How to recover data from inaccessible/RAW hard drive, RAW external hard drive?

Updated by Admin to Data Recovery on April 1st, 2019

I removed my 1TB external hard drive from my Windows 10 computer without safely ejecting it. On reconnection, the system did a hard disk scan to fix problems with the hard drive and since then the hard drive is not accessible and shows RAW. There is important data on external hard drive and I am not able to access them.

RAW hard drive in disk management

It is very common that an external hard drive becomes RAW in today's digital world. RAW is not a file system type like NTFS, FAT32, exFAT, it is just an error which indicates that there is no file system in external hard drive. If there is no file system, we cannot access the data stored on external hard drive. In this situation, we would receive an error message that prompts "Drive not formatted, do you want to format it now?" If we click Yes button, we will lose the data. If we click No button, we won't access the data. How to access the data stored on inaccessible/RAW hard drive, RAW external hard drive if we don't format it?

How to recover data from inaccessible/RAW hard drive, RAW external hard drive?

M3 Data Recovery is a free data recovery software which provides two recovery modules to solve inaccessible/RAW hard drive, RAW external hard drive problem: Data Recovery module to recover data from inaccessible/RAW hard drive, RAW external hard drive and RAW Drive Recovery module to fix inaccessible/RAW hard drive, RAW external hard drive without losing data in Windows 10/8/7/XP and Windows Server 2016/2012/2008/2003.

Solution 1: Tutorial to recover data from inaccessible/RAW hard drive, RAW external hard drive

Step 1: Download and install M3 Data Recovery software on your computer.

Step 2: Connect the inaccessible/RAW hard drive or RAW external hard drive to your computer as slave drive and then launch M3 Data Recovery software.

Step 3: Choose "Data Recovery" module.

Free data recovery software

Step 4: Select the inaccessible/RAW hard drive or RAW external hard drive and click Next to scan the lost data.

Scan data from inaccessible/RAW hard drive, RAW external hard drive

Step 5: Check the found files in inaccessible/RAW hard drive or RAW external hard drive.

Recover data from inaccessible/RAW hard drive, RAW external hard drive

Step 6: Choose the files you expect and then recover data from inaccessible/RAW hard drive or RAW external hard drive.

Step 7: After data recovery from inaccessible/RAW hard drive or RAW external hard drive is successfully done, please try to reformat it, the inaccessible/RAW hard drive or RAW external hard drive will be working again if the format completes.

Solution 2: Fix inaccessible/RAW hard drive, RAW external hard drive and get data back

Step 1: Connect inaccessible/RAW hard drive or RAW external hard drive to your computer.

Step 2: Install and launch M3 Data Recovery software, choose RAW Drive Recovery module and then select inaccessible/RAW hard drive or RAW external hard drive.

inaccessible/RAW hard drive, RAW external hard drive recovery software

Step 3: Click Next to scan inaccessible/RAW hard drive or RAW external hard drive.

Scan inaccessible/RAW hard drive, RAW external hard drive

Step 4: Check the files in inaccessible/RAW hard drive or RAW external hard drive before fixing/repairing.

Fix inaccessible/RAW hard drive, RAW external hard drive

Step 5: Click "Fix Drive" to fix/repair inaccessible/RAW hard drive or RAW external hard drive error.

Sometimes, inaccessible/RAW hard drive, RAW external hard drive cannot be fixed due to corrupted file system, in this situation, we have to recover data from inaccessible/RAW hard drive, RAW external hard drive with solution 1 and then reformat inaccessible/RAW hard drive, RAW external hard drive to NTFS/FAT32.

Solution 3: Recover data from inaccessible/RAW hard drive, RAW external hard drive through a local data recovery service

When we encounter the following inaccessible/RAW hard drive, RAW external hard drive symptoms, please send inaccessible/RAW hard drive, RAW external hard drive to a local data recovery service and then recover data from inaccessible/RAW hard drive, RAW external hard drive.

1. The capacity of inaccessible/RAW hard drive, RAW external hard drive is 0 bytes (Used space and free space are also 0 bytes).

inaccessible/RAW hard drive, RAW external hard drive 0 bytes

2. The original capacity of inaccessible/RAW hard drive, RAW external hard drive is not recognized by Windows OS:

RAW SD card

For example: Windows disk management shows 1TB inaccessible/RAW hard drive, RAW external hard drive as 31MB.

3. We receive: X:\ drive is not accessible. Data error (Cyclic redundancy check) when accessing inaccessible/RAW hard drive, RAW external hard drive in My Computer or Windows explorer:

Data error (Cyclic redundancy check)

4. Data is not found by M3 Data Recovery software:

Data not found by M3 Data Recovery

5. WinHex cannot read inaccessible/RAW hard drive, RAW external hard drive due to unreadable sectors.

WinHex is a universal hex editor, particularly helpful in the realm of computer forensics, data recovery, low-level data editing.

After installing WinHex, run it as administrator, select Tools, select Open Disk, select inaccessible/RAW hard drive, RAW external hard drive and see whether there are unreadable sectors or data error (cyclic redundancy check) or not. Unreadable sectors and data error (Cyclic redundancy check) mean inaccessible/RAW hard drive, RAW external hard drive has hardware issue.

How to reformat inaccessible/RAW hard drive to NTFS/FAT32/exFAT?

After data recovery from inaccessible/RAW hard drive, RAW external hard drive, we can reformat inaccessible/RAW hard drive, RAW external hard drive to NTFS/FAT32/exFAT file system with following solutions so that we can use external hard drive again.

1. Windows OS has built-in format tool, right click inaccessible/RAW hard drive, RAW external hard drive in My Computer (This PC) or Disk Management, select "Format..." to reformat inaccessible/RAW hard drive, RAW external hard drive to NTFS/FAT32/exFAT file system.

2. Diskpart has format command which can convert inaccessible/RAW hard drive, RAW external hard drive to NTFS/FAT32/exFAT file system, refer to diskpart convert RAW to NTFS/FAT32/exFAT.

3. Use partition management software, such as Aomei Partition Assistant, EaseUS Partition Master, Minitool Partition Wizard.

4. Use the 3rd-party professional format tool, such as low-level format tool.

How to avoid RAW hard drive, RAW external hard drive again?

Everyone should keep a good and correct habit of using external hard drive.

1. Safely remove external hard drive

The most common cause of external hard drive suddenly becoming RAW is disconnecting external hard drive from a computer without using the "Safely Remove Hardware" option. This can happen in many ways such as a power failure, unplugging external hard drive from the USB port or from its AC adapter.

Always use "Safely remove hardware" to safely eject external hard drive. Right click the icon on the taskbar, select Eject device from the menu, and then wait for the confirmation message of "Safe to Remove Hardware".

2. Back up important data.

Data loss can happen to anyone, data backup is the best way to prevent data loss. Once the important data is lost, we can restore them from the backup.

Related articles: