How to Fix Corrupted/Raw File System SD Card without Data Loss?

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Have you ever faced an unpleasant situation where your operating system can’t see an external drive, hard disk or SD card, and the storage device is shown as an “uninitialized” or “RAW” device. When your storage device is identified as RAW, this simply means that Windows cannot recognize the device therefore cannot open it, so it will ask you to format it.

Why Does an SD Card Become Raw?

Your computer cannot read your SD card because it’s raw, but why is it being identified as a RAW device? Actually, there are many reasons why your SD card or any other storage device can become raw and some of those reasons are:

Your SD card has been damaged or corrupted.

The files in your storage device are missing.

Your computer cannot recognize the type current file system of your SD card.

Your computer cannot identify the type of storage device when trying to read its contents.

There may have been authorized changes in file names or incorrect symbols appearing in file names.

Your PC has limited access or no access to the contents of a storage device.

How to Fix Corrupted/Raw File System SD Card without Losing Data?

Any of the above issues can be the result of a virus attack, misoperations on the storage medium, format failure, etc, which will prompt your operating system to ask you to format your SD card or any other storage device before any further use. This can be very frustrating but it doesn’t mean that your files are lost and you can fix a corrupted or RAW device and recover any lost or deleted files with the methods below.

1Fix Corrupted SD Card with CHKDSK Command

A common method used for fixing corrupted SD card is the CHKDSK utility in the CMD command prompt, because it’s an integrated free tool on Windows.

Step 1. Connect the SD card to your PC using an SD card reader. And ensure your Windows is able to detect it.

Step 2. Go to the Start menu, right-click “Command Prompt”, then choose “Run AS Administrator”.

Step 3. Tap the “Enter” button.

Step 4. Type “chkdsk H: /f /r” command, and replace “H” with the drive letter of your RAW SD card.

Note: If you get an error message “the type of file system is raw, CHKDSK is not available for raw drives” , you might turn to the next solution.

2Repair Corrupted/RAW File System SD Card Without Data Loss through Formatting

Step 1: Recover Data from SD Card

You can also fix your RAW SD card, by formatting it but first you have to recover your files using a recovery software. AnyRecover is one of the best recovery tools out there and it comes with a wide range of features and 6 modes for recovering any type of data from your storage device. It has a user-friendly interface and a very high recovery rate.


1,000,000 + Downloads

Features of iMyFone AnyRecover:        

It can recover lost or deleted files from a RAW file system, corrupted memory cards, damaged external hard drives, etc.

It can recover over 1000 file formats, including photos, videos, documents, etc.

It can recover data in only a few minutes without the need of technical skills.

It offers free trial before purchasing the final license.

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How to Use AnyRecover to Recover Lost or Erased Files From a RAW SD Card?

Step 1. Launch iMyFone AnyRecover on your computer. Click on “External Device Recovery Mode”.

external device recovery

Step 2. Connect the corrupted SD card to your computer using an SD card reader, then select the file type for scanning.

select external file type

Step 3. Once the scanning process is complete, a list of recoverable files will appear on your computer screen.

Step 4. Preview the list, select files and folders you want to recover and click “Recover.”

preview and recover

Step 2. Format the SD Card

Once you have successfully recovered all your files from the RAW SD card, you can now proceed with formatting the device.

The steps involved are as follows:

Connect your SD card to computer.

Open "File Explorer".

Locate the drive letter of the SD card you want to format, then right click on it.

Click on "Format" option.

You will see a notification warning you that all the data on the SD card will be erased.

Click "OK" to format.

Bonus: All You Need to Know about Raw File System Problem

Your SD card being identified as a RAW device can be very frustrating, but the situation can be remedied. That your computer cannot recognize or read your SD card (or other storage devices), doesn’t mean that all your files are lost forever, it only means that the computer cannot detect the internal structure of the disk and display its contents. So there’s absolutely no need for you to panic.

And you can fix this problem by using a specialized software which can correct errors, restore access to the SD card and help you recover any lost data.

Common Symptoms of Raw File System Problems

1. When you connect the device to your computer you’ll see a pop-up message saying “The disk is not formatted. Do you want to format it now?”

2. The previous “NTFS” or “FAT32” file system will be changed into “RAW” in “Disk Management” or “Properties”.

3. The used space and free space of your memory card capacity will also be displayed as 0 bytes in “Properties”.


Besides your SD card, other storage devices like USB, external hard drive, or local hard drive can also become corrupted and identified as RAW. And you can use the methods provided above to fix other storage devices.

Using CHKDSK command may not always work for RAW drives, but you can always use the second method to retrieve your files from the RAW device (using a trustworthy data recovery software like AnyRecover, and you can try it for free) then format the device to repair damage. Hope you found this post helpful.

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By  Alva Doris , to External Device Recovery

Posted on Nov 19, 2019  ( Updated: Dec 16, 2019 )

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