How to Take Out a Hard Drive on a Laptop

By Kim Linton

Most laptop manufacturers have new model designs that make removing the internal hard drive a simple process. Depending on the brand and model, some may be a bit more difficult. Whether the hard drive is defective or you want to replace it with a larger drive, learning to take out your laptop hard drive can save you time and money. Follow these steps to safely remove the hard drive from a laptop.

Things You'll Need

  • Laptop owner's manual
  • Screwdriver
  • Small cup or bowl

Step 1

Read the laptop owner's manual before you begin. Locate the section on hard drive replacement, and familiarize yourself with the components of your particular laptop. Most laptops house the hard drive in a similar way.

Step 2

Back up your data. If you are replacing an existing hard drive that is still functional, back up any important data that is stored on it. Also, if you are selling or giving the original hard drive to someone else, erase any personal data on the disk.

Step 3

Touch something metal to remove static charge, and work on a large table with a bright light source. Have a small cup or bowl handy to hold loose screws or small components.

Step 4

Turn off the laptop and unplug it, then remove the main battery. Locate the slot that houses the hard drive. The hard drive slot is usually located on one side of the laptop, but on some models it may be located in the front.

Step 5

Remove the screw (or screws) that connect the slot cover to the laptop, then gently pull out the hard drive. The hard drive will be enclosed in a sled-type housing that is often connected to the slot cover. Remove the two screws on each side of the hard drive that secure the sled, then remove any screws that connect the hard drive or sled to the slot cover.

Tips & Warnings

  • Store the hard drive sled, slot cover and screws in a secure place if you don't plan to replace the old hard drive right away. Load your favorite operating system and personal files onto a second hard drive. In the event your primary drive fails or becomes infected with a virus, remove the original drive, then replace it with the backup.
  • Hard drives are very sensitive to cold, heat and jarring. Be careful not to hit, bump or drop a functional hard drive when removing it from a laptop.