Almost everyone who uses a computer is aware that there is a hard drive or hard drives within the computer that are used to store files and host the operating system. And most people never have to do anything with their hard drives except fill them up with pictures and music.

But what about those people who would like to be able to see or change the configuration of their hard drives? Most operating systems have some sort of utility built in to allow you to manage your drives, including Windows.


Windows 2000 and up includes a utility called Disk Management that is used to view and change your hard drive and other drive configurations. With Disk Management you can get a graphical view of the layout and partitions of your hard drives. It will also tell you if the size of the partitions, how they are formatted and the volume label. You can also see CD and DVD drives as well as flash drive configuration.

If you need to change partition configuration or change drive letters you can do so from here as well. So if you want to organize your drives and CDROMs you can switch the letters around so they will be in a more logical order. Just be aware that if you change the drive letters and Windows has programs installed with different drive letters that they most likely work anymore.

You can also format drives and change basic disks to dynamic disks if needed. Disk Management can also be used to setup spanned or striped volumes or software RAID configurations depending on what version of Windows you are using and how many drives you have in your system.

If you are installing a drive from another computer and it is not recognized you should check Disk Management to see if its listed and many times import the foreign disk to have it recognized by the system. Sometimes a drive will be recognized but not get a drive letter assigned to it and you can take care of that here.

The Disk Management tool can be accessed by right clicking on My Computer and choosing Manage. Then click on Disk Management.

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