Why is My External Hard Disk RAW?

Symptoms of RAW external hard drive

When external hard drive suddenly become RAW, you would encounter one of the following error message while accessing external hard drive.

  • The Disk Management window shows the external hard drive as either RAW file system or without filesystem type.
  • Windows prompt “This drive in disk is not formatted. Do you want to format now?”, while attempting to access the RAW external HDD in Windows explorer.
  • External hard drive shows 0 bytes space and RAW filesystem in Properties.

What does RAW external hard drive mean?

External hard drive with RAW format means the filesystem is not recognized by Windows operating system. As a result, all the accessible filesystem drivers in the computer are not able to mount the filesystem as a drive. Since Windows does not detect filesystem in the partition and it prompts you to format the external HDD to create a filesystem on it.

Expert advice: Do not make any changes to the external drive before you get back data from the disk. Because the data is vital, formatting will wipe out entire data and CHKDSK is not useful as it may cause deeper damage to your files.

Why is my external hard drive RAW and how to avoid it?

The common reason behind external drives suddenly becoming RAW is if they are ejected from a computer or laptop without using “Safely Remove Hardware” option. This can occur in many ways like power failure, a problem with the computer that causes it to temporarily disconnect the USB hubs, abrupt unplugging the drive from the USB port and many more situations can lead to this happening.

To avoid the above case, always use Safely Remo Hardware option to eject the external hard drive. To do this, left click the button on the Taskbar, choose the device from the menu and wait for the confirmation message.

Solution: My external hard drive is showing up as RAW

When external hard drive shows up as RAW, it restrain you to access the drive contents. Luckily, you can easily recover data from RAW external hard drives of all popular brands like SanDisk, Seagate, Western Digital, Maxtor, etc. using Remo Recover tool. Being a user friendly and easy-to-use utility, it makes data recovery from external hard drive that has turned as RAW a simple task so that even a newbie can accomplish it with ease.