD card without losing files following the method below.

When it has finished, you can copy the files you recovered back to your SD card and use is as before.

The Bottom Line

Not only SD card, other storage devices like USB, external hard drive, or local hard drive are also likely to become RAW. The methods provided can also be applied to these devices, too. In most of the cases, running CHKDSK command won't help you fix a RAW device. Therefore, the most straightforward way to repair a RAW storage medium is to perform RAW data recovery and then format the device directly.

Was This Page Helpful?

Updated by Tracy King

Tracy joined in EaseUS in 2013 and has been working with EaseUS content team for over 7 years. Being enthusiastic in computing and technology, she writes tech how-to articles and share technical solutions about Windows & Mac data recovery, file/system backup and recovery, partition management and iOS/Android data recovery.

Read full bio

Written by Roxanne

Roxanne is one of the main contributors to EaseUS and has created multiple posts on digital devices like PCs, Mobile phones, tablets, Mac, etc. She loves to share ideas with people of the same interest.

Read full bio

Product Reviews

TrustScore 4.7 | 323 reviews
  • EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is a powerful system recovery software, designed to enable you to recover files you’ve deleted accidentally, potentially lost to malware or an entire hard drive partition.

    Read More
  • EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we have 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.

    Read More
  • EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro has a reputation as one of the best data recovery software programs on the market. It comes with a selection of advanced features, including partition recovery, formatted drive restoration, and corrupted file repair.

    Read More