How to convert RAW to FAT32 without data loss?

Posted by Juno to Data Recovery Tips on June 28th, 2017

I have recently discovered that I cannot access my USB flash drive. When I try to open it on Windows computer, I receive a pop-up message saying "This drive is not formatted, would you like to format it?" It shows as RAW when I check in Disk Management. Is there any way to convert RAW to FAT32 without data loss? Or can I convert RAW to FAT32 without formatting? Any help would be appreciated!

Convert RAW to FAT32 - a feasible way to fix RAW drive

FAT32 file system is widely used on various storage devices, such as USB flash drives, SD cards, memory cards and other external hard drives. But sometimes, your drive which is originally formatted with FAT32 file system may become RAW due to unexpected damage.

RAW file system is not a type of file system, like FAT32, exFAT, NTFS or HFS+ file system, but the state when the file system of a drive has been lost or can't be recognized by the Operating System.

No matter it is USB flash drive, memory card, or external hard drive that becomes RAW, you can no longer use it or access data inside it. The most common way to make a RAW drive useable again is to convert RAW to FAT32 by formatting it, but that will make you lose data saved on it. Is there any way to convert RAW to FAT32 without data loss?

Convert RAW to FAT32 using command line

The first method is to use DiskPart to fix RAW partitions by converting RAW to FAT32. Converting RAW to FAT32 using DiskPart command line is to clean bad sectors and get access to the data stored in the drive.

Step 1: Go to the start menu, type in "cmd" in a search bar.

Step 2: Right-click cmd.exe and choose "Run as Administrator".

Step 3: Type diskpart and enter.

Step 4: Type rescan and enter.

Step 5: Restart your computer.

If the RAW drive has been converted to FAT32 successfully using cmd, then you can access the drive as normal, and no data lost after converting RAW to FAT32 using cmd. However, most of the time, cmd won't work as expected.

A more reliable way to convert RAW to FAT32 without data loss

To keep the security of your data, you are recommended to recover lost data from RAW drive before converting RAW to FAT32 with formatting.

As long as your RAW drive doesn't have hardware problem, you can perform data recovery by using iBoysoft Data Recovery, a professional data recovery software that can recover lost data from RAW USB flash drive, RAW memory card, RAW SD card, RAW external hard drive, formatted, corrupted, inaccessible hard drive, external hard drive, USB flash drive, memory card, recover deleted files even if emptied from Recycle Bin, etc. on Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP and Windows Server 2019/2016/2012/2008/2003.

Step 1: Recover lost data from RAW drive with iBoysoft Data Recovery

1. Download & install iBoysoft Data Recovery on the PC, and then connect the RAW drive to the PC.

2. Launch iBoysoft Data Recovery, and select the RAW drive.

Convert RAW to FAT32 without data loss

3. Click "Next" to search for all lost files on the RAW drive.

4. Preview the searching results, choose those you want, and click "Recover" button to get them back.

5. Check to ensure you have recovered all lost data.

Step 2: Convert RAW to FAT32

After you have successfully recovered data on the RAW drive, you can convert RAW to FAT32 by format without worrying about data loss.

1. Go to This PC, My Computer or Disk Management, find the RAW drive.

2. Right-click the RAW drive to choose "Format".

3. Set up file system as FAT32, and assign a volume label to it.

4. Click "Start" and the format operation will finish soon.

If you want to convert RAW drive to NTFS, you can find detailed tutorial here.

Still have questions?