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How to fix RAW partition without losing data in Windows 10/8/7?

Position: How Tos - Disk Utilities - How to fix RAW partition without losing data in Windows 10/8/7?

Summary
In this article, you will find out effective solutions to fix RAW partition without losing data. It is a common occurrence that a partition on hard drive, external hard drive, USB flash drive and other storage devices turns to RAW and prevents you from accessing files. Thus, it is important to know how to rectify this issue without losing data. Read through the guide below and you'll become able to fix RAW partition without data loss in Windows 10/8/7.
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About fixing RAW partition without losing data

What is RAW partition? RAW is a kind of file system error, and it cannot be recognized by system, and thus a RAW partition is no longer accessible. It is common that a partition of any storage device, such as HDD, USB flash drive or memory card may become RAW after improper ejection, file system corruption, virus attack, bad sector, etc. Once a partition turns RAW, it cannot be opened as usual, which means you are losing files.

Is it possible to get RAW partition fixed without losing data? Yes. The easiest method is recovering data from RAW drive first and then convert RAW to NTFS or other file system. Since RAW drive is the result of a corrupted partition, thus there are solutions to repair it without any data loss. The rest content mainly includes two parts: explain how to recover RAW partition and provide 4 methods to repair RAW partition. You can follow these guides to get the issue fixed safely and quickly.


Phase 1: Recover data from RAW partition

Before the recovery

  • Most of all, it is important to keep RAW partition away from formatting and any other repairing actions, for there is possibility that these operations damage lost data and bring about barriers to RAW drive recovery, or even make the recovery impossible.
  • Choose professional RAW partition recovery software and read the recovery guide before actually trying the solution.

RAW partition recovery software free download

DiskGenius is powerful data recovery software for file recovery and partition recovery in Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP and Windows Servers. It provides efficient functions to deal with RAW drive data recovery, which enables you to easily and quickly recover lost photos, documents, videos, music and other files from RAW partitions on hard drive, external HDD, USB flash drive, SD card, virtual disk, etc. Main features of DiskGenius:

  • Load partition intelligently: it enables users to load files and folders with original directory structures from corrupted, RAW, unformatted NTFS partition, and the process does not need any scanning.
  • Recover data from various data loss situations: recover RAW partition, restore deleted/lost partition, recover deleted files, recover formatted drives, etc.
  • Advanced data recovery function: recover lost files and partitions from virtual disk, construct virtual RAID, recover lost/deleted BitLocker partitions, EXT4/3/2 drive data recovery, etc.
  • More useful function: a sector editor is built in DiskGenius to help professional users analyze RAW data; copy sector to create sector-level copies for disk, partition or just several sectors.
  • Recover lost data from all kinds of storage devices: hard drive, external HDD, cameras, USB flash drive, thumb drive, memory card, virtual disk (VHD, VHDX, VMDK, VDI), RAID, etc.

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The step-by-step guide of recovering files from RAW drive

Step 1   Free download, install and launch DiskGenius on your computer.

If the RAW partition is on an external disk, please connect the disk to this computer and make sure it can be detected by DiskGenius.

fix RAW partition without losing data

Step 2   Select the RAW drive and click Tools > Load Current Partition Intelligently, as follows:

The function Load Current Partition Intelligently works on corrupted NTFS partition and it is able to list all files and folders quickly without any scanning. If this function does not work on your drive, that means the partition has been damaged to a bad extent or it was not in NTFS file system. In that case, move to Step 3.

fix RAW partition without losing data

Step 3   Scan the RAW partition using File Recovery function.

Select the RAW partition again and click File Recovery button on the toolbar, which opens following window. Click Start button to enter scanning process.

fix RAW partition without losing data

If you check the option "Search For Known Types", DiskGenius will scan the entire drive by analyzing file signatures of known file types, i.e. identifiable data patterns that are present in all files belonging to a certain type. Hence, it is can be regarded as the deep scanning method, for it can find out as many recoverable files as possible when the RAW partition was destroyed severely. What's more, you can click Select File Types button to specify file types for deep scanning process.

fix RAW partition without losing data

Now DiskGenius is scanning the selected partition.

fix RAW partition without losing data

Step 4   Preview files and check recovery quality.

You can preview all files listed in scanning result: select a file and you can see a thumbnail preview on the lower part and double-click a file to view original file content from a pop-up window. File preview is the only way to accurately check recovery quality before final recovery.

fix RAW partition without losing data

Step 5   Copy your data.

Choose files and folders you expect to recover and copy them to a different partition.

fix RAW partition without losing data

Phase 2: Fix RAW partition (4 methods)

The following part includes 4 methods to fix RAW partition with free tools, but all of them will cause further damage to lost files in RAW drive. Thus, please make sure you've backed up or recovered files from RAW partition in advance.

Method 1: Format RAW drive in Disk Management

The easiest way to fix RAW partition or convert RAW to NTFS is formatting it through Disk Management. But sometimes, you may receive errors such as The format did not complete successfully or Windows was unable to complete the format. In that cause, please move to other three methods.

Step 1   Right-click Start menu and choose Disk Management.

fix RAW partition without losing data

Step 2   Right-click on the RAW drive and choose Format.

fix RAW partition without losing data

Step 3   Select NTFS file system and click Start button.

Method 2: Format RAW drive to NTFS/FAT32/EXT2/EXT3/EXT4

DiskGenius Free edition is free disk partition software and it provides completes functions to help you manage disks and partition. Here is the guide to format RAW to NTFS/FAT32/exFAT/EXT2/EXT3/EXT4 file system.

Step 1   Launch DiskGenius Free edition, right-click on the RAW partition and select Format Current Partition.

fix RAW partition without losing data

Step 2   Choose file system you want and click Format button.

fix RAW partition without losing data

Step 3   Click Yes button to format the partition.

Formatting will remove all files stored on the partition, and you should make sure all important files have been backed up or recovered to a secure location.

fix RAW partition without losing data

Method 3: DiskPart converts RAW to NTFS/FAT32

DiskPart is a useful command that can convert RAW to NTFS/FAT32, but this command requires you should be familiar with the usage of commands. If you are a computer novice, then follow these steps with care.

Step 1   Run Command Prompt as administrator.

Type cmd in searching box > Command Prompt > Run as administrator, as below:

fix RAW partition without losing data

Step 2   Type diskpart and press Enter key.

Step 3   Type following commands and press Enter after every command.

list disk
select disk # (replace # with disk correct disk where RAW drive is located)
clean
create partition primary
format fs=ntfs quick (if you want to format partition to FAT32, then type format fs=fat32 qucik)

fix RAW partition without losing data

Method 4: Check and repair bad sectors

Note:

  • Bad sector check is read-only process and it does not affect files on the drive, and yet bad sector repairing destroys files.
  • Not all bad sectors can be repaired by software, for example physical bad sectors.

Step 1   Select the disk that causing the issue and click Disk > Verify Or Repair Bad Sectors, as follows:

fix RAW partition without losing data

Step 2   Click Start Verify button to scan the disk.

fix RAW partition without losing data

Symptoms and causes of RAW partition

What are signs of a RAW partition?

When a partition becomes RAW, you may receive a variety of error message, for example, if you attempt to open a RAW drive in Windows File Explorer, you may get one of the messages:

  • You need to format the disk in drive X: before you can use it. Do you want to format it?
  • 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.
  • Location is not available. X:\ is not accessible. The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable.
  • H:\ is not accessible. The parameter is incorrect.

If you try commands on the drive, you are likely to receive following errors:

  • The type of the file system is RAW. Chkdsk is not available for RAW drives or Convert is not available for RAW drives, chkdsk reports RAW file system.
  • Convert is not available for RAW drives

The partition is marked as RAW in Disk Management:

Why does a partition become RAW?

fix RAW partition without losing data

A partition may become RAW due to following causes:

  • File system structure gets corrupted: File system structure may get damaged due to improper device ejection, virus/malware attack, sudden power failure, bad sector, etc. Since it stores vital information such as partition type, starting and ending location, etc., for the partition, partition will turn to unreadable once that information gets damaged.
  • Damaged partition table: A partition table is responsible for describing all partitions on the disk and it provides information about partition type, size, location for OS. If partition table gets corrupted, Windows won't be able to access partitions.
  • The file system of the partition is not supported by Windows: Windows operating system tags partition as RAW when it cannot recognize the file system, such as EXT2, EXT3, EXT4. In this case, you can connect the disk to the Linux system that supports the file system so as to access files. Also, you can use DiskGenius to access EXT drives in Windows.
  • Bad sectors on the disk: Bad sectors can appear on all kinds of storage devices such as internal hard drive, external hard drive, SSD, USB flash drive, memory card, etc. Bad sectors prevent device from normal read/write actions, and thus the disk will malfunction, such as works slowly, RAW drive, stop responding, etc.

Conclusion

In this article, we discuss symptoms of a RAW drive, causes behind the issue, ways to recover data from RAW drive as well as 4 methods to convert RAW partition to NTFS/FAT easily. Once again, we'd like to mention that RAW partition recovery should be performed prior to trying any methods to fix RAW partition so that you won't lose important files. Moreover, data backup is an effective way to safeguard files, and you can use DiskGenius Free edition to create backups if no backup is available now.


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