How to Replace a Laptop Hard Drive

By Jack Gerard

Though laptop computers aren't nearly as upgradeable as their desktop counterparts, this doesn't mean that you can't make upgrades when necessary. The hard drive is one of the laptop components that can be easily upgraded if you need more storage or simply find yourself needing to replace a damaged drive. Here are the steps that you should take in order to successfully remove and replace the hard drive in your laptop.

Things You'll Need

  • Laptop
  • Laptop hard drive
  • Screwdriver

Step 1

Look at the front edge of your laptop, below the keyboard. You should see two panels on the bottom of this edge. In most cases they will be secured with small screws. If you look closely, both of these should be labeled; the one that you're wanting will be labled "hard drive," and most likely is the panel that is on the right side of the laptop.

Step 2

Unscrew the screw that is holding the panel in place. Once that screw has been removed, you should be able to slide the panel out of the laptop with ease. The hard drive should be plugged in to the panel piece that slides out, meaning that it will come out with the panel when it is removed.

Step 3

Carefully remove the hard drive from its location on the panel slide. You can now take your new hard drive and plug it in where the old one was located, making sure that it is plugged in correctly. Because laptop hard drives are much thinner than those that are used in desktop computers, you should take care in order to make sure that you don't damage your new hard drive while plugging it in.

Step 4

Slide the panel slide back into the laptop, pressing it in all the way in order to make sure that it is properly connected. Once you've done this, your new hard drive wlll be connected to the laptop and ready for formatting, partitioning, or use.

Step 5

Reinsert the screw (if there was one originally) and screw it in. This will secure the hard drive panel and keep your new hard drive from accidentally coming lose from its connection.

Tips & Warnings

  • Should you want more storage space than you can get with a basic laptop hard drive, external drives that connect to your laptop via USB are a great way to add storage easily.
  • Always make sure that the laptop is turned off before installing or removing any components.