How to Recover Files from RAW Hard Drive Without Formatting

Home > HowTos > File Recovery Tips Updated by Nancy on May 15, 2024 | Approved by Jennifer Allen

The word RAW means raw and unprocessed. So RAW drives also refer to disks/partitions that are either unformatted or unrecognized. So how do you know when your drive file system becomes RAW?

If you encounter the above error messages, the system no longer recognizes your drive. Unlike other file systems, such as FAT32 and NTFS, RAW is an uncommon file system that represents something wrong with your hard disk and makes it inaccessible. When it happens, the first thing we want to know must be, "How can I open the RAW drive?" and "Can I recover data from a RAW hard drive without formatting?". Don't worry. Here, we will help you solve the problems.

Quick Navigation
Part 1: What Causes RAW Drives
Part 2: 3 Ways to Free Recover Files from a RAW Drive without Formatting
Part 3: Comparison of the Three RAW Hard Drive Recovery without Formatting Ways
Part 4: Part 4: How to Convert RAW File System to NTFS or FAT with/without Formatting
Part 5: Tips to Avoid a RAW Disk

Part 1: What Causes RAW Drives

Now that you know the symptoms of a RAW drive, it's time to understand what has caused the problem:

Many computer users know how frustrating losing essential data stored on a hard drive can be. It's even more frustrating when the hard drive becomes inaccessible, often due to an unreadable file system. In these cases, it is possible to regain access to all files without formatting the drive and risk losing your data for good. You will need specialized software for RAW hard drive recovery without formatting.

Part 2: 3 Ways to Free Recover Files from a RAW Drive Without Formatting

Disk/partition, USB flash drive, external hard drive, and SD card are all commonly used data storage devices. When we use them, it inevitably avoids the errors mentioned above to make the drives RAW. Before getting down to the task, please follow the rules below for better free RAW drive recovery.

At this time, the RAW drive becomes inaccessible. So, your data will be hidden and cannot be saved anywhere. Don't worry; we don't see the RAW disk/partition files. But you can use a professional tool to help you recover files from a RAW hard drive without formatting for free. Here, we will use three free data recovery software to help.

Way 1: Use iBeesoft Free Data Recovery

It is one of the best and most accessible options to restore data from RAW hard drive without formatting for free. It takes up the most advanced file recovery Algorithms. It can also repair corrupted files during scanning. The best free RAW drive recovery software can extract over 1000 file types from 2000 storage devices and work on Windows or Mac. It can also recover files from a formatted hard drive free on Mac or Windows 11/10.

Download for Windows Download for macOS
  1. Install and launch iBeesoft Free Data Recovery
  2. Next, you must choose the "RAW disk" & hit the "Scan" button to initiate the scanning process.
  3. After completing the scanning process, your system's screen will show all the found files. You can preview the found files to decide what files you want to return.
  4. After selecting your required files for recovery, go for the "Recover" option to save the file on your system or other storage.

Way 2: Use TestDisk

For recovering files from RAW partitions, using TestDisk is a bit tricky. Because it just recognizes your entire disk. It's also a command line interface, but it's completely free.

  1. Download and run TestDisk on your PC.
  2. Select Create > Select your RAW Disk > Intel > Analyse > Quick Search
  3. After complete analysis, use the up and down arrow keys to select the lost files.
  4. Click C to copy found files.
  5. When the file transfer is complete, you go to the saved directory to check them.

Way 3: Use DiskGenius

A powerful hard disk management program can help you solve almost all drive problems.

  1. Select your RAW drive in the hard drive list.
  2. Click on the File Recovery option in the header menu.
  3. Select the target file and right-click "Copy to" to choose a save location.

Recovering files from a RAW hard drive without formatting can be a daunting task for those who don't have the technical know-how. However, with the help of specialized software, it is entirely possible to get all lost data.

Part 3: Comparison of the Three RAW Hard Drive Recovery Without Formatting Ways

All the above three tools can help you recover files from RAW partition/hard drive without formatting for free. When understanding their pros and cons. I believe you can choose the one that suits you.

Part 4: How to Convert RAW File System to NTFS or FAT with/without Formatting

After you recover RAW partition/disk for free with the help of third-party software, next, you need to convert the RAW drive to be recognized by the system so that you can continue to use it. Here, you can use the following two methods to accomplish it.

Methods 1, Change RAW to NTFS/FAT Without Formatting

When your hard drive becomes RAW, you can try setting it using CMD if you want to fix it without formatting. Here, you go with the steps:

  1. Type "Command Prompt" in the search bar. When showing this app, click "Run as Administrator".
  2. Type the "chkdsk *: /f" in the CMD window & hit the "Enter" button. The * is your drive letter of the RAW drive.

Methods 2, Convert RAW to NTFS/FAT with Formatted

Since drive formatting involves huge data loss risks, you must recover data from RAW drive free use software before initiating the RAW drive formatting process. Once you complete the data recovery process, follow the steps to convert the RAW to NTFS, FAT, and more.

  1. Open "My Computer" and select your RAW disk/partition under the "Devices and drives" option.
  2. Right-click and select the "Format" option
  3. In the new window, please choose a file system you want and click the "Start" button

Part 5: Tips to Avoid a RAW Disk

Even though you know how to recover files from a RAW partition/disk for free, it is always better to prevent the problem in advance instead of looking for its cure. While following a few simple precautionary steps, you can avoid the issue of any disk turning into a RAW drive.



Recovering files from a RAW hard drive without formatting is not easy, but it is possible. After reading this article thoroughly, you would probably never get scared once you encounter a situation when your storage device becomes a RAW drive. So, to avoid your valuable data loss, you must keep the best free RAW hard drive recovery software, iBeesoft Data Recovery, installed in your system & get a permanent solution for any data loss situation.