How to fix 'the type of the file system is RAW, chkdsk is not available for RAW drives'?

Updated by Admin to RAW to NTFS on April 2nd, 2019

Summary: This artile will show you how to fix chkdsk is not available for RAW drives and recover data from RAW drive with different methods according to different RAW drive scenarios.

Table of the article contents

Chkdsk is not available for RAW drives

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.

After the drive became RAW, we would use chkdsk /f command to fix RAW drive, RAW USB drive, RAW SD card, RAW external hard drive, but chkdsk reports: The type of the file system is RAW. Chkdsk is not available for RAW drives.

CHKDSK is not available for RAW drive

What is RAW drive?

RAW drive also calls RAW file system, RAW file system simply means that the file system is not recognized by Windows OS. Therefore all the available file system drivers are unable to mount the file system as a drive. This often happens when the records determining the file system type or location on the disk are damaged or corrupted, usually the partition table (MBR) or the boot sector (DBR).

Common scenarios of RAW drive

Sometimes a damaged volume may lose its file system type. Various error messages may appear, most common being:
The volume X: is not formatted. Do you want to format it now?
The disk in drive X: is not formatted.
The volume does not contain a recognized file system
Drive X:\ not accessible. The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable.
There was an error accessing drive X:. The disk is not formatted.

Anyway, what is wrong with the drive? There are so many important files stored on it, and a chkdsk tool will complain that it is unable to perform a RAW file system recovery; how should we fix RAW partition when chkdsk is not available for RAW drives in Windows 10/8/7/XP and Windows Server 2016/2012/2008/2003?

How to fix chkdsk is not available for RAW drives with software?

Following are several solutions to fix chkdsk is not available for RAW drives on USB drive, SD card, flash drive, external hard drive in Windows 10/8/7/XP and Windows Server 2016/2012/2008/2003.

Solution 1: Fix chkdsk not available for RAW drives with RAW partition recovery

M3 Data Recovery is a RAW partition recovery and RAW drive data recovery software which can solve "chkdsk is not available for RAW drives" issue by changing/converting RAW to NTFS/FAT32 without data loss or data recovery from RAW drive.

Step 1: Install and launch M3 Data Recovery software. After that, please select RAW Drive Recovery module.

RAW drive recovery software

Step 2: Choose the RAW drive.

Select RAW drive to fix chkdsk RAW error

Step 3: Click Next to scan the RAW drive you want to recover or fix.

Scan RAW drive to fix chkdsk RAW error

Step 4: After fixing RAW drive, please check the files in RAW drive before recovering.

Fix chkdsk is not available for RAW drives error

Step 5: Click "Fix Drive" to fix RAW drive, you will see RAW drive will become NTFS/FAT32 file system and acess the drive as normal.

If RAW drive cannot be fixed, please go to solution 2 and recover data from RAW drive with M3 Data Recovery software.

Solution 2: Fix chkdsk not available for RAW drives with RAW drive data recovery

Step 1: Launch M3 Data Recovery software and choose the Data Recovery module.

Step 2: Choose RAW drive and click Next to scan, All files will be found in minutes.

Scan RAW drive with M3 Data Recovery

Step 3: Select the files you want to recover from RAW drive and then save them.

Recover data from RAW drive

Besides solving RAW drive issue, M3 Data Recovery software can also recover data from RAW external hard drive, USB flash drive, memory card, SD card, recover data from formatted drive, recover data from deleted/lost partition, etc. in Windows 10/8/7/XP and Windows Server 2016/2012/2008/2003.

Solution 3: Fix chkdsk not available for RAW drives on Bitlocker encrypted drive

If RAW drive was Bitlocker encrypted, 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 drive you want to recover data from and click Next to continue.

Select Bitlocker encrypted drive in M3 Data Recovery

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

Scan data from RAW Bitlocker encrypted drive

Step 4: After scanning, lost files will be listed as below window, then select the files you want to recover and save them.

Recover data from RAW Bitlocker encrypted drive

If RAW drive was encrypted by other encryption software, you need to unlock it before using M3 Data Recovery software, otherwise, M3 Data Recovery software doesn't have any option to decrypt the recovered files.

Solution 4: Fix chkdsk not available for RAW drives on C: drive

After C: drive became RAW, we are unable to boot Windows computer, in this situation, we need to create bootable media and fix it.

Step 1: Download M3 Data Recovery WinPE bootable media iso file.

Step 2: Create M3 Data Recovery WinPE bootable media with the burning tool.

Step 3: Boot the failed Windows computer from M3 Data Recovery WinPE bootable media.

Step 4: Choose Data Recovery module to recover data from C: drive or choose RAW Drive Recovery module to fix RAW drive.

How to fix chkdsk is not available for RAW drives without software?

Following are several solutions to fix chkdsk is not available for RAW drives without software:

Solution 5: Fix RAW drive by reformatting

If there is no important data in RAW drive, format is the best choice, just right click RAW 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 RAW drive to NTFS.

If there is important data in RAW drive, just follow solution 2 to recover data from RAW drive and then reformat it after data recovery is successfully done.

Solution 6: Fix RAW drive using CMD

Before using CMD to fix chkdsk not available for RAW drives, please follow solution 2 to recover data from RAW drive if there is important data in RAW drive.

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

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

Step 3: Type diskpart to open the diskpart command prompt.

Step 4: Type list volume, press Enter, all the volume will be list.

Step 5: Type select volume n, press Enter, the volume you want to format will be selected.

Step 6: Type "format fs=ntfs quick" and press Enter. After format completes, the RAW drive will be NTFS.

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

Solution 7: Ask for help from a local data recovery center

When encountering the following RAW drive scenarios, it means RAW drive has hardwae issue, please send it to a local data recovery center for help.

1. The capacity of RAW drive is 0 bytes.

RAW hard drive 0 bytes

2. RAW drive doesn't have correct capacity:

RAW SD card

3. Drive is not accessible. Data error (Cyclic redundancy check) when accessing RAW 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 RAW 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 RAW drive and check if there are unreadable sectors or data error (cyclic redundancy check).