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Guibord Technical Writing Services, Inc.

 

How to Fix/Repair a RAW Drive

2016 © Guibord Technical Writing Services, Inc. 

 

 

RAW drive is a hard drive of which the reference data (Master Boot Record, partition records, etc.) is corrupt. The reference data is used by the operating system (OS) to read the location of other data on the drive (files, pictures, etc.). This can be caused by a virus, formatting failures, power failures, accidental shut downs of the OS, etc.

 

For the purpose of this article, we will use Disk 1 (Volume D) in the example illustrated below.

 

RAW drive

 

Typical Disk Management window listing a RAW drive

(Disk letters, numbers, size, etc. will be different for your PC)

Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Computer Management > Disk Management

 

 

 

Typically, Windows’ chkdsk (check disk) is unable to fix/repair a RAW drive.

 

You essentially have two options:

 

1 — The data on the drive is important to you

Do NOT attempt to write anything to the drive, nor attempt to format the drive. Otherwise you may loose data that is important to you. You can likely recover most if not all the data on the drive. Data recovery is beyond the scope of this article. However, the free tool TestDisk can likely recover your data.

 

Once you’ve recovered your data, you can proceed to the next step to fix/repair your RAW drive.

 

 

2 — The data on the drive is NOT important to you

DiskPart is a Microsoft tool, and it works well. With DiskPart you can fix/repair your RAW drive.

 

 

Best procedure using DiskPart to fix/repair your RAW drive

 

Open a DOS command prompt and run it as an administrator (Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt ; right click on the icon of the command prompt and use Run as administrator).

 

 

At the command prompt, type DISKPART

You should now see something akin to the following:

 

Microsoft DiskPart version 6.0.6002

Copyright (C) 1999-2007 Microsoft Corporation.

On computer: The computer name listed here should be your computer’s name

 

DISKPART> _

 

 

 

At the command prompt, type LIST DISK

You should now see something akin to the following (disk numbers, size, etc. will differ for your PC):

 

DISKPART> LIST DISK

 

  Disk ###  Status    Size    Free    Dyn  Gpt

  --------  --------  ------  ------  ---  ---

  Disk 0    Online     233 GB 2048 KB

  Disk 1    Online     932 GB    0 KB

  Disk 2    Online     466 GB    0 KB

 

DISKPART> _

 

 

 

At the command prompt, type SELECT DISK 1

Disk 1 here is only an example; the disk number for your RAW drive will likely differ. Make sure to use to correct disk number that you’ve identified as your RAW drive in the Computer Management > Disk Management window for your PC.

You should now see something akin to the following:

 

DISKPART> SELECT DISK 1

 

Disk 1 is now the selected disk.

 

DISKPART> _

 

 

 

At the command prompt, type LIST VOLUME

Volume number for your RAW drive will likely differ. Make sure to select the volume number that corresponds to the RAW drive that you want to fix.

You should now see something akin to the following (volume numbers, size, etc. will be different for your PC):

 

DISKPART> LIST VOLUME

 

  Volume ###  Ltr  Label       Fs     Type       Size     Status     Info

  ----------  ---  ----------  -----  ---------  -------  ---------  --------

  Volume 0     E                      DVD-ROM        0 B  No Media        

  Volume 1     C               NTFS   Partition   233 GB  Healthy    System

  Volume 2     D               RAW    Partition   932 GB  Healthy          

  Volume 3     F   backup_PC-1 NTFS   Partition   466 GB  Healthy          

 

DISKPART> _

 

 

 

At the command prompt, type SELECT VOLUME 2

Volume 2 here is only an example; the volume number of your RAW drive will likely differ. Make sure to use to correct volume number for your RAW drive.

You should now see something akin to the following:

 

DISKPART> SELECT VOLUME 2

 

Volume 2 is the selected volume.

 

DISKPART> _

 

 

 

At the command prompt, type CLEAN

NOTE: There is an option for the CLEAN command. That option is ALL. It specifies that each and every sector on the disk is zeroed, which completely deletes all data contained on the disk. If the disk is significant in size (e.g., more than 500 GB), execution  of the CLEAN command with option ALL may take hours to complete. Once you’ve gone through the entire procedure described in this article, if your drive is still RAW, repeating this procedure with the ALL option for the CLEAN command should fix the problem.

You should now see something akin to the following:

 

DISKPART> CLEAN

 

DiskPart succeeded in cleaning the disk.

 

DISKPART> _

 

 

 

At the command prompt, type CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY

You should now see something akin to the following:

 

DISKPART> CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY

 

DiskPart succeeded in creating the specified partition.

 

DISKPART> _

 

 

 

At the command prompt, type ACTIVE

You should now see something akin to the following:

 

DISKPART> ACTIVE

 

DiskPart marked the current partition as active.

 

DISKPART> _

 

 

 

At the command prompt, type LIST PARTITION

You should now see something akin to the following (size, etc. will be different for your PC):

 

DISKPART> LIST PARTITION

 

  Partition ###  Type           Size     Offset

  -------------  -------------  -------  -------

* Partition 1    Primary         932 GB  1024 KB

 

DISKPART> _

 

 

 

At the command prompt, type SELECT PARTITION 1

You should now see something akin to the following:

 

DISKPART> SELECT PARTITION 1

 

Partition 1 is now the selected partition.

 

DISKPART> _

 

 

 

At the command prompt, type FORMAT OVERRIDE QUICK LABEL=FixedDrv

NOTE: If the default file system for your OS is, say as an example, NTFS, do not specify the file system type in the format command. For some reason, specifying a file system the same as the default file system for your OS may cause the execution of the formatting command to hang (stall).

Depending on the size of your drive, it may take up to, very approximately, 30 minutes for the formatting process to complete.

Once completed, you should see something akin to the following:

 

DISKPART> FORMAT OVERRIDE QUICK LABEL=FixedDrv

 

  100 percent completed

 

DiskPart successfully formatted the volume.

 

DISKPART> _

 

 

To exit DISKPART, type EXIT at the command prompt.