By Emily / Last Updated October 11, 2019

Overview of RAW file system (symptoms)

Different from FAT and NTFS file system, RAW file system is not a standard file system and cannot be recognized by Windows. It is a common issue that many devices might encounter, including USB flash drive, memory card, or other computer hard drives.

When the type of file system becomes RAW, you will not be able to access the data inside. Besides, you will find some of the following error messages or symptoms:

  • The Windows prompts: “You need to format the disk in drive E: before you can use it. Do you want to format it?” when you trying to open this drive in Windows File Explorer.

  • Drive properties show 0 bytes in both used space and free space, file system is RAW or no file system type.

  • “Drive: \ not accessible. The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable”.

  • When you run chkdsk on RAW hard drive, Windows will prompt: “The type of the file system is RAW. chkdsk is not available for RAW drives”.

What causes the type of file system being RAW?

Before diving into the “file system is RAW, how to fix it”, we can find out the causes behind it. Generally speaking, the most direct reason for the RAW file system is that the file system is not compatible and recognized by the current operating system. Besides that, there are some other causes for this issue.

  • Drive is infected with virus.

  • Sudden power outage or failure when the drive is in use.

  • There are some bad sectors existing on the drive.

  • Incorrect or improper formatting operation.

  • File system structure is damaged.

How to fix RAW file system in Windows 10/8/7?

The file system is RAW, how to fix it? Here, we bring two methods you can try to fix this RAW problem in Windows 10/8/7. Before you proceed, you can first run some anti-virus software to check whether the problem can be fixed, if not, please read on.

Way 1. Fix RAW file system by checking bad sectors

Bad sectors are one of the most important reasons for RAW file system, so you had better scan the drive to check whether there are some bad sectors on it. Since chkdsk.exe tool cannot run on RAW drive, you need to turn to a third-party tool like AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard, with which you can check RAW partition for errors in easy steps.

Step 1. Download the freeware, install and run it in Windows computer. Right-click the RAW partition and go to "Advanced">"Check Partition”.

Check RAW Partition

Step 2. Select the last method to check bad sectors, then click ”OK”.

Check Bad Sectors

Step 3. Tick ”Quick Check” and click ”Start” to begin the checking process.

Start Check Raw Partition

After this process, you will know whether there are bad sectors on the RAW drive. If bad sectors are found, use a professional tool to repair it.

Way 2. Fix RAW file system by formatting it

If there are no bad sectors found in the first way, you can directly format the RAW partition to NFTS, FAT32 and other file systems compatible with Windows OS.

Formatting is usually considered as guaranteed way to fix RAW drive. And searching online, we found many users asking “file system is raw how to format” or “type of file system is raw how to format it”, so here we would tell how to format RAW drive via Command Prompt.

Note: Formatting will lead to data loss, so first recover important data from the RAW drive using data recovery software, and move them to another location if necessary.

Step 1. Connect the RAW hard drive to your computer.

Step 2. Press “Win+R” button on your keyboard to open “Run” dialogue, and input “cmd” into it and hit on Enter.

Or you can click “Start” button and search "commond", then right-click it and afterward press “Run As Administrator” to launch Command Prompt.

Step 3. Type in “diskpart” and then press “Enter” in the elevated Command Prompt window.

Step 4. Type the following commands in turn and press Enter after each one.

  • diskpart

  • list volume

  • select volume 6: replace 6 with your RAW partition number

  • format fs=ntfs quick

Format RAW Disk CMD

This is how to fix RAW file system using CMD. Also, you can type “format fs=fat32” instead to convert RAW drive to FAT32. But you should know that if the RAW drive is larger than 32GB, the formatting process cannot be finished since the FAT32 file system has size limitation on the drive.

In this case, you can switch to AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard as well. It is much more powerful than Diskpart and other Windows native tools. It is able to format a large RAW drive to FAT32 successfully.

Step 1. Run AOMEI Partition Assistant, right click the RAW partition (shown as Unformatted here) and choose "Format Partition".

Format Partition

Step 2. In the mini window, choose FAT32 or other compatible file system and click OK.

Select Fat32

Step 3. Back to the main interface, click "Apply">"Proceed" to format the RAW drive.

Apply

More importantly, you can also use this freeware to fix MBR, which some users report can help solve RAW file system problem sometimes.

Final Words

This is all about “file system is RAW, how to fix it”. Besides formatting RAW drive, AOMEI Partition Assistant does well in formatting read only drive, formatting 2TB hard drive to FAT32, formatting corrupted disk, etc.

If you upgrade to Professional edition, you can enjoy more advanced features including recovering lost partitions, migrating OS between MBR and GPT disk.