What do these hard drive icons mean?


Here are the different icon adornments for hard drives that may appear in My Computer This PC.

Adornment Meaning
Windows logo (may be combined with other adornments) System drive.
Locked padlock BitLocker locked: Volume is inaccessible.

Unlocked padlock BitLocker on: Drive is encrypted and keys are protected.
Unlocked padlock with yellow warning triangle BitLocker is suspended: Drive is encrypted but everyone has access. This icon is also used to indicate the BitLocker is pre-provisioned.

(Sorry for the broken images earlier. The blog system corrupts the data URIs on upload, and I have to remember to manually fix them.)

Comments (19)
  1. Raidri says:

    Images are not displayed (testet in IE and Chrome).

  2. Rick C says:

    Can’t see the images in IE 11, Edge, or Chrome–just broken image links.

    Also, apparently trying to post a comment once is too quickly and I need to slow down.

  3. Michael says:

    Icons don’t show in Firefox either (53.0.3 on Windows 10).

  4. ZLB says:

    Raymond, your images should start with data:image/png;base64…………

  5. Kevin says:

    Wait, Raymond used an image in one of his blog posts? Somebody call the media.

    1. flo says:

      Yes, but he entered the base64-encoded data manually …

    2. skSdnW says:

      Calling the media almost 15 years too late? https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/oldnewthing/20030910-00/?p=42583/ and I’m not even sure that was the first time.

      1. Muzer says:

        The propensity of those early images to break (eg this one https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/oldnewthing/20030912-00/?p=42543 ) is what, I suspect, led Raymond to decide on the “no externally hosted files” policy. Means that whatever happens to munge with the blog software, the worst that will happen is some of that intricately prepared CSS being trampled upon.

    3. Joshua says:

      Raymond’s tolerance for the blog platform’s bugs is amazing.

  6. “System drive.”

    Ha! Abandoning Microspeak, aren’t we?

    1. Scarlet Manuka says:

      Since when has “system drive” not been the Microsoft term for it?

      1. Since the release of Windows NT 3.1, the first version of Windows NT. (That’s 27 July 1993, 23 years ago.)

        Microsoft uses the terms “system volume”, “system partition” and “system drive” to refer to a volume on which the bootloader is located. The volume on which the %systemroot% (i.e. C:\Windows) is located is called a “boot volume”, “boot partition” or “boot drive”. Of course, until Windows 7 both the system volume and the boot volume have often been “C:”. Starting with Windows 7, however, they got separated and as a result, “boot volume” is the volume on which bootloader is NOT located. (That’d be C:) And “system volume” is the volume on which %systemroot% is NOT located. (That’d be the System Reserved partition.)

        The rest of the world, however, used the sane definition: The boot volume is the volume on which the bootloader is installed (i.e. the System Reserved partition), and the system volume is the one on which you’ll find %systemroot% (i.e. C:).

  7. henke37 says:

    Do these count as overlays? I hear that the system has very few of those to go around.

    1. They are not overlays. They are base icons.

      1. cheong00 says:

        So there’s 6 such images. (I assume that “Windows Logo with Locked padlock” version do not exist)

        1. GL says:

          They can be found in imageres.dll. It is quite interesting that there are duplicates. Perhaps they have different semantic meanings or just an artifact of legacy code.

        2. henke37 says:

          I checked on windows 7. There are three “base” images for the icons, system drive, black font display like case and plain white case. On top of that is the padlock and warning triangle. So nine variations. Except it’s just eight. They didn’t bother making the locked system drive, because that makes no sense.

  8. Ray Koopa says:

    I had some Windows installations where the obvious system drive lost the Windows flag. How is it detecting what is the system drive? Shouldn’t it be just checking if a partition is marked as system?

    1. Erkin Alp Güney says:

      Different partition table schemes utilize different labelling schemes. Along with the possibility of other OSs, system flag may not suffice.

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