How to Fix CHKDSK is not available for RAW Drives?

If You encounter the error CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives when you run CHKDSK command on the external hard disk, internal hard disk partition, SD card, pen-drive, etc. then the drives become raw.

A drive turns RAW when its file system gets damaged or corrupt. This means the file system is not recognized by Windows operating system. It happens due to physical damage, malware infection, power outages, or unsafe removal of the drive. Running CHKDSK command rectifies damaged file systems and some types of disk issues, but at times it may fail and throw the following error:

The type of file system is RAW.
CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives.

CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives

This indicates that the CHKDSK command couldn’t fix the RAW drive as it might be severely corrupt or physically damaged. Data loss is a key implication of this issue. In such a case, seek the help of a Professional Data Recovery Service provider to recover your important data from the drive.

To recover data, you may also try using a data recovery software such as Stellar Data Recovery. If the drive is physically damaged or data recovery software doesn’t work, seek the help of data recovery experts.

How to fix CHKDSK not available for RAW drives?

If you have recovered the data from the RAW drive, you can now format it with a required file system such as NTFS, FAT16, FAT32, or exFAT to fix RAW drive without losing data. Here, we’ll discuss two methods by which you can format the RAW drive.

[CAUTION]: Don’t format the RAW drive before recovering data in an attempt to fix ‘CHKDSK not available’ error. Your system may prompt you to format the RAW drive as you connect it to your system. Click Cancel, as formatting will result in data loss.

Method 1: Use Disk Management utility

Follow the steps given below to format and fix the RAW drive by using Windows Disk Management utility.
1. Press Windows+R, type diskmgmt.msc on the dialog box that opens and hit enter.

Windows+R Run dialog box
This opens Disk Management utility.

2. Right-click the RAW drive, and select Format

Disk Management utility

This open Format window.

3. Select the type of file system with which you want to format the drive, uncheck Perform a quick format, and hit OK.

disk management quick format

If this method doesn’t fix CHKDSK not available error, follow the next method.

Method 2: Use DISKPART command

Run DISKPART command to fix CHKDSK not available error by following the steps given below:

1. Type cmd on Windows search text box at the bottom left corner of the screen

2. Right-click Command Prompt app that populates, and click Run as administrator

Windows search text box

3. Grant permissions when prompted

4. Type diskpart on Command Prompt window that opens, and hit Enter

diskpart on Command Prompt

5. Type list disk, and hit Enter

This will list all the drives attached to the system.

Diskpart List Disk

6. Select the affected disk by typing the following command, and then hitting the enter key:

Select disk 0

Where, 0 is the disk number as seen from the list.

Diskpart Select Disk

7. Type list volume, and hit Enter to list all the volumes on the selected disk

Diskpart list volume

8. Select the RAW volume by typing the following command, and then hitting the Enter key:

Select volume 2

Where, 2 is RAW volume number as seen from the list of volumes of the selected disk.

Diskpart Select volume

9. Type the command format fs=ntfs quick, and then hit enter to format the volume

Where, NTFS is the type of file system with which the volume will be formatted.

To format the volume with FAT or exFAT file system, replace NTFS with the required file system such as FAT, or exFAT.

Diskpart Format

10. Once formatting is complete, type exit, and hit Enter


CHKDSK command fixes drive corruption, but at times it may fail and throw the error The type of file system is RAW. CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives. This may turn into a critical data loss situation as you can’t access the data and drive.

You may access the drive after formatting it, but again, you’d lose all the data. So, it is recommended to take the RAW drive in the care of a professional data recovery service provider who can safely retrieve the data, and then proceed with fixing the RAW drive without risk of losing the data.

In this blog post, we shared a few methods to fix CHKDSK is not available for RAW drive error, which includes the use of Disk Management Utility and DISKPART command. Following the stepwise procedure detailed in this post will certainly help you resolve the error.

Let us know your experiences with resolving the RAW drive error in the comment space below.

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