RAW Filesystem Recovery

Your drive became RAW? Don't panic. Try our easy recipe to recover your files from RAW filesystem.

Difficulty: Level 1 (easy peasy)

Hands On Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 60 minutes for a 500GB drive Total Time: 70 minutes


  • 1 media with RAW filesystem you need to recover
  • 1 PC - laptop or desktop
  • ReclaiMe File Recovery software


  1. Connect the RAW drive to a PC.
  1. If you are offered to format the drive with RAW filesystem, click Cancel.
  1. Download, install, and launch ReclaiMe File Recovery.
  1. Select the RAW drive and click Start.

Typically, your device is listed under the USB devices section.

If you do not see your drive in ReclaiMe, probably there are some problems either with USB shell or hard drive itself. Anyway, the first thing to try is to remove the shell and connect the drive to a PC.

  1. Preview several recovered files, preferably photos.
  1. Buy the license key and activate the software.
  1. Select the top-level folder and click Save. Point to some location on the PC, NOT on the drive you are recovering from.

Expert tips

  • Typically, RAW filesystem issue happens on portable devices like external hard drive or USB thumb drive and is associated with connection-and-removal cycle. The RAW filesystem symptoms include various operating system messages mentioning unrecognized filesystem and asking a user to format the device before using. Generally, data recovery from RAW filesystem is successful.
  • Before recovering data from a drive with RAW filesystem, you should think about additional storage to copy the recovered data to. You need free space at least equal to the size of data you need to recover.
  • If ReclaiMe File Recovery shows the message that your RAW drive has dropped offline, it means that there are some problems either with USB connection or hard drive itself. If this happens often, you should consider connecting the drive directly to a SATA port of the motherboard because USB tends to get stuck on bad sectors while SATA just skips them.
  • RAW filesystem is a logical error rather than physical failure of the device. That's why once you recovered data from a RAW disk you can format it and use it as before. Although, before formatting it would be better to use low-level formatting software like free Lowvel. Such a tool not only zero fills all the sectors on the disk but also accesses each sector on the disk thus checking their state and initiating reallocation of bad sectors if needed.
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