If you’d like to view detailed info about the hard drives, solid-state drives, or external storage devices connected to your computer, these 5 methods below will help you figure out how to tell which hard drive is which, and familiarize yourself with all its basic characteristics.
System Information Tool In Windows 10
The built-in System Information utility allows Windows users to view detailed information about their computers’ hardware — including disks, model characteristics, hard drive manufacturer, partitions, and more. You can open it by typing “System Information” in the search box and pressing Enter, or by using the Run box:
Step 1. Press the combination of Win + R keys.
Step 2. Type msinfo32 in the Run box.
Step 3. Press Enter, or click OK.
On the left side of the System Information window that opens, you can see a list of hardware categories. Expand Components > Storage > Drives or Disks from the menu tree to check the hard drive type and specifications, or choose any other category you’d like to view.
System Information Tool In Earlier Windows Versions
The System Information tool is also available in earlier Windows versions, such as Windows 7/8, Windows Vista, and Windows XP. To open the utility, follow these steps:
Step 1. Click Start and open the Programs folder.
Step 2. Select Accessories, then click the System Information or System Tools.
Step 3. Open the System Information file.
Step 4. Expand Components > Storage > Drives.
In the right side of the window that opens, you’ll see information about the drive, including its serial number and capacity.
Drive Information In Mac OS
Although the process is slightly different on Mac OS computers, finding detailed information about attached drives, including type, location and capacity, is also easy. Here’s what to do:
Step 1. On the top left side of the screen, click on the Apple icon, then choose About This Mac.
Step 2. Select More Info. Navigate to the hardware section.
Step 3. Click Serial-ATA for hard drive information, or USB to check the size and model/serial number of your USB external drive.
Alternatively, you can get detailed hard drive information by entering your laptop’s serial number here and clicking “Technical Specifications”. This method will help if your machine won’t let you view the screen due to a hard drive error or similar issue.
In IBM-Compatible Machines
For additional info about attached hard drives, IBM-compatible users can turn to their computer’s BIOS setup. Typically, CMOS will list information such as the hard drive’s serial number, model number, cylinders, heads, sectors, and size. To enter the BIOS or CMOS setup, you’ll need to press one of these function keys at the top of the keyboard as your machine is booting up:
For newer computers:
- F2 or F10 *
* F10 is often used to access the boot menu. If pressing F10 brings up the boot menu, your setup key is likely F2. And the other way around: if F2 opens the diagnostic tool, your setup key is most probably F10.
Once you successfully entered the CMOS, you’ll see a screen similar to the one shown below. The CMOS setup interfaces for your computer may look different depending on the manufacturer but should contain about the same set of options and information.
Note: While this method can provide you with the most comprehensive answer to the question “What hard drive do I have?”, the hard drive values may not be correct if your computer’s CMOS is not configured to automatically detect it.
Getting Model Info Directly From a Hard Drive
Finally, you can obtain detailed information directly from your laptop’s hard drive, that is, by removing it from the system.
Note: Due to its fragile design, this type of storage media is highly susceptible to physical damage, and therefore requires special care in handling. If you are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with the process, we recommend resorting to less risky methods.
“I know what I’m doing, how to see what hard drive I have?” — check the information on its casing. The large numbers on the face of a hard drive usually indicate its model number. Device serial numbers can usually be found after the letters S/N; however, this is not always standard, so you may need to check with the drive’s manufacturer.
Alternatively, you can contact our customer service team for a free consultation on your case. Using years of experience in retrieving missing data from damaged and faulty drives, SALVAGEDATA specialists can determine the issue on the device in the shortest time possible, and offer you the best approach for solving it.