Using Windows Disk Management Utility to Manage Internal and External Disks
Disk management utility will help you see all the drives that are connected to your computer, including internal hard drives, CD or DVD Drives, and removable storage like USB sticks and external hard drives. Using this utility, you can check for attached drives that are not visible in windows when attached to your computer. You can also format drives, change drive letters, mark a partition as active and delete partitions. A word on caution about using the Disk Management Utility: This utility can cause destruction of data. If you are not sure of what you are looking at and uncomfortable with using this utility you should consult with an advanced user before making any changes to drives using this utility.
The Disk Management utility can be accessed in two different ways.
#1- You can open the Control Panel,
Click on Administrative Tools,
Click on Computer Management and the Computer Management window will open.
#2- Right click on you “My Computer” Icon
A menu will open
The Computer Management window will open
The Computer Management window is broken down into 3 sections.
The first section on the left side of the window shows a menu. Disk Management is on the lower portion of the menu.
The right side is separated into two sections, top and bottom. The top portion shows a list of active drives on the computer. The lower portion shows all drives connected to the computer. CD or DVD drives that have not disk will not show as active drives on the top section, but can be seen in the lower section.
The lower section will show the drive description, drive size and drive condition (online or off line) in small box on the left side of that section. Disk drives will designate a “Drive” and a number. Drive 0 is usually your internal hard drive. Then it would list drive 1, drive 2, etc, depending on how many internal and external drive sources you have connected to your computer. Then it will list your CD drives and generally show their drive letter assignments.
Next to the smaller section described above, is a larger section which shows the driver letter, size of the driver and condition (if working correctly will show “healthy”)
This is the area you can right click and get a menu that will allow you to open, explore, mark the partition as active, change the driver letter, format the drive or delete a partition. (A note of caution here. Changing the driver letter on your main hard drive partition will cause windows to stop functioning. The main hard drive, or hard drive partition, is normally given the letter “C”.) A hard drive may show two or more partitions with separate drive letters designated for each partition.
A drive this is having a problem may show that it needs to be formatted (status as Unformatted). This can be done from this window. An external drive, whether it is a hard drive or CD/DVD drive, can have the letter designator change done if you want to organize your external drives. There are times when a drive will not show up because the drive letter that they are programmed to use are taken. Most USB drives are programmed to us the letters “F” or “G”. In this area, you can assign the USB drive any drive letter that is not being used and this will make it visible in windows.
on Jan 29, 2010 | Computers & Internet