Using the command prompt in Windows requires you to know how to issue commands and their parameters. One of the simplest ones is used in navigation --- "cd" (change directory). A Universal Serial Bus drive is no different than any folder. If you want to work with the contents of the drive within command prompt, you'll need to change to the root directory of the drive. Drives are labeled by letter, so your hardware configuration will determine which letter the system assigns.
Open "Computer" from either your "Start" menu or the desktop. Connect your USB drive; you should see the icon come up with a letter and the drive's label. That letter is what you'll need to use to navigate the drive using the command prompt.
Press and hold the "Windows" key (it has the Windows logo on it), followed by "R." This will open the Run utility. If you don't have a "Windows" key on your keyboard, open your "Start" menu and select "Run."
Type "cmd" in the Run window, then press "Enter." You should see an instance of the command prompt come up.
Type "cd letter:" and press "Enter." Note the colon, and replace "letter" with the letter assigned to your USB drive. If the command was successful, you won't see any error message and the prompt will change to that of the drive letter. So if your drive has the letter "D," you'll see "D:\" in the prompt.
Tips & Warnings
- If you've booted into only the command prompt and have no idea what letter the system assigned your drive, you can find it through trial and error by changing to each letter (starting with "D") and using the "dir" command to check what directories are present. If the letter isn't assigned, you'll get an error; if it is, you'll be able to see what files reside on it.
- CD and DVD drives typically have the letter "D" assigned to them.
- Floppy disks always have the letters "A" and "B" assigned to them.
- Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
How to Navigate Directories in Linux
Linux is one of the more popular Unix like operating systems in use today. It is simple to use, even for casual...
How to Change a Directory in DOS
The command prompt in Windows operates similar to Microsoft's early MS-DOS operating system and supports many of the same commands as DOS....
How to Format a Thumb Drive From Command Prompt
Thumb drives, sometimes known as flash drives, are small, self-powered drives that connect directly to computers through an available USB port. They...
How to Open the USB Flash Drive
A USB (universal serial bus) flash drive is a type of memory device designed to serve as a portable means of backing...
How to Access a Networked PC Through CMD
When you use the Command Prompt (CMD), you can exercise much more control over your functions. Many prefer using command-line instructions, as...
How to Unhide Folders Using CMD
The command prompt (CMD) is Window’s command-line utility. Although most actions and settings can be performed using the Windows graphical user interface...