How to Recover Data from Raw File System/Raw Partition/Raw Drive

Raw recovery software to recover lost documents, photos, and music files from RAW hard drive, USB drive, memory card, SD card and other storage media.

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Apr 10, 2023 • Filed to: Recover Files • Proven solutions

Are you wondering how to recover data from a raw file system, drive, or partition? In this article, we will explain the causes of this problem and take you through three raw recovery software methods. We also provide you with some useful raw file recovery tips and answer some frequently asked questions about recovering data from a raw drive.

What is a Raw Drive?

Let's start with some housekeeping. A raw drive, partition, or file system refers to storage media such as a hard disk or USB that does not have a file system or the file system isn't recognized by the computer. Data cannot be written to a raw drive until it is formatted to create a file system such as FAT32, NTFS, exFAT, ext4, and so forth.

raw file system error

Possible Causes of File System/Raw Partition/Raw Drive

There are three possible causes of a raw file system, drive, or partition.

Is It Possible to Perform RAW Drive Recovery Without Data Loss?

Yes, this is possible using raw recovery software and other methods as we will explain in Part 1.

Part 1: How to Recover Data from a Raw Drive?

Method 1. Using CHKDSK

CHKDSK is a Windows disk checking command-line tool. The acronym stands for Disk Check. When executed, it checks the drive for file system errors and fixes them. To use the CHKDSK utility, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Launch Windows Command line (CMD). To do this, type CMD in the Windows search bar and click "Run as an Administrator."

Step 2: Type chkdsk e: /f and press Enter. The letter e denotes your storage media drive letter. If you don't know your drive letter, go to File Explorer, click This PC, and note your drive letter.


The computer will check the drive and fix any file system problems. Try and access the storage media once more and check if your data is available.

Method 2. Using raw file recovery software

In such situations, Raw data recovery is possible. We need to opt for Raw data recovery software. Here, RAW recovery doesn't mean recovering partition or file system itself, but recovering files from RAW partition/ file system. Recoverit Data Recovery can effectively and safely perform Raw file recovery to recover lost files from the RAW file system. If your area Mac user, you can try the data recovery for mac, which can do the same.

select a location

Recoverit - The Best Raw File Recovery Software

  • Recover lost or deleted files, photos, audio, music, emails from any storage device effectively, safely and completely.
  • Supports data recovery from recycle bin, hard drive, memory card, flash drive, digital camera, and camcorders.
  • Supports to recover data for sudden deletion, formatting, lost partition, virus attack, system crash under different situations.

Tips: DO NOT install Recoverit Data Recovery to the same partition where you lost data for avoiding overwriting original data.

Method 3. Using TestDisk

TestDisk is raw data recovery freeware. To use this tool, follow the steps below

Step 1: Download the archive (32-bit x86 or 64-bit x64) from the developer's website.

Step 2: Unzip the file and double-click the executable file named testdisk_win.exe.


Step 3: In the command-line window, use the arrow keys to select Create and then press Enter. This action creates a log file.


All drives are detected and listed with their correct size.

Step 4: Select the disk using the arrow keys and press Enter.


Step 5: Select the partition table type. The default value is usually the correct type. Press Enter to continue.


Step 6: Analyse and recover. The default "Analyse" menu checks the storage media for lost partitions. Press Enter to analyze.


Step 7: Examine for missing partitions and errors. If a partition is listed twice, as shown below, that is a sign of an invalid partition table entry or corruption. An invalid boot also points to a faulty boot sector. Perform a quick search to proceed.


Step 8: Highlight the partition with a problem and press p to list your files. Check and confirm that all directories and data are listed correctly. Press Enter to continue.


Step 9: Save the partition table to recover your data. Go to the Write menu and press Enter.


Method 4. Format the Drive (data loss)

If both methods above do not work, you may have to format the drive. Formatting erases all data and writes a file system to the storage media. So, before you proceed, note that you will lose your data if you use this method.
Step 1: Connect the storage media to your computer.
Step 2: Click Disk Management in the Windows search and click to open.
Step 3: Select the storage media you want to format, right-click and click Format.


Step 4: Enter a name in the volume label field, choose a file system, check the Quick Format box and click OK to begin the process. Wait a few minutes for the process to end.


Video Guide: How to Fix "The type of the file system is RAW. CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives" Error?

Recent Videos from Recoverit

View More >

Part 2: Tips of Recovery of Raw Drive

The Bottom Line

We have taken you through the best methods to recover data from a raw file system. Follow the steps as provided and you should have your files back in no time. Most importantly, formatting should only be a last resort. Good raw file recovery software should be able to recover your data.

People Also Ask

How do I open a raw drive?

A raw drive cannot be opened because it doesn't have a file system. The computer needs a working file system or the file system is unrecognizable to be able to open the drive and read the contents.

Can recuva recover raw files?

Recuva is an undelete tool created by a company known as Piriform and can recover raw files

How do I fix a raw drive without formatting?

You can use software tools such as Wondershare Recoverit to recover data from a raw drive without formatting. Other methods include using the CHKDSK utility in windows to find and fix drive errors. You can also use a technical tool like TestDisk.

Other popular Articles From Wondershare

Recoverit author

Amy Dennis

staff Editor

Home > Resources > Recover Files > How to Recover Data from Raw File System/Raw Partition/Raw Drive?