RAW SD Card Recovery: Recover Data from RAW SD Card [2024]

Are you seeking for RAW SD card recovery methods? This article gathers several methods to help you recover data from RAW SD cards. Check it out.


By Lora / Updated on April 2, 2024

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SD Card corrupt and shows as RAW


I was moving files off my SD card to my PC, and I canceled the transfer just as it started and now nothing is reading the contents of the card. Disk Management also does not seem to load when the card is on the computer. The card seems to read as RAW in CHKDSK. What else can I do to attempt to recover the data and repair this card?


- Question from SanDisk


Have you used SD cards to store mobile phone files and camera photos? Have you ever met errors like an SD card showing as RAW and failing to be recognized by the computer?

You are not the only one. Many users have fallen into that plight, and today there are a bunch of users seeking RAW SD card recovery solutions.

This article will settle this problem, helping users recover data from RAW SD cards and fix them. Before that, it is necessary and helpful to learn what a RAW SD card is.

What is RAW SD card?

When we talk about “RAW drives”, we are referring to a drive whose file system was lost/corrupted/damaged/unreadable.

Specifically speaking, common file systems that SD cards use are FAT32, exFAT, NTFS, etc. If the current file system of the SD card is lost, unreadable, incompatible, or corrupted, it will show as RAW.


Then why does your SD card become RAW and inaccessible?

How SD cards become RAW? What are the symptoms?

Common reasons for a RAW SD card are various.

  • Improper usage/unexpected ejection.
  • Damaged/incompatible/lost file system
  • Virus attack.
  • Physical damage.

What indicates that your SD card is RAW? Check the possible symptoms.

  • “E:\ is not accessible. The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable”.
  • “The type of the file system is RAW. chkdsk is not available for RAW drives”.
  • You need to format the disk in drive G: before you can use it. Do you want to format it?”

The next part shows you how to recover data from RAW SD cards. Detailed steps and info are prepared.

Detailed RAW SD card recovery guide

Most users will try fixing the SD cards when they go wrong/RAW; however, some fixes like disk formatting may wipe the SD card data as well. Therefore, before repair attempts, it is necessary to use professional data recovery tools to get the data off.

Among eligible apps, MyRecover is one outstanding Windows data recovery tool. With its advanced scanning techs and algorithms, it is preferable.

Recover all-inclusive data types, including photos, videos, docs, spreadsheets, emails, etc. 
Apply to broad data loss situations, e.g., deletion, disk formatting, system crash, virus infection, etc. 
Keep the original filenames, formats, directories, and quality of the files while recovering. 
Support preview/filter/sort of files while scanning. 
Available for Windows 7/8/10/11/Server, etc.


Users can use the free version to restore 30 MB of files for free first. Or, you could upgrade MyRecover to Pro & Tech versions to enjoy unlimited data recovery. 
Currently, it provides Monthly/Yearly/Lifetime subscriptions. Choose the version that suits your preferences and budget.

Step 1. Install and launch MyRecover > carefully connect the SD card to the machine with a card reader > hover the mouse over the SD card drive saved deleted files before, and click Scan.


The Raw drive's drive letter is intact, so you could locate the RAW drive via checking the drive letter and its size.

Tips: Please refer to the data recovery FAQ to resolve the issue if the program is unable to find your disk.

Step 2. Previewing, sorting, and filtering are accessible when scanning; for example, you might restrict the scanned result by sorting the discovered files by Type, Size, Date updated, Path, etc. Additionally, you may change the size of the displayed icons (big or little) as you choose.


Step 3. According to its file type, such as Images, Documents, Webpages, Compressed files, etc., each scanned file will be categorized. Choose your wanted files and click Recover x files.


How to fix RAW SD cards?

Some users’ SD cards may have been physically damaged by a severe outside force and are inaccessible anymore as well as the data. But some may still be in decent condition and can be fixed using some tools.

This part will help you fix and bring it back to life.

Fix 1. Fix RAW SD card using the Error Checking tool

Windows PC allows users to scan and check the error of a device using the error checking tool inbuilt.

You may find the RAW SD card is not shown in File Explorer; if so, move on to the next fix.

Step 1. Start File Explorer > right-click the SD card > Properties > Tools > Check.


Step 2. Repair drive > follow the instructions to restart your computer.



Thus you can perform raw SD card recovery without formatting.

Fix 2. Repair the RAW SD card via CHKDSK

CHKDSK is a helpful command of Command Prompt to scan possible file system errors on a drive. When used with parameters like /f, /r, /x, etc., it can fix the error scanned.

When you find CHKDSK not working, seek help from the tutorial and settle it.

Step 1. Connect the SD card correctly > enter “cmd” in the Windows search box > Run as administrator.


Step 2. Input chkdsk F:/f. Here the capitalized “F” should be replaced with the exact drive letter of the SD card.


Tips: If the notice “The type of the file system is RAW. chkdsk is not available for RAW drives” prompts out, this method is not working for your situation; please check the following methods.

Fix 3. Assign a drive letter

Sometimes, the SD card is RAW and invisible in File Explorer because there is no drive letter assigned to it. We can give it a letter.

Step 1. Connect the SD card > press Win+R to start the Run window > input diskmgmt.msc in the dialog box > click OK.

Step 2. Locate and right-click on the SD card > choose Change Drive Letter and Paths > Change > Assign the following drive letter.


The letter assigned should be an unused one.

Fix 4. Format the RAW SD card

Since the SD card is RAW due to the loss/corruption/incompatibility of the file system, we can generate a new one to make it readable. Thus, we can convert RAW to NTFS without losing data (or convert to other file systems).

Step 1. Right-click on the Windows start menu > click Disk Management.

Step 2. Right-click the RAW SD card > select Format > specify the file system (e.g., exFAT/FAT32). Since disk formatting wipes all data on the hard drive, please back up drive before formatting if the condition allows.





This article gathers a great load of useful info about RAW SD card recovery solutions. Users can use professional data recovery tools like MyRecover to get the data off the damaged device.

To bring the SD card back to normal, they can utilize the Error Checking tool, CHKDSK command, Disk Management, etc.

Lora · Editor
Lora is an editor of AOMEI Technology. She is also a tester and editor of AOMEI Data Recovery Tools. -- "Keep testing, write the most useful tutorials for helping people recover the lost data for Windows and phones" is the most meaningful thing for her. Dedicated to creating helpful tutorials, she hopes her tutorial can assist users to effortlessly solve data loss problems on their personal computers and mobile phones.