How to fix RAW USB drives without formatting?

Posted by Vivian to Data Recovery on February 1st, 2019

Hello! Hope you have useful solutions for me! I can't open my USB drive on my PC and it says that it needs to be formatted. The used space and free space are both 0 bytes in its property, but actually, there are many songs that I often listen to. And its file system type is RAW, what does that indicate? Is it possible to fix this RAW USB drive without formatting?

When you try to open a USB drive on your Windows computer, it would be an annoyance to receive following error messages.

"You need to format the disk in drive before you can use it. Do you want to format it?"
"The disk in drive is not formatted. Do you want to format it now?"
"This volume does not contain a recognized file system. Please make sure that all required file system drivers are loaded and that the volume is not corrupted."

In this case, your USB drive may become RAW and you have no access to your data on this RAW USB drive. But you'd better not jump to formatting as the message told you to because it will erase all data on this drive. Then the question is: how to fix the RAW USB drive without formatting? This page shows you two feasible solutions to solve the RAW file system problem and you can have a try.

Solution 1: Fix the RAW USB drive via CHKDSK

Windows has a natural utility called CHKDSK which can check the integrity of drives and fix various file system errors. You can try CHKDSK Command and fix your RAW USB drive without formatting. But at most of the time, you will get the message "The type of the file system is RAW. CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives", which means CHKDSK Command will fail to fix the RAW file system error.

CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives

Solution 2: Recover lost data and fix this RAW USB drive error

There are still another two fixes available to fix the RAW USB drive. One of them is using DiskPart Command to fix RAW partition. However, the thing you should notice is, DiskPart Command may be destructive to your data. Thus, to avoid losing any important files, you can firstly recover your data from this RAW USB drive with trustworthy data recovery software like iBoysoft Data Recovery. And then you can use the following two fixes with ease.

iBoysoft Data Recovery is powerful data recovery software that can recover lost data from RAW external drives like USB flash drives, Pen drives, SD cards, etc. It also can recover deleted files from emptied Recycle Bin and from formatted/unreadable/inaccessible drives and partitions. Besides, this software supports data recovery on Windows 10/8/7/XP and Windows Server 2019/2016/2012/2008/2003.

Step 1: Recover lost data from this RAW USB drive

1. Download, install and launch iBoysoft Data Recovery on your computer.

Recover lost data from Raw USB drive in Windows

2. Click the RAW USB drive and click "Next" to scan for data on this drive.

3. Double-click the scanning results to preview them.

4. Select the files you want to recover.

5. Click "Recover" to get them back and save them to another drive.

Step 2: Fix this RAW USB drive error with DiskPart or reformatting

Fix 1: Fix the RAW USB drive with DiskPart Command

1. Type "cmd" in the search box.

2. Right-click on "cmd.exe" and choose "Run as administrator".

3. Type "diskpart" in the Command Prompt window and press Enter.

4. Type "list disk" and press Enter. According to the list disk information, select your USB flash drive.

5. Type "format fs=ntfs" and press Enter. And you can change the command ntfs to fat32 or exfat.

6. Type "exit" and press enter.

Fix 2: Fix your RAW USB drive by reformatting

If you are inexperienced in Command Prompt or it is too complicated to operate, reformatting is an easier way that you can choose.

1. Find Disk Management in My Computer/Computer/PC.

2. Select the RAW USB drive, right-click and choose "Format".

This process will assign a new file system to your RAW USB drive so that you can use it again.

Quick knowledge: why your USB drive becomes RAW?

A RAW USB drive is a drive that has an unknown file system that can't be recognized by the operating system, and that's the reason why you can't access your data. And such a RAW USB drive could be caused by file system corruption, virus attacks, improper connection, and many other factors.

Still have questions?