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CHKDSK is Not Available for RAW Drives, How to Fix it?

Updated on Friday, June 14, 2024

iBoysoft author Rivers Wong

Written by

Rivers Wong
Professional tech editor

Approved by

Jessica Shee


Summary: The error CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives appears in repairing hard drives with cmd. To avoid data loss, first recover data with iBoysoft Data Recovery software before you follow the guide to fix this CHKDSK problem.

chkdsk is not available for raw drives

My external hard drive suddenly became inaccessible. When I tried to open it, I got the message "The drive is not formatted. Do you want to format it now?" So, I ran CHKDSK command in Command Prompt hoping to repair it, only to find that "The type of the file system is RAW. CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives." I have saved lots of important photos and working files on the drive. Is there any way to fix this error and get my lost data back?

This is a real case discussed in the Microsoft community. If you are also annoyed by getting "The type of the file system is RAW. CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives" error for SD cards, USB flash drives, and other external drives, do not panic.

This article will tell you why CHKDSK reports RAW file system errors, and also offer you solutions to repair the "CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives" error and recover all the data from RAW drives.

CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives, what is it?

Before we get straight to repairing CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives issue, it is essential to discuss what is it in the first place. 

Generally speaking, if you get the error message "The type of the file system is RAW. CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives." when trying to repair your malfunctioning drive using CHKDSK command in Command Prompt window, it means two things. Your hard drive becomes Raw and CHKDSK is not able to repair it.

A drive becomes RAW when its file system goes wrong or can't be recognized by the Operating System. Under that condition, all the data stored on the drive is not accessible until the RAW status is removed.

If the drive is severely damaged or corrupted, it's impossible to fix using CHKDSK and you will be told that "CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives" on Windows 10/8/7. 

Do you know what the error message "CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives" is now? If you did, share this content with others now!


Two steps to fix/repair CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives error

As CHKDSK command can't repair the RAW file system, and according to the recommended ways in other articles, you may want to fix that problem by converting the drive's original file system to other types. You can convert RAW to FAT32, exFAT, and also convert RAW to NTFS. But unfortunately, after running "convert g: /fs:ntfs" in CMD, an annoying error message pops up again: "CONVERT is not available for RAW drives." 

CONVERT is not available for RAW drives

In this situation, if you still want to fix RAW drive, you should format RAW drive and assign a new file system to it. If there's no data on your drive, or you don't want those files on it, feel free to perform the formatting. But if you have very important data stored on it, you should recover lost data from the RAW drive first, then fix RAW drive by formatting. Because reformatting will wipe all your documents on the drive, so be careful!

Check the following video guide to fix the CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives error. In this video, we will show you the solution in detail.

Also, if the video is not your type, check the text version below!

Step 1: Recover lost data from RAW drive using data recovery software

iBoysoft Data Recovery is one of the most powerful RAW drive data recovery software in the market. It can recover documents, photos, videos, music, audio, and any other types of files from RAW drives. It also supports retrieving files from various RAW storage devices, including RAW USB flash drives, RAW SD cards, RAW external hard disks, etc.

Moreover, with the brilliant Fix Drive feature of iBoysoft Data Recovery software, you can get a chance to repair CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives error and fix the RAW disk within clicks. Once the faulty drive can be fixed, it will return to its original file system, like NTFS file system. At the same time, you can access the data stored on it again.

But if the file system of your RAW drive is severely damaged and cannot be fixed by the tool, you can also use this tool to recover data from RAW drives.

Follow the steps below to recover lost data from RAW drive with iBoysoft Data Recovery:

  1. Free download and install iBoysoft Data Recovery on your Windows computer.
  2. Connect your RAW hard drive to the PC, and then launch the RAW drive data recovery software.       
    main interface of iBoysoft Data Recovery software
  3. Choose the RAW Drive Recovery module from the three options in the user interface.
  4. In the Drives list, select your RAW drive, and click Next to start scanning for lost files.choose RAW drive from drive list
  5. Till the scanning process is over, click Fix Drive at the bottom to try to fix RAW drive.click Fix Drive to try to fix the RAW drive

If the RAW drive is fixed, iBoysoft Data Recovery will automatically open it. In this case, you should check your data stored on it to see whether they are accessible and not corrupted. 

But if this tool fails to fix RAW drive, please go on the following steps:

  1. Click Switch to Data Recovery Mode this time, and make sure your Raw hard drive is connected to your PC.
  2. Select your RAW drive in the drive list, and click Next to scan the lost files stored on it.scan lost files from the RAW drive
  3. Till the scanning is finished, preview the scanned files to check if they are corrupted.preview the scanned files stored on the RAW drive
  4. Select files you want to recover, and click Recover to save important data to another destination. Do not save them back to your RAW drive, it will overwrite the existing date and cause losing data!

Recover lost data from Raw drive successfully? Come on to share it with your friends!


Step 2: Fix "CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives" error by formatting

After successfully restoring lost files, you can repair "CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives" error by formatting the RAW drive now. Again, formatting a RAW drive will wipe all data stored on it. Please make sure you've restored your files from the faulty drive already.

Method 1: Format RAW drive using File Explorer

  1. Connect your RAW hard drive to the Windows computer.
  2. Double-click the Computer(or This PC on Windows 10) on the desktop.
  3. Right-click on the RAW drive and select Format.
  4. Select a file system (NTFS, FAT32, exFAT) for your drive, check Quick Format, and click Start. 
    format raw drive with File Explorer
  5. Click Yes in the pop-up window.

Method 2: Format RAW drive using Diskpart

  1. Click Start on the desktop, and type Diskpart in the search bar.
  2. Right-click on the Diskpart and choose Run as Administrator.
  3. Type the following Diskpart command in the Diskpart window to list all the available disks.List disklist all disks on your computer in Diskpart
  4. Locate your RAW drive from the disk list, select it, and paste the following command to Diskpart, then hit Enter.format fs=FAT32format the raw drive with Diskpart 
  5. Enter the following command line to quit Command Prompt after you see the alert DiskPart successfully formatted the volume.exit

If you want to format your RAW drive to other Windows file systems, like NTFS or exFAT, simply replace FAT32 with the NTFS or exFAT in the command line.

Method 3: Format RAW drive using Disk Management

Here's how to format a Raw drive with Disk Management:

  1. Go to Computer > Manage > Storage > Disk Management and find your RAW drive.
  2. Select the Raw drive, right-click it, and choose Format.
  3. On the dialogue box, choose a file system you want, like NTFS or FAT32.
  4. Tick the "Perform a quick format" option, and click OK.format the RAW drive with Disk Management

On the premise that data recovery has been performed, you can also use the above two methods to recover RAW USB drive, perform SD card RAW recovery, and format other storage devices.

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The type of the file system is RAW, what causes it?

Since you already know how to repair CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives error, and recover lost data from RAW drive successfully, you may be interested in something about RAW file system. Read on for more details.

The reasons why a drive's file system is RAW vary greatly. Below are some possible reasons that may lead to a RAW file system:

  • Corrupted or damaged file system.
  • Unsupported files system.
  • Bad sectors or broken partition table.
  • Sudden power failure when accessing files.
  • Unexpected shutdown.
  • Unsafe ejection.
  • Virus infection and malware attack.

Final words

CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives happens frequently. This article is centered on this RAW drive issue. It helps you recover files from RAW drive, and tells you how to format RAW drives. Besides, what causes the RAW file system is covered too.