How to fix RAW USB drive when it says you need to format the disk?

Posted by Molly to Data Recovery on October 15th, 2018

When you plug a USB flash drive or Pen drive into your computer and try to access the files on it, you may unexpectedly get the error message "You need to format the disk in drive before you can use it". It indicates that the USB drive turned to be RAW and the RAW drive is inaccessible without formatting. This article offers you two solutions: fix the USB drive using cmd command or fix RAW drive to NTFS.

You need to format disk in drive before you can use it

How to fix the error: you need to format the disk on USB flash drive?

Once the USB drive becomes RAW and says you need to format it before using, you'd better stop using it because your any further operation on it may write new data that overwrites the files you want to get back. The better way now, follow the steps as below to fix the RAW USB drive that needs to be formatted.

Step 1: Recover data from the RAW USB drive that says you need to format.

iBoysoft Data Recovery is free RAW USB drive data recovery software that is able to recover data from RAW USB flash drives and Pen drives that showing USB flash drive 0 bytes, USB flash drive not formatted, USB flash drive not accessible, as well as USB/Pen drive file system unknown, etc. Besides, it's also able to recover data from formatted, unreadable, inaccessible external hard drives, USB drives, SD cards, memory cards and more storage devices on Window 10/8/7/XP and Windows Server 2019/2016/2012/2008/2003.

The tutorial to recover data from the RAW USB drive with iBoysoft Data Recovery.

1. Free download iBoysoft Data Recovery and install it.

2. Launch iBoysoft Data Recovery.

Recover data from the RAW USB drive with iBoysoft Data Recovery

3. Select the RAW USB drive and click "Next" to start scanning for all lost files.

4. Select the files you want to get back and then click "Recover".

Step 2: Fix the RAW USB drive that says you need to format without losing data.

Method 1: Fix the RAW USB drive using CHKDSK.

CHKDSK command is capable of logical issue check and reparation. Though it doesn't always work due to "The type of the file system is RAW. CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives", you can give it a try to remove "You need to format the disk in drive before you can use it" error on USB drives.

1. Type and search "cmd" from the Start menu.

2. Run cmd utility as Administrator.

3. Type "chkdsk drive letter: /f", such as "chkdsk h: /f" and press "Enter".

4. Try to access the USB flash drive and see if the error removed.

Method 2: Fix the RAW USB drive by formatting.

1. Go to This PC (Windows 10) or My Computer (Windows 8/7) or Disk Management, right click on the RAW USB flash drive and select "Format".

2. Setup information about format: File system, allocation unit size, volume label, format options (The default format option is Quick Format). You can convert RAW to NTFS or convert RAW to FAT32 according to your preference.

3. Click on Start, the format process will be completed in minutes.

This tutorial is not only to fix "You need to format the disk in drive before you can use it" issue on RAW USB flash drives, but also to fix the RAW issue on Pen drives, external hard drives, SD cards, memory cards, and much more. Most important of all, recovering data from RAW partitions or drives with free RAW drive data recovery software, like iBoysoft Data Recovery, should come first to avoid data loss.

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