How to Repair “C Drive Is RAW” in Windows 10 (3 Methods)

If you are experiencing the “C drive is RAW” error in Windows 10, you are in the right place. This article will tell you the possible reasons and how to fix it without losing data.


By Ivy / Updated on April 2, 2024

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Boot Error: C: Drive Is RAW Format

“My C: drive changed from NTFS to RAW suddenly, and when it turns on, it first says "preparing automatic repair," then continues to a black screen. I have tried the startup setting button, system restore and automatic repair, but it does not work. How do I repair it and change C drive RAW to NTFS. I have many important items stored in it and don't want to lose them. Please help.”

C Drive Is RAW

Why does the C Drive Become RAW?

You may be confused as to the reason your external hard drive becomes RAW. we have summarized for you the following common reasons:

  • The file system is corrupted or damaged.
  • A rude shutdown due to a power cut or no UPS.
  • Virus infection.
  • Bad sectors.
  • Worn-out hard drive
  • ...

How to Recover Data from C Drive in RAW

Usually, when your C drive becomes RAW, your computer may not boot and you are unable to access data on it. In order not to cause further data loss, you need to stop using this drive and disconnect the disk containing C drive right now.

But you still can use a reliable Windows data recovery software - MyRecover to scan and recover files from C drive in RAW. It is able to recover lost Word documents, Excel files, PPT, pictures, videos, compressed files, etc and more than 200+ file types.

  • Support two advanced scanning methods - Quick Scan and Deep Scan. It helps to find all the deleted or lost data on RAW drive.
  • Preview or recover files during the scanning process. You are able to filter specific files you want on the RAW drive.
  • Recover data from RAW external hard drive with a high success rate and fast speed, keeping its original file name, format, quality, and path.
  • Compatible with Windows 7, 8, 10, 11, etc and Windows Server.

To get started, download Windows data recovery software- MyRecover and install it on another working Windows PC. Meanwhile, connect your disk containing C drive in RAW as well.

Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Step 1. Launch Windows data recovery software- MyRecover. Hover the mouse over the RAW C drive, and click Scan.


Note: The drive letter of the RAW C drive may have a change. You can identify it through the capacity.

Step 3. The software will run Quick Scan & Deep Scan automatically and find all the deleted or lost data on the RAW drive. Once any of files are found, it will display in the following window. You can then preview or select them to recover immediately.


Step 3. Select all the data on the RAW C drive and click Recover XX files.



  • MyRecover will display the number of files to be recovered and their entire size. You can free recover files up to 500MB. To recover unlimited files, please upgrade MyRecover.
  • Select a new location to store files on the RAW drive. Retrieving files to original location may overwrite the space of deleted data, resulting in data recovery failure.
  • Except for Windows 10 or 11, it is still able to recover deleted files from Windows Server 2016, 2019, 2022, etc.

Besides, you still can use this software to recover files from formatted hard drive, or other data loss scenarios due to virus attack, system or disk failures, etc.

How to recover specific files on a RAW drive:

In MyRecover, you could directly type its file name in the Search for files or folders box. Or use the Filter feature. You need to select file type (eg: Word documents), date modified, or size.

  • Type: It will contain all the file types in the local drive, such as, images, videos, documents, mails, webpage, compressed files, etc.
  • Data Modified: It supports today, yesterday, last 7 days, last 30 days, and custom.
  • Size: It allows you to filter file size from less than 128KB to 128KB ~1MB to 1MB ~ 512MB and above, or custom.

Search for Word Files

How to Fix the “C Drive Is RAW” Error in Windows 10

After recovering data from the RAW drive, disconnect it from another Windows PC and reconnect to the problematic machine. You can then feel free to fix the “C drive is RAW” error with the following 3 available methods.

Fix 1: Repair RAW C Drive in Safe Mode

If your Windows is still bootable, you can use the Power options. If not, you need to use installation disc or recovery disk to access the recovery environment first.

Step 1. Press and hold the Shift key while selecting Power > Restart.

Step 2. In the Choose an option screen, select Troubleshoot. Then, click Advanced options and select Startup Settings.

Startup Settings

Step 3. In the Startup Settings screen, click Restart. Then, press 6 or F6 to enable the safe mode with command prompt.

Step 4. Then, type chkdsk C: /f /r and press Enter.



  • The /f is to fix any found error.
  • The /r is to mark bad sectors and recover readable information.

Fix 2: Repair C Drive RAW in  the Recovery Environment

This method requires you to prepare an installation disc that helps to access the recovery environment. If not, you can create a system repair disc in Windows 10 PC.

Step 1. Insert the installation disc or repair disc into the problematic PC. Restart your system and press the BIOS key (eg: F2, F11, ESC, etc) on the initial screen. Then, change the boot priority to it and press 10 to save the changes.

Step 2. In the recovery environment, click Next until you see Repair your computer.

Step 3. Click Repair your computer.

Repair Your Computer

Step 4. Select the problematic operating system and click Next.

Step 5. In the Choose an option screen, select Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Command Prompt.

Command Prompt

Step 6. Type bootrec /rebuild bcd and press Enter.

Rebuild BCD

Fix 3: Format and Reinstall Windows 10 on C Drive

If you have a problem fixing “C drive is RAW” in Windows, the only method is to format and reinstall Windows 10.

Step 1. Access the command prompt windows with the help of the installation disc. You can follow Step 1-Step 5 in Fix 2.

Step 2. Type diskpart and format C drive from RAW to NTFS with the following commands. Remember to press Enter after each line.

  • list partition
  • Select partition X (X is the disk number of the RAW partition.)
  • format fs=ntfs quick
  • exit

Step 3. In the initial screen, select the language and other preferences. Then, click Next.

Step 4. Click Install Now.

Install Now

Step 5. Click I don't have a product key and Next. If you install the same version of Windows 10 you are using, it will reactivate itself after reinstallation.

Step 6. Then, select the operating system you are currently using and accept the license terms. Then, click Next in order.

Step 7. Select Windows 10 installation type - Custom: Install Windows only (Advanced).


Step 8. Select the formatted C drive and click Next. It will start loading the installation files and install the version of Windows 10 you selected earlier.


✍ What does it mean when a drive is RAW?

RAW is a not recognized file system and it occurs mostly when the file system of a drive is corrupted or damaged. In this time, you are unable to access it before formatting.

✍ How do I change C drive from RAW to NTFS?

Formatting is one of the most effective methods to change C drive from RAW to NTFS. But the process will deleted all the data on it. Thus, it’s suggested to recover data from RAW C drive first.

✍ What causes the C drive to fail?

There are many reasons for C drive to fail, such as human error, hardware failure, firmware corruption, overheat, etc. In order to protect your C drive safely, it’s suggested to create a system backup with backup software for Windows -AOMEI Backupper Standard.

Concluding Words

You can easily fix “C drive is RAW” in Windows 10 without losing data. It’s suggested to try chkdsk command in safe mode or bootrect command in the recovery environment first. If both of them are not working, you can then format and reinstall Windows 10.

Thus, it’s essential to perform a good habit if you don’t want to encounter this error and potential data loss again. This is really frightening. All of your precious data can be lost in a second. To prevent this, you need to create a system image in Windows 10 automatically.

Ivy · Editor
Ivy is an editor of AOMEI Technology, she covers backup & restore,hard disk & partitions management and cloud files transfer and so on for AOMEI. She is an outgoing girl and enjoys helping people find solutions to their problems. She loves traveling, eating, reading and so on. She usually hangs out with friends at her leisure time.