RAW drive, also called RAW file system, is not really a type of system but represents a problem of the drive where you stored data. You may know often used file system like NTFS, FAT (FAT16, FAT32), or EXT2 / 3 (under Linux OS). So what is RAW file system on earth? It is a system error that makes your partition RAW and you may no longer access files there without some recovery tool. RAW is a file system that cannot be recognized by Windows.
The symptom of RAW drive is that it is often not accessible. When a digital device turns to RAW file system, it may show following messages:
1. Windows pops up error message saying "disk in drive is not formatted do you want to format it now" when you click the RAW drive to open it.
2. Check the Properties of RAW drive shows 0 bytes in used space, free space and capacity. The file sytem changes to RAW format.
3. It reports disk drive is not accessible when attempting to accessing a RAW drive.
4. The Disk Management says the file system of the partition is RAW or unknonw.
We will discuss each symptom one by one later in this article.
Whether it is an internal hard drive or external hard drive, pen drive, memory card, flash drive turns to RAW file system, the first thing is to make it clear if there is important data on the RAW drive. If there is important data, you can go to the Solution Step1 to recover data at first. If there is no data on the RAW drive, you can skip to Solution Step 2 to fix the problem directly.
Download iCare Data Recovery to rescue any kind of data from digital device that has RAW file system like RAW external hard drive, RAW pen drive, RAW memory card, RAW USB flash drive, etc.
iCare Data Recovery is able to help you restore files even when you have already reformatted the RAW hard drive or memory card, flash drive, etc, but you had better not perform format operation before data recovery in case of overwriting.
Step One: Download iCare Data Recovery, Connect your raw disk drive or card to PC and Start iCare Data Recovery
Step Two: Wait while iCare Data Recovery is scanning your media, and it could take a few hours to finish.
Step Three: Save found files from the raw drive or raw memory card
Free download iCare Data Recovery to recover your files from raw usb/memory card/external disk etc. now!
After recovering all important data or if there is no precious data on the RAW drive, you can format the device which has RAW file system to NTFS or FAT32 file system. The easiest way is to open "My Computer" and right click the RAW drive to format it with NTFS or FAT32 file system.
==>> To get more methods to format a device, please visit: How to format RAW drive to NTFS / FAT32
When any digital device such as an internal hard drive or external hard drive, memory card, thumb drive turns to RAW, you may run CHKDSK to check the RAW drive for error fixing. Usually, you can fix the problem successfully by running CHKDSK, but sometimes you may receive the error message: "This type of file system is RAW. CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives".
==> For more detailed information about the CHKDSK not available problem, please refer to: CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives
Since RAW file system is an unknown filesystem for Windows, you may try to reformat the RAW drive to convert it back to NTFS or FAT32. You can confirm to format the RAW drive when Windows pops up disk drive not formatted error message. Or you can right click the RAW partition on your computer and select "Format" option to format it. When you attempt to format a drive to repair the RAW error, you may receive another message "Windows was unable to complete the format".
Convert RAW to NTFS / FAT32 without Formatting
When getting the error message saying format is unable to be completed, are you wondering if there is a way to convert RAW to NTFS / FAT32 without formatting? Well, there is no other choice but to format the RAW drive if you want to convert its file system back to NTFS or FAT32. In order to format the RAW device successfully when receiving alert message saying cannot complete format, you can do something to resolve this problem.
==> How to format a RAW drive successfully when Windows reports it cannot complete the format? Please see - Fix Windows unable to format problem
Format request appeared on your external drive/card? No matter you denied the format request or already have formatted the disk, you have chance to get back lost files. However, the key point is never use the media again once it has the raw problem. This is what all data recovery expert would advice you to perform - keep the drive or memory card away from any further operation but a read-only data recovery program like iCare Data Recovery!
Download the software now and install it on Windows OS for file recovery from any RAW device like external HDD, memory card, pen drive, hard disk drive, USB flash drive and more.
RAW error is a problem that might be caused by many reasons, which include:
1. A hard disk drive, portable hard drive or memory card, flash drive would change to RAW format because the format is not completed after you mistakenly format a drive.
2. Remove a removable disk from PC unsafely while it is in use
3. Remove memory card out of digital camera or smartphone without turning off the device
4. Keep saving files to the device when it is nearly full
5. The digital device is attacked by virus
6. Sudden power off while writing or transferring files on the digital device
RAW problem exists in various kinds of storage devices including internal hard drive, USB hard drive, flash memory card, thumb drive, pen stick, etc. The best way to avoid the RAW problem is to use your storage media properly. You can pay attention to following points to prevent RAW problem:
1. Whenever you need to remove your storage media from your computer, please remember to remove it safely.
2. Remove memory card like SD, microSD, miniSD, SDHC, SDXC, CF or XD card from mobile phone or digital camera by turning off the device first of all
3. Do not save data downloaded from unsafe website to your hard drive, external hard drive, memory stick or other storage device because it may contain virus that can corrupt the file system of the device.
We will explain details of each symptom of RAW drive in paragraphs below:
A common message related to RAW file system is the disk in drive is not formatted do you want to format it now. This error message also shows as "You need to format the disk in drive before you can use it" on Windows 7 and later versions of Windows operating system like Windows 8 and Windows 10.
It is a normal case that a digital device asks to reformat when it changes to RAW file system because Windows system would like to turn to RAW file system to a recognized file system like NTFS or FAT32 by reformat.
==> For more details about disk drive not formatted error message, please visit this page: Disk drive is not formatted do you want to format it now
The Property of the RAW drive often shows 0 bytes while there were important files, photos stored there, but the problem is that you have never deleted any of them nor formatted the drive. However, the files are not accessible because you cannot open a RAW drive without formatting. Therefore, you do not need to feel surprised if a digital device like memory card (SD, micro SD, mini SD, CF, XD, memory stick), USB flash drive, external hard drive or pen drive shows 0 bytes space when the file system turns to RAW. All files are still on original place though the hard drive or digital device shows as an empty media with 0 byte space.
A RAW drive is usually not accessible. In addition to reporting disk drive not formatted error message, another possible message may appear just like:
1. "Drive is not accessible. This 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."
If you receive the similar error message, probably it is caused by failed controller. You may need to use a suitable controller to make the drive be recognized normally.
2. "Drive is not accessible. The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable"
==> Related link: Memory card reports file or directory is corrupted and unreadable
Storage media shows blank or has unsupported file system? This problem usually occurs on memory card or memory stick.
Memory card is often used in digital devices like digital camera, mobile phone or some other devices. Sometimes, when you attempt to access a memory card on your phone or camera, it may shows blank memory card.
For example, you may receive a message showing on a RAW SD card: "Blank SD card. SD card is blank or has unsupported filesystem"
The same error message may show on other memory card like micro SD, SDHC, SDXC, CF or XD card. If you connect this memory card which shows the error message to your computer, Windows computer will recognize it as a RAW drive.
RAW file system and RAW file are two different concepts. RAW file system is system error that usually makes a disk inaccessible, while RAW file refers to the data that was not processed such as FujiFilm RAW RAF image, Nikon RAW NEF image and Canon CR2 RAW image, etc.