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Identifying drives without OS

hey there crew.

My boot drive fried out. I need to find which one to unplug to replace inside the chasis, as there is 4 2TB drives, Different brands, but i was naive when installing them, and didnt mark my boot drive. i have no access to Windows at the moment.

whether it is a way i can use the CMD prompt, to locate which one has windows installed on it, and which port its located to? or something more simple that im not thinking of?

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Sorry... No magic here

You'll need a second system to access the drives to spot which drive has the Windows folder (OS). If you have two installations of Windows on different drives that could complicate things as you'll need to look at the directors data to see which is the newest installation.

You might find getting a SATA to USB adapter will make this easier. If the drives are 3.5" you'll need a powered adapter like: Universal Drive Adapter

Universal Drive Adapter Image


Universal Drive Adapter


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i already have a toaster. i was hoping to avoid pulling every drive and doing it through CMD. but if this is the only way, im all for it. Thanks for the help!


An old DOS 3.3x - 6.0 based system could be used (and yes I still have one!) Just doing a DIR on the drive. You would still need to shutdown the system when adding/removing the drive in question.


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It'll be your C: drive. Most BIOS's can identify drives based on their drive letter, so look in the BIOS for what SATA slot your C: drive is in.

Hope this helps!

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alrighty thanks! ill do this when i get home from work.


@pccheese - It won't tell you which bay the drive is in.


@danj Yes it will. SATA port number is just as good as a bay indicator. Just follow the cable to the HDD.


@pccheese - Your assuming he can distinguish the SATA port markings and can easily trace the cables. He could be also using a PCI board as well as his logic boards ports which adds more confusion here.


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