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.
To fully repair a RAW SD card without losing data, follow the three quick steps:
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. 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."
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.
Method 2. 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:
Step 1. Run SD card recovery software and scan the card.
Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard on your PC and select your SD card. Then click "Scan" to start finding lost data on your SD card.
Step 2. Check found SD card data.
After the scanning process, you can click "Filter" to quickly find wanted files.
Step 3. Restore SD card data.
You can check and preview found files by double-clicking each one of them. Then click Recover to save found SD card files to a secure location on your PC or external storage.
- 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.
When it has finished, you can copy the files you recovered back to your SD card and use it 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.
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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, so 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.