Fix/Repair RAW SD Card in Proven Ways

Are you trying to find a way to fix SD card with RAW format error? Here, you can learn how to repair a RAW SD card using CMD with a RAW SD card recovery solution that allows you to get all important data from the RAW card before formatting.

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Written By

Tracy King

Updated on

16 May 2024

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9 Min

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 the 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 the 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 SD card recovery first.

You cannot access the files on a RAW device. But 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:

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Step 1. Connect the SD card, memory card, or CF Card to your computer and launch EaseUS memory card recovery software on your PC. The SD card will be listed under the Devices section. Choose the SD card and click "Scan for lost data" to start looking for your lost data.

select a location and click scan

Step 2. The software will start a scan automatically. The scan is powerful enough to find all lost files that even lost file names. After the scanning process, you can find deleted items from the tree-view panel on the left. Then, click "Filter" if you are looking for a specific file type, like photos, documents, videos or emails.

scan and preview the memory/SD/CF card files

Step 3. You can directly double-click the files to preview the content. After this, you can choose wanted files and click "Recover" to restore them to a secure location on your PC or other external storage devices.

💡Tip: You can restore data on the local disks, external hard drives, and also the cloud storage.

recover memory/SD/CF card files

If the data recovery software fails to restore RAW files, you still have a good chance of retrieving the data by using EaseUS RAW data recovery services.

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 drives, including BitLocker encrypted drives
  • Recover RAW partition, RAW USB, RAW flash drive, RAW external hard drive, etc.

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 for repairing 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 EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard

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 the RAW SD card successfully while keeping all your data after finishing all the steps.

If you get the error message mentioned above, don't worry. You can fix the RAW SD card without losing files following the method above. When it has finished, you can copy the files you recovered back to your SD card and use them as before.

The Bottom Line

SD cards and other storage devices like USBs, external hard drives, or local hard drives are likely to become RAW. The methods provided can also be applied to these devices, too. In most cases, running the 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.

How to Fix RAW SD Card FAQs

You have learned about effective ways to repair RAW SD cards. If you still have other problems, read on to get additional help.

1. What does it mean if my SD card is RAW?

If your SD card is marked as RAW. It means that its file system is damaged. Your SD card becomes unreadable by any operating system.

2. How do I format a RAW SD card?

You can format a RAW SD card with these steps:

  • Launch EaseUS Partition Master
  • Format RAW Partition and reset the file system
  • In the Warning window, click Yes to continue
  • Execute the operations

3. Can the damaged SD card be repaired?

Yes, you can turn to EaseUS data recovery service to ask experts for help. Before the process, you can try to run CHKDSK to see if it works.

4. Why do SD cards get corrupted?

Here are common causes of SD card corruption:

  • Physical damages
  • File system corruption
  • Bad sectors
  • Improper SD card removal
  • Virus or malware infection
  • Interruption in SD card formatting
  • Manufacturing defects
  • Updated by

    Dany is an editor of EaseUS who lives and works in Chengdu, China. She focuses on writing articles about data recovery on Mac devices and PCs. She is devoted to improving her writing skills and enriching her professional knowledge. Dany also enjoys reading detective novels in her spare time. …
  • Written by

    Tracy became a member of the EaseUS content team in 2013. Being a technical writer for over 10 years, she is enthusiastic about sharing tips to assist readers in resolving complex issues in disk management, file transfer, PC & Mac performance optimization, etc., like an expert.…
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