How do I Format My SD Card, Which Is In Raw Format?

Perhaps, you have plugged your SD card into your personal computer and unfortunately it shows “disk not formatted” or “format the disk in drive” error. When that happens, you are more likely to run the CHKDSK to check the error and repair it. Again, that might fail to solve your problem and only display a message telling you that the file system is RAW and CHKDSK is not available for the RAW file drives. That should tell you that your SD card has turned RAW and you cannot access the files. To access your files again, you must format the SD card from RAW to NTFS, FAT32 or any other file system.


The message “The type of file system is RAW” also prompts when trying to convert a microSD card or an SD card from FAT32 to NTFS in the CMD. RAW file system errors are among the commonest topics of discussion on Windows’ forums and in fact, the errors occur on pen drives, USB flash and external hard drives as well. Now, your big question might be what is a RAW file system? Or, what causes the RAW file system? shows “disk not formatted” or “format the disk in drive” error

More about RAW file systems

Generally, Windows operating system does support every file system and RAW file systems are among the unsupported. It supports FAT32, NTFS, exFAT, FAT16 and many other files. Each time it detects a RAW drive, it reads it as an unformatted drive. The drive shows RAW in the Disk Management and does not appear correctly in the File Explorer. In other words, Windows cannot access it or recognize it.

If your SD card became RAW unexpectedly and suddenly, there are chances that its file system is already damaged or corrupted. The system tables might be damaged or the type of file system information might be missing – that arises due to improper removal of the SD card. Even more, computer virus infections or hacker attacks can cause RAW file systems and show 0 bytes. The next thing that should be in your mind is how to do the repair work.


Formatting the RAW SD card

Method 1: Using CMD to repair the RAW SD card

Start by connecting the SD card to your personal computer and ensure that Windows can detect it. The CHKDSK utility situated in the CMD command prompt will help you fix the problem easily. It is among the free Windows’ built-in tools you can use to repair your file system and the first choice when repairing RAW or damaged SD card. To format the card using this command, follow the following steps.

  • Step 1: Open up the command prompt. To do that, go to start > run > cmd.exe
  • Step 2: Type this phrase – CHKDSK/X/F. A quick example: if X is your SD card reader, use the following command: chkdsk/X/F X:

Using CMD to repair the RAW SD card

After you have finished the two steps, CMD command will help you fix the RAW SD successfully and it will not affect your data if you are lucky. However, at times, your computer will display an error message – “The file system type is RAW” or “CHKDSK is unavailable for RAW drives.” If that happens, you will need to try a different method of fixing the RAW SD card. Here is another method.

Method 2: Using third party recovery software

This method allows you to recover the data in your RAW SD card using third party RAW recovery software. Some of the available recovery software programs, such as EaseUS Disk Data Recovery, have powerful capacity and feature wizard-like interface.

The EaseUS Disk Data Recovery software will help you recover data from your external hard drive, disk partition, pen drive or USB flash drive with RAW format in just three simple steps. After the recovery of the data in your RAW SD card, you will be able to format the SD to fix or repair it for reuse without losing any data. Here are the steps.

  • Step 1: Take the RAW SD card and connect it to your personal computer. Launch the EaseUS Data Recovery software. Select your card and click on the “Scan” button to search for the existing and the lost data.
  • Step 2: A fast scan will automatically start. After the initial scanning is over, another automatic deep scan will launch. The deep scan identifies more files.
  • Step 3: After the deep scan has ended, select your lost data and click on the “Recover” button. Restore and export your data from the RAW SD. Save them on your computer or any other storage device.

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News Reporter
Anna began using PCs in 2001. She has worked at companies like Lenovo and Dell.

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