What is RAW drive?

RAW is a state of the storage device which doesn't have a known file system, such as NTFS, FAT32, exFAT. In other words, the file system got corrupted so that Windows is unable to recognize it as a valid file system and you cannot access the data stored in it.

As the name suggests, a RAW drive contains data on a binary level, without any file system to organize it. If it has occurred on a disk that previously contained the formatted files, they cannot be accessed anymore. Without the FAT (file allocation table), there is no way for the operating system to figure out where these files are or how to access them. The only method provided by the operating system is to format the drive. Although it does solve the problem, but it also erases your data.

Is it possible to perform RAW drive recovery without data loss?

Yes, it is possible to perform RAW drive recovery without any data loss, here are a few RAW drive recovery dos and don'ts to follow:

Don't format your RAW hard drive: Formatting a RAW hard drive doesn't solve the problem. Instead, it makes RAW data recovery more difficult because it destroys the original file system.

Do stop using that RAW hard drive: Any further improper operations to a hard drive may even result in a permanent data loss.

Don't use random RAW drive recovery software: There are many capable software applications that you can use to recover data from a RAW drive, but there are also shady applications that do more harm than good.

Do start RAW disk recovery ASAP: The sooner you start the recovery process, the more likely you are to get your files back.

Do follow our instructions:: If you have never recovered a RAW drive before, you don't want to experience with solutions that may or may not work. By following our instructions in this article, you are guaranteed to successfully recover as many files from a RAW hard drive as possible.

How to perform RAW drive recovery without data loss?

Here lists 4 RAW drive recovery methods, you can select one of them and try to fix your RAW partition or recover data.

Solution 1: Fix RAW drive using M3 RAW Drive Recovery

RAW drive recovery is a process of fixing the corrupted file system by rebuilding DBR, FAT, MFT, etc. so that RAW partition can be accessible again.

As a professional RAW drive recovery software, M3 RAW Drive Recovery can fix RAW partition and convert RAW to NTFS without data loss by rebuilding or repairing the corrupted file system structure. Because of the complexity of file system structure, RAW drive repair is just possible, not 100%.

If the file system structure is severely damaged, you have to but only can recover files from RAW partition.

Three preconditions when using M3 RAW Drive Recovery:

1. RAW drive stored important data: If RAW drive doesn't have any important data, just reformat the RAW drive to NTFS, FAT32 or exFAT file system and make it working again.

2. RAW drive was not encrypted: If RAW drive has been encrypted by BitLocker, try M3 BitLocker Recovery to recover data from BitLocker-encrypted drive.

3. RAW drive is not physically failed: If RAW drive has been physically damaged (For example, bad sectors, I/O device error, data error (CRC)), send the RAW storage device to your local data recovery professional for help. A hardware problem is beyond the capabilities of any data recovery program.

Two results for RAW drive recovery after using M3 RAW Drive Recovery:

1. RAW drive can be fixed back to NTFS, FAT32 or exFAT file system.

2. RAW drive cannot be fixed but can recover data - After ensuring all recovered files can be opened, just need to reformat the RAW drive to the working state.

Here is what you need to do to fix RAW drive using M3 RAW Drive Recovery:

1. Download and install M3 RAW Drive Recovery on your Windows computer.

2. Connect RAW hard drive to your Windows computer.

3. Launch M3 RAW Drive Recovery.

RAW drive recovery software

4. Select RAW partition and click Next to scan for lost files.

Select RAW partition to scan with M3 RAW Drive Recovery

5. After the scan completes, check and preview the found files. If there are some files missing, try deep scan option of Data Recovery module in M3 Data Recovery.

Preview files in M3 RAW Drive Recovery

6. Click "Fix Drive" to start RAW drive recovery process.

Fix RAW drive with M3 RAW Drive Recovery

If the RAW drive is still not accessible after fixing, restart your computer and try M3 RAW Drive Recovery again. If still not, run chkdsk /r for this drive.

If RAW drive cannot be fixed at last, switch to Data Recovery mode in M3 RAW Drive Recovery and then recover data.

Solution 2: Fix RAW drive without data loss

Data Recovery module built-in M3 Data Recovery software is used to recover data from RAW partition, hard drive, USB drive, SD card, etc. in Windows 10/8/7/XP and Windows Server.

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

Step 2: Connect RAW hard drive to your Windows computer.

Step 3: Launch M3 Data Recovery and choose Data Recovery module.

Data recovery software

Step 4: Select RAW partition and click Next to scan.

Scan data from RAW partition

Step 5: After the scan completes, please check/preview the found files or select Save session option from Help menu to save the scan result for continuous recovery next time. If there are some files missing, check "deep scan" option and scan again.

RAW drive data recovery

Step 6: After data recovery is successfully done from RAW parititon, just reformat RAW drive to the working state.

Solution 3: Fix RAW drive by reformatting

If there is no important data in the RAW drive, just reformat RAW drive to NTFS, FAT32 or exFAT with the format tool.

If Windows is unable to format the RAW drive, you have to find the professional format tool (Such as low-level format tool) to reformat RAW partition.

Solution 4: Fix RAW drive by a local specialist

If the RAW storage device has a hardware issue, or the data is not found by M3 RAW Drive Recovery software or any other data recovery software, send the RAW storage device to a local specialist for data recovery help.

No RAW data needed, how to fix RAW drive?

M3 RAW Drive Recovery is just a file recovery software, not a format tool. In this case, you just need to reformat your RAW drive to NTFS, FAT32 or exFAT file system and use it again.

How to avoid RAW drive again?

Safely eject external drive: The most common cause of external drive suddenly becoming RAW is disconnecting external drive from a computer without using the "Safely Remove Hardware" option, so always use "Safely remove hardware" to safely eject external drive.

Back up important data: Data backup is the best way to prevent data loss.

Use the advanced file system: In the same situation, data recovery from NTFS file system is easier than exFAT/FAT32. Because of exFAT/FAT32 file system its own properties, the disk space stored large files (Such as videos) is not continuous so that the recovered large files cannot be opened, so NTFS file system is the best choice when storing large files.

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