By Teresa / Last Updated September 9, 2019

CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives in Windows 10

“My Kingston 16GB USB flash drive gets into RAW in Windows 10 File Explorer when I insert it to the computer. Google online and then I were told to check if there is something wrong with my USB drive. Opened Command Prompt as administrator and typed chkdsk H: /f and pressed Enter. Only to get this error information reading: The type of the file system is RAW. CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives. What does that error message mean? What should I do to make my USB drive usable again?”

CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives

That is a help post about CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives on USB flash drive in Windows 10. Actually, said error occurs not only on USB stick, but also on (micro) SD card, pen drive and (Seagate) external hard drive in Windows 7/8/XP/Vista.

Along with CHKDSK not available, you can also find Convert is not available for RAW drives in kinds of forums as well. Then, what’s the problem of RAW drives? What does that error message refer to?

What does CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives mean?

Simply put, the command CHKDSK cannot be used on the drive with RAW format. Therefore, Windows cannot perform a disk checking on that drive. As a matter of fact, many Windows commands don’t work on RAW drives because Windows cannot access to that drive. Then, you may wonder what a RAW drive is.

A RAW format drive refers to a drive has not been formatted to any readable file system such as NTFS, FAT32 or exFAT by Windows. Then, it occurs on internal hard drives or SSD as well. Sometimes, a drive becomes RAW due to corrupted file system or serious bad sectors. Data on that drive is not readable, let alone performing other operations.

After comprehending what RAW drive is and why you get CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives on SD card or other storages, it is important to know how to solve this trouble.

How to fix CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives error effectively?

When you encounter this CHKDSK not available error, don’t worry. Take some actions to see if you are able to recover any data. Next, change the RAW format to a file system that can be recognized by Windows and then perform the disk checking.

Recover partition if possible

AOMEI Partition Assistant is a partition manager that is able to recover deleted and formatted partition as long as there is no new data has been written to that partition. Windows 10 (32bit and 64bit) supported. Free download to have a try.

Partition Recovery Wizard

1. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant. Click Partition Recovery Wizard in the left pane.

2. Select the disk that contains lost/deleted partition.

3. Select a search method, Fast Search (recommended) or Full Search.

4. Select the partition you want to recover and click Proceed. The time this process takes depending on how much data is on the partition. Wait for it to complete.

Check bad sectors on RAW drive with another tool

As covered, a drive will become RAW due to serious bad sectors. Therefore, you can perform disk checking to confirm. Since you cannot do that with Windows built-in tools, it is suggested to try another. Aforementioned AOMEI Partition Assistant allows you to check bad sectors on the disk in a few minutes.

1. Open AOMEI Partition Assistant. Right click the disk you want to check and select Surface Test.

2. Check Quick Check option and then click Start. The process will complete in a short while.

Quick Check

Tips: you can perform bad sector checking by another approach as well. Right click the RAW (Unformatted) drive and select Advanced > Check Partition > Check whether there is bad sector on the partition, and you’ll get into the Start interface. For more information about checking error, please refer to check hard drive for errors in Windows 10.

Change RAW drive to NTFS/FAT32/exFAT

When you cannot run disk checking on RAW format drives, it is necessary to change RAW format to a Windows-recognized file system. For now, a removable storage that has been formatted with NTFS, FAT32 or exFAT file system can be recognized by Windows. Then, what to do?

  • Convert is not available for RAW drives

If you run convert command on RAW drive in CMD, definitely you’ll receive the error: CONVERT is not available for RAW drives. Reasons are discussed before, so you need to change the command to a different one, format.

  • Format aborted and format failed in CMD

Type command prompt in the search box and run it as administrator. If you type format H: /fs:fat32 (where H: is the RAW drive) at the prompt, you may get this error in several minutes: The media being formatted has been removed or has become invalid. Format aborted. Format failed.

Format RAW Drive CMD Failed

Even if you know you didn’t remove anything during the formatting, the error is likely to happen. In that case, you need to format RAW drive with another Windows tool, Diskpart.

  • Format RAW drive using Diskpart in Windows 10

Type diskpart in CMD and press Enter. Input these commands and press Enter after each command:

list volume > select volume n (where n is the volume number of the RAW drive) > format fs=fat32 quick (you can replace fat32 with ntfs or exfat) > exit.

Format RAW Drive Diskpart

Note: Windows allows formatting a removable storage (flash drive or memory card) with exFAT file system. That is to say, if you format a partition with exFAT on internal hard drive, the format may not be completed.

  • Format RAW drive in an easier way

The partition manager, AOMEI Partition Assistant, is able to format RAW drive to NTFS, FAT32 or exFAT wherever the partition is. In addition, it overcomes the inherent limit of Windows built-in formatting tool, and has the capability to format 64GB SD card to FAT32. Let’s take a closer look.

Select File System 64GB

1. Launch AOMEI Partition Assistant. Right click the RAW drive and select Format Partition.

2. Choose file system, specify partition label, and select cluster size in the pop-up window.

3. Click Apply and then Proceed to execute.

Tips: for users who get used to command line operations, AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional provides command line formatting feature. For detailed steps, please refer to how to fix RAW drive to NTFS using CMD.

After changing RAW drive to a readable file system, you can perform disk checking on the external hard drive, SD card or USB flash drive once again with CHKDSK command.

To solve CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives in Server 2008, please imitate above methods with the help of AOMEI Partition Assistant Server edition.

Summary

The next time when you come across the error: The type of the file system is RAW. CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives in Windows 10 or Windows 7, don’t be panic. You can recover possible data, check bad sectors in another way, format RAW drive to a readable file system, and then do disk checking.

AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is a good assistant to solve other issues as well. For instance, you can perform SSD data wiping without hurting its lifespan.