Viewing Partition Information on a Windows System

One way to see how disks are partitioned on a Microsoft Windws system is to view the information using Disk Management. You can start the utility from a command prompt with administrator privileges by typing diskmgmt.msc. That will provide a graphical display of the partitions on the drives in the system and externally attached to the system.

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Disk Management display of partitions

In the example above, there are 3 hard disk drives. Two of those are internal disk drives partitioned identically and the third is an external USB drive, though the Disk Management display doesn't indicate the third drive is externally attached.

Another method is to use the diskpart command, which can be run from a command prompt - obtain a command prompt with administrator privileges. You can obtain help on using the utility by typing help at the DISKPART prompt.


Microsoft DiskPart version 5.2.3790.3959
Copyright (C) 1999-2001 Microsoft Corporation.
On computer: ANDY


Microsoft DiskPart version 5.2.3790.3959

ADD         - Add a mirror to a simple volume.
ACTIVE      - Marks the current basic partition as active.
ASSIGN      - Assign a drive letter or mount point to the selected volume.
AUTOMOUNT   - Enables and disables automatic mounting of basic volumes.
BREAK       - Break a mirror set.
CLEAN       - Clear the configuration information, or all information, off the
CONVERT     - Converts between different disk formats.
CREATE      - Create a volume or partition.
DELETE      - Delete an object.
DETAIL      - Provide details about an object.
ATTRIBUTES  - Manipulate volume attributes.
EXIT        - Exit DiskPart
EXTEND      - Extend a volume.
GPT         - Assigns attributes to the selected GPT partition.
HELP        - Prints a list of commands.
IMPORT      - Imports a disk group.
INACTIVE    - Marks the current basic partition as inactive.
LIST        - Prints out a list of objects.
ONLINE      - Online a disk that is currently marked as offline.
REM         - Does nothing. Used to comment scripts.
REMOVE      - Remove a drive letter or mount point assignment.
REPAIR      - Repairs a RAID-5 volume with a failed member.
RESCAN      - Rescan the computer looking for disks and volumes.
RETAIN      - Place a retained partition under a simple volume.
SELECT      - Move the focus to an object.


You can see what options are available for a diskpart command by typing the command followed by a question mark as shown below:

DISKPART> list ?

Microsoft DiskPart version 5.2.3790.3959

DISK        - Prints out a list of disks.
PARTITION   - Prints out a list of partitions on the current disk.
VOLUME      - Prints out a list volumes.


You can use the command list disk to see the disk drives internally or externally attached to the system.

DISKPART> list disk

  Disk ###  Status      Size     Free     Dyn  Gpt
  --------  ----------  -------  -------  ---  ---
  Disk 0    Online       466 GB      0 B
  Disk 1    Online       466 GB      0 B
  Disk 2    Online      1863 GB  2015 KB        *


To see partition information, you can select one of the drives using select disk number, where number is the number shown for the drive in the list disk output, and then issue a list partition command.

DISKPART> select disk 0

Disk 0 is now the selected disk.

DISKPART> list partition

  Partition ###  Type              Size     Offset
  -------------  ----------------  -------  -------
  Partition 1    Primary             98 GB    32 KB
  Partition 2    Extended           349 GB    98 GB
  Partition 3    Logical            349 GB    98 GB
  Partition 4    Primary             19 GB   447 GB

DISKPART> select disk 2

Disk 2 is now the selected disk.

DISKPART> list partition

  Partition ###  Type              Size     Offset
  -------------  ----------------  -------  -------
  Partition 1    Primary           1863 GB  1024 KB


You can return to the command prompt by typing exit at the DISKPART prompt.

You can also obtain information on disk drives using a WMIC command as shown below:

C:\>wmic diskdrive get manufacturer, model, partitions
Manufacturer            Model                           Partitions
(Standard disk drives)  WDC WD5000AAKB-00H8A0           3
(Standard disk drives)  WDC WD5000AAKB-00H8A0           3
(Standard disk drives)  WD My Passport 25E2 USB Device  1


The above output shows that the first two drives are the same model of drive from Western Digital and each have 3 partitions while the third drive is also from Western Digital, but is an external USB "My Passport" drive.

Other options for using wmic to query drive information can be obtained by typing wmic diskdrive get /? at a command prompt.

C:\>wmic diskdrive get /?

Property get operations.

GET [<property list>] [<get switches>]
NOTE: <property list> ::= <property name> | <property name>,  <property list>

The following properties are available:
Property                                Type                    Operation
========                                ====                    =========
Availability                            N/A                     N/A
BytesPerSector                          N/A                     N/A
Capabilities                            N/A                     N/A
CapabilityDescriptions                  N/A                     N/A
CompressionMethod                       N/A                     N/A
ConfigManagerErrorCode                  N/A                     N/A
ConfigManagerUserConfig                 N/A                     N/A
DefaultBlockSize                        N/A                     N/A
Description                             N/A                     N/A
DeviceID                                N/A                     N/A
ErrorCleared                            N/A                     N/A
ErrorDescription                        N/A                     N/A
ErrorMethodology                        N/A                     N/A
Index                                   N/A                     N/A
InstallDate                             N/A                     N/A
InterfaceType                           N/A                     N/A
LastErrorCode                           N/A                     N/A
Manufacturer                            N/A                     N/A
MaxBlockSize                            N/A                     N/A
MaxMediaSize                            N/A                     N/A
MediaLoaded                             N/A                     N/A
MediaType                               N/A                     N/A
MinBlockSize                            N/A                     N/A
Model                                   N/A                     N/A
Name                                    N/A                     N/A
NeedsCleaning                           N/A                     N/A
NumberOfMediaSupported                  N/A                     N/A
PNPDeviceID                             N/A                     N/A
Partitions                              N/A                     N/A
PowerManagementCapabilities             N/A                     N/A
PowerManagementSupported                N/A                     N/A
SCSIBus                                 N/A                     N/A
SCSILogicalUnit                         N/A                     N/A
SCSIPort                                N/A                     N/A
SCSITargetId                            N/A                     N/A
SectorsPerTrack                         N/A                     N/A
Signature                               N/A                     N/A
Size                                    N/A                     N/A
Status                                  N/A                     N/A
StatusInfo                              N/A                     N/A
SystemName                              N/A                     N/A
TotalCylinders                          N/A                     N/A
TotalHeads                              N/A                     N/A
TotalSectors                            N/A                     N/A
TotalTracks                             N/A                     N/A
TracksPerCylinder                       N/A                     N/A

The following GET switches are available:

/VALUE                       - Return value.
/ALL(default)                - Return the data and metadata for the attribute.
/TRANSLATE:<table name>      - Translate output via values from <table name>.
/EVERY:<interval> [/REPEAT:<repeat count>] - Returns value every (X interval) se
conds, If /REPEAT specified the command is executed <repeat count> times.
/FORMAT:<format specifier>   - Keyword/XSL filename to process the XML results.

NOTE: Order of /TRANSLATE and /FORMAT switches influences the appearance of outp
Case1: If /TRANSLATE precedes /FORMAT, then translation of results will be follo
wed by formatting.
Case2: If /TRANSLATE succeeds /FORMAT, then translation of the formatted results
 will be done.



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