How to see all drives available on the computer

Updated: 03/01/2018 by Computer Hope

Note: This page provides information on how to determine which drives and drive letters your computer is using currently, not a list of all of the possible drive letters.

See drives in Windows 10 and Windows 8

This PCMicrosoft Windows 10 and Windows 8 users can identify what drives Windows has detected by opening This PC from the desktop or opening File Explorer (Windows key+E shortcut key) and expanding This PC. The picture to the right is an example of This PC. As you can see in this example, three different drive types are listed.

OS & Primary Software (C:)

In our first example, the C: and F: are all hard drives. Most computers only have a C: drive. The hard drive is the primary location where all files are stored on your computer. To open the drive double-click on the drive.

Tip: In our example the drive is labeled "OS & Primary Software." A hard drive can be labeled anything and may be different on your computer. See our how to change a drive label steps for further information on changing the name of your hard drive.

Note: All new computers no longer have a floppy drive (A: or B:) and therefore are always going to start with the C: drive. See our why does a computer start with the C: drive document for further information about why the computer starts with the C: drive.

DVD RW Drive (D:)

The D: 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.

Tip: If the drive AutoPlays the disc right-click on the drive and click Explore.

See available drives in Microsoft Windows 7 and earlier

My ComputerMicrosoft Windows 7, Vista, XP, and earlier users can identify which drives Windows has detected by opening File Explorer and then My Computer or pressing the Windows key+E shortcut key. 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: In Windows 7 and earlier versions, 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.

Note: All new computers no longer have a floppy drive (A: or B:) and therefore are always going to start with the C: drive. See our why does a computer start with the C: drive document for further information about why the computer starts with the C: drive.

Local Disk (C:), New Volume (D:), and New Volume (E:)

Next, in our example, the C:, D: and E: are all hard drives or hard drive partitions on the computer. Most computers will only have a C: drive. The hard drive is the primary location where all files are stored on your computer.

Tip: In our example the drives are labeled "Local Disk" and "New Volume." A hard drive can be labeled anything and may be different on your computer. See our how to change a drive label steps for further information on changing the name of your hard drive.

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.

Tip: If the drive AutoPlays the disc right-click on the drive and click Explore.

See drives in Windows 3.0, 3.1, and 3.11

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.

See drives in MS-DOS and the Windows command line

Windows Vista, 7, 8, and 10 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

Or, for a little more information, such as volume size, use this command:

wmic logicaldisk list brief
  • See our 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.

Fdisk

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.

vol

Running the vol command on a drive displays the drive 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.

See drives in the Apple macOS

From the Menu bar, select Go, and select Computer or press Shift + Command + C.

See drives in Linux

Linux users can use the fdisk command to see their partition and drive information.

Additional information