How to Recover Data from RAW USB Drives?

How to recover data from RAW USB drives? Do you know how to fix RAW drive without losing data? Check out this tutorial to recover data and fix the RAW USB.


By Lora / Updated on April 2, 2024

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How do I recover data from a RAW USB drive?

USB flash drives are effortless to carry and use. With its tiny size and large volume, users can store and keep their important files and take & access them everywhere by connecting to a PC.

As a plug-and-play device, USB is widely used in people’s life. Thus, abuse is not rare to see.

So many users plug and eject the USB flash drives directly without selecting “Safe to Remove Hardware”, and maybe, unluckily, they will find the USB showing as RAW and lose access to their data.


How to recover data from raw drive for free


I have a problem with my USB flash drive. My file system shows it is RAW, and I can’t access Flash (unformat). But it is my backup drive. I have saved a lot of essential data on it.

Could you tell me how to access the flash or convert the RAW files to NFTS or FAT32 or even if there is software that can get back my data?


- Question from Tech Republic


The RAW drives don’t come into being without any clues and causes. Let’s view the symptoms and causes first for a smoother data recovery process.

Symptoms of a RAW USB drive

There are some prominent symptoms.

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

Why do USB drives become RAW?

The reasons are also worth viewing.

  • Physical damage. Physical damage to the sectors on the USB makes them unreadable and RAW, leading to data loss.
  • Virus infection. Viruses can attack the file system/master boot record, etc., corrupting the USB drive and your files.
  • File system corruption. A non-supported/unreadable/corrupted file system leads to an inaccessible USB flash drive.
  • Improper USB usage. Improper USB ejection can harm the port or interrupt the data read and write process, leading to a RAW flash drive.


With clear manifestations and reasons, we can fix RAW drive without losing data. Now, check the following solutions.

How to recover data from RAW USB drives in 4 steps?

Commonly, after severe physical damage, it is suggested that users send the USB drives to data recovery labs. But in-lab data recovery services charge high.

If your drive didn’t become RAW due to physical damage, it would be better to seek some cost-effective methods, e.g., using professional data recovery software for Windows.

MyRecover is one of the best choices since it can help perform RAW USB drive recovery in only four simple steps.

Step 1. Download & install RAW USB drive recovery software free

Download this reliable tool to start RAW USB data recovery. MyRecover features efficiency, convenience, usability, comprehensiveness, and compatibility.

Easy data recovery tool - MyRecover
  • Efficient. Recover deleted and lost files from healthy/formatted/corrupted/RAW HDD, SSD, USB, SD card, etc.
  • Convenient. Support previewing/sorting/filtering/data recovery while scanning. Restore deleted data in its original path, filename, and format.
  • Easy-to-use. Offer user-friendly GUI, allowing all users to operate it without any difficulties.
  • Comprehensive. Support more than 200 different forms of recoverable data, such as pictures, movies, office documents, etc.
  • Compatibility. In Windows 11/10/8/7/Server, etc., support for NTFS/FAT32/exFAT/RefS, etc.
Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Step 2. Start scanning data on the USB

Install and run MyRecover > carefully connect the USB drive to the computer and let the software detect the drives on your PC > hover the mouse over the target device > Click Scan.


If the software fails to locate your drive, please check the data recovery FAQ to fix it.

Step 3. Filter/sort/preview the scanned files

While scanning, previewing/sorting/filtering is available, e.g., you could sort the detected files by Type, Size, Date modified, Path, etc., to narrow the scanned result. Also, you can switch how icons are displayed (large or small) as you like.


Step 4. Choose and recover data from RAW USB drives

Each discovered file will be classified according to its file type, e.g., Images, Documents, Webpages, Compressed files, etc. Select the data you need > Recover x files.


The free version allows you to select 30 MB of files to restore for free each time. For unlimited data recovery on multiple devices, upgrade MyRecover to Pro & Tech versions.

Currently, it provides Monthly/Yearly/Lifetime subscriptions. Choose the version that suits your preferences and budget.

How to fix RAW USB drives?

With the files recovered, it is time to fix the RAW USB disks. Three practicable methods are gathered here.

Solution 1. Disk check

Firstly, we can try the Check Disk tool pre-installed in Properties. It scans the file system and the metadata to see if there are logical or physical errors.

Step 1. Start File Explorer > right-click the affected USB drive > Properties > Tools > Check. If the RAW USB drive is not shown in File Explorer, please move on to the next method.


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


Solution 2. CHKDSK

The Disk Check tool in File Explorer is helpful since it has a GUI. But since RAW drives are often unreadable and will not show in File Explorer, users may need other ways.

For instance, users could try the CHKDSK command in Command Prompt. Using this tool, you could try more parameters.

If you find CHKDSK not working, view the tutorial to fix it.

Step 1. Connect the RAW USB drive to the Windows computer correctly > enter “cmd” in the Windows search box > click Run as administrator.


Step 2. Input chkdsk F:/f. Replace the with the real drive letter of the disk.

When seeing the notice: “Windows has made corrections to the file system.” The file system is fixed.


Or you may also see the notice: “The type of the file system is RAW. chkdsk is not available for RAW drives”.

That is because the USB is RAW due to the file system’s absence. There should be a file system on the drive first, and then the CHKDSK feature can fix it (if there are errors).

If so, please check the following method; you need to format it and generate a file system first.

Solution 3. Format the USB drive to bring it back to life

Another solution to fix RAW USB drives is disk formatting. It wipes the data on the hard drive and creates a new file system; thus, files can be stored on the drive again.

Since disk formatting wipes all data on the hard drive, please back up drive before formatting if the condition allows.

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

Step 2. Right-click the RAW USB drive > select Format > specify the file system (e.g., exFAT/FAT32) and whether to perform a quick format.



Users who need to recover data from RAW USB drives can check the methods in this article. For efficiency and safety, it is recommended to use professional Windows data recovery tools like MyRecover to scan the data.

In addition, the methods to fix the USB hard drive are elaborated. Disk Check tool, CHKDSK command, and disk formatting can be of some help.

Extra info about RAW data recovery is ready as well.

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.