How to Replace a Hard Drive in a Compaq Presario Desktop

By Jack Gerard

The Compaq Presario line is one of the longest-running series of computers, originating in 1993 and remaining in production even after the purchase of Compaq by HP. Because of this, many Compaq Presario desktops have required that some of their parts be upgraded or replaced because of the wear that they have received over years of standard use. One of the more commonly replaced Presario desktop components is the hard drives, especially given how much hard drive storage capacity has increased since the Compaq Presario line was introduced. Replacing a hard drive in a Compaq Presario desktop isn't difficult, and can usually be done in a matter of minutes even for users who aren't familiar with computer upgrades.

Step 1

Remove the screws holding the left side panel of the computer on, then slide the panel back to remove it. Set both the panel and the screws aside so that you can put the panel back in place once the hard drive has been replaced.

Step 2

Unplug the ATA (wide, flat and usually gray) or SATA (thicker, thin and red) data cable and the power cable from the back of the hard drive that is currently in the Compaq Presario. Move the cables so that they will be out of the way, but make sure that they will still be easily accessible to you so that you can plug them into the new hard drive.

Step 3

Unscrew the screws that hold the hard drive in place and then slide it out of the mounting bay that it is in. Set the old drive aside and place the screws in a convenient location where they won't get lost.

Step 4

Slide your new hard drive into the same mounting bay that the old Compaq Presario hard drive came out of. Line up the drive so that you can secure it using the screws that had been removed from the old hard drive, then plug the data and power cables into the back. Don't worry about accidentally plugging them in incorrectly; the cable plugs are designed so that they will only plug in the proper way.

Step 5

Place the side panel back on your Presario desktop and use the screws to hold it in place. Turn on the power to the computer and begin formatting your hard drive or installing an operating system so that you can make use of the new hard drive in your Compaq.

Tips & Warnings

  • To reduce the risk of electric shock, unplug your Compaq Presario before you begin replacing the hard drive. You may also wish to press the power button to ensure that all electricity in the system has been discharged.