To quickly find your hard drive information on Windows, you can use the File Explorer. Navigate to This PC and look under Devices and Drives to see all your connected hard drives. Right click on the drive and select Properties to view details like capacity, file system, and model number.
On Mac, open Finder and select Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility. This will show you all connected drives. Click on a drive and inspect the info in the right pane to see capacity, format, model, and S.M.A.R.T. status.
You can also use third party tools like Speccy to get an overview of all your drives and hardware info. Speccy scans your system and presents a detailed report with specs for CPU, RAM, motherboard, graphics, storage, and more.
Determine the Physical Hard Drives in Your System
The first step in finding your hard drive information is determining what physical drives are installed in your computer. There are a few ways to do this:
Use File Explorer on Windows
File Explorer provides an easy way to see all the drives connected to your Windows system. To open it, hit the Windows key and type “File Explorer”, then select the program. In the left pane, navigate to This PC > Devices and Drives. Here you will see a list of all your physical disk drives. Usually they are labeled Local Disk C:, Local Disk D:, etc. The main OS drive is typically C:.
Use Finder on Mac
On a Mac, you can use the Finder app to view connected drives. Open Finder and in the left sidebar select Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility. This will show all drives attached to your system, including internal HDDs/SSDs and external drives. The names will usually indicate if it is the main startup volume or an external drive.
Use Speccy or Similar System Information Tools
Third party system information tools like Speccy (free for personal use) are handy for getting a full report of all the hardware in your computer, including storage drives. Speccy scans your full system specs and presents a detailed report with info on CPU, motherboard, RAM, graphics, operating system, and crucially – all your connected disk drives.
Open the Computer Case and Look Inside (Desktop PC only)
If you have a desktop computer, you can always open up the case and look inside to view the physical hard drives installed. This isn’t possible on laptops. Take proper anti-static precautions before handling computer components.
Check Hard Drive Capacity
Once you’ve identified the physical drives, the next important specification is the storage capacity. Here’s how to check it:
See Capacity in File Explorer/Finder
In File Explorer or Finder, the drive capacities should be shown next to their names or indicators. However, for more details…
Right Click Drive and Check Properties
On Windows, right click the drive and select Properties. Go to the General tab and see the total size listed under Capacity. On Mac, click the drive in Finder then check the info in the right inspector pane to see capacity.
Use System Info Tools
Speccy and similar system information utilities will show the full capacity of all drives in their detailed reports. This is handy if you need to check the specs for multiple drives.
Check Disk Management
On Windows, you can also open the Disk Management utility. Right click the Start button and select it from the menu. This shows a graphical view of all connected disks with their capacities.
Identify the Drive File System
The file system is the structure that organizes and manages data storage on the drive. It is essentially the hard drive’s formatting method. Here’s how to check it:
Right Click Drive in File Explorer
On Windows, right click the drive, select Properties, and look at File System. This will show the formatting (usually NTFS for modern Windows systems).
Check in Disk Utility on Mac
On a Mac, when you select a drive in Disk Utility, its Format is shown in the info pane, such as APFS, Mac OS Extended (HFS+), or ExFAT.
Look in Speccy/System Info Utilities
Apps like Speccy also present the file system info when reporting on your connected disk drives.
See in Disk Management on Windows
The Disk Management utility on Windows provides a graphical view of drives and their file system format. Right click the Start button and select Disk Management to open it.
Find the Drive Model Number and Serial Number
To identify the exact make and model of a drive, you need to check the model number and/or serial number. Here’s where to find them:
See Model in Drive Properties
On Windows, right click the drive and select Properties > General. The Model number should be shown here. On Mac, select the drive in Disk Utility and view Model in the info pane.
Check System Info Utilities
Apps like Speccy show make, model, and serial number when reporting details on disk drives.
Look at the Physical Drive Label
Opening your computer and looking at the label on the physical drive will show model and serial number. Power down and take anti-static precautions before doing this.
Use Third Party Tools
Software like Hard Disk Sentinel provides advanced drive info like temperatures, health status, and full model details.
Determine the Drive Interface Type
The drive interface is the connection between the drive and computer. Common interfaces include SATA, NVMe, IDE, and SCSI. Here’s how to check:
See in Disk Management
On Windows, the Disk Management utility displays the interface under the drive’s graphical view.
Check in System Information Utilities
Speccy and similar system info tools indicate the drive interface when reporting specs.
See Physical Connectors Inside Computer
If it’s a desktop PC, opening it up will show the physical drive connectors – SATA cables for SATA drives or PCIe slots for NVMe SSDs.
Check the Drive RPM Speed (HDD only)
If you have a mechanical hard disk drive (HDD), its rotational speed in RPM can impact performance. SSDs don’t have moving parts so RPM isn’t applicable to them.
See in Hard Disk Sentinel
Advanced drive utilities like Hard Disk Sentinel can detect and report a HDD’s RPM speed.
Check Model Spec Sheet
Search online for the make/model spec sheet or manual, which will list the HDD’s RPM. Common speeds are 5400 RPM, 7200 RPM, 10,000 RPM, and 15,000 RPM on high performance server drives.
Assume 7200 RPM for Desktop HDDs
Most consumer desktop HDDs run at 7200 RPM. High speed 10K or 15K RPM drives are rare outside of servers.
Confirm the Drive Health Status
Verifying your drive’s health can alert you to potential issues or failures before they happen. Here’s how to check:
View S.M.A.R.T. Status in Disk Utility
On Macs, Disk Utility shows a drive’s S.M.A.R.T. status, indicating issues if the drive is failing.
Use Drive Health Software
Apps like Hard Disk Sentinel give detailed drive health metrics like temperature, projected lifetime, bad sectors, pending failures, and overall status.
Check for Errors in Disk Management
On Windows, the Disk Management utility may show errors under a problematic drive. But third party tools provide more detailed health and diagnostic info.
See Drive Performance Benchmarks
To gauge the real-world speed of your drive, you can benchmark it. Here are some options:
Run Built-in Tools
On Windows 10 and 11, you can benchmark a drive using the Storage Spaces tool. On Macs, Blackmagic Disk Speed Test is included for benchmarking.
Use Third Party Benchmark Software
Apps like CrystalDiskMark (Windows) and QuickBench (Mac) test sequential/random read/write speeds and generate benchmark reports.
This gives you an objective measurement of drive performance for comparison.
Finding key specifications and info about your internal and external storage drives is easy on Windows and Mac. The essentials to check include drive capacity, file system format, model/serial number, interface type, RPM (for HDDs), health status, and performance benchmarks.
The OS built-in utilities for disk management provide most of these details. But third party apps like Speccy and Hard Disk Sentinel give in-depth drive diagnostics and health monitoring. Knowing your drive specifics helps monitor their status and performance over time.