How to Recover Files from Raw Hard Drive/How to Fix a Raw Drive [2022]

Updated to File Recovery Tips by Nancy on May 17, 2022 | Approved by Christian Cawley

Useable hard drives all have a readable file system within them. These file systems include NTFS, FAT32, exFAT, Ext2, Ext3, and others. With respect to these, a RAW Hard Drive is one that does not have any of these systems and as a result, information within it cannot be read or accessed. In other words, the hard drive gets corrupted.

Part 1. How to Make Clear Whether Your Hard Disk Becomes Raw or Not?

These are the main symptoms of a RAW hard drive. If you encounter any scenarios like the above listed after connecting your drive, you can immediately know the file system becomes raw. When this happens to a drive, it becomes completely inaccessible and there are very high chances of losing what you have within especially when your computer displays "Disk is not formatted, do you want to format it?" This is bad news and the next thing that comes to mind is, "Can I recover my file from the RAW Hard Drive?" or "how to fix a raw drive without formatting".

My suggestion of you is to get back files from raw hard drive first to prevent data loss. After then, learn how to fix raw hard drive without formatting.

Part 2. How to Recover Files from Raw Hard Drive

As earlier mentioned, you cannot access the RAW hard drive normally due to damage in the file system. To restore files/data from raw hard drive/partition, you have to make use of the software. Data recovery software is able to get access to the raw hard disk/partition, listing the recoverable files for you, letting you select files to recover from the raw hard drive.

iBeesoft Data Recovery is a great software to find data from hard drive that shows the raw file system whether the raw hard disk is a computer's internal hard drive or an external hard drive. More than that, iBeesoft Data Recovery has a separate version for Windows PC and Mac, letting you recover files on the two computer systems easily. Here are the main reasons for why choose iBeesoft Data Recovery to recover files from raw hard drive.

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Below, you will be guided through the steps on h how to recover data from hard drive that shows raw file system.

  1. Download and Install RAW drive recovery software on your PC
  2. .

    Make sure to choose the right software version for your system, either the Mac or Windows version. Once done with the download, open the software.

  3. Choose the Scanning location
  4. Plug your hard drive to your computer and from the software, choose the RAW hard drive to scan from it. You can either choose a partition of the hard drive to be scanned or the entire hard drive itself. Just do what you need to recover what you want.

  5. Scan and preview the found files
  6. Click on the scan button and wait for some time for the scan to be completed. After the first scanning process which is done with the quick scan mode by default, the software will list all the files which were found on the hard drive. Go through these files and find what you needed to recover.

If you don’t find the target files from the raw hard drive with the default scanning mode, apply a deep scan by clicking "Deep Scan" in the scanning result window. This is a more intense search and will enable you to get more files that were hidden in the hard drive. It will take longer than a quick scan but it is worth it.

It’s not the end by learn how to recover data from failing hard drive. To make the hard drive work, you need to know how to fix a raw drive below.

Part 3. Reasons Cause Hard Drive Raw File System

Your hard drive may leave from its original readable file system to the RAW file system due to one of the following reasons.

Get to know the reasons cause raw hard drive, the next time you should be careful while using a hard drive. Next, let’s learn how to repair a raw hard disk.

Part 4. How to Repair/Fix Hard drive

Method 1. How to Repair RAW Drive without Formatting, But Using CMD

You can convert from RAW to NTFS using CMD in a case where you didn’t do any data recovery or data backup and will not like to lose your data by formatting. To use this method, follow the guide below;

  1. Click on Start, type cmd and press Enter.
  2. Right-click on cmd and choose Run As Administrator.
  3. As it opens, type chkdsk f:/f (replace the first ‘f’ with the right drive letter for the raw disk). After then, wait for the process to finish. The chkdsk is checking and fixing the bad sector of the raw disk.

This will permit you to fix the RAW partition with no formatting needed. However, this method usually fails to display the message "CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives". so it is advised to recover data from your drive then performing one of the two other methods of fixing your hard drive below.

Method 2. How to Fix Raw Hard Drive with TestDisk

This method is more technical and requires a lot of attention together with cautiousness. To use this method, follow the steps provided below;

To begin with, you will have to download TestDisk, install the downloaded file and launch it. This tool runs in console mode and needs some technicality to deal with.

  1. Choose the Create option and press Enter.
  2. Choose the RAW hard disk then proceed by selecting Enter. This will permit the tool to detect the partition type on the hard drive then click on Enter.
  3. Proceed by choosing Analyse and press Enter.
  4. A list of partitions will appear, choose Quick Search then press Enter; this will enable TestDisk to search for the partitions present on your RAW hard disk.
  5. After the analysis, this tool will detect a partition(s). If the hard drive has two partitions with either one of it being in the RAW state, only one partition which is not RAW will be detected. If it has three partitions with one being RAW, the other two will be detected; that’s how it works.
  6. In a case where one of the partitions is not detected, then this undetected partition is the RAW partition. Once you detect this, choose Deeper Search then press Enter for a more in depth analysis. This will take some time since the tool will scan the hard drive thoroughly. TestDisk then lists the partitions present in the hard drive.
  7. Once this tool is done, it will display the detected partitions in green color on a black background. The partition that is detected that was not present in the Quick Search was formerly in RAW NTFS and will be displayed alongside those which were previously displayed.
  8. You can then verify the viability of TestDisk by selecting a partition and pressing p. If it lists the files present in that partition, then it successfully detected the partition. You can do this for all partitions to make sure you have not lost any information or destroyed any partitions during the process. Then press q to get back to the original screen with the list of detected partitions.
  9. You will notice a * at the beginning line of the RAW partition that was just found. This means that partition is not set as a primary partition and to fix this you should use the left and right arrow keys to bring P at the beginning line of the RAW partition instead of the * which was initially present then press Enter.
  10. Then you can select Write and press Enter. Confirm this action by pressing Y.

Repair the boot sector. If the RAW problem arises due to a boot sector not being good, you can fix this in 2 different ways;

When using the Rebuild BS option, TestDisk generates itself the boot sector and compares it to the existing one.

When the Status of the boot sector is bad, the method of repair is different. To proceed with repairing, choose Write and press Enter. Finally, confirm by pressing Y.

This ensures the boot sector is now OK. You can then select quit and press Enter. You must then reboot your computer to make the effects take place.

After following this, you can be rest assured your disk is repaired. Once you go through the disks on your computer, the RAW hard disk will now be accessible.

Method 3. How to Fix Raw Hard Drive by Formatting (Convert Raw to NTFS)

Formatting the RAW hard drive is the best method you can use to fix the hard drive. However, it will result in a loss in the data found in the hard drive. Before performing this, it will be wise to use iBeesoft to recover your data then continue with the formatting process so that you save both your data and your hard drive. To format your hard drive,

  1. Open My Computer or This PC.
  2. Find the RAW hard drive
  3. Right-click on this hard drive and click on Format
  4. Under the file system, you can now choose between NTFS, exFAT, and FAT32.
  5. After selecting this, go to Volume Label and rename your RAW hard drive
  6. Tick the Quick format box
  7. Finally select start to begin the formatting. Once it is completed, your RAW hard drive will then have a new file system.