How to Recover Files from RAW Hard Drive Without Formatting
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?
- 💢 When you open a drive, you get the prompt "You need to format the disk in drive X: before you can use it."
- 🚨 Unable to access X: This volume does not contain a recognizable file system. Please ensure that all required file system drivers are loaded and the volume is not corrupted.
- 😩 The location is unavailable. Unable to access X:! The file or directory structure is corrupt and unreadable, the drive parameter is wrong, etc.
- 📑 The drive file system shows RAW.
- ⭕ The hard disk/partition capacity is showing as "0".
- ⛔ The disk in drive X: is not formatted. Do you want to format it now?
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:
- 🚫 The drive file system is damaged due to wrong operations, such as force shutdown and power failure.
- 💽 The disk DBR information is corrupted.
- 🔋 The power supply for the USB port is insufficient, causing the disk file system to change when connected to a computer.
- ☹️ The repartition/formatting is not completed.
- 👾 The virus destroyed some critical information on the hard disk, making the file system cannot be identified.
- 📋 An error occurred in the partition table area of the disk.
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.
- 🖥️ Do not refer to some tutorials to perform CHKDSK on RAW drives, attempting to find files. Because this command does not achieve the goal, it will lead to excessive repair of the RAW hard disk/partition, and further damage to the file system, making it more difficult to restore data that could be quickly recovered initially.
- 🛠️ Don't try to format it directly or use software to repair it. Any further operations on the RAW drive may result in data loss.
- 🔖 Use professional and free RAW drive recovery software to help you get back your important files. (There are many free recovery tools available to help solve the problem, why should we pay for them?)
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.
- Install and launch iBeesoft Free Data Recovery
- Next, you must choose the "RAW disk" & hit the "Scan" button to initiate the scanning process.
- 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.
- 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.
- Download and run TestDisk on your PC.
- Select Create > Select your RAW Disk > Intel > Analyse > Quick Search
- After complete analysis, use the up and down arrow keys to select the lost files.
- Click C to copy found files.
- 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.
- Select your RAW drive in the hard drive list.
- Click on the File Recovery option in the header menu.
- 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.
- Recovery success rate
- Repair of damaged files
- Preview file
- Easy to use
- Support system
- iBeesoft Free Data Recovery
- Windows and Mac
- Windows, macOS, and Linux
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:
- Type "Command Prompt" in the search bar. When showing this app, click "Run as Administrator".
- 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.
- Open "My Computer" and select your RAW disk/partition under the "Devices and drives" option.
- Right-click and select the "Format" option
- 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.
- 🔌 Please don't close it before its repartitioning/formatting process is over.
- ⛱️ While disconnecting your external hard drive from your computer, you must always follow the "Safely Remove Hardware" option.
- 👹 To prevent malware issues causing the RAW disk, you must keep your system updated by consistently running antivirus.
- 📰 Taking back up of your drive data & avoiding overuse of the storage device can prevent the RAW drive problem & ensures the longevity of your storage drive.
- ⚙️ Use a hard drive repair tool regularly to check the status of the drive
If your hard drive has become RAW, you cannot access it because our system does not recognize the RAW file system. But you can convert it to a recognized drive with "chkdsk *: /f" command. So you can access it.
Yes, Although it became inaccessible. But we can extract and save files to other locations through RAW drive recovery software. Here, you can take the help of iBeesoft data recovery software for Mac or Windows to help you with this task.
First, you can use iBeesoft Data Recovery to help you recover data from RAW external hard drive, disk, partition, USB drive, and more. Then, you can convert it to NFTS/FAT by formatting/CMD. Finally, save the file to the location of the principle. This way, you are done recovering a RAW disk without losing files.
Select the RAW partition > Right click and select format option > Select the file system as NTFS > Click the "Start" button. When this process is complete, your partition file system will become NTFS.
Yes! With the high-end technology of iBeesoft Data Recovery software, you can do that flawlessly.
- Connecting the RAW external hard disk to the computer.
- Select it and click the "Scan" button to extract data.
- Preview the files returned by the software.
- Select the files you need and click the "Recover" button to save them.
Multiple free tools are available in the market to get files back from RAW disk/partition. If you need it, you can choose the software below.
- iBeesoft Free Data Recovery
- Puran File Recovery
- EaseUS Data Recovery Free Wizard
- Glarysoft File Recovery Free
- CD Recovery Toolbox
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.