By Emily / Last Updated April 30, 2019

What is RAW file system?

RAW file system is a state of the hard drive or some other storage devices which don’t come with a file system that is recognized by Windows like FAT32 or NTFS. This means all the available file system drivers refuses to mount the file system. Since no recognizable file system exists on the hard drive, you will be unable to access the drive, not to mention, to access the files or folder within it.

Why need a USB RAW format tool?

The “RAW” file system issue usually occurs when the file system type information is lost, or the file system table gets damaged. This issue is often associated with plugging as well as unplugging without “Safely removing them” first. Generally, when you get a RAW USB flash drive, then there are chances that you will meet the following issues:

1. Windows prompts an error message saying "You need to format the disk in drive E: before you can use it. Do you want to format it?" when you try to open the USB drive in Windows Explorer.

Format The Drive Before First Use

2. In the drive properties Window, you will find the USB flash drive showing 0 bytes in both used space and free space.

USB 0 Byte

3. Drive : \ not accessible. The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable.

Location Not Available

4. When you run CHKDSK to check bad sectors on RAW USB drive, Windows will prompt: The type of the file system is RAW. CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives.

CHKDSK Is Not Available For Raw Drives

In one word, if the USB is of RAW file system, you cannot do further operations on the drive. How to fix it? Formatting the RAW USB to a recognizable file system is a guaranteed way. So, a reliable USB RAW format tool is necessary.

Recommended tools to format RAW USB drive in Windows 10/8/7

When it comes to format RAW USB flash drive or other external hard disks, there are two highly-recommended ways you can have to try: Diskpart and AOMEI Partition Assistant formatting software. So, without further ado, let’s jump into how to format RAW USB drive via those two different tools.

Before you do, you should know: formatting will destroy all data on the USB flash drive, if there are some important files or folders within it, please try to restore them first using a reliable data recovery software. Recoverit Pro is recommended for that.

Tool 1: Format RAW USB via Diskpart

In order to format USB drive with RAW file system via Diskpart, first you should open a Command Prompt Window by clicking the Search box and input cmd in it, right clicking the program list and selecting Run as administrator. Then type the following commands and press Enter after each one.

1) diskpart

2) list volume: display all the partitions on your computer and you can check which one is the RAW USB drive.

3) select volume #: # stands for the partition number of your RAW USB drive. Here we choose volume 6.

4) format fs=fat32 (or format fs=exfat, format fs=ntfs)

RAW To FAT32 Diskpart

That's how to format RAW USB drive in Diskpart. If it is a little time consuming and not easy to handle such commands running stuff for you, please go for the second tool below.

Tool 2: Format RAW USB via AOMEI Partition Assistant

The AOMEI Partition Assistant is a top USB RAW formatting software for Windows 10, 8, 7, XP or Vista. It is free and offers easy solutions for many complex disk formatting problems like SD card wont format on PC, formating SDXC to FAT32, etc. Much easier to handle than the command prompt for average computer users who have little technical background. Moreover, it can format large hard drive (over 32GB) to FAT32 with ease, which cannot done in Diskpart, Disk Management or Windows File Explorer. Now follow the steps to learn how to format USB from RAW to NTFS in Windows 10, for example.

1) Download the freeware. Install and launch it to enter its main interface. Right click the USB drive and choose Format Partition.

Format RAW Partition

2) Choose NTFS under File System menu and click OK.

Format RAW To NTFS

3) Hit on Apply to format your RAW USB.



Besides working as a powerful USB raw format tool, AOMEI Partition Assistant also offers you some other USB RAW file system repair solutions like checking bad sectors, fixing damaged MBR. If you upgrade to Professional edition, you can enjoy more advanced functions including migrating OS to SSD, enlarge system drive or recovering lost partitions.