How to find out the file system of a flash drive, on a hard drive, SSD in Windows

In some cases, users need to know what file system is installed on a flash drive, hard drive or SSD drive in the Windows operating system. It is necessary to determine the type of file system for further actions on the computer.

The file system determines the order and methods of organizing, storing and naming data located on a computer: built-in drives or external storage media. The operating system organizes the storage and use of information on a PC using the file system.

The Windows operating system uses file systems: NTFS, FAT32, FAT, exFAT, ReFS, CDFS. For use on a computer, the hard drive or external drive must be formatted with the appropriate file system.

In other cases, the user needs to change from one file system to another, such as NTFS to FAT32, or vice versa.

Keep in mind that one physical disk (HDD, SSD, USB flash drive, external hard drive) can have several partitions, each of which has its own file system. Disk partitions can have different types of file systems.

Therefore, the question arises of how to find out the file system on a computer in Windows, or on a drive connected to a PC. There are several ways to solve this problem.

In this guide, you will find instructions on how to use the built-in tools of the Windows operating system, as well as the possibility of obtaining the necessary information using third-party software.

Please note that in some cases, the file system is displayed as “RAW”, “Unknown”, “Other”. This means that the application was unable to determine the type of the file system, and most likely it is not present on this partition of the disk, because this disk has not been formatted.

How to find out what file system is on a disk

The easiest way to view the file system is to use the regular built-in file manager – Windows Explorer.

It can be used to determine the file system of a drive that is part of the hardware on this computer. If a USB drive is inserted into the appropriate slot on the PC, you can find out what file system is on the drive connected to the computer.

Go through the following steps:

  1. Open Windows Explorer.
  2. Right-click on the desired drive (hard drive partition, SSD drive, or flash drive).
  3. In the context menu that opens, select “Properties”.
  4. In the properties window of this disk, in the “General” tab, the type of file system is indicated.

What file system is on the computer in Windows

You can get information about the disks of your computer from the Disk Management system tool. With the help of a utility built into the Windows operating system, the user will receive information about the PC disk system, and, if necessary, will work on resizing disks, creating new partitions, etc.

You will need to open Windows Disk Management in one of the ways convenient for you.

To find out what file system is on your computer’s hard drive, follow these steps:

  1. Press the “Win” + “R” keys on your keyboard.
  2. The “Run” dialog box will open, in which you need to enter the command “diskmgmt.msc” (without quotes) in the “Open:” field, and then click on the “OK” button.
  3. The Disk Management snap-in window will display all the partitions on the computer’s disks with the file system of each partition.

In this image, you can see which Windows 10 file system is on this computer.

How to determine the file system of a disk on the command line

Using the Windows command line, you can find out what file system is on the hard drive or portable drive connected to the PC.

Go through the following steps:

  1. Run Command Prompt as Administrator .
  2. In the command line interpreter window, enter (after entering the appropriate command, press the “Enter” key to execute it) in turn the commands:

list volume
  1. The command prompt window will display all the drives on the computer. The Name column shows the letter of the partition, and the FS (File system) column displays the file system type.
  2. To exit the DiskPart application, run the command:
  1. Close the command line window.

How to find out the file system of a hard drive in Windows PowerShell

Using the built-in system tool – Windows PowerShell, you can see which file system is installed on the hard drive and on other external devices currently connected to this PC.

Go through the steps:

  1. Run Windows PowerShell as an administrator.
  2. In the “Administrator: Windows PowerShell” window, type the command, and then press the “Enter” key:
  1. In the PowerShell shell window, in the DriveLetter column, the drive letters of this PC are displayed, and in the FileSystemType column, specify the file system type.
  2. Close the Windows PowerShell window.

How to check your computer’s file system in Disk Management

In addition to the system tools built into the Windows operating system, third-party software can be used to determine the file system on computer disks.

Programs for working with disk partitions can be launched directly from a running Windows, or you can use a boot disk from this program if the operating system does not boot on the computer, or in other situations.

To obtain the necessary information, use one of the suggested programs: Acronis Disk Director, AOMIE Partition Assistant, EaseUS Partition Master, MiniTool Partition Wizard, Paragon Partition Manager.

In a running operating system, run the program, all disks of the computer will be displayed in the window of the running application.

This image shows partitions on computer disks with a file system that are open in Acronis Disk Director.

In case of problems with Windows, the program can be used from a boot disk created in advance. You just need to boot from the boot disk of the program on your PC. The application window will display the computer’s disk system.

On the websites of software manufacturers, there are usually special versions of the application for recording to external media. In addition, you can use a similar program from the Windows PE preinstallation environment, or from Live USB, Live DVD, Live CD bootable media.

Article Conclusions

There are situations when the user may need to determine the type of file system on the hard drive, SSD drive, external drives: USB flash drive or external HDD. To solve this problem, use the built-in tools of the Windows operating system: information about the properties of the disk from Explorer, the Disk Management tool, the command line, Windows PowerShell, or view the computer’s disk system using third-party programs designed to work with disks on a PC in Windows.

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