How Can You Tell Which Hard Drive Your Operating System Is Installed on?

by Michael Butler

Most computers initially come with one hard drive installed. However, some have more than one, and sometimes users add another hard drive for more storage space. The computer's operating system normally loads from one hard drive, known as the primary or master drive. If you have more than one hard drive and you are not sure which drive your operating system is on, you should check before removing or replacing one of the drives.

Step 1

Click the Windows "Start" button.

Step 2

Click "Computer."

Double-click on a hard drive icon. Look for the "Windows" folder on the hard drive. If you find it, then the operating system is on that drive. If not, check other drives until you find it.


  • By default, the primary drive is the "C:" drive, so look at it first.
  • The process is similar for operating systems other than Windows: look through the folders on the hard drive for the operating system's files.

About the Author

A professional writer, Michael Butler has been writing Web content since 2010. Butler brings expertise in legal and computer issues to his how-to articles. He has a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from Washburn University. Butler also has a Juris Doctor from Indiana University School of Law, Bloomington.

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