How to Remove the Hard Drive From HP Desktops

By Larry Simmons

HP desktop computers come straight from the factory with a wide range of hard drive choices to fit most anticipated user needs. There may be occasions however when the existing hard drive requires removal, either to replace a damaged drive or to install a larger drive. To replace an existing drive, you must open the desktop computer and remove the drive. Though each HP desktop model differs, there is a general procedure for hard drive removal applicable to all models.

Things You'll Need

  • HP desktop computer
  • Phillips screwdriver

Step 1

Power down your HP desktop, either by following the shutdown process for your installed operating system or by pressing the system power button located on the outside of the system case. Remove all cables from the system.

Step 2

Place the desktop computer onto a flat work surface on its right side, with the cover to the system facing upwards.

Step 3

Remove the screws at the rear of the case securing the cover in place. Slide the case cover towards the rear of the case about an inch until the front of the cover clears the front case panel. Lift the case cover free.

Step 4

Locate the hard drive you wish to remove from the system. Unplug the data and power cable running from the rear of the drive to the motherboard.

Step 5

Pull the quick release tab on the side of the hard drive slot and then slide the hard drive from the slot by moving it backwards towards the computer interior. If the interior is blocked then remove the I/O panel in front of the drive to pull the drive through the exterior of the case.

Step 6

Remove the plastic front panel from the HP desktop to access the I/O panel. Press the three tabs located on the left side of the front panel from within the PC to loosen the panel. Rotate the panel by pulling it towards the right side until the tabs on the right side of the front panel disengage. Lift the front panel free.

Step 7

Remove the cables running from the I/O panel that connect the I/O panel to the motherboard and computer components.

Step 8

Remove the screw securing the front of the I/O panel to the case. Push the panel to the right and then pull it from the front of the PC case, exposing the hard drive.

Step 9

Pull the quick release tab and slide the drive through the front of the slot. The hard drive bay is emptied and ready for a new drive placement.