How do I change a Computer Hard Drive Disk

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Sometimes when your PC hardware is not working and hinders your entire system to run, then you have to either change the hardware or fix the hard drive itself.

Here are some steps to replace an internal hard drive in a computer desktop.

  1. Back up your data – If your hard disk is still running, make sure that you recover your data by using backup or recovery. If your drive has already malfunctioned, hopefully you have saved your important files.
  2. Get a new hard disk – Make sure before you buy a new hard disk that it’s similar to your original hard drive because that makes the process relatively more straightforward.
  3. Hard disk come with SATA OR IDE data/power connectors – SATA often comes in 3 different types that are SATA, SATA II and SATA III. You have to identify what your motherboard supports to make sure you have the compatible replacement drives. Hard disk now comes with different physical sizes. It either comes in a 2.5 inch or a 3.5-inch form, and you have to make sure first if your computer case has support for it or otherwise you have to buy an adapter kit.
  4. Open your computer body – First, open both sides of computer case by removing screws at the back of your CPU body and sliding the panels off. Some PC cases do not use screws. If you have a laptop, you have to find the latch or button that opens the doors or panels.
  5. Find your original hard disk – Most PC’S will have the hard drive screwed within a cage inside the computer case. Discover the data and the power connectors and disconnect them.
  6. Unlock any screws that are holding the disk to the computer case or the hard disk cage – Most often, the drive will be held in place by screws on both sides of the hard drive. Unlock the screws. When your screws are removed, you can slide the hard disk out of the case.
  7. This step for IDE hard disk users – Shift the jumpers on the replacement drive to check the settings of the original. Your selection will be Master, Slave or Cable Select. SATA disk does not need any jumpers. When you have removed your original hard drive, look at the position of the jumpers on the disc itself. If you can’t find them, most disks will have a diagram on the hard drive’s level suggesting the placement of the jumpers. The jumper setting will either place the drive as Master, Slave or Cable Select. You have to check the parameters of the replacement drive to your original drive.
  8. Now install the hard disk by sliding the drive – This will be the same placement as the original drive. Attentively screw the drive in and plug in the data and power cables.
  9. In case you’re replacing your primary hard disk, you either have to reinstall your software or use recovery disks – Installing an OS like Windows, Mac OS or Linux may be required if you do not have a recovery image or disk. If you are to substitute a secondary drive, you might have to reload any software that was installed on the disk or copy back data from a backup source.

Roger Frost is a Microsoft Office expert and has been working in the technical industry since 2002. As a technical expert, James has written technical blogs, manuals, white papers, and reviews for many websites such as office.com/setup.