Very similar question to:

Physically Identify the failed hard drive

But for Windows 2003 this time. Scenario:

  1. Four identical SATA hard drives plugged into motherboard (no RAID controller here)
  2. Configured as single drive in Windows as a spanned volume
  3. One of them is starting to fail with error "The driver detected a controller error on \Device\Harddisk3"

How do you cross-reference Harddisk3 to the physical SATA connection on the motherboard so you know which drive to replace?

I know replacing this drive will trash the spanned array requiring it to be rebuilt anyway so my rough and ready solution is:

  1. Delete the spanned partition
  2. Create individual partitions on each drive labelled E: F: G: and H: and work out which one is Harddisk3
  3. Power down, remove each disk one at a time, power-up until the drive letter disappears

But this seems a rather crude method of identifying the drive.

The SATA connectors will be numbered on the motherboard but I appreciate this might not cross-match to what Windows calls them.

Thanks, Rob.


The answer is identical in principle -- Get some software that can interrogate the disks for their SMART status, and it should also tell you the serial number.

I'm not sure if Windows has anything built-in, but PassMark DiskCheckup was the top google hit and looks like it would do the trick (Free for personal use, $15 for a company license if you're feeling honest and it does the job). There are probably others out there too.

  • Thanks - I'll check out DiskCheckup as well as do a general search on tools that can query the drive serial number. I'm not sure that it's built into Windows either – Rob Nicholson Feb 22 '11 at 9:32

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