Properties

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BobH
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Properties

Post by BobH »

When one right clicks on a drive or external storage device name in File Explorer and chooses the Properties option, one gets a screen like this:
Properties Info.png
Is there any way to determine if the device is bootable from this information? If there is, I can't find it. I think displaying this information would be very useful; but, perhaps, I an choosing the wrong tool for the job.

I sat down today to make an inventory of my USB (thumb) drives and SD cards. I want to keep a record of the file system type (NTFS, FAT32, exFAT, etc), capacity (in GB), whether or not the device is bootable, and a note or 2 about the contents. For example, I have some micro SD cards with different types of music on them that I insert into headsets that I wear when at the gym or walking or piddling in the garage. I like to make a note about the type(s) of music. Of course, the devices are so small that physical labels can do little more than give each an identity. To that end I cut and place small labels on which I write identifiers such as AA, AB, AC ... or SD-A, SD-B, SD-C ... but without an inventory of sorts with the info outlined above I know nothing about the device.

My process has been to insert the device and invoke File Explorer to check properties by right clicking the device name. I also ensure that I have renamed each device so its label identity is the same as displayed onscreen by File Explorer. The Properties function gives me the file type and capacity - both used and available - but doesn't indicate if the device is bootable. I can tell by looking at the file and folder names displayed, but it occurred to me that being bootable is an important property for the devices. Is there a reason that this information cannot be determined by the Properties function? IIRC, to be bootable there must be one or more specific files or file types (master boot record comes to mind) that the Properties function should be able use as an indicator just as it determines file type.

If I could mount all the devices simultaneously, Disk Management would give me most of the information I seek; but even it does not indicate if the device is bootable, at least, not that I see.
While it does indicate that installed SDD as the boot drive, it doesn't give that information about other drives, plus, it does not display more than the drive letter when I want to see the value I renamed the device as.
Disk Mgmt example.png
Another thing I discovered in this process is that using the Rename function will display the value I give it while the application is running, when I dismount the device then mount it again, the name I gave it does not display. I have been under the impression that renaming is a permanent thing that doesn't change unless one renames it again. Renaming files seems to work that way but assigning names to devices is not. (Cue Twilight Zone theme music)

Again, I might be using the wrong approach. Please give me your criticism and suggest better ways to accomplish my goal having better information for the accumulation of external storage devices I've acquired.

:cheers: :chocciebar: :thankyou:
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JoeP
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Re: Properties

Post by JoeP »

When you look at disk management if the drive has a UEFI or MBR partition it is probably bootable. Or at least was at one time.
Joe

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ChrisGreaves
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Re: Properties

Post by ChrisGreaves »

BobH wrote:
10 Jul 2024, 23:28
Is there any way to determine if the device is bootable from this information? If there is, I can't find it. I think displaying this information would be very useful; but, perhaps, I an choosing the wrong tool for the job.
Hi Bob. I remember asking about this a few years back and Stuart answered with a suggestion that I consider DISKPART so this morning I took a quick look and found this post in Stack Overflow.

Now I want to test not only for the existence of a partition, but also its size. Whether I can test if the partition/drive is bootable I do not yet know.

DISKPART takes its command from the command line OR from a script (text) file. I think that today I should play around a bit with the DiskPart scripts and see if I can finangle as many scripts as I need to make DISKPART produce output that i can then test within a DOS batch file to determine what type/capacity/number of disk partitions I have.
If I can find a way to determine (from DISKPART) if a device is bootable I'll let you know.

In particular, if the data about your partitions is available through DISKPART it may be possible for you (or anyone) to produce a neatly formatted inventory. Yes?
(edited): For example, I can test from the LIST VOLUME output which/if a partition is bootable.
Untitled.png
Cheers, Chris
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