How to Recover Data from RAW Partition?


Unable to access your precious data stored on the drive as the drive turns RAW? Often an error message pops up stating unable to access the drive and the drive has turned RAW. If you are worried about how to access your important data on a drive that has turned RAW, you are at the right place. With the help of this article you can easily restore data from the RAW partition.

A drive or partition is termed as RAW, when the operating system cannot recognize and mount the partition. A RAW partition is generally caused due to logical errors in the file system that makes data stored in that partition inaccessible by the user.

The blog contains: 

What is the RAW partition?

Is it possible to recover files from RAW partition drives?

What makes drive RAW?

Errors that indicates drive is RAW

How to recover data from the RAW partition

OK! Let us dig deep into finding answers for each of the topics mentioned above:

What is a RAW Partition?

RAW partition is a situation where your system fails to identify the file structure on the partition. A partition is a section of hard drive that can be used to store data.

When you partition on a hard drive, you can choose your desired file system for partitions such as NTFS, FAT32, exFAT, etc. NTFS is the default file system on hard drives in Windows systems and FAT for removable disks. When computer is unable to mount these file system on it, the drive turns RAW.

Is it possible to recover files from RAW partition

To be honest, it is quite risky to restore files from the RAW disk manually. To overcome this situation, it is recommended to make use of  a professional partition recovery software.

SFWare partition recovery tool is designed with an advanced scanning feature that searches the drive based on file signatures and lets you locate lost, deleted, missing or RAW partitions. Download now and get access to your important data on the drive.

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Make sure you do not accept to format the drive before recovering the data. The RAW partition reports an error message when you try to open it and demands a formatting.

Note: Do not format the RAW partition even when Windows demands you to do so. Formatting of RAW partitions will cause further damage to RAW drive and makes it highly impossible to recover data. Hence, it is recommended to recover the RAW partition at first and later  fix the RAW drive.

If you are wondering what are the causes behind your hard drive turning into RAW; here are the reasons that caused your drive to turn RAW.

What Makes Your Drive RAW?

1. Bad Sectors

If there are bad sectors on the hard drive, the drive won’t be working normally. At times severe corruption on the drive turns partition RAW. In such situations, recovering data from bad sectored drive becomes a bit hard.

2. File System Structural Damage

If the file systems endure any structural damage, there is a chance of partition becoming RAW. Sometimes you might even encounter a drive with no file system error.

3. Partition Table Corruption

When the drive’s partition table is corrupted, the drive turns RAW. If you are facing issues related to the partition table, click on the link to recover the partition table without missing out on any data.

4. Operating System Re-installation

When you upgrade the old operating system to the new one, there may be changes in the file systems like Fat to NTFS or vice versa. Hence, the file system may be unable to get identified by the operating system and shows drive as RAW.

5. Virus/Malware Attack

One of the most common reasons to turn disk RAW is virus or malware attack. Virus can easily damage the partition table that carries the partition information and turns drive RAW. In such cases, information from the partition will be missing and leads to error required partition is missing.

Well, now you know the causes, but how do these reasons indicate the drive is RAW? Let’s see…

Errors That Indicate Partition Is RAW

RAW partition error often appears with the following indications-

  • When an attempt is made to open the drive in File Explorer, a popup message would appear saying “Disk is not formatted. The disk in drive E is not formatted. Do you want to format it now?

Error indicating drive is RAW

  • If you choose to use chkdsk for recovering data from RAW partition thinking this is similar to any other partition error, you will find an error “Chkdsk is not available for RAW drives

RAW partition error

  • Location is not available. H:\ is not accessible. The volume does not contain a recognized file system. Please make sure that all required file system drivers are loaded and that the volume is not corrupted

cannot access the RAW drive error

  • If you check properties for the drive, you can see the file system is RAW

Next immediate question that arises is how to recover the raw partition without losing data! In the following sections it is keenly explained in what way you can recover files from raw partitions without damaging or corrupting any existing files.


How to recover data from the RAW hard drive?

To recover files from the RAW disk partition, follow the steps mentioned below-

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Download and install the SFWare partition recovery software on the system. Launch the application. Next, select Drive/Partition Recovery from the main screen. Choose a drive to recover data from the raw partition and click on the Next button.

Recover PAW partition using SFWare

After the completion of the scanning process, recovered RAW files can either be viewed in different views. Also, recovered RAW partition files can be previewed to verify the content. And finally if you are satisfied with the results, Save the recovered RAW data files in a desired location on the system.
Preview files before saving

After the completion of the recovery process, if you would like to fix the RAW partition, follow the methods mentioned in the next section.

How do I Fix a RAW hard drive?

You can easily fix the RAW hard drive by reformatting the drive to another file system, Converting RAW into other file system such as NTFS or FAT32, allows you to get back access to the file. However, you will be risking your important data on the drive by formatting.

It is always rewarding to keep a backup of the data. If you have failed to keep the copy of the data, do not worry, you can easily restore the formatted drive using SFWare data recovery software.


This article explains the concepts of RAW partition, why RAW partition cannot be accessed and how to recover data from RAW partition.

Irrespective of errors that lead to RAW partition, you can easily perform RAW partition recovery with the help of SFWare partition recovery software. However, it is always recommended to back up data on a regular basis to avoid data loss issues.

If you find any difficulty while operating with SFWare RAW partition recovery tool, there is a 24/7 support team available to direct you on the right process of recovering a RAW partition.

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