Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have plugged in 3 flash disks into my laptop, and now I don't know which one is which drive. I need to plug the corrrect ones out. How do I know which flash is plugged in where?

share|improve this question
Why can't you use Explorer to peek at the contents? – harrymc Nov 15 '10 at 10:59
What OS are you using? – Joe Taylor Nov 15 '10 at 13:16

Access each drive in turn and see which activity light comes on. After that, naming/labelling them might be a good idea

share|improve this answer
Sorry, that assumes you don't use a cache. You may have to open a file that hasn't been opened before on each in turn. – Tog Nov 15 '10 at 9:21
Each drive is currently in use. – coderama Nov 15 '10 at 9:26
Then you have a problem, you can't eject a drive that's in use. – Tog Nov 15 '10 at 9:36
Exactly, so my question is how can I know which drive is which port on my laptop. surely I must be able to see which drive a disk is plugged into, and what port that is mapped to. – coderama Nov 15 '10 at 9:44
Unless there is a utility out there to make the access light flash in a set pattern (in the same way that you can with ethernet cards) then I don't see how this can be done. I'll go ask the Google-monkeys in our IT dept. – Tog Nov 15 '10 at 10:03

In the Windows device manager, you might be able to see the model of each drive. Also, the "safely remove drive" dialog might show you the model name.

share|improve this answer

ls -l /dev/disk/by-id/usb-* will let you see which device is which model. ls -l /dev/disk/by-label/ will let you see which label is which device. From there you should be able to figure out which to unmount and pull, assuming they're different models.

If that's still not enough, and you know which port is which, ls -l /dev/disk/by-path/*usb* will show you the exact hardware path to each device.

share|improve this answer

In device manager (right click "My Computer", click "Manage" and then select "Device Manager") you could go to view and click "Devices by connection", this will allow you to see all your USB hubs and ports which, depending on you computer and USB controller may allow you to see at least a number identifying each set of ports. You would then need to mark up each set of ports for future reference.

Devices by connection

As you can see on my machine each set of ports is clearly numbered, yours may or may not have as clear a description. I suspect if they are USB2 devices then the device will not have as simple a description as I believe it ignores the specific port a device is connected to but you may be lucky.

Devmgr Tree

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .