RAW file system

What is it?

Definition

RAW file system is a state of the hard drive or other storage device which has no known Windows file system.

Because no file system exists on the drive, there can be no files or folders on the drive, and it cannot be used to store data.

Symptoms

The following error messages may appear

  • You need to format the disk in drive before you can use it. Do you want to format it?
    You need to format the disk in drive before you can use it.
    Do you want to format it?
    (When trying to open the drive in Windows Explorer)
  • The type of the file system is RAW.
    CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives.
    (When running CHKDSK)
  • The volume does not contain a recognized file system.
    This volume does not contain a recognized file system. Please make sure that all required file system drivers are loaded and that the volume is not corrupted.
    (During certain console operations)
  • Raw drive properties window.
    Windows Explorer shows that both used and free spaces are 0 byte in size in the raw drive Properties. Also, no file system type is indicated.
  • The Disk Management shows the partition as either RAW or without a filesystem type, depending on the version of Windows in use.