What is the Raw hard drive? How to fix the Raw hard drive?

Jun 08, 2020 • Filed to: Support • Proven solutions

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“Yeah, I think I just killed my external hard drive, guys. When I plugged in my Seagate external HDD, it showed up as ‘Raw’ and a prompt told me I had to format the drive for it to be functional again. I did as instructed, knowing fully well I had lots of important data in the drive. And you know what? That STILL didn’t fix the problem! The Raw drive could not be repaired because there was a format failure. Now I’m lost. I have no idea what to do to repair the Raw drive while making sure my data is safe and sound. A little help? Anyone?”
Hard disk parts
raw drive

Let’s be clear on one thing: Formatting a drive is a very effective way to fix it; this solution works most of time, and it doesn’t matter whether the drive is a hard drive, memory card, USB or thumb drive. But you won’t always be so lucky. Sometimes, formatting a drive just won’t cut it, and you’ll need to resort to other options. A simple example of when formatting fails to achieve the desired effect is when you get the ‘Windows was unable to complete the format’ error.

How to Fix a Raw Hard Drive that Can’t be Formatted in all Windows Versions

Here’s an alternate way to fix a Raw drive: You convert it into NTFS, FAT32, or any other recognized file system. When you try Windows quick format or maybe ‘Disk management’ and neither of them are able to format the drive, give ‘disk part command line’ a shot and see what happens. Do this:

1Click on ‘Start’, then in the menu that appears, just type ‘cmd’ and press ‘Enter’.

2 Right-click on ‘cmd’ and you’ll see a pop-up. Click on ‘Run as Administrator’

3Type ‘Disk part’, then press ‘Enter’ once more.

4Now, type this command: ‘convert X: /fs:ntfs.’ Once you do that, press ‘enter’ again. In case you’re wondering, you’ll replace ‘X’ with the letter of your Raw drive. And be aware that you can replace NTFS with the other file systems- fat32, exfat, etc.).

What If Disk Part Cannot Fix Raw Drive and the Drive Eventually Fails?


If this happens, it just means the drive must have suffered extensive hardware damage. If that’s the case, then it’s time to pull out your trump card, which is the low-level format. Doing that will erase everything in your raw drive, and you won’t be able to recover any data that was in there. So always this have this at the back of your mind: Recover data from your Raw drive BEFORE you format or else you can bid your files farewell.

David Darlington

staff Editor

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