In this guide, we have discussed two different methods that you can follow and recover partition(s) and data from a RAW internal or external hard drive.
A hard disk drive (HDD) may turn RAW or corrupt due to file system errors caused by virus or malware infection, sudden system crash, unsafe drive removal, bad sectors, or SMART errors etc.
When a hard drive turns RAW, Windows fails to read the damaged file system and, thus, the drive partition(s) and data become inaccessible.
Of course, you can format a RAW hard drive to fix it. However, formatting will lead to data loss and delete drive partitions permanently.
[Caution]: If your Windows system prompts you to format the RAW hard drive (see screenshots below), click ‘Cancel’ and continue to follow the steps given below to recover your data from RAW hard drive partition(s).
Steps to Recover Partition from a RAW Hard Drive
Step 1: Run CHDSK Scan
You can run a CHKDSK scan on a corrupt or RAW hard drive to fix the file system error. CHKDSK uses the second NTFS boot sector to reconstruct the Master File Table (MFT) or first NTFS boot sector. This fixes the RAW hard drive back to normal, and then you can access the partitions, and your data.
To run CHDSK Scan, follow these steps –
a. Open Command Prompt in admin mode.
b. Type following command and press the Enter key.
chkdsk /r /f X: Replace letter X with your RAW hard drive letter
c. Wait for it to finish. In case the RAW HDD is not fixed, and you see an error such as the type of the file system is RAW…, skip to the next step.
Step 2: Use Data Recovery Software
By using a powerful DIY data recovery software such as Stellar Data Recovery Professional, you can recover partition from a RAW hard drive and also get back data from any RAW, formatted or missing hard drive partition.
Follow these steps to recover RAW hard drive partitions and inaccessible data,
Select ‘Can’t Find Drive’ under ‘Other Locations’ and click ‘Scan.’
Select the RAW hard drive from ‘Select Drive’ list and click ‘Search.’
The software scans the physical hard drive for partitions and lists them under ‘Select Partition’ list box. If the partition isn’t found, click ‘Deep Scan.’
Select the desired partition from the list and click ‘Scan.’
In case the desired results are not attained, click ‘Click Here’ link at the bottom to run a deep scan.
After the scan, click on a file to see its preview before saving. Use the search bar to locate the desired files for quick recovery.
Finally, select files you want to save and click ‘Recover.’
Click ‘Browse’ to choose a save location on a different hard disk or external drive and click ‘Start Saving.’
That’s it. Repeat the steps to recover data from all other partitions of your RAW hard drive. Once you have saved all the data, open Disk Management tool and format your RAW hard drive.
After formatting, transfer the recovered data back to the fixed drive. And don’t forget to back up your important files this time to prevent a permanent data loss situation. Keep at least two backups – use cloud and local storage media for backup storage.
Hard drives are vulnerable to corruption due to several factors such as bad sectors, malware or virus infection, improper handling, sudden shock or system crash, and more. A Windows-based hard drive turns RAW when the file system gets damaged.
However, with the help of Stellar Data Recovery Professional software, you can retrieve lost partitions from RAW hard drive and get back every bit of recoverable data from the scanned partitions of a RAW hard drive.
Alternatively, you can try CHKDSK scan, which works if the corruption isn’t severe, i.e. second NTFS boot sector is not damaged.
Satyeshu is a Windows blogger and data recovery expert. He is having good technical knowledge and experience in Windows data recovery. He writes about latest technical tips, Windows issues and tutorials.