How to Install a New Hard Drive in a Computer

By Techwalla Computers Editor

The hard drive is one of the most important storage devices of the computer. Installing a new hard drive needs to be done with precision. It is not a lengthy process and takes less than 30 minutes to remove the existing hard drive and install a new one in your computer.

Step 1

Ensure that your computer is shut down and the power supply is turned off. Take off the case to the CPU and let all the components cool down.

Step 2

Remove all the cables that are attached to the CPU. The removal of wires should be done with utmost care so as not to damage other components, sockets or the cable itself.

Step 3

Get your tool kit. Make sure that you have a cross-point screwdriver that suits the size of the screws on the hard drive case cover.

Step 4

Unscrew the hard drive case if you are replacing the old drive. If you are installing a new drive, look for an empty bay to fix the drive.

Step 5

Remember that the hard disk is connected to an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) cable. It is a flattish cable that looks like a ribbon and is also known as the ribbon cable. While changing the hard drive, detach the old drive carefully and if you are adding a new drive, make sure that the cable has enough space to accommodate the new drive.

Step 6

Remember to check the jumper settings of your machine while installing the hard drive. Jumpers are used for configuring various devices in the computer. They are small metal pins with black plastic sleeves. If you are using a single drive then select the "master" setting. If you are using two drives, set "master" for primary drive and "slave" for the secondary drive.

Step 7

Check the alignment notch for the fixing of your new hard drive. Insert the hard drive as per the alignment of the notch.

Step 8

Slide the case back into its position. Secure the hard drive in its case with the screws that were removed earlier.

Step 9

Plug the cables back into their respective sockets. Each plug has a characteristic socket making the combination of the two easily identifiable.

Step 10

Connect the machine to its mains. Switch on your computer.

Step 11

Wait for your machine to detect the new hard drive. Once the operating system has been loaded, go to "My Computer" to check the hard drive.

Step 12

Double-check all the connections. If there is any problem, make sure all the cables are properly attached.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make a backup of all data from the existing hard drive before installing the new one. Be selective in copying the files/ folders to the new drive as they will occupy space.
  • Use an anti-static electricity wrist strap while mounting the hard drive.
  • Refer the installation manual that has come with the package from the vendor in case you are not able to solve a technical problem.