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Is it possible to repair corrupted flash drive of 16gb that suddenly became raw and asking for a reformat? My Kingston flash memory won't work any more and keeps telling 'you need to format before you can use it' everytime when I try to get it connected to Windows 10 laptop. Can you change raw file system to ntfs without format?

From SuperUser

raw drive needs formattingRaw file system asked formatting

What is formatting and will reformat erase data

What is formatting: formatting is generally used in computing that is to arrange a storage device ready to receive information. also defines formatting as the function to shape and size of a book and defines formatting as the way which text, pictures etc. are organized...

See the sources:

Will formatting erase data on the raw drive

Formatting in computing means to erase the disk for new data storage. Usually when a new disk or digital storage was developed from a factory, it was already formatted by low-level formatting. When it came to the market, it is brand new for data storage.

Will formatting erase data on a flash/hard drive?

The answer is yes. It would make data to be marked as empty space for taking new data storage. Reformatting a raw disk would erase its old data but not permanently until new data have taken space of the old space.

We would not recommend you reformat the raw drive if your device suddenly became raw when you have important files inside of the media.

Two ways to convert raw file system ntfs without formatting in Windows 10/8/7

Since formatting would erase data inside of raw file system drives, if there was important data inside of the raw drive, here are two options for you. One is to rescue the data from the raw drive, another way is to repair the damaged raw drive.

Part 1: Resuce files from media in raw file system with freeware

Resuce your data from raw drive with freeware.

Freeware #1: iCare Data Recovery Free

It is a completely nice free tool for recovering files that works for all kinds of hard drive, flash drive, memory card... You may start recovering files for free by downloading a free copy at the following download button.

Download iCare Free

Step 1: Download, Install the program and connect your raw media to a Windows PC and then launch the freeware, choose 'Advanced File Recovery'

recover files with icareStart iCare for fixing raw drive

Step 2: Select the raw drive that is recognized by iCare and then click 'next' to start raw drive recovery

start scanning raw driveSelect raw drive to recover

Step 3: Save files found in the raw drive to another hard drive.

Fix raw drive data onto another driveRecover data from raw drive.

Freeware #2: Recuva Free

Recuva has a free edition too that is available to recover files from many kinds of digital devices.

You may start using Recuva by downloading a free copy of the freeware.

Download Recuva Free

Or you may go to this following page to download it if the above download link expired.

Step 1: Download and install it on your PC, and then connect your media that needs a recovery to PC.

recover files with recuvaStart recuva

Step 2: Select file types that you want to recover

start recovery wizardSelect recovery options

Step 3: Set the location for found files before the scanning and recovery.

Set place to save dataSet place to save data

Step 4: Wait Recuva to finish the data scanning.

Wait to let recuva finishWait for data

Step 5: Save found files from raw drive.

save raw filesSave data

Conclusion: The second program Recuva Free scans faster, but first program may find more files for you. They are of both free tools that you may use for free.

Part 2: Repair drive with raw filesystem for free

If you have restored data from the raw drive, then you may start repairing the raw file system by the following raw file system repairing method.

Step 1: right click the raw media and go to its 'Property' option to wait and see the following window to pop up.

Step 2: Click 'Check' under the option of 'Tools' to start repairing damaged raw file system

repair file system error checkingrepair file system error checking

Step 3: Select both 'Automatically fix file system errors' and 'Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors'

repair file system error checkingrepair file system error checking 2

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If your data on the raw drive is really very important, we do not recommend you repair the raw media since any changes to the raw drive may kind of write new data or make changes to the raw drive which would result in losing data permanently.

Do rescue the inside data at first!

Video: how to convert raw to ntfs without formatting

Video Tutorial: here in this video it would tell you several ways to convert raw to ntfs without formatting.


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Writer of iCareAll, is specialized in fixing various kinds of digital device problems.

Data Recovery Tool >How to convert raw to ntfs without formatting