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How to Convert RAW to NTFS Without Losing Data? (Full Guide)

Updated on Friday, June 14, 2024

iBoysoft author Connie Yang

Written by

Connie Yang
Professional tech editor

Approved by

Jessica Shee

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Summary: This post tells you how to convert RAW to NTFS without formatting by using Command Prompt. To avoid permanent data loss, the most reliable way is to recover data from the RAW drive with professional data recovery software first. And then follow the way in the post to convert RAW to NTFS.

convert RAW to NTFS in Windows

Unexpectedly, the partition on your computer's hard disk, external hard drive, USB flash drive, or other storage devices becomes RAW, leading you neither to access the data on it nor continue to use it to save files.

Don't panic. You can format the RAW drive to NTFS on Windows 10/8/7 to make the drive accessible and readable again. This post is here to show you how to convert your RAW drive/partition to NTFS without losing data. Follow it carefully to recover your files and access the RAW drive again.

Why does your hard drive change to RAW?

By default, your hard drives are formatted with standard file systems like NTFS, exFAT, and FAT32, which are accessible by Windows. If the disk encounters the following issues, the operating system won't recognize it and show it as RAW on your PC.

  • The hard disk has bad sectors. That may result from your constant writing and erasing data on it.
  • The file system of the disk is corrupted due to unsafe ejection or sudden power off while using.
  • The partition table of the disk is corrupted because of interrupted or improper formatting or repartitioning.

RAW drives or partitions show up in Disk Management

Whatever the case is, to make the RAW partition or drive workable in Windows 10/8/7, you need to convert it to NTFS or other Windows-compatible file systems.

How to convert RAW to NTFS without formatting?

The most common way to make the RAW drive accessible is to format it. However, formatting a hard disk will erase all the files on it, causing permanent data loss. There are some ways to convert the RAW drive to NTFS without formatting. You can try them first.

Way 1: Run CHKDSK to fix the RAW drive

If your NTFS drive becomes RAW, you can run CHKDSK to repair the hard drive. After the errors on the hard disk are fixed, the RAW drive converts back to NTFS naturally and you can read the data on it again without formatting.

Here, you need to run CHKDSK /R to check and fix the RAW drive. That's because this command line can not only check and fix disk errors but also locate bad sectors on the drive and try to restore readable data from the bad sectors.

Here's how to convert RAW to NTFS without losing data using CMD:

  1. Go to the Start Menu and enter cmd in the search bar.
  2. Right-click the Command Prompt and select Run as administrator.
    run Command Prompt as administrator
  3. Type the following command in the CMD window and then press Enter. Replace E with the drive letter of your RAW disk.chkdsk /r E:

After CHKDSK finishes checking, you can restart your computer to check if the RAW format of the hard disk backs to NTFS now.

Way 2: Convert RAW to NTFS with the RAW drive recovery tool

If CHKDSK can't help you fix the RAW external hard drive without formatting, you can use a professional RAW data recovery software that contains the function of RAW partition fixing. That also helps convert RAW to NTFS without formatting.

Here, iBoysoft Data Recovery is highly recommended. This data recovery software is designed with a RAW Drive Recovery module that can help fix the RAW partition caused by file system corruption. Once the RAW drive is fixed, you can access the drive and read the data stored on it.

Here's how to use RAW Drive Recovery to fix the RAW drive and convert RAW to NTFS while keeping data:

  1. Free download and install iBoysoft Data Recovery on your Windows computer.
  2. Launch the software and select the RAW Drive Recovery module. 
    choose RAW Data Recovery from the main interface of iBoysoft Data Recovery
  3. Choose your RAW partition and click Next. (If your external hard drive has a RAW partition, connect it to your computer) 
    choose the RAW drive or partition
  4. Preview the files in the RAW partition.
  5. Click Fix Drive to fix the file system errors on the RAW partition.
    preview the scanning files and click Fix Drive to fix the RAW drive

If the RAW drive can be fixed, it will be opened automatically. You can read, edit, copy, and move files on the hard disk. And you can find that the file system of the drive is restored to the original one, like NTFS.

 Note: If the RAW partition has serious issues and can't be fixed, this software will switch to Data Recovery Mode to help you retrieve the files on it.

How to convert RAW to NTFS without losing data?

If unfortunately, you have tried the methods mentioned above to fix your RAW drive but failed, it indicates that your hard disk has unfixable errors that lead it to be a RAW. Under this situation, the only chance is to reformat the drive to fix it to NTFS. 

But the bad news is that reformatting a drive or partition will erase all data on it. If you have stored a huge amount of files on the hard disk before, it would be a great pain to lose them. 

Don't be frustrated. In this part, we'll show you how to convert RAW to NTFS without losing data. Let's get started.

Recover data from the RAW drive/partition (The first priority)

Watch this video that shows detailed steps on how to restore files from the RAW drive. You can follow it to get the lost data from the RAW disk quickly.

Before getting down to format RAW to NTFS file system, recover files on it. Since the RAW drive is inaccessible, you need to rely on a secure, easy-to-operate, and professional data recovery tool to help you get the files off the disk.

With outstanding performance in RAW partition recovery, iBoysoft Data Recovery is your overwhelming choice. This data recovery software can help you recover lost files from types of storage devices that become RAW, including a computer's hard drive, external hard drives, SD cards, USB drives, memory cards, etc.

Whether the RAW drive is caused by file system or partition table corruption, improper reformating or repartitioning, unsafe ejection, etc., iBoysoft Data Recovery can try its best to fix the RAW partition and help you restore the data on it. Besides, this software guides you in every step, helping recover files within a few clicks.

Here's how to use iBoysoft Data Recovery to recover data from a RAW drive:

  1. Free download, install, and open iBoysoft Data Recovery on your computer.
  2. Choose Data Recovery from the main interface. 
    choose Data Recovery from the main interface of iBoysoft Data Recovery
  3. Select the RAW partition and click Next to scan the files on it.
  4. Preview the scanning results.
  5. Choose your desired files and click Recover to save them to a different destination.

After getting back your data, you can follow one of the three ways to convert RAW to NTFS without losing data.

1. Convert RAW to NTFS with File Explorer

You need to open File Explorer first, then, follow the steps to change the RAW drive to NTFS.

  1. Right-click the RAW disk in File Explorer and choose Format.
  2. Select NTFS as the target file system.
  3. Tick the Quick Format option below.
  4. Click Start and wait for the formatting process done.

format RAW to NTFS drive in File Explorer

2. Convert RAW to NTFS in Disk Management

Also, you can format the RAW drive or partition to NTFS with Disk Management after rescuing data.

  1. Right-click This PC/My Computer on your Windows desktop and then choose Disk Management.
  2. Right-click your RAW disk in Disk Management and select Format.
  3. Choose NTFS as the file system and set the volume label and allocation unit size.
  4. Tick the box beside Perform a quick format and click OK.

convert RAW to NTFS with Disk Management

Wait until the process is finished, then you can find the RAW disk is reformatted to NTFS and can be accessed again and stored with new data.

3. Convert RAW to NTFS using Diskpart

Diskpart is the command-line utility used in Command Prompt. Diskpart commands help clean all the stored data on a drive, including all partitions and volume information, and convert the disk into unallocated space.

If you have a RAW drive and have tried to run CHKDSK to fix it but received an error "CHDKSK is not available for RAW drives" or "Convert is not available for RAW drives" it means that the RAW drive is seriously corrupted and useless anymore.

At that time, you can restore necessary data on the RAW disk, and then run diskpart to force clean all the information on the disk and reformat it into use.

How to convert RAW to NTFS with diskpart:

  1. Open and run Command Prompt as an administrator.
  2. Enter diskpart and press Enter.
  3. Type list volume to list all the available partitions and drives, then press Enter.
  4. Identify the RAW drive/partition you want to clean from the listed disk/partition information. For example, the F drive is your RAW drive and it is Volume 10.
  5. Type select Volume 10 and press Enter. Be sure to choose the correct drive/partition.
  6. Type the following command and press Enter.format fs=ntfs quick
  7. Type exit and hit Enter to close CMD after the process is over.

convert RAW to NTFS with diskpart

If you think using diskpart to fix the RAW partition is complicated, here is an easy way to convert RAW to NTFS. That is to run RAW data recovery software to fix and recover data from the RAW drive/partition.

Bonus: What is the RAW file system?

RAW file system means that the drive/partition is in a state in which no file system has been attached to it. Thus, the Windows operating system cannot read or write to the drive/partition. You cannot access the data stored on the drive/partition or store files on it, either. To solve this problem, you need to convert RAW to NTFS, FAT32, and exFAT using CMD or Disk Management.