Hard drive is in an "unrecognizable file system"

I unplugged my hard drive for a few days and when I plugged it back in, I get this message:


Is there anyway to change the hard drive's file system without formating the drive? Data-recovery software recovers data from way back when, and nothing recent.

I'm using Windows 7 and the hard drive is a Seagate Baracuda. I've tried using the chkdsk command, but chkdsk doesn't work on RAW drives.

Any ideas?


Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
This can sometimes indicate bad sectors on the drive. It is risky, but you can try a solution detailed here: [resolved] File System changed to RAW from NTFS - Tech Support Forum

You don't need Partition Magic to do it, but it is a major pain. For so long as the drive is RAW, you will have difficulty.

You can also try the Microsoft method outlined here, though it is primarily designed to convert the FAT file system to NTFS:

How to use Convert.exe to convert a partition to the NTFS file system

The fact that it went to RAW indicates there was some corruption. You may have needed to Safely Remove the drive from Windows first, or shut down the system before unplugging the drive. These restore methods are not guaranteed to work.

This website is not affiliated, owned, or endorsed by Microsoft Corporation. It is a member of the Microsoft Partner Program.