How to Fix and Access RAW SD Card

How to Fix and Recover Raw SD Card

Is your SD card raw? Don't throw it in the trash. There are ways to fix a raw SD card and access your files. Our detailed guide provides workable solutions to solve the problem.

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Sep 05, 2020 • Filed to: SD Card Solutions • Proven solutions


Has your phone suddenly showed you an error message that your SD card is damaged and needs to be reformatted? If so, you could be dealing with a raw SD card.

Several issues can cause this problem. Luckily it isn't a serious problem. You can fix a raw SD card within a few minutes. It is also possible to access any data that may have been contained in the storage.

What is a Raw SD card?

In computing, raw data refers to unprocessed, unstructured, and unprocessed data contained in storage media.

The signs that a storage device has raw data are evident from the error messages when you try to use the device.

Signs of a Raw SD Card

On an Android phone, the phone has an error message informing you that the SD is damaged suggests a raw data issue.

Damaged SD Card in Android

When such an SD card is inserted into a computer, you get a message notifying you that the drive is inaccessible and doesn't have a recognized file system.

Raw Data SD Card in Windows

Another sign that you have a raw SD card is that the Check Disk function in Windows doesn't work. When you try to run the chkdsk command in Command prompt, you get the error message "The type of file system is RAW. Chkdsk is not available for RAW drives".

Chkdsk is not available for RAW drives

Causes of a Raw SD Card

It can be perplexing trying to understand how an SD card that was performing perfectly suddenly starts spitting out error messages. Well, there are several reasons this may happen:

The main way to fix a raw SD card is to format it using the methods described below. Before you format you must first recover and access the files on it because formatting erases all contents.

Step 1. Recover Data from a RAW SD Card

A raw SD card is inaccessible via a phone or computer. This means before you take any action to fix a raw SD card, you must first recover the data on it. Also, if you format the storage first you reduce the probability of recovering any files later.

Despite a storage device being inaccessible, it is possible to recover data on it using Wondershare Recoverit, an advanced data recovery software. The tool uses complex algorithms to scan the SD card and find data fragments. These are then assembled into complete files and recovered.

Wondershare Recoverit can recover files in any format. It can rescue your deleted files, photos, videos, audio files, emails, and more. The tool can restore everything from your PC or Mac, including SD cards, USB flash drives, and external hard drives.

First thing is to download and install the application. Once you've launched it, you'll notice that it has a really simple user interface. The basic principle of how the software operates is that it scans your desired location, shows you the results, and allows you to recover the files it finds.

When using, Recoverit to undelete or recover a file you have the option to search by device, an external device, or even location.

To begin the process, follow the steps below:

Select the location

Go to the External Devices section and select your SD Card. Click Start to begin the process.

Select Location in Recoverit

1. Scan the Storage device

Now it's going to scan the drive to look for any files it can recover. This may take some time, depending upon the memory size of the SD Card. If you're using a laptop, we recommend plugging it into the power source as this can be a processor-intensive task that will use up your battery faster than normal.

Once the scan is completed, you can either explore the results to find your file or run a search in the search box in the upper right. You can also search through the results using the sidebar and specify whether you want to explore by file path or file type.

Scan in Recoverit

2. Recover Your Files

After locating the desired file click Recover. Then it will prompt you to choose the location to save the recovered file.

Once you have been shown the recovery location, click Save. It will recover the file, and a confirmation window will pop up at the end, letting you know it's completed. If you go to the recovery location, you'll see the file.

Recover Files in Recoverit

Wondershare Recoverit also offers a pretty cool video repair solution that repairs videos in different formats like MOV, MP4, AVIs, MKVs, and more. It repairs videos that got corrupt while shooting, recording, transferring, editing, converting, or even processing. It's a great solution for those who work with video files often.

Once you have recovered your files, you can now proceed and fix the raw SD card.

Step 2. Fix and Access RAW SD Card

To fix a raw SD card, you have to format it. Formatting is a computing process that erases all data on a storage device and creates a file system. Formatting solves most problems where an SD card is inaccessible.

There are three main ways of formatting methods that will fix a raw SD Card.

Method 1. Format RAW SD Card with File Explorer

This is the simplest and quickest method. Open your File Explorer and navigate to This PC.

Right-click on your storage device. Scroll down and select the Format option.

Format Command in File Explorer

In the next window, select the file system from the dropdown menu. The choice of a file system will depend on the size of your SD card and the intended use. If you intend to store large files such as video footage of over 4Gb in size, then it recommended that you select exFAT. If not, then you can use FAT32. The FAT32 file system does not support files over 4Gb in size.

Enter a name for your SD card in the Volume Label field and check the Quick format box.

Formatting in File Explorer

Next, click Start to begin the process. In a few minutes, this method will fix the raw SD card.

Method 2. Format RAW SD Card with CMD

The next method involves using the Windows Command Line utility. This tool is also referred to as CMD or Command Prompt. To get started, fire it up by typing CMD in the Windows search box. Click the app to launch it. Once the tool is up and running, follow the steps below.

You will need to launch Diskpart. Diskpart is a CMD tool that is used to manage disk drives. To launch it, type Diskpart and press Enter.

Next, type the command list disk. This command lists all the disk drives on the computer.

Take note of the number allocated to your SD card and then type the command select disk x and press Enter, where x is the number allocated to your storage. This command selects your storage and ensures all subsequent commands affect only the targeted disk drive.

Next, type the command clean and press Enter. This command wipes the SD Card and removes all partitions. It leaves the disk with unallocated space.

Type the command, create partition primary, and press Enter. This command creates a new partition and writes the file system.

To fix the raw SD card, complete the process by typing the command format fs=FAT32 and press Enter. Take note that FAT32 represents the desired file system. If you want to use exFAT, the command should read format fs=exFAT.

Format Using CMD in Diskpart

Wait for a success message and then type Exit to leave Diskpart and close the CMD window.

Check to confirm the raw SD card is working normally.

Method 3. Format RAW SD Card with Disk Management

The third method involves formatting the SD card using Disk Management, a graphical windows utility to manage disk drives.

To launch Disk Management, go to the Windows Search box and type Disk Management. Click the app to launch it. Once it is running, follow the steps below:

Right-click the SD card and click Format.

Format in Disk Management

Next, select the file system from the dropdown menu, enter a name in the Volume Label field, and check the Performa a quick format box.

Quick Format in Disk Management

Click OK to begin the formatting process. After a few minutes, you will fix the raw SD card.

Fixing a raw SD card without formatting is possible on rare occasions where the file system is not damaged. There are two fixes you can try to fix a raw SD card.

Method 4. Run CHKDSK in Command Prompt Without Formatting

CHKDSK is an acronym for Check Disk, a disk checking tool in Windows that checks drives for errors and fixes them.

Open CMD as an administrator and type chkdsk d: /f and press Enter, where d denotes your SD card drive letter. You can check the drive letter in File Explorer.

Chkdsk in Command Prompt

If the computer can execute the command, you will only need to wait a few minutes for the drive to be checked and errors fixed.

Method 5. Assign a Drive Letter to Fix RAW SD Card

This method can work if you notice there is no drive letter assigned to your SD card. To assign a drive letter, you need to launch the Disk Management utility from the Windows Search box.

Right-click on your SD card and click Change drive letter and paths.

Assign a New Drive Letter

Assign a new drive letter and click OK to proceed.

Check to see if the raw SD card is working normally.

Take note that if any of these two methods fail, use Wondershare Recoverit to recover your files and then format the SD card.

How to Prevent a RAW SD Card

An SD card becomes raw due to improper operations, corruption, virus infection, or if it is a low-quality card. The following tips will help you avoid this problem.

If you take good care of your storage by following these tips, you will never have to fix a raw SD card.

Closing Words

And, that's a wrap! If you have been wondering how to fix a raw SD card, the solutions we have provided above are well researched and guaranteed to work. But in the event nothing works, then you probably need to head to the store and get yourself a brand new storage device.

Recoverit author

Eleanor Reed

staff Editor

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