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  • What is Raw File Recovery

The data within your hard drive is susceptible to numerous issues. Not only is it threatened by sudden data loss and corruption, but, in some cases, your data may become RAW. This can occur to specific sectors on a hard drive, to an entire partition, or to the whole drive itself, and, regardless of the scenario, the affected data will always be rendered unreadable.

Partitions and drives that have become RAW can be identified through a variety of ways, including:

  • The file system is designated as RAW for the affected drive or partition
  • Individual filenames are incomplete and are often replaced with weird, illegible characters
  • Your operating system (OS) displays an error regarding an unformatted disk or partition or corrupted or unreadable files
  • The affected hard drive displays 0 bytes in both used and free space

All of these issues are clear indicators that a file, partition, or drive has been reverted to RAW status. But how did this happen in the first place? Well, data can be reverted to a RAW state from a number of reasons, including:

  • Repeated or prolonged exposure to a computer virus
  • Unexpected power outages
  • Improper formatting or partitioning
  • Bad sectors within the disk

Depending on the issue, simply re-formatting your hard drive with a full format will usually diagnose and repair the issue. However, this process also deletes all of the data on your hard drive. While this is certainly a quick fix, it isn't the ideal scenario if your RAW drive or partition contains valuable data.

Restoring Data from a RAW Partition or Drive
Since RAW is technically considered a file system like NTFS or FAT32, data contained within a RAW partition or drive is considered unreadable by modern operating systems. If you're running Windows, however, you might be able to repair the drive without formatting via the chkdsk feature. However, this only works if your RAW partition or drive still has a drive letter assigned to it.

If the affected partition or hard drive doesn't have an assigned drive letter, you'll have no choice but to turn to your latest data backup to restore your valuable files. In the absence of a recent backup, your only option at this point is to seek the assistance of professional data recovery software or services.

Once your data has been recovered, you should be able to re-format the partition or drive from its current RAW file system to one that is usable with your system – such as NTFS or FAT32. If you're unable to re-format the drive at all, you'll have no choice but to replace your hardware.

Working With RAW Data
As you can see, RAW data isn't easy to work with. Although most users are capable of running chkdsk or r-formatting a RAW drive, the corrupted data within can present some complications that are best left up to the professionals. If nothing else, the threat of RAW data makes a great case for the importance of consistent data backups.

You may read more about data recovery in Wikipedia: Data recovery.

Data Recovery Feedback
370 feedbacks
Rating: 4.8 / 5
I really love your R-Studio product, I am doing Data Recovery as a professional, I used RS since the early versions and I loved the product, as far as I can tell, R-Studio, especially the Tech Version (but including the standard) is one of the best and excellent tools for a pro to have in the arsenal of tools in a pro DR lab, especially combining with the specialized Data Recovery hardware providers like DeepSpar, and PC3000, the rest of `wannabees` out there are waste of time, strongly recommend
I lost more than 200K files from my NAS due to a mistake. I tried 3 different recovery solutions over the 4 TB raid disks, and all of them performed ok but to be honest none of them were able to Raw recover the files and rename them with meaningful names out of the Metadata like R-TT did, then I was able to sort again my files and pictures and kind of restore all of them.

R-TT may not be the easiest or most user-friendly solution, but the algorithm used for the renaming saved me THOUSAND of hours of opening ...
Just recovered my old ext4 partition with R-Studio after trying testdisk and R-Linux without success. That partition was overwritten by another ext4 partition and I was losing my hope until I tried R-Studio demo. It detected all my files and directories again!

Bought it and 100% recommend it for anyone with a similar issue.
Genuinely tried every free program available without luck of recovering a deleted file from months ago. Thinking my file was deleted forever and lose all hope I came across this website as a recommendation.

I was reluctant as it seemed pricey compared to other programs, but damn worth every penny. It managed to even find files I thought were wiped from existence.

Kudos to r-tools, thank you!
Why make incremental backups, when there is R-Studio?

I`m an IT professional who has worked from home for over a decade. Early on in my career, I configured an HP ProLiant Server (Raid 1+0) as a workstation that I would remote into from my laptop. As technology evolved, I began to use it only for email and as a config file repository.

A short while ago, one of the drives degraded, but the HP ProLiant Server (Raid 1+0) still functioned fine on the remaining drive. I was complacent and didn`t replace the ...