A raw drive is a hard disk that does not contain a filesystem. Data on raw drives cannot be recognized by an operating system or applications. To access the data, specialized software is required that can interrogate the drive on the byte level. Data recovery software can perform this feat.
No. Performing a quick format in the Windows operating system simply erases the file system journal, not the actual data. The files and folders are still physically present on the disk and can potentially be restored as long as the storage space they occupied is not used for other purposes.
Data recovery software is an application that can restore data that is no longer available to the operating system. It recovers files that have been logically deleted from your disk but physically remain on the media. They take advantage of the method modern operating systems use to delete data.
You can obtain some data recovery software for free. Most reputable commercial solutions offer a free trial of the tool to see if it’s right for your situation. Disk Drill provides Windows users with 500 MB of free data recovery before making any financial investment in the program.
Yes. Unless you plan on performing data recovery on the drive, you should format it before starting to use it. Without the filesystem that formatting will install on the drive, it will not be very useful to your system or applications. A full format will provide a clean environment for your data.