[Answered] How to Recover RAW Data from Hard Drive without Formatting

Learn to recover RAW data from hard drive without formatting and fix hard drives via the corresponding ways on this page. Besides, you can get the best data loss prevention tip.


By Penny / Updated on April 2, 2024

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Can you recover data from RAW hard drives without formatting?


Hi, guys! I’m trying to help a friend with an HP laptop whose hard drive seems to have failed. It’s a 1TB 2.5 drive that has several partitions on it. The big one has all the data, about 900 gigs. But it shows up as RAW and wants to be formatted. So is it possible for me to recover data from RAW hard drives without formatting? Thanks.

- A user from Hard Forum

Without disk formatting or disk initialization, it’s possible to recover deleted & lost files from RAW drives.

After disk formatting, it could be problematic to perform RAW data recovery because disk formatting or disk initialization can erase all the existing data on your RAW partition.

But why is my hard drive showing RAW instead of NTFS? All in all, RAW file systems indicate a state of your hard drive that has no, unrecognized, or corrupted file systems.

Both File Explorer and Disk Management can display your RAW partition. In Windows File Explorer, there’s no used space, no left space, and it is inaccessible. And you will automatically receive the following error message after double-clicking this disk in File Explorer.



So how do I stop a disk formatting? At this point, you can stop this process by clicking the Cancel button. After that, your Windows PC will automatically display another error warning.


Location is not available. G:\ is not accessible. The volume does not contain a recognized file system.


If you desire a better data recovery rate, there’re two pertinent suggestions for you.

  • Recovering data from RAW drives is the top priority. After RAW data recovery, you can begin fixing your RAW drives.
  • Please avoid adding new files to your Windows computer after data loss.

Phase 1. Recover RAW data from internal & external hard drives via data recovery software

If you’ve deleted important files from your RAW partition, you can seek help from data recovery software like MyRecover to preview and retrieve them.

Released by AOMEI Tech, MyRecover offers an intuitive GUI (graphical user interface) and easy-to-follow operating steps for non-tech users to salvage deleted & missing files from RAW or healthy hard drives.

Key features of MyRecover:
All-inclusive: Apply to a variety of data loss scenarios such as deletion, disk formatting, system crashes, or virus attacks.
High-efficiency: Recover 200+ types of files such as MS Office and WPS files, folders, compressed files, photos, audio, songs, videos, websites, etc.
Advanced scanning method: MyRecover runs Quick Scan & Deep Scan automatically to search all the recoverable files. Specify the filename, saved path, date, or size to filter your needed files.   
Convenience: Retain the original filename, saved path, and format for the deleted files.
Excellent compatibility: Support NTFS, FAT32, exFAT, and ReFS file systems.

Don’t hesitate to download and install MyRecover on Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, or Server PC now!

Download Software Windows 11/10/8/7/Server
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Step 1. After launching MyRecover, hover the mouse over your RAW hard drive and click Scan to begin scanning.

Start Scan

Step 2. Locate your desired RAW data according to the related filename, date, file type, or saved path.

  • Filename: Type the relevant filenames of your deleted or missing files in the search bar to narrow down the search area.
  • Date modified: Set the date based on your needs (today, yesterday, the last 7/30 days, and so on).
  • Size: Filter the size (<128KB, 128KB~1MB, 1MB~512MB, or bigger size).


Step 3. Open the Deleted Files/Recycle Bin/Other Missing Files folder and click “Recover x files” to retrieve your selected files.

Restore RAW Data from External Hard Drive


  • After data recovery, please save these retrieved documents on another hard drive instead of the original drive.
  • Please consider upgrading MyRecover to the Professional or Technician edition if users need to recover a large amount of deleted & missing files from hard drives.

Phase 2. Two ways to repair internal & external hard drives without losing data

After retrieving your desired data, you can fix RAW drives without losing data via the following ways.

Method 1. Fix corrupted file systems and bad sectors via CHKDSK

When you’re asked to repair damaged file systems on your hard drive, you need to run CHKDSK with the /f, /r, /x, or /b parameters to fix errors on the volume because CHKDSK only displays the status of the volume and does not fix any errors.   

Please avoid interrupting or canceling CHKDSK.
CHKDSK only can be used for local disks.

These steps depict how to repair external hard drive without losing data using CHKDSK.

Step 1. Connect the external hard drive to your Windows and enter “cmd” in the search bar. Then click “Run as administrator” to open the command prompt window.


Step 2. Type “chkdsk F:/f” in the window. You can replace F with your external hard drive letter. Then wait patiently to see this notice: Windows has made corrections to the file system.


Method 2. Repair hard drives via the Windows Disk Check utility

If you receive the CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives error message, you can use the Disk Check utility to check and repair errors. Please refer to the following steps.

Step 1. Connect your external HDD to the PC. Then press “Win + E” to open Windows File Explorer.


Step 2. Right-click on your RAW drive > select Properties. Under the Tools tab, click the “Check” button.


Step 3. Click “Scan drive” to find errors and fix them.


Bonus tips: What is the best way to protect hard drive data?

As you can see, data loss is unavoidable in our daily lives and careers. But no one wants to suffer data loss. Several users ask questions: what is the best way to prevent data loss?

Without a doubt, prevention always remains a better course of action than cure. If you want to prevent data loss at the source, there will be no better way than creating regular file backups via AOMEI Backupper.

Besides, this free Windows backup software is also good at backing up partitions, disks, or systems.

Let’s perform how to make a file backup and restore files from it via this utility!

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Phase 1. Make a file backup via AOMEI Backupper

Step 1. After launching AOMEI Backupper on your Windows PC, select “File Backup” under the Backup tab.


Step 2. Click “Add Folder/Add File” to add the files/folders you want to back up.


Step 3. Locate a saved path to store your backup files/folders. Then click the “Start Backup” button.


Step 4. After the backup process, click “Finish” to exit the window.


Phase 2. Restore files from backups via AOMEI Backupper

Step 1. Under the Restore tab, click the “Select Task” button.


Step 2. Select your File Backup and click the “Next” button.


Step 3. Select the specific files/folders you want to restore. Then click the “Next” button.


Step 4. Select “Restore to original location” or “Restore to a new location” as you need. Then click “Start Restore” to begin the restoration process.


Are you wondering how to recover RAW data from hard drive without formatting? How to recover RAW data from external hard drives? And how to repair external hard drive without losing data? You can get the corresponding fixes from the first two parts.

Penny · Editor
Penny works as an editor at AOMEI Technology, while she's a tester and editor for AOMEI Data Recovery Tools. She enjoys helping users with data recovery issues on Windows and iPhones using simple and practical solutions. Outside of work, she has a strong affection for pets, particularly giant pandas.