How to Fix “Recuva Unable To Determine File System Type” (3 Ways)

If you are willing to know how to fixRecuva unable to determine file system type” error then you are at the right place.

Recuva is one of the best data recovery tools developed for the Windows PC to bring back deleted data such as pictures, music, videos, emails, documents, and other media files from data storage drives.

But recently, I found many users reporting about the “Recuva Unable To Determine File System Type” error while using this tool and looking for quick fixes to get rid of this issue ASAP.

Thus, if you are one of them, keep on reading this article and solve this error in a hassle-free way.

Why “Recuva Unable to Determine File System Type” Error Occurs?

Generally, the error “Recuva says unable to determine file system type” occurs when you use the Recuva software to recover files from external storage devices. This error might also seem while transferring files from a data storage drive to a computer.

Most probably this error appears when your data storage media has been damaged or corrupted and PC doesn’t compatible with the file type or device.

Apart from that, the RAW file system can also result in the occurrence of the ‘Recuva failed to scan the following drives‘ error.

How To Fix “Recuva Unable To Determine File System Type” Error?

By applying the below fixes you can easily deal with the below-shown error.

Recuva Unable To Determine File System Type

Fix 1: Run CHKDSK Command

The first solution that I would like to recommend you is to run the CHKDSK. It is a Windows command utility that helps to check the logical & physical issues in the data storage media by scanning file system of the disks.

In order to check the errors using chkdsk, follow the below steps:

  • Firstly, connect your data storage media (USB/Pendrive) to the PC.
  • Next, type the cmd in a search box >> find & right-click on Command Prompt option from a Best match >> choose Run as an administrator.

Recuva Unable To Determine File System Type

  • Under the command prompt, you have to type the command: chkdsk H: /f & hit Enter key. (Here, you have to replace H: with your device driver letter that you need to check.)

chkdsk E: /f

Wait until the process gets completed. Once over, reboot your PC and check if Recuva cannot determine file system of drive error is resolved.

Fix 2: Unmount & Re-Mount The Data Storage Media To Fix Recuva Unable To Determine File System Type

Another method that comes after chkdsk is unmounting & remounting the drive.

Most probably Recuva says unable to determine file system type error arises due to some issue in your drive modules. In such a situation, unmounting & remounting the hard drive can assist you to troubleshoot this problem.

Here is how you can do so:

  • On your Windows PC, go to a search box and then type the ‘Disk Management’ and click it to open it.
  • In the second step, right-tap on the ‘Storage Drive’ & choose the “Change The Drive Letter & Paths”.
  • Next, choose the ‘Remove’ option & when a disk is unmounted, simply ‘Detach’ it, and restart your PC.
  • Once your Pc restarted successfully, open the ‘Disk Management’ again, make right-tap on a storage drive >> choose ‘Change The Drive Letter & Paths

Change the Drive Letter of the USB Drive

  • Then, tap on the ‘Add >> choose the drive letter and ‘Assign a following Drive Letter

Assign a new letter

  • Now, close the ‘Disk Management‘ utility & re-open the Recuva software to check if you can recover data from external storage drive using Recuva.

Fix 3: Format Your Data Storage Media to A Compatible File System

If the above solutions failed to troubleshoot unable to determine file system type Recuva error, you can easily change your drive’s file system to a compatible file system such as NTFS & FAT32.

Below I have discussed 3 different ways to format the SD card/USB drive/Pendrive or other external hard drives with ease.

All you need to do is to choose the accurate formatting way according to your niche.

Here is how you can do so:

#1: Format Using Diskpart

DiskPart is the command-line utility that is considered to manage partitions, volumes, drives, and VDs (virtual disks) by using the Command Prompt.

It is considered better than other formatting methods like Disk Management or Windows File Explorer.

If you want to format the storage media with Diskpart, follow the beneath instructions carefully:

Step 1: On your Windows PC, tap on Win + R keys together.

Step 2: In a search box, type diskpart.exe >> click OK option.

Step 3: After this, type the below commands one after another & press Enter after each command. Let’s start doing it.

  • list disk
  • select disk 1 (Here, you have to replace 1 with your data storage drive’s disk number)
  • list partition
  • select partition * (Here replace * with your data storage drive’s letter)
  • format fs=ntfs quick

Recuva Unable To Determine File System Type

Once you finished these commands, now your external disk should be easily formatted to the NTFS file system.

#2: Use Disk Management To Format the Drive

Before you proceed with this trick to format the drive using Disk Management, ensure to take a complete backup of your external drive’s data.

In order to format the external drive using Disk Management, follow these steps:

  • At first, press the Windows + R keys together to open the Run box
  • Next, you have to type the devmgmt.MSC >> tap OK.


  • After this, right-tap on a drive >> choose Format.
  • Now, select the File System like NTFS & checkmark the Quick Format checkbox.
  • Tap OK button & let the procedure finish.

Recuva Unable To Determine File System Type

#3: Use Quick Format

Windows offers one best option to format the external drives which is “Perform a quick format“. Here you should also try this tip to do so and fix Recuva unable to determine file system type:

  • Simply connect your data storage drive to a PC >> open My Computer/This PC.
  • In the second step, make a right tap on a drive >> click Format option.

Recuva Unable To Determine File System Type

  • Choose NTFS from a dropdown list >> tick a checkbox “Quick Format” >> tap Start.

Recuva Unable To Determine File System Type

At this time, you’ll be notified that there’ll be no files/folders after quick formatting of the drive. Nonetheless, there is nothing to worry about as you can easily restore those formatted data back to your drive.

Now you must be thinking how??? By using the Recuva or its alternative like Photo Recovery Tool, you will be able to get back your lost drive data.

How To Recover Data Using Recuva Software?

Once you successfully fixed the unable to determine file system type Recuva error, now you will surely use the Recuva Data Recovery software to regain those files.

Here is a step-by-step guide that you can follow to recover deleted files from the drive using Recuva:

  • Launch the Recuva >> choose an Advanced Mode.
  • Then tap on the Options in order to open the dialog box.
  • After this, go to the Action tab >> find & Scan for the deleted archives.
  • Choose Ok & wait until the file restoration whole process finishes.

Use the Best Alternative Tool To Recuva For Restoring The Lost or Deleted Files

There are countless alternative tools to Recuva that you can try when Recuva failed to scan the following drives. One of the best and perfect alternative software to Recuva is Photo Recovery Tool.

It is professionally recommended and even easy-to-use file recovery software for recovering data from external hard drives & RAW File systems.

This program has the ability to retrieve almost all the media files including pictures, music, videos, emails, and other documents without any backup.

emidDownload Photo Recovery For Windows emidDownload Photo Recovery For Mac
* Free version of the program only scans and previews recoverable items.

You can try this step-by-step guide to know how to recover data from SD cards or other external drives using this feature-loaded tool.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What Is Better Than Recuva?

Photo Recovery Tool is definitely the best alternatives to Recuva which you can use to recover lost or inaccessible files. Regardless of the reasons behind the data loss, this versatile utility can assist you to retrieve lost data without any backup.

Does Recuva Work On Formatted Drives?

Most of the data recovery programs are capable to regain stuff from corrupted, damaged, formatted and even inaccessible hard drives. And Recuva is one such tool which can be used to perform formatted drive data recovery. So, the answer is yes, Recuva certainly works on formatted drives.

What Are The Alternatives Of Recuva?

Here are the alternatives to Recuva which you can use to recover lost or inaccessible files:

  • Stellar Photo Recovery
  • Recoverit Data Recovery
  • EaseUs Data Recovery
  • Disk Drill File Recovery
  • iCare Data Recovery
  • Recover My Files
  • Remo Recover
  • PhotoRec Data Recovery
  • TestDisk Data Recovery
  • MiniTool Data Recovery

Time To Say Goodbye!

So, this is all about how to fix Recuva failed to scan the following drives unable to determine file system type errors in different ways.

All you need to do is to apply them one by one until your issue gets resolved.

Last but not the least, if you find this article helpful, don’t forget to share it with others who are currently experiencing this error.