How to see all drives available on the computer
Note: This page provides information on how to determine which drives and drive letters your computer is using currently, not as a list of all of the possible drive letters.
Microsoft Windows users
Microsoft Windows users can identify which drives Windows has detected by opening My Computer or pressing the Windows key + E. The picture to the right is an example of My Computer. As you can see in this example, three different drive types are listed.
Tip: You can access My Computer (Computer) by double-clicking the icon on the desktop or by opening the Start Menu and selecting My Computer or Computer, depending on the version of Windows.
3 1/2 Floppy (A:)
If the computer has a floppy disk drive, this drive will be visible and is usually set as the A: drive. If any floppy diskette is in the computer and the A: drive is opened, its contents will be shown.
Local Disk (C:), New Volume (D:), and New Volume (E:)
Next, in this example, the C:, D: and E: are all hard drives or hard drive partitions on the computer. Most computers commonly have just a C: drive. The hard drive is the primary location where all files are stored on your computer.
Compact Disc (F:)
Finally, the F: drive in this example is the optical disc drive installed in the computer. In most situations, the disc drive will be the last drive letter. If a disc is in the drive, the contents of that disc will be shown if you double-click the drive icon.
Windows 3.x users
Windows 3.0, 3.1, and 3.11 users can open drives through the Windows File Manager. Within the File Manager, click the drive icons shown above the folder and files. By default, the C: drive will be open, if you want to move to the floppy disk drive, click the A: drive icon, or click the D: or the CD-ROM drive icon if you want to open the CD drive.
MS-DOS and Windows command line users
Windows Vista, 7, and 8 command line users
If you're using Windows Vista, 7, or 8, use the wmic command at the Windows command line to view available drives on the computer. At the prompt, type the below command.
wmic logicaldisk get name
- See the wmic command page for further information and examples on this command.
Other Windows command line and MS-DOS version users
Unfortunately, there is no easy way to list all available drives on the computer through the MS-DOS prompt with one command. Below are different recommendations for viewing drives.
Change drive letter
Change the drive to an alternate drive letter to determine if a drive is available and ready if no error message is received.
If you're running a version of MS-DOS or Windows that supports fdisk, running the fdisk command allows you to view how the hard drives are setup and configured on the computer.
- See the fdisk command page for additional information about this command.
Running the vol command on a drive displays the drive's label and serial number if available. This command allows you to see what drives are detected.
- See the vol command page for additional information and help with this command.
Apple Mac OS X users
Linux users can use the fdisk command to see their partition and drive information.