Hard drive corruption occurs due to file system errors that turn a hard drive RAW. These errors are caused by bad sectors, sudden system shutdown (crash), software or hardware issues, and sometimes due to physical damage. To repair a corrupt hard disk, you can format it, which is the simplest way to repair a corrupt drive. But, it causes permanent data loss.
Thus, today we are going to discuss the steps that can fix hard drive corruption without formatting the drive. In other words, steps to repair a corrupt hard disk without losing the data.
CAUTION: Windows may display prompt to format the corrupt (RAW) drive volume when you connect it or turn on the system. Click ‘Cancel’. DO NOT CLICK ‘FORMAT’ as it will result in permanent data loss.
What causes Hard Drive Corruption?
When a drive is formatted with a file system such as NTFS, FAT16/32, exFAT, etc., it creates a table where file records are stored. NTFS creates Master File Table (MFT) while FAT file systems stores these records in File Allocation Table (FAT). After format, every file you cut/copy/paste enters a record in the table.
These file records contain the physical address of the file on the hard drive along with other file details such as file format, creation date, modification date, size, etc.
So when a drive is connected to the system, the OS reads the file system’s table and displays the contained files and folders along with the details fetched from the table. When this table is damaged, the OS can’t recognize the file system and thus, shows drive as RAW.