What Is a Raw Drive?

by Kevin Fobbs

If your computer develops a raw drive, then somehow it has encountered a virus or hard drive malfunction. This means the computer was damaged in either the New Technology File System (NTFS) or the File Allocation Table (FAT) file system, and according to the website Programmers Heaven, can cause "possible data loss or hard drive damage.”

Identifying Raw Drive Damage

If the computer has developed a raw drive, the screen is displaying file names with nonsensical or weird characters. You may also be seeing screen messages indicating “sectors not found” or "the computer disk space reads 0 bytes," or "you cannot access your files or data."

Repairing Raw Drive

Try repairing the computer raw drive problem by completely backing up your computer in order to restore the files. If this does not work, then obtain file recovery software. One possibility is using the free format recovery software Easeus. Its "Complete Recovery Module" is designed for data recovery from "formatted partition, crashed file system without drive letters.”

Loss Prevention

Prevent a raw drive occurrence by consistently updating the computer's anti-virus software. Also, back up and save your data files to an external hard drive weekly or at least twice a month. The website Raw File System recommends that if using an external drive backup, always use the “safely remove hardware” option. If you do not use this option, your external hard drive will turn into a raw drive.

About the Author

Kevin Fobbs began writing professionally in 1975 and has been published in the "New York Times," "Detroit News," "Michigan Chronicle," "Soul Source" magazine and "Writers Digest" magazine. Fobbs obtained a political science and journalism degree from Eastern Michigan University and attended Wayne State University Law School.

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Photo Credits

  • photo_camera hard drive image by Graham Lumsden from Fotolia.com