How to Fix Raw External Hard Drive without Formatting? (6 Best Fixes)

Is your external hard drive showing as RAW? Struggling hard to repair RAW external hard drive without data loss? If your answer is YES, then don’t panic because this article will help you out to know how to fix raw external hard drive without formatting in no time.

But, before taking action to fix raw hard drive without formatting, it’s very much important to know the exact reason behind this issue. So, let’s see the major reasons that can cause your external hard drive to become raw.

To recover data from Raw hard drive, we recommend this tool:

This software will restore data from corrupted, formatted, encrypted storage media and works in all data loss situations. Now recover your lost and deleted data in 3 easy steps:

  1. Download this Data Recovery Tool rated Excellent on
  2. Select the storage media from which you want to restore the media files & click Scan.
  3. Preview the recoverable files, select the items you want to recover and click Recover to save the files at desired location.

Why External Hard Drive Showing As RAW?

The hard drives usually become RAW because they’re unplugged from a PC without going through the safe eject option. There’re also a few causes why your external hard disk might appear as RAW. So, here I have listed some of the major factors:

  1. Improper formatting of a disk or volume.
  2. Denied access to the drive, or system.
  3. Viruses or malware attacking the drive.
  4. Structural damage within a file system.
  5. Bad blocks are present in large numbers.
  6. The current OS doesn’t support the file system.

As you have learned the common reasons, now it’s time to take measures to fix raw external hard drive without formatting.

How To Fix Raw External Hard Drive Without Formatting?

Below we have listed best ways to repair Raw external hard drive without formatting. So go through it one by one –

Solution #1: Try the Basic Hardware Troubleshooting

When you notice that your external hard drive showing as a Raw then first you need to try some simple hardware troubleshooting steps to solve this issue:

1. Try External Hard Drive in Different PC

Try plugging the hard drive into another PC and see whether the same problem occurs or not. If it does then the problem is probably with the external hard drive or cable.

2. Use Different USB Port

Sometimes the USB ports can also cause several issues, but plugging the external hard disk into another USB port can solve the problem.

3. Try Altered USB Cable

If you are using the USB hard drive, then try switching a different USB cable that you know works without any issues.

Solution #2: How To Fix Raw External Hard Drive Using CMD

If the above troubleshooting steps unable to repair RAW external hard drive without data loss then you can try this method. You need to convert your RAW external hard drive to NTFS by using a CMD command option. Here are the easy steps to know resolve raw external hard drive without formatting in cmd:

  • First, connect your RAW hard drive with the computer.
  • Then, click on the Start button & then search for the “command
  • Next, right-click on it & click on the Run as Administrator.


  • After this, you need to type the Diskpart & hit Enter.
  • Now, type G: /FS: NTFS & hit Enter (H is going to be the drive letter of your RAW device).

Solution #3: Run the Error Checking Utility

To fix raw hard drive without format, you can use the error-checking tool. To try this utility, just follow these steps:

Step 1: Open the ‘File Explorer’ >> right-click a RAW format drive volume.

Step 2: Choose the Properties & click on a ‘Tools’ tab.

Step 3: After that, tap on a ‘Check’ button.


Step 4: Now, tap on the ‘Scan Drive’

error checking tool

Once completed these steps, wait until the scanning process gets finished and repairs it. Then restart your PC or reconnect a drive & try accessing it via File Explorer.

Solution #4: Update The Drivers For A Hard Drive

An incompatible, damaged, or outdated driver can also cause the RAW hard drive. To solve this problem, you need to update your hard disk driver using Device Manager.

Step 1: In the Windows 10 PC, make right-click the Start menu & select the option Device Manager.

select Device Manager

But, if your PC is running other Windows versions then you can open the Device Manager by clicking on the Computer icon on your desktop. After this, select Manage, and then on a left pane click the Device Manager option.

Step 2: Then, locate an external hard drive and right-click on it & select the Update Driver.

Update Your Device Driver

Solution #5: Delete The RAW Partition & Create The New Partition

Another option that you can try to fix this problem is to remove the RAW drive & create the new partition on unallocated disk space. Partition deletion eliminates all the files & also leads to data loss. So before performing the steps of this method, please keep a backup of your hard drive data in advance.

Here are the easy steps to delete the RAW partition and create the new one:

  • At first, you have to press the Windows + R key together, then type the cmd and click “OK” to open the command prompt.

run cmd

  • Then, type the diskpart & hit enter.

Type the list disk. Shortly the diskpart will list all the hard drives on your PC, including your drive which is connecting with system. Assuming that your hard drive is drive G:

  • Type the select disk G & hit the enter key.

If there’re one more partitions on a flash drive & you want to delete them, type the list partition & hit the enter key.

  • Type the select partition 0 & hit the enter key.
  • Type the delete partition & press enter.
  • After deleting the target partitions, you need to type the create partition primary, & hit the enter.
  • Now, exit command prompt.

How Do I Create a Partition Using Diskpart - MiniTool

Solution #6: Consider A Hard Drive Replacement

Last but not the least, one an only option left for you to deal with such a situation is to replace your problematic external hard drive. However, if you don’t want your stuff & the hard disk is still within warranty then you’ll need to have a drive replaced or ask for a refund.

How To Recover Files From Raw External Hard Drive?

After solving a raw external hard drive issue, if you’ve found that all your files get deleted, then you can use the Raw Drive Data Recovery Tool. It is one of the best options that you can try to recover data from a raw external hard drive.

This USB flash drive data recovery software will help you restore media files of all file formats of photos, videos, and audio files. It is 100% safe & secure to use, easy-interface, and risk-free tool.

The best part about this tool is that it is compatible and available for both the platforms; Windows as well as Mac OS.

Download Data Recovery For Windows Download Data Recovery For Mac
* Free version of the program only scans and previews recoverable objects.

All you have to do is to download and install this program from the below-given buttons and try the step-by-step guide to know to recover deleted data from the pen drive.

How to Convert RAW to NTFS Without Losing Data?

In order to convert the RAW to NTFS without losing data by trying the below easy fixes:

#1: Convert Using CMD Command

Well, if you do not need to format the RAW hard drive then you could simply convert the RAW to a NTFS using CMD. Just follow the step-by-step guide and convert a RAW to the NTFS using CMD.

#2: Convert A RAW to The NTFS Using Disk Management

For conversion of the RAW into NTFS using Disk Management, you need to try out the beneath step-by-step guide.

Step 1: Go to the “Disk Management” or “This PC

Step 2: Make right-click the RAW drive >> select the “Format“.

Step 3: Then, set the File System as NTFS, Volume Label & size of the Allocation unit. A default option is the Quick Format.

Step 4: After this, click on the “OK” to begin the process.

raw to ntfs with disk management

Step 5: Once reformatting, now you will be able to access & use a RAW file system drive as a normal.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

What Does RAW Mean On External Hard Drive?

Most of the time, it may happen that your PC hard drive, SD card, USB drive, or other external storage media unexpectedly shows RAW. It simply means that it’s not formatted with the file system such as FAT32 or NTFS, only the data present on it becomes inaccessible.

How Do I Fix My External Hard Drive Without Formatting?

You can fix external hard disk without format issue with error checking feature. Therefore, follow the below steps of error checking utility and resolve it: • Launch ‘File Explorer’ then right-click a RAW drive volume.
• Choose Properties >> ‘Tools’ tab.
• Next, tap on ‘Check’ button >> then ‘Scan Drive’ option.

How Do I Recover Files From A Raw External Hard Drive?

The best way that you can try to recover files from a RAW external hard drive is to use the Hard Drive Data Recovery software mentioned above.

Bottom Line

In this article, I have told you how to fix raw external hard drive without formatting. However, all the 7 approaches mentioned above in this article will definitely help you out to solve the problem without losing any data.

Additionally, after fixing the raw hard drive, if you’ve found that all your important data gets deleted from the drive then you must try the Raw Drive Data Recovery Tool. This program will surely help you to recover files from a raw external hard drive with ease.

If you find this post helpful, then please do not forget to share it. Your sharing might help others to fix issues who all are encountering the same problem.