The volume does not contain a recognized file system aka RAW File System

By | June 1, 2017

The cause ‘The volume does not contain a recognized file system’ CHKDSK error message, mostly lies with file system corruption within the volume itself. Theoretically it also possible that an error in the partition tables or boot sector is the cause. If the latter (partition table or boot sector corrupt) it is some times possible to repair the volume (see bottom post) but I recommend against it. Proposed software offers a quick, safe and effective way to recover your data. In short (see full explanation below) all you need to do is follow these steps:

  1. Run ReclaiMe File Recovery Software.
  2. All you need to do is select the RAW drive (Next to the drive letter, ReclaiMe displays the file system. For the corrupt volume it will probably show a RAW file system.) and
  3. Click Start, wait for the number of found files to settle (often 2 – 3 % into scan).
  4. Select and copy files to another drive.

Windows Disk Management lists the file system of the drive as “RAW file system” and may prompt you to format it. However, do not format the drive at this point! This is especially true if the volume is on a SSD drive as Windows will issue a TRIM command which will actually overwrite all data on the volume.

disk management shows partition as RAW

disk management shows partition as RAW


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As it is a file system problem, it can happen on hard disks, Solid State Disks (SSD), USB disks and SD memory cards etc.. In my experience removable disks have a higher chance of file system corruption than fixed disks.

Repairing a RAW file system?

Although it is sometimes possible to fix or repair the volume, I strongly recommend against it as it is very well possible you actually make the situation worse. If you decide you want to go the repair route, first clone the ‘victim disk’. Repair is only possible if damage to the volume is limited to the partition tables (pointing to an incorrect boot sector) or the boot sector of the volume.

Typical symptoms and messages

  • You need to format the disk in drive before you can use it. Do you want to format it?
  • This volume does not contain a recognized file system. Please make sure that all required file system drivers are loaded and that the volume is not corrupted.
  • Chkdsk can not be run on the drive

For both magnetic hard disks and SSD drives, in general chances for successful data recovery are good. As data was not lost due to deletion by a normal Windows procedure but due to file system corruption, Windows will not issue a TRIM command to the SSD.

volume does not contain a recognized file system

If this pops up click Cancel!

The volume does not contain a recognized file system – File Recovery using ReclaiMe

Why ReclaiMe File Recovery?

recover data when volume does not contain a recognized file system

Scenario: “volume does not contain a recognized file system”.

Take a deep breath. File recovery is possible and using ReclaiMe itself is simple and straight forward. Once you have the system set up, you’re just a few clicks and minutes away from recovering your data.

Required license: Standard

94% success rate – Unconditional, no questions asked, 30 day money back guarantee!

We need:

  • A running Windows system. If it is the system drive that is corrupt, you will need to remove it from your computer and attach it to another PC. An inexpensive USB enclosure is a convenient way to attach the disk to another PC or laptop.
  • ReclaiMe.
  • The ‘victim’ disk where you will be recovering data from.
  • A destination disk where you will copy files to.

Steps to recover data from a RAW file system:

  1. Run ReclaiMe File Recovery Software.
  2. All you need to do is select the RAW drive (Next to the drive letter, ReclaiMe displays the file system. For the corrupt volume it will probably show a RAW file system.) and
  3. Click Start.

ReclaiMe will normally almost immediately start populating the folder / file lists. You can already preview text and image files. You can also search for and save files (using the Save button).

The volume does not contain a recognized file system - Recover your data

Wait for the number of files in the left bottom corner if the windows to settle, you can pause the scan (usually 3-5% into the scan). See if the files you need to recover are listed and recover (Save) them. You can resume the scan if needed.

Short video that addresses ‘The volume does not contain a recognized file system’ issue.


Software to repair a RAW volume:

Although it is sometimes possible to repair a RAW disk, it is not recommended. It can only work if damage is limited to the partition tables or boot sector. You need to have an above average understanding of partitions. Also, as repairs write to the disk, it is very well possible you make the situation worse.

TestDisk website here
DiskPatch example here

 

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