A drive is a medium that is capable of storing and reading information that is not easily removed, like a disk or disc. The picture is an example of different drives listed in Microsoft Windows My Computer.
In the example shown on this page, drive A: is the floppy drive, C: is the primary hard drive, D: and E: are partitions of the hard drive, and F: is the CD-ROM drive. Typically, the CD-ROM drive is the last drive so in most situations the hard drive is the C: drive, and a CD-ROM or other disc drive is the D: drive.
Types of computer drives
Below are some examples of different drives you could have in a computer or that may be accessible by the computer.
Tip: Today, most of the drives listed below are obsolete. The most common drives used with home computers are hard drives (SSDs), disc drives, and USB drives.
- Bernoulli drive
- Disc drives: Blu-ray, CD-R, CD-ROM, CD-RW, and DVD.
- Floppy disk drive
- Hard drive
- Local drive
- LS120 drive aka SuperDisk
- Network drive
- RAM disk
- Tape drive
- USB drive
- Virtual drive
- Zip drive
What is a portable drive and removable disk?
A portable drive and removable disk is any drive or disk that can be transported between computers. The most common portable drives today are the USB card readers, USB jump drives, and USB external hard disk drives.
Tip: If your computer has a card reader, since the drive is always available removable disks may be shown but will not be accessible until a card is inserted into the drive. Other portable drives like USB flash drives and hard drives do not show until they are connected to the computer and are the last drive when detected.
What drives does my computer have?
All computers are different. However, as technology has advanced and laptops have got thinner most computers today no longer use or need all of the different types of drives that have been used in the past. Today, almost all computers will at least have one hard drive and may have a disc drive with no other drives. Also, all computers also have USB, eSATA, and other technologies that allow an external drives to be connected to the computer. Desktop computers also support the ability to add additional drives inside the case.