How to recover a corrupted RAW SD card without losing data

Índice de conteúdos

When a storage device starts to fail, it is normal to be afraid of losing the data on it. Fortunately, all is not lost: there are a number of alternatives for recovering data and even repairing the drive without having to lose your data.

In this article, you will see how simple it is to recover the data on a RAW SD card and make it usable again. Check it out!

What is a RAW SD card?

A RAW SD card is a storage device with a damaged or missing file system. In this sense, the data on the SD card has not been processed and is therefore unreadable by the operating system.

For a storage device to be read correctly, the data must be formatted according to a file system. If this doesn’t happen, the data becomes unreadable for most operating systems and software.

Fortunately, there is some specific software that can access the data to perform a recovery, even when the device is RAW. However, if you want to be able to use the card again to store data, after recovering the files, you will need to format the device.

Signals from a RAW SD card

Recognizing a RAW SD card is very simple: when you connect the card to your computer, the operating system won’t be able to read the files. Windows users may see the message “Format the disk in the drive to be able to use it” or something similar.

Also, in Windows, the Check Disk function doesn’t work when a device is in RAW format. In other words, if you try to run the “chkdsk” command at the command prompt, the screen will display the message “The file system type is RAW. Chkdsk is not available for RAW drives”.

Other signs of a RAW SD card include file names replaced with strange characters, files and folders disappearing from the card, the system showing the card drive as bytes (even though there is data on the card) and, finally, a “Card not formatted” error message.

However, even with all these signs, there’s no reason to despair. In this article, we will show you how to recover data from a RAW SD card. If your memory card is not of the SD type, we recommend reading our article: How to recover corrupted memory card on mobile phone?

Why do SD cards become RAW?

Improper operations

Incorrect use of the card can result in errors in writing and reading data which can eventually cause damage to the card’s file system, making it inaccessible by the computer.

Among these inappropriate operations are: ejecting the card without following safe ejection protocols, loss of power and abrupt interruptions in the write and read processes.


When the card’s file system is damaged or corrupted, the card becomes RAW. This can happen due to factory defects, physical damage, normal wear and tear on the device and even software problems.

Virus infection

Viruses and other malware can attack the card’s data system, making it unreadable and RAW.


The quality of the device can also be a major risk factor for the file system suffering damage and the card becoming RAW. Always buy storage devices from well-established brands.

How do I recover a memory card in RAW format?

Repair RAW SD card without formatting

The following steps refer to recovering data from an SD card using the Wondershare Recoverit software. However, the steps should be similar for other data recovery programs.

Step 1: Select recovery mode

Insert the SD card into the computer, start the data recovery software and select the “External Device Recovery” mode.

Step 2: Select the SD card in RAW

When a list of recoverable drives appears, select the drive that refers to the SD card and click “Next” to start the recovery process.

Step 3: Check the SD card

Initially, the software will scan the card for data that can be recovered and will display a list of recoverable data. However, this first scan may be faster and may not reach all the data on the drive.

Therefore, if you want to perform a more detailed scan before continuing, click on “General Recovery Mode” before continuing.

Step 4: Preview and recover files

Once the scan is complete, a list will appear where you can preview the files that can be recovered. This way, you only recover what really matters and you don’t have to waste space on unnecessary files.

At this stage, simply select the files you want to recover and click on “Recover”. It is important to note that it is advisable to save the recovered files in a new safe location, making a backup of the data on a device other than the card.

Repair RAW SD card without losing data with formatting

Formatting is the most certain way to recover an SD card or other types of storage device. However, when you do this, the data on the device is erased. However, all is not lost.

You can check out some ways to recover files on a formatted storage device in our article on 11 ways to recover formatted hard drives (the process is similar for other types of devices).

Fortunately, there is a way to try to recover the SD card without having to format it.

Repair RAW SD card using CMD

  1. Connect the RAW SD card to the computer;
  2. Type CMD in the Windows search bar;
  3. Right-click on the Command Prompt application and select Run as Administrator;
  4. Check the drive letter of the SD card. For example purposes, in this tutorial the letter is “H”;
  5. In the Command Prompt, type chkdsk H: /f /r and press Enter. Don’t forget to replace the “H” with the letter that represents your SD card.

Following these steps, the computer will begin the process of fixing the SD card. If the procedure is successful, in the end you will be able to access your SD card normally as you did before it became RAW.

Error Checking Tool

Another alternative is to use the error checking tool, a feature of Windows itself. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Connect the RAW SD card to the computer;
  2. Open Explorer and go to “This computer”;
  3. Locate the SD card drive and right-click on it;
  4. In the menu that appears, click on “Properties”;
  5. Go to the “Tools” tab and click on “Check” in the “Error checking” section.

The process will start and try to find possible errors on your drive. If possible, it will try to show you possible solutions to try in order to repair the card.


Losing a storage device because it is in RAW format can be very frustrating, but all is not lost. Using the right tools, you can recover your data and format it for later use.

If you have tried all of these steps and have been unable to recover your data, or if you are having problems with any other type of storage device, don’t hesitate to contact Bot!

Bot has been a leader in data recovery for over a decade, with more than 100,000 successful cases and a 99% approval rate. It is present in several Portuguese cities, relying on specific and assertive methods that guarantee a high data recovery rate in cases like this.

If you need help, complete this form to get assistance from Bot.


Posts relacionados