How to Format a Raw Drive in Windows without Losing Data?

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Christopher has been using his computer for the last ten years. The nature of his job requires him to store all the data in his computer storage cumulatively. Recently, he has seen the need to install an extra hard drive to increase storage capacity. One thing he must understand is that a new hard drive contains RAW storage and hence cannot be used while new. This RAW storage space contains unformatted space that can be used to store computer files. Therefore, it is important to format RAW drive.

What Causes an External Hard Drive to Become RAW?

There is a high possibility of your external hard drive becoming RAW, thereby making it a challenge to access essential files. When you find yourself in such a situation, you may be worried about how to rectify this problem. However, this calls users to format RAW drive.

Reasons for Hard Drive to Become Raw

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The current operating system fails to recognize the file system.

Failure to format the disk or the volume.

The file structure may have been damaged.

The disk or volume has been wrongly formatted.

An abrupt power failure.

An accidental shutdown.

How to Format Hard Drive in Raw via CMD in Windows?

A RAW drive will only become reusable again when you format it to NTFS. However, we all know that formatting the disk is coupled with the loss of data. Fortunately, there is some good news as this can be avoided by converting the RAW file system to NFTS using the CMD.


Step 1. Type "cmd" on the search button on the taskbar and select "run administrator".

Step 2. Type "disk part" and click "enter".

Step 3. Type "list disk" and click "enter".

Step 4. Type "select disk # (ex.1)" to choose the external drive to be formatted and hit the "Enter" button.

Step 5. Type "clean" to erase all the information on the drive.

Step 6. Create partition by typing creating partition primary.

Step 7. Type "format fs=ntfs label=#", this will help in formatting the partition as NTFS.

Step 8. Type "assign letter=#" to allocate a drive letter.

Step 9. Double type "exit" to exit disk part and command prompt.

administrator command prompt


The formatting process is not compatible with Windows XP since it does not support the diskpart.

The cmd does not format a FAT32 partition over 32 GB. Therefore, you should limit the capacity to 32GB or less.

How to Recover Lost Data from Formatted Drive?

AnyRecover software is sophisticated software that helps users to recover lost data. The software is incorporated with a more advanced algorithm that facilitates data recovery. The software has a user-friendly interface that allows the users to preview their data before restoration.


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The software resolves all data loss situations such as formatted hard drive , emptied recycle bin, raw drive, partition, etc.

It has a high recovery rate through deep scanning the hard drive to recover all data required.

It recovers all files ranging from documents, music, photos, and videos.

Restores data on any external or internal storage:  external hard drive, SD card, flash drive, and so on.

It allows you to quickly and safely retrieves lost files.

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Steps to Recover Lost Data from Formatted Hard Drive with AnyRecover

The following steps will help you recover lost data from formatted hard drives using Any Recover software:

Step 1. Launch AnyRecover software on your computer and choose the "Formatted Disk Recovery" option.

formatted disk recovery

Step 2. Choose the hard drive or external drive from which the data is missing and click “Next”.

formatted disk select location

Step 3. Choose the file type that you seek to retrieve and click "Scan".

formatted disk select file type

Step 4. Scan the formatted drive. If the process does not retrieve all the information, choose the All-Round Recovery option, and repeat the process.

formatted disk recovery scan

Step 5. You can click to preview the file before recovering. After choosing what you want, click on “Recover” to get them back in no time.

formatted disk recover complete

How to Fix a RAW Drive that Can’t be Fixed in Windows

In most cases, formatting is the suggested mode of addressing or fixing the RAW drive, memory cards, USB flash drive, etc. However, in some cases, there are those situations when formatting the RAW drive does not address the problem as expected. This occurs when Windows fail to complete the formatting process. Below are the steps to fix the raw drive in such a case:

1. Click on "Start" and click "Run".

2. Enter the word “Diskpart” and press Enter.

3. Type "convert x: fs:ntfs/fat32/exfat" then press Enter.

If this does not fix the RAW drive, then there must be physical damage caused on the drive. The best thing is to contact the manufacturer or a professional for more help.

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By  Alva Doris , to Hard Drive Recovery

Posted on Nov 29, 2019  ( Updated: Dec 16, 2019 )

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