Stellar Knowledge Base

What is RAW Recovery and How to Recover Data from Raw Drive?

December 11, 2018     29061 views     0     0

One of the most common problems that can occur within your computer is the problem with your storage device itself and may prevent you to access your meaningful data. Due to file system corruption, virus/ trojan attack, registry damages and many other, primary hard drive partitions may become RAW.

Same thing can also happens with your external hard drive become RAW, suffering from logical damages. Once the internal or external hard drive turns into RAW, you'll not be able access RAW partition or drives neither able to access your computer. Common fixes include formatting RAW hard drives but it involves risk of permanently erasing your data. Below is the simple error message that can be seen whenever you try to access RAW drives:


Some popular error messages listed below that appears when the drive become RAW:

 windows cannot access the disk
 external hard drive not recognized
 the type of the file system is raw

 chkdsk is not available for raw drives

Why Drives became RAW?

There are multiple reasons involved in making healthy partition or Drive into RAW. Healthy partition acts as controller of your computer device and monitor all the input and output request. Due to installing malicious third party programs or bad handling file system, drive or partition or file system became RAW. 

How to Recover RAW Hard Drive Partitions?

However, >Stellar Windows Data Recovery Professional can perform RAW Data Recovery and recover RAW hard drive partitions as well as gives you a preview of recoverable files in real time. 'Raw Recovery' scan is good at looking through each sector of the selected drive to recover traces of lost or deleted information. It reads file signatures to recover data. All the recovered files are listed in the main interface according to their corresponding file types. 

'Raw Recovery' is usually the last resort if your drive is severely corrupt.

Follow the detailed steps given below:

  • Run the Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Windows software on your system.

  • Click on the ‘Advanced Settings’ option as shown below.

  • In the ‘Advanced Settings’ option, you have to select ‘Add Header’ option as shown above.
  • Here, you get two options:
  1. Whether you can Add Header, if you know it.
  2. Else, you can select I don’t know how to Add Header option.
  • You can add upto 10 File Signature as per your requirement and resume the recovery process for saving your file for re-use.


17 User Comments

Helen Huxford
July 27, 2014 06:16 pm

Can I save files to be recovered on a network drive? We have an external WD drive that my bf and I share. Will Stellar allow me ti save it if its networked? Its physically on his computer and networked through our homegroup.

Amit Pandey
July 30, 2014 03:34 am

Dear Helen,

You can definitely save the recoverable files to a network location such as FTP or PCs connected via local network. If that's one of your HomeGroup computer, you can definitely save the recoverable data by navigating to that particular location. For example, as soon as you you press the 'Recover' button, pop up window will open and asks you to choose your desired location i.e. FTP, Networked computers etc.

Hope it helps!!

Leandro Benito
January 28, 2015 12:06 am

Untill now I have recoverd about the half of the drive. But now, it copy the tree and the files but with zero bytes.
What happens? What can I do?


Amit Pandey
January 29, 2015 09:55 am

Dear Leandro,

Plugin your hard drive properly and start scanning it once again. This could happen due to of imporoper of lose connection of drive to your computer system due to which, the software may start showing false scanning results. That is why the files recovered is of zero bytes.

Feel free to revert if the probelm stil persists!!

October 5, 2015 08:23 am

Hi There,

I was afraid of losing files due to NTFS drive converting into RAW. I'm seriously looking for help to convert drives back to NTFS or perform raw data recovery.
This drive contains over 300 GBs of useful files that I never want to lose.

Please suggest!!

Amit Pandey
October 5, 2015 09:07 am

RAW data recovery can be performed using our Stellar Windows Data Recovery - Pro software. Download and install software using the link below:

Under 'Data recovery' tab, you'll need to click on Drive recovery option and select your problem drive which will open four competent option for recovery, choose Advanced recovery. This optino itself is capable of retreiveing files from seriously damaged storage device such as RAW data recovery. After clicking on it, software will begin analyzing and scanning your drive. Once scanning completed, you'll be able to see the recoverable files and folders under preview pane.

Let us know for further help!!

October 16, 2015 04:40 pm


A while ago I had a hard drive failure so went about retrieving the data. I got a message saying "I/O Device Error" with no codes. My new PC recognised the attached drive but nothing on it. I found software enabling a Deep Scan Recovery, which eventually found image files. But instead of transferring them individually it transferred them as one file. For example, in a file called Holiday 2014 I had a few sub-files, and .jpeg photos were within these subfiles. Instead of the idividual images they have been put into one .WMP files in excess of 3GB and I have no way of extracting the data from them. Would this program enable me recover each individual image?

Thanks in advance...

Amit Pandey
October 19, 2015 06:16 am

Dear Dan,

Can you tell us the exact name of the software you’re using? I’d suggest to start scanning once more and try saving individual files to your desired location (different than you’re trying to recover data from) and see if you can access files now. Navigate to subfolders and check or select individual file that you want to recover and then click on Recover button located at the bottom right corner.

P.S .WMP is a Windows Media player file format and you can’t extract files from the same.

Let us know if the problem still persists, you can directly get in touch with support team for further guidance.

Stellar Team

George Fowler
July 20, 2017 10:48 am


Im looking for some advice..

I plugged my wd elements 1048 hdd into the MacBook yesterday and all of a sudden its coming up with the message, "disk you inserted is not readable" followed by initialise, ignore and eject. I have no idea what has happened, and I am mostly concerned about retrieving the data off the disk..

July 20, 2017 03:11 pm


Thank you for contacting Stellar

Related to your concern we will assist you on your email.

Data Recovery Associate
Stellar Data Recovery

Pau Palacios
September 10, 2017 06:28 am

Hi, I had 6 drives (5 Lacie and one WD) daisy chained through thunderbolt-2 to firewire adaptor. One I turned my iMac on and they mounted under "MyBook" name, empty and looking healthy.
I scanned them, but no sign of my partitions, files and folders.
Any idea of what went wrong and what to do to recover files and folders?


Stellar Data Recovery
September 11, 2017 03:02 am


We have sent an email to your email address and we request you to reply to it.

Stellar Data Recovery

December 5, 2017 09:04 am

A 2TB Seagate NTFS formatted HDD has suddenly converted to RAW. In need of a solution that would do 100% data recovery (even 99% data recovery will not help has there are irreplaceable photos, images etc ... in it).

larry bailey
April 25, 2018 04:50 pm

i`;m not sure how this raw thing works but I do know that I had to keep holding the button to shut down many times...
my laptops only a little over a year old.
if I do a raw drive recovery will that bring it back to ntfs so I can use my laptop again? please email me I really need to know.. thank you larry

April 25, 2018 09:50 pm


Thank you for contacting us.

We would like to inform you that software can recover data from Raw drive however it can not convert file system back to NTFS.

You may perform "Can't find drive" process in software and after selecting drive, you may click on search and lost partition. Software will find partitions and can recover data from the same.

November 12, 2018 06:49 pm

I have recovered the files but they have weird extensions

Stellar Data Recovery
November 13, 2018 02:25 am


Thank you for contacting Stellar Data Recovery.

We would like to inform you that we have sent you an email to assist you further.

Stellar Data Recovery


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