A solid state drive (SSD) is a type of storage device that uses flash memory rather than a spinning hard disk to store data. SSDs have no moving parts and are much faster than traditional hard disk drives (HDDs). If you want to check if your computer has an SSD installed, or need to find details about the SSD like drive model, firmware version, etc., you can use the Windows Device Manager utility.
What is Device Manager?
Device Manager is a built-in Windows tool that displays all the hardware devices connected to your computer, including internal components like SSDs, HDDs, graphics cards, audio devices, network adapters etc. It provides an overview of all hardware installed on your PC and allows you to view their status and details.
Device Manager can be accessed in several ways:
- Right click on the Windows Start menu and select “Device Manager”
- Search for “Device Manager” from the Start menu search box
- Open Control Panel, go to Hardware and Sound > Devices and Printers, and click on “Device Manager” link in the top left
- Type “devmgmt.msc” in the Run dialog box (Windows + R) and hit Enter
This will open the Device Manager window which lists all devices in a hierarchical view based on device type. You can expand each category to see individual hardware components detected by Windows.
Finding SSD in Device Manager
To check if your system has an SSD, look under the Disk drives category in Device Manager. Any SSDs in your PC will be listed there. Usually, SSDs are identified by their model name and number like “Samsung SSD 850 EVO 500GB”. HDDs will also be listed under Disk drives if present.
Here are the steps to locate your SSD in Device Manager:
- Open Device Manager using any of the methods mentioned above.
- Expand the “Disk drives” category by clicking on the arrow next to it.
- Look for any disk drives named “SSD”, “Solid State”, or some SSD model name. This is your SSD.
- If you see multiple disk drives listed but are not sure which one is the SSD, refer to the drive model, capacity, or interface details.
SSDs typically have much lower storage capacity compared to HDDs. So a 500GB or 1TB drive is likely to be a HDD while a 128GB or 256GB device could be a SSD. The interface will be listed as SATA or PCI Express which are commonly used in SSDs.
Getting SSD Information in Device Manager
Once you have located your SSD in Device Manager, you can double click on its entry to open the properties window. This will display additional details about the SSD like:
- Device name and type
- Manufacturer and model
- Driver provider and version
- Installed drivers
- Hardware IDs
- Storage capacity
- Interface type (SATA, NVMe, etc.)
- Transfer rate
- Firmware and serial number
The driver tab shows the SSD’s driver provider and version. You can update or reinstall the driver from here if needed. The details tab contains identifying information like hardware IDs that can be useful for finding the exact SSD model. The volumes tab shows the drive letter, file system, capacity, etc. for any volumes present on the SSD.
If you need to update the SSD firmware, you can usually find the firmware version listed under the Details tab. Refer to your SSD manufacturer’s website for available firmware updates. Some SSDs also have dedicated software from the manufacturer that allows monitoring drive health, updating firmware, or cloning drives.
Enabling AHCI Mode for SSD
For your SSD to work at its full potential and performance, you need to make sure AHCI mode is enabled in BIOS instead of IDE mode. Here is how you can check this:
- Restart your computer and press the BIOS key during bootup to enter BIOS setup. This is usually F2, Del, F10 or F12 key but varies by motherboard.
- Navigate to the Boot, Advanced or Integrated Peripherals menu depending on your BIOS.
- Look for SATA or Onboard SATA settings and make sure the SATA mode is set to AHCI rather than IDE.
- If the setting was changed from IDE to AHCI, remember to save & exit BIOS to apply the new setting.
Enabling AHCI mode allows advanced features like hot swapping and native command queuing for SSDs. It is recommended for optimal SSD compatibility and performance.
Updating SSD Drivers
Like other hardware in your PC, it is good practice to keep SSD drivers updated to the latest available version. Updated SSD drivers can fix bugs, improve compatibility with operating systems, and boost performance. Here is how you can update SSD drivers:
- Open Device Manager and locate your SSD under Disk drives.
- Right click the SSD entry and select Update driver.
- Click Search automatically for updated driver software.
- Windows will now check for and install updated drivers from the web.
- Restart your PC for changes to take effect.
If Windows is unable to find a newer driver online, visit your SSD manufacturer’s website and download the latest driver from there. You can then manually point the driver updater to the downloaded driver package to update the SSD driver.
Updating chipset and SATA drivers can also help improve SSD performance and compatibility. Keep an eye out for motherboard BIOS updates as well that can enhance SSD support.
Troubleshooting SSD Issues
If you are having issues with your SSD like degraded performance, blue screens, detection problems, etc. Device Manager can help troubleshoot these problems. Here are some things to check in Device Manager if your SSD seems to be having problems:
- Missing SSD: If your SSD is not detected at all in Device Manager, it likely has a hardware failure, loose connector or compatibility issue. Try reseating the SSD SATA/power cables and updating BIOS/chipset drivers.
- Yellow exclamation mark: This means a driver error. Right click the SSD and select Uninstall device. Reboot so that Windows reinstalls the SSD driver.
- Errors in Event Viewer: Open Event Viewer, expand Windows Logs > System and look for any errors mentioning the SSD. This can indicate compatibility issues.
- Disk errors: Run chkdsk from an admin command prompt to check SSD for file system errors and bad sectors.
If the above steps do not resolve SSD issues, there may be physical damage that requires replacement of the drive.
Here are some tips to get optimal performance from your SSD:
- Keep at least 10-20% of SSD space free. Having little free space will negatively impact write speeds.
- Enable TRIM using Optimize Drives in Disk Defragmenter to clear unused blocks.
- Avoid defragmenting SSDs as there are no mechanical parts to optimize. Defragging shortens SSD lifespan.
- Update SSD firmware if available to fix bugs and improve performance.
- Install SSD management software from manufacturer to monitor drive health.
Cloning HDD to SSD
If you want to migrate your operating system and files from an old HDD to a new SSD, drive cloning software makes this easy. Here is how to clone HDD to SSD:
- Install the new SSD in your PC or connect externally via USB.
- Download and install drive cloning software like Macrium Reflect.
- Run the cloning software and select the HDD as source and SSD as destination.
- Click Clone and wait for the process to finish. All data will be copied over.
- Power down and replace the HDD with the SSD for boot drive.
- Boot from the SSD which now has a clone of the HDD.
Drive cloning copies over the full contents and structure of HDD to SSD including operating system, programs, files, partitions, etc. This allows seamless transition from HDD to SSD without having to reinstall everything from scratch.
Locating your SSD in Device Manager is simple – just expand the Disk drives category and look for any solid state drives listed. The SSD details available in Device Manager like model, capacity and firmware version can be useful for troubleshooting and maintenance. Keeping SSD drivers and firmware up to date, enabling AHCI mode, optimizing space and cloning from HDD are some tips to maximize performance. Device Manager remains an indispensable tool to monitor hardware and identify issues with your SSD or other components.