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Fix : Hard disk suddenly shows Raw partition, not accessible in Windows 8 , 7 , Vista , XP

Windows cannot access this drive, do you wish to format it, is the message that you will receive when you try to open your hard disk drive or a partition on your HDD. This post will help you fix this issue in a few simple steps. This guide will also help you recover your data from the hard drive which is now detected as RAW in your Windows PC. Recently my 2 TB Seagate Go Flex drive started to show RAW partition & I feared loosing all my data, below mentioned is the method that worked for me.

Pre-requisites for this method:

  • Windows Installation CD / DVD /USB ( Windows 8 , 7 , Vista )
  • OR
  • Windows 8 , 7 repair disk
  • Test Disk – Click to download ( Use this, if the problem hard disk drive is not your primary drive )
  • OR
  • Parted Magic –Click to download the ISO file and burn a CD ( Use this ,if your primary hard disk drive is the problem hard drive and you lost your operating system )

Note: Do not use this method on a Solid State Drive

Test Disk usage remains the same from Within Windows & from Parted magic

If you wish to use parted magic :

  • Burn the disc image to a CD or make a Bootable USB
  • While booting, Choose option 1. Default settings, Run from RAM
  • After the booting sequence is complete,
  • Locate and click on the Terminal Icon ( Bottom left area )
  • type testdisk & press Enter


Test Disk Usage :

  • You can choose to either create a Log or not ( depends on you )
  • testdisk1
  • Select the hard disk drive with the Raw partition from the given list & press Enter
  • testdisk2
  • In this step, check the hint part & select accordingly ( for me it shows Intel )
  • testdisk3
  • Select Analyse & Press Enter
  • testdisk4
  • Now, Select Quick Search at the bottom of the screen & press Enter
  • Select your partition and press Enter
  • testdisk5
  • After the quick search is complete, press P to see your file and folders, if you are satisfied with the results here, press Q
  • Select Write at the bottom & press Enter
  • testdisk6
  • Press Y to confirm Write
  • If you do not see your files and folder, you can try Deeper Search.
  • Now,
  • Press Q , until you reach the screen below
  • testdisk7
  • Select Advanced & press Enter
  • testdisk8
  • Now, at the bottom, select boot and press Enter
  • testdisk9
  • Now, In case your Boot sector is bad and your Backup boot sector is OK,
  • Select Org. BS & press Enter
  • Press Y to write backup boot sector to the primary boot sector
  • But,
  • If in case both your boot sectors are BAD
  • Select Rebuild BS & press Enter
  • This process will take some time to complete, Press Y in the end to execute



  • Boot from Windows Installation CD / DVD / USB or the repair disc
  • After the initial boot sequence completes Press Shift + F10
  • OR,
  • Click on repair your computer
  • & from Recovery options
  • Select Command Prompt
  • Type chkdsk x: /f      – here replace X with your drive letter
  • Let this process Complete
  • Restart your computer
  • Your disk should now be working fine


You can use the Test Disk utility to copy your file & folders from the damaged drive as well.

  • Get to the screen where the main options are ( refer screenshot below )


  • Select Analyse
  • Select Quick Search
  • Press Enter on your partition
  • Press P to see your files & folders
  • Now, press C (shift + C ) – to copy multiple files & c (to copy one file)


  • Check out the options at the bottom of the screen


This should help you in recovering your data & getting your hard disk drive to a usable state. If, in case of any queries / suggestions, please feel free to use the comment / Contact form

By shantanu

Shantanu is a Windows Enthusiast, a troubleshooter & a writer. He is a Microsoft MVP in Windows Expert - IT Pro from 2007. You can check out his other work @

12 replies on “Fix : Hard disk suddenly shows Raw partition, not accessible in Windows 8 , 7 , Vista , XP”

sir can you upload a video of the above process .i dont undrestand and dont know how to do that.thanks. its a dangreios and most common problem that occured on the sotrage doevices. i have broken my 5 card of the above raw problem s thanks again .plz upload a video.

I had an important personal data that was stored in my external hard drive. To secure my data I used bitlocker software that was already there in my windows 7 ultimate 64 bit. I am using a Dell XPS laptop. The thing worked fine for me and I have been able to access my data in drive as and when I required. But today, when I tried to open my drive its simply unlock but not showing anything. I have a snapshot but i don’t know to send it.

I right clicked and checked ‘properties’ of drive. It showed me Used Space = 0 bytes and Free Space = 0 bytes.

I opened ‘Disk Management’ which showed my external drive file system as ‘Unknown (Bitlocker Encrypted). ‘Disk Management’ is also showing my’ drive as healthy logical drive.

I opened ‘Manage bitlocker’ and found that my drive was being shown locked and ‘Unlock Drive’ was displayed against it, however, when i click on ‘Unlock Drive’, it does not function.

Where has it gone? How can I enable it? Is my Drive lost forever and thus the data in there as well?

I would recommend that you use system restore to restore your computer to an earlier time ( start menu -> type system restore -> open -> choose a restore point when your drive was working fine -> restore. Hope this helps

Shantanu, You’re effort is remarkable to assist the general public, giving an understanding as to a hardrive has gone into a RAW state either by a malware or human error, in fact while using an operating system to either install of fresh copy or the alternate to repair, the process does give the option for anyone to actually make a hard drive RAW, and so logically Shantanu you have provided a way to reverse a RAW drive to using testdisc or Parted Magic to access a HDD partitian and recovering data so the hardrive can be used again.
Brilliant Shantanu kudos to you

good day sir. i had a problem when choosing partition table type (intel, humax, mac, etc..) . it detected ‘none’ partition table type. what should i do?

thanks for your attention

If it says none, I would recommend that you do not use the method mentioned above. In your case Test Disk won’t be of any help. Instead download Partition Table Doctor.

Hi Shantanu!

Nice job!

The above tutorial concerns Disk Test. . . Cited the Partition Table Doctor. . . Would not it be interesting to use this software before Disk Test?

Partition Table Doctor does not say what works for Windows 7 or 8, because it is an old tool. . . Have you tried it on these OS?

I downloaded 3.5 and PTB in Windows OS 7-64, I have the following messages:

Error: The overall sectors of the second partition on harddisk 1 is 399761459. The
Total sectors is right 399761460. Do you want to correct the error?

Error;: The overall sectors of the patition 3 on harddisk 1 is 1065173761. The full right sectors is 1065189825. Do you want to correct the error?

Please report:


And for those cases where:

Testdisk boot sector is OK,

Backup boot sector is OK and

  Sectors are identical:

A valid fat boot sector must be present in order to access any data:

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