Hard Drive Data Recovery – How to Fix Hard Drives Becoming RAW
I have a brand new computer build with a Hitachi Ultrastar 1TB 3.5″ 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive. It has recently changed to RAW and I am unable to install my operating system on it. When trying to install Windows, I get to where I would like to save the OS on, however, no disk drive appears.
My old laptop recently died so I bought a new desktop. I purchased an external hard drive case to connect the hard drives via USB. I was not able to save files. Through Disk Management I’ve discovered that the problem drive, I:, is in the RAW format. I have windows 7 64bit. What should I do?
It is a common and seemingly random problem with computers that internal or external hard drives suddenly disappear and become RAW. The cold hard possibility that you may never be able to access your saved files can be breathtaking. So what does RAW mean and what do we do when hard drives become RAW?
The term raw disk refers to the accessing of the data on a hard disk drive (HDD) or other disk storage device directly at the individual raw, binary byte level instead of through its filesystem as is usually done. When a hard drive or a particular drive volume becomes RAW, it means its filesystem cannot be recognized by the computer and therefore is unable to be mounted as a drive. Since the computer can’t see any filesystem, it prompts you to format it before you can use this drive. This often happens when the partition table or the boot sector is damaged or corrupted and the information recording the filesystem type and location on the disk cannot be read.
When hard drives become RAW, you may receive warnings like The disk in drive F: is not formatted. Do you want to format it now?; This volume does not contain a recognized file system. Please make sure that all required file system drivers are loaded and that the volume is not corrupted. There are several causes for RAW hard drives:
- The most common reason is the disconnection of hard drives from host computers while still engaging in read/write activity. This can happen in many ways such as a power failure, repeated disconnection caused by bad quality USB cable and unstable voltages.
- Partition table/Filesystem structural damage. If the partition table of the hard drive has been damaged, the OS will not identify different partitions. Partition table stores important information like sizes, locations of every partition on the disk.
- Virus. The hard drives will be turned into RAW when viruses attack the boot sector and corrupt the partition table.
You can try to fix the RAW problem by fixing the Master Boot Record. Fixing the MBR and other boot problems in Windows requires installation disk or recovery disk to enter the recovery environment. Alternatively, if you are not familiar with command console and filesystems, you can directly retrieve missing files using a professional data recovery tool. Data recovery software like H Data Recovery can be used to scan and restore lost data when partitions have been corrupted or damaged.
You can download H Data Recovery Software and scan the RAW hard drive to check its effectiveness free of charge. To recover data from RAW drives:
- Install and launch H Data Recovery Software and select the Hard Drive Partition module.
- Select the RAW hard drive and click Next to scan.
- When the scanning is done, you can browse the result and filter the content by file names or file extensions. To recover files, select from the list and proceed to choose a safe directory to save them to your computer.
- After you have recovered all your files, you can go ahead and format the hard drive to prepare it for future use.