How to Recover Data from a RAW USB?

When a USB turns RAW, it indicates that its file system is unrecognized, damaged, or non-existent. Such USBs throw errors when the user tries to open or access them. One such error message might also ask the user to format the USB drive in order to access it. However, formatting the USB drive deletes the data present on it. In a situation like this, it is advised to recover the data from the RAW USB using trusted third party software like Windows data recovery software and format it afterwards to continue using it.

Symptoms of RAW USB

To check if the USB has turned RAW, follow the below mentioned steps:

  • Connect the USB drive to the computer system.
  • Navigate to its icon and right click on it.
  • Select Properties from the list that pops up.
  • Select General from the next set of options.
  • Check the used memory space. If it shows 0 bytes, it indicates the USB drive has turned RAW.

What are the reasons for USB drives to turn RAW?

A USB drive turns RAW due to the following reasons:

  • Electrostatic discharge
  • Abrupt power outage
  • Virus intrusion
  • Incorrect removal of the USB
  • Accidentally formatting

How can I fix the file system error?

You can try fixing the file system error manually by following the below mentioned steps:

  • Connect the USB drive to the computer system.
  • Go to This PC and select Removable Disk Icon.
  • Right-click on the Removable Disk Icon and go to its
  • Select Tools, followed by Check Now.
  • There are two options “Automatically fix file system errors” and “Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors”.
  • Select both the options and click Start to start the scanning process.

However, by following the above mentioned process, you may be able to fix the USB but there are chances that you may lose data on the drive. Therefore, before performing any fixes, it is advised to recover data from the drive by using a data recovery software.

How to recover data from RAW USB?

You can use a reliable software such as Stellar Data Recovery for Windows to recover data from a RAW USB drive. This DIY software can recover deleted files from all types of storage media. It also provides preview of the recovered files before saving them. It supports recovery of almost all file formats.

To recover data from the RAW USB drive by using the Stellar Data Recovery Software, follow the given steps:

  • Download and install Stellar Data Recovery Software on the computer system.
  • Go to the Advanced Settings

  • Now, Select the Add File Type

  • Choose between “I don’t know how to add file type” and “I know how to add file type.”

  • Insert File Signature and click on the Scan

  • Click OK on the ‘Scanning Completed Successfully’ message box.
  • Once the list of the recoverable files pops on the screen preview them and select the ones you want to recover.
  • Click on the Recover button to start the process of recovering the selected files.
  • Select a new location to save these files and start saving by clicking on the Save

Once the data has been recovered, you can format the USB drive to fix the issue.


When a USB drive turns RAW, it could not be recognized by the computer system and hence the data becomes inaccessible. In such a case, you need to first recover data from the USB by using an advanced data recover software such as Stellar Data Recovery Software. After that, you can format the RAW USB to make it usable again. Now, you will be able to save fresh data on the USB drive. However, if the USB still shows errors, then it is highly advised that no new data should be saved on it.

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