Background: Why an sd card changed to raw? and which format is correct for an SD card: raw, fat32, exfat or ntfs?
(Note: Fat(FAT32), exfat, ntfs are most recognized file system for most storage media on Windows.)
An SD card may turn RAW due to file system corruption, improper ejection, or physical damage. In this state, the operating system can't recognize its file structure, rendering data inaccessible. To recover data, use data recovery software or formatting tools. Addressing the underlying issue is crucial to prevent recurrence.
Choosing the appropriate format for an SD card depends on your specific needs:
Choose the format based on your device compatibility and file size requirements.
Formatting an SD card to a proper format includes the following steps
If it's a new sd card, it's safe to format it directly on a phone or PC -> how to format a new sd card on a phone
If it's a used sd card and it has turned into a raw file system, here are some methods to recover the raw SD card and safely format it.
Requirements: A Windows 7/10/11 computer with admin privileges.
Watch the video on repairing a raw USB without formatting using chkdsk, a command in Windows PCs.
CHKDSK (Check Disk) is a Windows utility that checks and repairs file system errors on storage devices, including SD cards. If your SD card appears as RAW and you want to repair it without formatting, follow these steps:
Important Note: Before proceeding with any data recovery or repair steps, ensure you have a backup of your data. Data loss can occur during the repair process, so having a backup is crucial.
Step1: Insert the RAW SD Card: Insert your RAW SD card into the card reader on your computer. Make sure the computer recognizes the card.
Step2: Open Command Prompt with Administrator Privileges:
Step3: Run CHKDSK:
chkdsk /f X:Replace "X" with the drive letter assigned to your SD card. For example, if your SD card is recognized as drive letter "E," you would enter chkdsk /f E:.
Allow CHKDSK to Run:
If CHKDSK is unable to repair the RAW SD card or if the card still cannot be accessed, it's possible that more serious damages, including physical issues with the card, exist. In such cases, you may need to consider professional data recovery services or formatting the card and then using data recovery software to attempt to recover your files.
Possible errors when running chkdsk on a raw sd card
If the above chkdsk method did not work, try the following tool to rescue the raw sd card data.
iCare Data Recovery Free is user-friendly software designed to recover data from raw SD cards. To use it, simply download and install the program, then follow these steps:
Remember to stop using the SD card immediately after data loss to maximize the chances of successful recovery.
Once your data has been successfully retrieved to another drive, it's safe to proceed with formatting using the following methods:
Format the RAW SD card in a Windows PC using File Explorer. Right-click on the SD card => Format -> Choose FAT32/EXFAT for formatting.
Format the RAW SD card as FAT32/EXFAT under Disk Management in a Windows PC.
Format the RAW SD card as FAT32/EXFAT using a third-party free format tool such as SD Card Formatter, IM-Magic Partition Resizer (which can also help repair a bad SD card), USB Disk Storage Format Tool, Rufus, etc
To change the drive letter for a raw SD card without formatting:
This can help resolve drive letter-related issues without formatting the card.
If none of the above work, make sure you have restored the data from the sd card using professional recovery tools and then go ahead with the following formatting.
Formatting a raw SD card to FAT32 or ntfs using the DiskPart command line utility requires careful execution to avoid data loss. Here's how to do it:
Now your raw SD card should be formatted to FAT32 or ntfs.
Note: Windows cannot format an sd card over 32GB to exfat. You may format it to exfat using a third party format tool such as Rufus or IM-Magic Partition Resizer.
Rufus is a handy tool for formatting an SD card to the exFAT file system. Follow these steps to format a raw SD card to exFAT using Rufus:
Your SD card is now formatted to the exFAT file system and is ready to use. Be sure to back up any important data before formatting, as it will be erased.
To format a RAW SD card to NTFS using Disk Management, follow these steps:
Format failed? Try the following method in Disk Management.
Complete the process, and Disk Management will format the RAW SD card to NTFS.
Ensure you have backed up any important data before formatting.
To format a RAW SD card using File Explorer's right-click format option, follow these steps:
Once completed, your SD card will be formatted to NTFS, erasing all data. Make sure to back up any important files before proceeding.
To format a RAW SD card to FAT32 on a Mac, follow these steps:
Once formatting is complete, your SD card will be in FAT32 format and ready for use on both Mac and Windows devices. Remember to back up any important data before formatting.
Last updated on Nov 28, 2023