Fix: The Volume Does Not Contain a Recognized File System

‘The volume does not contain a recognized file system’ is a common issue in Windows 10/8/7 that may occur to any storage medium unexpectedly, including USB, SD card, external hard drive, etc. There could be a number of reasons behind the problem. The issue is very annoying as it prevents you from accessing your data. Fortunately, it is fixable and the inaccessible data can be recovered as well.

3 Cases of the File System Not Recognized Problem

Failed to Access a Drive, it Shows a Windows Prompt

This is one of the most common cases of file system not recognized problem. It prevents you from accessing your data stored on your hard drive. When you double-click on the hard drive partition, a dialog box appears telling you that the partition is not accessible. You also see 'the volume does not contain a recognized file system' error. You can do nothing about it expect clicking 'OK' to close the error message. Formatting the drive is the only solution that works.

Hard Disk Suddenly Becomes RAW

The second case is the error that usually occurs when you try to access your external hard disk. Hard disk suddenly becomes RAW, which means it has no file system. Because of this, the operating system cannot read it, hence preventing you from accessing your data stored on the drive. Just like the first case, the solution to this problem is also formatting.

USB Device Becomes Inaccessible

The third case of stored data becoming inaccessible occurs with USB devices. This could occur due to several reasons and the solutions vary depending on the cause of the problem. You can try changing the USB port, unplugging and the plugging again, etc. Formatting could also work but you will lose your data.

Recover Your Files Before Fixing "The volume does not contain a recognized file system"

Although you can solve the problem very easily via formatting or any other solution, your stored data may be lost. So, you need a way to recover and back up your data first before you attempt the fix.

Fortunately, recovering data is easy with the help of iMyFone AnyRecover. The software is safe to use as it doesn't overwrite existing data during the recovery process.


1,000,000 + Downloads

Features of AnyRecover

  • Recover inaccessible/lost/deleted files from any storage medium, including hard drives, USB flash drives, camcorders, smartphones, memory cards, etc.

  • Recover data no matter how it got lost or deleted e.g. system crash, hardware malfunction, virus/malware attack, accidental deletion, etc.

  • You can recover any type of data via AnyRecover. It supports recovery of 1000+ file formats.

  • All popular file systems are supported, including FAT, FAT 32, exFAT, NTFS, etc.

  • Recover deleted data within 3 simple steps; choose a recovery mode, scan the selected storage medium, and then preview and recover deleted data.

Download NowDownload Now

Steps to Recover Files Via AnyRecover

Step 1. Once the software is launched, click on All-Round Recovery mode from its home screen.


Step 2. Navigate to the hard drive partition from which your wish to recover data, select it, and then click on the Next button.

all round location

Step 3. Next, choose file types you want to scan. Click the 'All File Types' option if you want to scan and recover all kinds of files and then click the Scan button.

all round file type

Step 4. Now preview the files you want to recover, select them, and then click on the Recover button. iMyFone AnyRecover will start the recovery process.

all round scan

2 Methods to Fix "The volume does not contain a recognized file system" Issue

1Format the Volume to NTFS

Formatting the volume in a compatible file system i.e. NTFS will solve the problem. Keep in mind that it will erase all data stored on it.

  • 1. Open Windows Explorer and navigate to the Volume you want to format.

  • 2. Right-click on that Volume and then click on the Format option.

  • 3. Now choose NTFS from the list of file systems, check the Quick Format box, and then click the Start button to start the formatting process.


2Update USB Drivers

Sometimes there is an issue where the USB port of the computer does not detect the USB device properly. This issue could occur due to obsolete USB drivers, that's why it is recommended that you update those drivers. Follow these instructions to update USB drivers:

  • 1. On your Windows PC, launch Control Panel.

  • 2. Navigate to System > Device Manager.

  • 3. Once there, find and click on Universal Serial Bus controllers.

  • 4. After that, select the USB component that you want to update, right-click on it and then click the Update Driver Software option.

  • 5. Now follow the on-screen instructions to update USB drivers.



Fixing 'the volume does not contain a recognized file system' problem is very easy as all you have to do is simply format the partition. However, doing so may erase all your data stored on it. That's why it is recommended that you first recover your data via iMyFone AnyRecover before proceeding so that your valuable data is safe and backed up.

Download NowDownload Now


By  Simon Marcus , to Hard Drive Recovery

Posted on Dec 24, 2018  ( Updated: Jan 14, 2019 )

Related Articles: