Stoopid question about hard drives - how do I tell which is which?


Senior Member
Dear Anyone.

I know this is stoopid and I should know the answer, be kind! I've got 2 external hard drives attached to my Win10 machine. One's gone dodgy. I know PHYSICALLY which of the 2 it is, so I want to copy all the data from it to the other one BUT - I don't know how to tell which drive letter's been assigned to which drive. They're both roughly equally full, both the same size (1TB) and I want to be sure I'm copying from the dodgy one to the other one, not the other way around!

You'd THINK I'd remember which files were on which hard drive, physically, so I'd know by looking. But - nope. When Mr. Computer Genius here was backing up from my internal hard drive, I did it pretty arbitrarily and I can't for the life of me remember which external hard drive I dragged what onto. So I'm sat here looking at them both, hearing one ticking away and reluctantly working, the other one working like a dream but I don't know which is which letter!

Hokay, I'm being dumbass, I should know this, feel free to horse-laugh - but someone tell me!

Yours hopefully



Senior Member
Hi, since they are both external, what about disconnecting one of them from the usb port while watching in the file explorer which letter disappears?

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Well-Known Member
Possibly not the best idea to unmount a drive while it's powered up. I'd shut down then restart but with only one external powered on. You've got a 50/50 chance of getting it right and you can rename the drive that appears to avoid the problem later on.

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Principal Cybersecurity Architect
Staff member
If you can see the serial numbers on the external drives you can just run the command 'Get-Disk' in Powershell and compare to the serial labeled on the disks or model info if they are different drive make/models