When your hard drive becomes RAW suddenly, you cannot use it or access the stored files. When you attempt to open it, you will see an error message saying: You need to format the disk in Drive *: before you can use it. Think about it, do you want to format it?
If you do not think there are any important files in the drive, you can directly format it to a normal state and then use it as a new one.
However, if there are some important files, better not format the drive immediately. When you are in this dilemma, you may want to fix the issue using CHKDSK or other Windows built-in tools.
But that is not a good idea because Command Prompt only shows you an error message of “CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives”. After trying the Windows built-in Error Checking Tool, you will realize it doesn’t work for a RAW drive (see picture below).
Are you wondering if there is any other workaround to fix this CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives?
The only effective method to fix a RAW drive is to format it to a normal state. But why not think outside the box? You can use a free file recovery tool to recover all your data from a RAW drive at first, then you are free to format the drive without the need to worry about the risk of losing any files that are stored on it.
Try this Method – Recover Data and Format the RAW Drive
Step 1: Recover Your Data from RAW Drive
We will take MiniTool Power Data Recovery as an example. This professional data recovery software can work in different situations like the drive is inaccessible, hard drive failure, the hard drive becomes RAW, etc. You will find four recovery modules on the interface, including This PC, Hard Disk Drive, Removable Disk Drive, and CD/DVD Drive.
The MiniTool Power Data Recovery also offers a trial edition. If you haven’t used this software yet, you can first install the trial edition to scan the RAW drive and check if you can find the needed files from the scanning results.
If yes, you can upgrade this software to a full edition and use it to recover all your important data without any restrictions.
Download this free Windows software, install it on your computer and you will find it is not a difficult job to rescue the data from a RAW drive.
- Upon opening MiniTool Power Data Recovery, you will access This PC by default.
- Now select the RAW drive→ click Scan for the software to start scanning all data stored on it. (If you only want to recover some specific types of files from this RAW drive, you can click the Settings button and then select your needed types.)
- When the scanning process is done, you can check the scan results soon and see whether you can find your needed files.
- Upgrade this freeware to a full edition, you can recover all your needed files to a suitable location immediately.
Step 2: Now You Can Format the RAW Drive to Normal
After data recovery is done, confirm that you can use the recovered files, then you can format the RAW drive to normal directly. There are many ways to format a RAW drive. Here we will show you 3 methods for your reference.
Option A. Use the Windows Disk Management to format a RAW drive
- Right-click This PC on your Windows desktop, and then select Manage.
- Click Disk Management under Storage (alternatively, you search for disk management in the Windows search box and select the first result to directly open Disk Management.)
- Now find the RAW drive and right-click it → select Format… from the pop-out menu.
- Type the Volume label, File system, and Allocation unit that meet your requirements. If you prefer to perform a quick format, make sure that the “Perform a quick format” option has been checked.
- At last, click OK and then click another OK on the new pop-out window, the computer will begin to reformat your raw drive.
Option B. Use the Windows File Explorer
You can follow the instructions to use Windows File Explorer to format a RAW drive.
- Go to This PC to find the RAW drive, right-click it, and then select Format… from the pop-out window.
- Select the file system you wish to use and type the Volume label (optionally, you can select other information.)
- Click Start, wait patiently until the formatting process ends.
Option 3. Use MiniTool Partition Wizard to format a RAW drive
MiniTool Partition Wizard is award-winning software that includes more partition management tools than most similar programs. Format Partition is one of the most frequently used free features in this software. You can use the software to format a RAW drive to a file system you want to use. Follow this simple tutorial.
- Run the software, right-click the RAW drive, and select Format from the pop-out menu.
- Type and select the drive parameters → click OK.
- At last, click Apply to execute the operation.
After you format the RAW drive successfully, CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives is fixed, and you can use the drive normally.
Hope this article is helpful, See you in the next article.