Identify the Boot Drive on Your Computer: Step-by-Step Guide

With computers being an ever-present part of modern life, knowing how to identify the boot drive on your computer can be extremely useful. Boot drives are essential in allowing a computer to access the operating system and content on it, so it's important to accurately identify it. This guide seeks to provide you with a step-by-step process for identifying the boot drive on your computer.

Step 1: Configuring Your Computer to Establish the Boot Drive

The boot drive is the drive from which the computer starts up and runs the operating system. To identify the boot drive, you'll need to first configure your computer and have it recognize the drive as the boot drive.

Start by launching your computer's BIOS—this will be the first window you see when you turn on your computer, before the operating system is launched.  To find out how to get to the BIOS, refer to your computer's technical manual.

Once you're in the BIOS, look for the “Boot Settings,” or “Boot Sequence” menu.

Select the specific drive that you want your computer to boot from. This can be a hard drive or USB drive.

  1. Save the changes you’ve made and exit the BIOS.

Step 2: Verify the Boot Drive

The next step is to verify that the selected drive is the boot drive.

Restart your computer. During the restart process, look for a message that states the name of the boot drive.

In some cases, you may be prompted with a pop up menu with the option to select the drive you want your computer to boot from. By verifying that the drive you selected is highlighted, you can verify that it is indeed the boot drive.

Step 3: Advanced Method: Use Windows Disk Management Tool

For more advanced users, you can use the Windows Disk Management Tool to determine the boot drive.

Press the Windows key + the “R” key to bring up the Run window.

Input the command “diskmgmt.msc” and press enter.

Look for a drive with the Boot and Page File options set as “System.” This is how you can identify the boot drive.


Q: My computer isn't recognizing the drive as a boot drive. What should I do?

A: If this is happening, you may want to check your BIOS settings to make sure that the correct drive is selected. If the correct drive is still not selected, you may need to go into the system setup menu to expand the options and check for any additional settings that need to be enabled.

Q: How do I know for sure that the drive I have selected is the boot drive?

A: The best way to verify that the drive you have selected is the boot drive is to restart your computer and check the message that will appear on the start up screen. This message should contain the name of the boot drive. However, you can also use the Windows Disk Management Tool to determine the boot drive.


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