How to Recover Files from RAW External Hard Drive?

Summary: Looking for a way to retrieve files from a RAW external hard drive? We’ve got you covered. This article offers an optimal solution for effortlessly recover files from raw external hard drive. Learn how to restore your data using the reliable SFWare External Hard Drive Recovery Software, your go-to tool for hassle-free data recovery.

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An external hard drive becomes ‘RAW’ when it has been unintentionally formatted or its file system structure has been lost, erasing all data on the disk. External hard drives are commonly used for transferring large files, backing up critical data, and porting data. However, they can sometimes become inaccessible due to various issues such as file system corruption, malware attacks, or physical damage. When faced with these situations, it becomes crucial to recover files from a RAW external hard drive. This guide will walk you through the process of data recovery from RAW hard drives, helping you restore your valuable data safely and efficiently.

Consequently, the more people utilize raw external hard drives, the more likely they are to suffer data loss. Take a look at the following user query :

User Query in Text Format: External Hard Drive RAW


                                                        Source: Reddit 

Solution: Don’t be concerned, if you have a raw external hard disk! You can recover files from the unformatted external hard disk and return them to their original state using the appropriate tools and procedures. In this article, we have thoroughly explained everything regarding how to recover data from RAW external hard drive using different methods.

Common Reasons Behind Your External Hard Drive Getting RAW

An external hard drive can become “raw” for various reasons, including:


File system corruption:  If the file system is damaged, the data on the external hard drive can become unusable. Numerous factors, including ineffective drive ejection, power surges, malware or virus attacks, and other hardware problems, might cause this.
Physical damage: If the external hard drive is dropped or exposed to water or severe heat, the internal components, including the file system, might be damaged, causing it to become raw.
Software issues:  Some software applications could turn the external hard disc raw, especially if they change the partition table or file system.
Formatting: If you format the external hard drive by accident, you will lose the file system and the drive will become raw.

When you partition a hard drive, you generate various portions that can be utilized for various purposes. The external hard disc may become raw if the partition table becomes corrupt.

Methods to Recover Raw Data from External Hard Drive

Follow the below-mentioned methods to recover data from raw external hard drive:

● Recover Raw Data from an External Hard Drive using Windows File Recovery

To repair your RAW hard drive with Windows File Recovery, try the instructions below:

  • First, Download the Windows File Recovery tool from Microsoft Store.

  • Launch the start menu after the app has been installed, then type “File Recovery” into the search bar.
  • To start the software, click the icon and respond “Yes” to the UAC prompt. Opens a command-line interface. You will execute the recovery commands here. Although the UI might not be as pleasant to use, it still serves the job fairly effectively.
  • The following command should be entered as the next action: winfr source-drive: destination-drive: [/mode] [/switches You must choose a drive where you want to recover the files and determine the proper drive letter.

  • Use the following command to look for a document in a specific file format, such as Word document: winfr C: E: /regular /n *.doc /n *.docx.
  • Type “y” to continue.

Note: It’s possible that some RAW drives will prevent the Windows File Recovery application from operating properly. A few customers have expressed dissatisfaction about the tool’s failure to accurately scan discs. As a result, we can’t promise that this approach will be effective for everyone.

● Recover Data from the Raw External Hard Drive by Formatting

Repairing a RAW hard drive without formatting is feasible, but certain situations may necessitate formatting, especially if previous non-formatting methods have been unsuccessful. The solutions we’re about to discuss can potentially rectify your RAW hard drive issue, but they all involve formatting. As a precautionary measure, and particularly if you want to preserve your files, we recommend using data recovery software to recover your data before proceeding with the following methods.

a) With File Explorer

  • Activate Windows Explorer. Choose “Format” from the context menu when you find the RAW hard disc.
  • Choose your drive’s desired format under File System. There are several options, including FAT (the default), NTFS, exFAT, and FAT32.
  • Assign a new name to the drive under Volume Label. You should also make sure that the Quick Format box is checked.
  • Select Start to begin the format process. This process sometimes and when it’s over, your drive should be successfully formatted.

b) With Disk Management

Observe these instructions to format your RAW external disc using Disc Management:

  • Go to the Windows button to open the Start Menu.
  • You can also enter “Disc Management” or “Create and format hard disk partitions” in the search field.
  • Locate your RAW disc in the list of accessible volumes and choose “Format” from the drop-down menu. (Make sure your drive is attached to the computer.)

  • Give your drive a new name by entering it in the “Value label”
  • Select the appropriate file system format from the “File system” drop-down option (NTFS is suggested).
  • Now, Choose Default from the “Allocation unit size” drop-down menu.
  • Next, Select “Perform a quick format” from the menu.
  • Disable the option to compress files and folders.
  • Finally, press the “OK”

c) Using CMD

  • Connect your RAW external hard disc to your computer. Search for “cmd” in the Start menu. Run the program as administrator.
  • Now, Type list volume. Then, hit Enter to display all available partitions.
  • Type select volume ‘x‘. Where X represents the letter assigned to your external hard drive.
  • Finally, press Enter after typing “format fs=ntfs quick label=test”.

● Recover Files from the RAW External Hard Drive by using SFWare External Hard drive Recovery Tool

SFWare External Hard Drive Recovery Tool recovers deleted or lost data from external devices with an advanced search engine algorithm. The tool provides a scanning feature that scans every sector of the drive. The tool helps in the recovery of approximately 500+ other file types in addition to images, videos, and RAW images.

Download and install the SFWare External Hard drive recovery tool on your computer and connect your RAW external drive to your PC.

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  • From the main screen, based on the scenario, Choose the Recover drive or partition to recover data from the RAW hard drive using SFWare External Hard drive recovery software.

  • Next, Select Drive/Partition Recovery option.

  • Select the drive from which you wish to recover files from the RAW external hard drive and click on the Next button.

  • Now, the scanning process begins.

  • After the completion of scanning, it shows all the recoverable files in the form of a Data View or File Type View.

  • Preview the selected files for recovery. Save the results in a secure area if you are happy with them.

Tips to Avoid External Hard Drive Getting RAW

Here are some tips to help you avoid external hard drives becoming raw:

  • Safely eject the external hard drive: Always make sure to safely remove the external hard drive before unplugging it from your computer. This will help prevent data loss and file corruption.
  • Avoid sudden power loss: When transferring data to or from an external hard disk, a sudden power outage can cause the drive to become raw. To avoid power outages, use a UPS (uninterruptible power supply).
  • Don’t remove the hard drive while in use: Removing the external hard disk while it is still in use. This can harm the file system and result in data loss.
  • Avoid physical damage: Avoid causing physical damage to the external hard drive by dropping it or exposing it to severe temperatures.
  • Keep the drive clean: Maintain a dust-free and clean external hard disk. Dust and other particles might clog the hard disc, causing it to fail.


We hope your query is resolved and this article has helped you to understand the various methods how to recover files from RAW external hard drive. However, if you ever encounter issues with how to recover files from RAW external hard drive free, use our recommended SFWare External Hard Drive Recovery Software to solve your problems.

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