Partition shows RAW File System in Disk Management

The case: A volume shows up as raw in disk management and cannot be accessed

"I have an external hard drive that shows as raw partition in disk management, when I click the partition, Windows tells me it is not accessible and the raw partition needs to be formatted. Is there any way to fix the raw partition?"

Resolution: It is the file system error that Windows computer cannot recognize the storage media and shows it RAW in disk management. RAW means it is not regularted with a recognized format (NTFS, FAT, FAT32, EXFAT are common formats in Windows)

Formatting would be a primary option to fix the raw file system and it can simply be formatted under Disk Management with right click format option.

#1 Restore files from raw drive in disk management

You may use the explorer function in disk management to see whether the raw drive data can be accessed and then back up the data onto another storage device such as the computer hard disk volume which is working properly.

  • Open disk management by right clicking 'THIS PC' -> 'Manage' -> Disk Management
  • When disk management load the raw drive or raw sd card, right click the raw drive and go to 'Open' or 'Explore'open raw file system in disk management
  • If this open or explore function does not work, you may use a special raw drive data recovery tool, iCare Recovery Pro that helps access data from raw drive.

    Recover raw external hard drive data with iCare Data Recovery ProRecover raw data with iCare Data Recovery Pro

    Free Download

Also read: recover data from raw partition

#2 Convert RAW to NTFS/FAT32 in Disk Management

When the removable device or a hard drive shows as raw in disk management, you may get it formatted to NTFS by the following way:

  • Insert usb/sd/external hdd to computer via usb cable or card reader if it was an external drive
  • Right click 'This PC' -> Manage -> Disk Management, and then wait to see your drive in disk management which shows your drive RAW along with its drive letter or sometimes the drive letter would be gone too.
  • Right click the raw drive, and then click option -> Formatformat cf card in disk management
  • Set the format options here: (file system options)
    NTFS, a favored option by many hard drives, external hard drives, usb flash drives etc.;
    FAT32, format raw file system fat32 (a regular and popular file system for many sd card, usb drives);
    Exfat, format raw file system exfat in disk management when EXFAT is popular and compatible with both Windows and MAC machinesformat cf card in disk management

Note: if you want to set the file system raw to be EXFAT in disk management, here in this above column, set the file system option to EXFAT and then click OK.

#3 Change drive letter and paths in disk management

If the formatting does not work in disk management, another efficient way of fixing the raw drive is to change its drive letter and paths. Here are the steps to get it done.

  • Insert raw drive to computer if it's an external drive or sd card with a card adaptor
  • Open disk management by right clicking 'THIS PC' -> MANAGE -> Disk Management (click each of them one by one)
  • When the drive loads well on the disk management panel, right click the raw drive and you will see some right pop up option like "Change Drive Letter and Paths...", which is what you need to get it selected, and it will guide you to choose another drive letter for your raw drive, such as volume E, F, H or any others that are available on your computer

    open raw file system

  • Check whether your raw drive can only now

#4 Disk Management Unable to Format RAW Drive Fixes

When the raw drive cannot be formatted in disk management, and it can neither open nor drive letter change, you may try the following method to fix raw file system when disk management failed.

This following cmd is a nice way to fix raw volume that cannot be formatted.

format tool for cf card when unable to format

Here are the steps. (Please insert external media to pc properly at first)

  • Open cmd by clicking Run -> and type Diskpart and press enter to come to the above cmd panel
  • Type 'list disk' to get all disks show up in this panel
  • Type 'select disk *', here in the above example, disk 1 is going to be selected. (NOTE: IF IT'S NOT AN USB OR SD CARD BUT SOME HARD DRIVE THAT CONTAINS A LOT OF VOLUMES AND ONE VOLUME IS DAMAGED AND SHOWS RAW, HERE YOU NEED TO ADD ANOTHER STEP 'LIST VOLUME', 'SELECT VOLUME *' TO GET THE FINAL TARGET SELECTED)
  • Type 'attributes disk clear readonly' to remove unnecessary settings that prevented a file system to be formatted
  • Type 'clean' to get it ready for a formatting
  • Type 'create partition primary' to make it ready for a formatting, ie making it recognized by computer as a drive
  • Type 'format fs=fat32' and press enter to wait and it's done

Note: if you want to change the file system exfat or ntfs, you may change the last step command line to be 'format fs=exfat' and press enter or type 'format fs=ntfs' and press enter to replace the step 7.

Also read -> 9 free format tools for hdd/usb/memory card; No formatting? -> Recover memory card without formatting

Overview of Disk Management

Disk Management is provided by Microsoft in Windows computers to help perform advanced storage tasks for example: initialize a hard disk, extend a volume size, shrink a volume size, format a drive, change a drive letter etc.

Source: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/storage/disk-management/overview-of-disk-management

File System in Disk Management

A healthy file system will show as NTFS, EXFAT, FAT32, FAT in the map of disk management. When a drive or memory card is corrupted, it may show RAW that replaced its old healthy file system.

In a word, RAW is not a regular file system that cannot be recognized by storage devices such as cameras, phones, digital players and even Microsoft Windows computers.

What is raw file system in disk management?

If you even wonder what is raw file system, it means your drive is raw damaged that cannot be recognized in disk management. Formatting would make it work again.

FAQs

Question: SD card shows raw file system in disk management

When sd card shows file system raw in computer disk management, it can be formatted to fix the error. Before the formatting, please backup data from the raw sd card if the data were important.

Also read: raw sd card recovery

Last updated on Oct 20, 2021


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