How to fix corrupted/RAW external hard drive without formatting and recover data?

Updated by Admin to RAW Drive Recovery on April 16th, 2019

RAW external hard drive symptoms

When external hard drive suddenly became RAW file system, you would get the error messsage when accessing RAW external hard drive. Common error messages as below:

1. Windows prompts: "External hard drive not formatted, do you want to format it?" When attempting to access the RAW external hard drive in Windows explorer.

2. "The volume does not contain a recognized file system. Please make sure that all required file system drivers are loaded and that the volume is not corrupted" when accessing RAW external hard drive in Windows from a program or the command line.

3. The Disk Management shows external hard drive as either RAW file system or unknown file system.

RAW external hard drive in disk management

4. External hard drive shows 0 bytes space (Used space and free space) and RAW file system in Properties.

How to fix corrupted/RAW external hard drive without formatting and recover data?

When encountering corrupted/RAW external hard drive issue, we cannot access the data stored on external hard drive because of external hard drive not accessible, how to repair/fix corrupted/RAW external hard drive without losing data? There are 10 solutions to solve corrupted/RAW external hard drive issue and get data back:

Solution 1: Connect corrupted/RAW external hard drive to another computer and check

If the external hard drive is RAW on this computer, please connect this corrupted/RAW external hard drive to another computer and check if it still is RAW file system.

Solution 2: Check USB cable and USB port

If there is something wrong with USB cable and USB port, Windows OS cannot access external hard drive so that it is displayed RAW file system, please change USB cable or USB port and check if external hard drive can be accessed as usual.

Solution 3: Fix corrupted/RAW external hard drive by updating the driver

Step 1: Right click My Computer or This PC.

Step 2: Select Manage and Device Manager.

Step 3: Right click external hard drive in Device Manager and select "Update driver" or "Uninstall driver" to reinstall it.

Solution 4: Fix/Repair corrupted/RAW external hard drive using CMD

Chkdsk (short for check disk) is a system tool in Windows OS, it verifies the file system integrity of a volume and fixes logical errors in file system.

Step 1: Go to the start menu, type CMD in a search bar.

Step 2: Right click cmd.exe and choose Run as Administrator.

Step 3: Type chkdsk X: /f (X is the drive letter of RAW drive) in the command window to fix corrupted/RAW external hard drive.

Sometimes, chkdsk reports: "The type of the file system is RAW. Chkdsk is not available for RAW drives", in this situation, we have to try solution 2 to fix corrupted/RAW external hard drive.

Solution 5: Fix/Repair RAW external HDD with RAW drive recovery software

M3 Data Recovery is a RAW drive recovery software which provides RAW Drive Recovery function to fix/repair corrupted/RAW external hard drive error and then change/convert corrupted/RAW external hard drive to NTFS/FAT32 without losing data in Windows 10/8/7/XP and Windows Server 2016/2012/2008/2003.

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

Step 2: Install and launch M3 Data Recovery software. After launching M3 Data Recovery software, please choose RAW Drive Recovery module and then select corrupted/RAW external hard drive.

External hard drive recovery software

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

Scan corrupted/RAW external hard drive

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

Fix corrupted/RAW external hard drive

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

Sometimes, corrupted/RAW external hard drive cannot be fixed due to corrupted file system, in this situation, we have to try solution 6 to recover data from corrupted/RAW external hard drive.

Solution 6: Fix corrupted/RAW external hard drive with RAW drive data recovery

As a professional data recovery software, M3 Data Recovery provides powerful data recovery feature which can recover data from corrupted/RAW external hard drive, RAW hard drive, RAW USB drive, RAW flash drive, RAW SD card, RAW memory card, etc.

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

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

Step 3: Choose "Data Recovery" module.

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

Scan data from corrupted/RAW external hard drive

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

Recover data from corrupted/RAW external hard drive

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

Step 7: After data recovery is successfully done, please try to reformat corrupted/RAW external hard drive to NTFS/FAT32 through solution 9.

Solution 7: Recover data from Bitlocker encrypted external hard drive showing as RAW, unknown

If corrupted/RAW external hard drive was encrypted by Bitlocker, M3 Data Recovery is also a professional Bitlocker data recovery software which can recover data from Bitlocker encrypted drive.

Step 1: Launch M3 Data Recovery software and select Bitlocker Recovery module.

Step 2: Select the Bitlocker encrypted external hard drive and click Next to continue.

Scan data from Bitlocker encrypted drive

Step 3: Enter the password or recovery key and click OK to scan data from Bitlocker encrypted external hard drive.

Scan data from RAW Bitlocker encrypted drive

Step 4: After the scan completes, lost data will be listed as below window, then select the files and click Recover to start Bitlocker data recovery.

Recover data from RAW Bitlocker encrypted drive

Solution 8: Fix corrupted/RAW external hard drive was encrypted by TrueCrypt, etc.

If RAW external hard drive was encrypted by TrueCrypt or other encryption software, we need to find a data recovery software which supports this encryption solution and then recover data, otherwise, the found data cannot be decrypted.

Solution 9: Reformat RAW extenral hard drive

If there is no important data in corrupted/RAW external hard drive, format is the best choice to fix corrupted/RAW external hard drive, just right click corrupted/RAW external hard drive in My Computer (This PC) or Disk Management and then select "Format..." to reformat it.

Step 1: Right click RAW drive in My Computer (This PC) or Disk Management.

Step 2: Select "Format...".

Step 3: Select NTFS file system and then set other information (Allocation unit size, volume label, format options) about format

Step 4: Click Start to reformat corrupted/RAW external hard drive to NTFS.

If there is important data in corrupted/RAW external hard drive, just follow solution 3 to recover data from corrupted/RAW external hard drive and then reformat corrupted/RAW external hard drive to NTFS/FAT32/exFAT file system after data recovery is successfully done.

If Windows is unable to format corrupted/RAW external hard drive, the corrupted/RAW external hard drive should have hardware issue, please try diskpart command, the 3rd-party professional format software or low-level format tool.

Solution 10: A local data recovery professional

If the corrupted/RAW external hard drive has hardware issue or lost data is not found by M3 Data Recovery software, please send corrupted/RAW external hard drive to a local data recovery professional for help.