RAW SD card recovery: How to fix RAW SD card and recover data?

Posted by Tim to Data Recovery Tips on October 14th, 2020

If your SD card became RAW format, you are on the right page.

Today I am going to show you how to fix RAW SD card without data loss.

RAW SD card overview

RAW format is a state of the SD card which doesn't have the known Windows file system: FAT32 or exFAT. In this situation, Windows cannot read SD card and prompts you to format it.

SD card not formatted

Although Windows offers a way to format a RAW SD card, but you should know that, formatting will erase all data from SD card. So how do you repair a RAW SD card without losing any data? What do you do in such a situation?

How to fix RAW SD card and recover files

Different RAW SD card situations need the different solutions, the following are 6 options to fix a RAW SD card and recover files.

Option 1: Fix RAW SD card without formatting using CMD

Chkdsk is a Windows built-in command line tool which can fix the file system errors on the SD card. With chkdsk command, you can recover RAW SD card without formatting.

However, mostly chkdsk doesn't work on RAW drives (including RAW SD card), but it is worth to try.

Steps to repair RAW SD card with chkdsk command:

Step 1: Type cmd in the search bar of Windows Taskbar.

Step 2: Right click on cmd.exe from the search results and then choose "Run as administrator" from the menu to allow Administrator privilege.

Command prompt

Step 3: Type the command: chkdsk X: /f and then press Enter.

Replace X with the drive letter of your SD card, you can find the drive letter in Disk Management.

If you are lucky, CMD will help you fix RAW SD card successfully while keeping all your data after finishing all the steps.

If you receive "The type of file system is RAW. chkdsk is not available for RAW drives SD card." error message, you can fix the RAW SD card with next solution.

Option 2: Repair RAW SD card with RAW partition recovery software

This solution is used to fix RAW SD card which is caused by the corrupted file system.

M3 Data Recovery is a professional RAW SD card recovery software which can fix RAW SD card and convert SD card RAW format back to FAT32/exFAT without data loss.

M3 Data Recovery can also fix and recover files from RAW external hard drive, RAW USB flash drive, RAW USB stick, RAW CF card, RAW hard drive, etc. on Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP and Windows Server 2016/2012/2008/2003.

Tutorial to fix RAW SD card with M3 Data Recovery:

Step 1: Connect the RAW SD card to your computer through the SD card reader.

Step 2: Download, install and launch M3 Data Recovery. After that, choose RAW Drive Recovery module in the main interface.

RAW SD card recovery software

Step 3: Choose the RAW SD card and click Next to scan the data.

Step 4: Check the files in the RAW SD card before fixing RAW SD card.

Fix RAW SD card

Step 5: Click "Fix Drive" to fix RAW SD card.

If your RAW SD card cannot be fixed, try next solution to recover data from RAW SD card.

Option 3: RAW SD card data recovery

When your RAW SD card cannot be fixed, try M3 Data Recovery to recover data from RAW SD card.

M3 Data Recovery is an easy-to-use and professional SD card data recovery software to recover lost data from SD card, hard drive, external hard drive, CF card, USB flash drive, etc.

Tutorial to recover data from RAW SD card with M3 Data Recovery:

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

Step 2: Connect RAW SD card to your computer and then launch M3 Data Recovery Free.

Step 3: Choose the Data Recovery module.

Free data recovery software

Step 4: Choose RAW SD card and click Next to scan, All files will be found in minutes.

Scan lost files from RAW SD card

Step 5: Select the files you want to recover and click Recover to start SD card data recovery process.

Recover lost files from RAW SD card

After ensuring all recovered files can be opened, it is time to format the RAW SD card and make it working again.

Option 4: Format RAW SD card

Formatting will erase all data from SD card, so before formatting, make sure there is no important data stored in SD card or you have recovered all data.

How to format a RAW SD card, follow below solutions:


Step 1: Open My Computer or This PC.

Step 2: Right click the RAW SD card and select "Format..." option.

Select format

Stpe 3: In the new window, select FAT32 or exFAT file system and then click "Start".

Start format

Step 4: In the warning window, click "OK" to start formatting your RAW SD card.

Confirm format

When the format is complete, you can use your SD card to store files again.

If you get "Windows is unable to format SD card" error message, it means your RAW SD card won't format. In this situation, SD card is write-protected or physically damaged, try the SD card formatter or SD card production tool.

Option 5: Seek for help from a local specialist

If your RAW SD card has physically failed, send the SD card to a local service provider for data recovery.

The common symptom of the physically failed SD card is wrong detect capacity by Disk Management, for example, SD card total capacity is 16GB, while Disk Management detects SD card total capacity as 31MB.

Corrupted SD card

Option 6: Replace it with a new SD card

If your SD card has physically failed and you don't have any important data needed to recover, please purchase a new SD card to replace it.

How to avoid SD card RAW file system again?

Usually, a new SD card wouldn't have RAW file system problem. When a SD card has been used for a long time, SD card can show 0 bytes, RAW file system problem due to various causes. Therefore, in order to avoid SD card 0 bytes, RAW file system, you can do following things:

1. Avoid connecting SD card to the public computer: Public computer may be infected by virus attack, if you connect SD card to a computer which has been attacked by virus, the SD card will also be infected by virus. When the SD card is attacked by virus, it may stop working properly and shows RAW file system, 0 bytes.

2. Eject SD card properly: SD card is easy to be corrupted if you eject SD card inproperly. If you remove SD card from your computer when SD card is still in use, SD card can also be corrupted and shows RAW file system, 0 bytes.

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