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Author Topic: How to Change a Hard Disk  (Read 4220 times)

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How to Change a Hard Disk
« on: 15. February 2011., 09:44:02 »
One of the most frustrating computer components that can fail is your hard drive or hard disk Unless you are one of the wise who has learnt to back up your data regularly you may well stand to lose everything.

A hard disk or hard drive is an internal component that resides within your computer and is the place that all your files and folders as well as your operating system are stored. Without a hard disk your PC will not function. If you are unlucky enough for your hard disk to fail then read on to learn how to change it for a new.

As a general rule, if a hard disk is going to fail, it is unlikely to totally stop working without some kind of prior warning. Often, clicking noises, warning messages regularly appearing or your system regularly crashing at random intervals. Bear in mind, apart from the clicking noise, the other symptoms could well be in fact be down to several hardware or software computer problems other than the hard disk

Once you are sure that your hard disk is the fault then you need to obtain a replacement drive. In a desktop PC this is a relatively straight forward process - with a laptop or notebook computer it is likely to be more specific to the manufacturer so ideally, speak with the manufacturer first.

To begin you need to find out the type of hard disk you currently use. There are two types or hard disk - PATA and SATA. SATA hard disks are pretty new so if your computer is a few years old then it most likely will not be SATA. PATA is more common in older machines and has the typical 4 pin power plug along with the standard IDE cable - the same cable type that connects a standard CD/DVD ROM drive. SATA connections are a lot smaller in size - almost a third of the size of the IDE connection.

If your drive is SATA then you just need to plug in and job done, PATA you will need to check that the setting of the drive is master mode - this is usually done by a little bridge on the pins at the end. Usually there is a chart to illustrate which pins you need to bridge. As a rule most will come factory set as master.

After you have confirmed the type of hard disk you require then you need to go and buy the hard disk itself. You will find other options on top of the connection type that you can choose from. Speed and buffer size as well as, of course, size. The faster speed hard disk with the highest buffer that you can afford is the recommended. In addition to this of course is the size, which is your own personal choice but, go bigger rather than smaller. Most of the time for an average user, the smallest of drives will provide ample space.

Once you have bought your hard disk you should turn off the power to your computer and unplug any cables. Remove the panel of the case and clean out any dust within your machine. Carefully remove the existing hard drive from its mounting plates. This generally accomplished by undoing screws but computer cases do vary.

With your new hard disk now installed you will need to reinstall your operating system - this is accomplished ideally by a restore CD but if not a copy of your preferred operating system and license key will be required.. Be prepared for this to take some time.

If you lost valuable data from your hard disk failing it may be possible to recover some or all of this data. Take it to someone who knows what they are doing here.

Samker's Computer Forum -

How to Change a Hard Disk
« on: 15. February 2011., 09:44:02 »


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Re: How to Change a Hard Disk
« Reply #1 on: 19. July 2019., 13:25:21 »
1. Connect the external hard drive to your computer using the USB data cable that came with the device.
2. Click the Start button and click "Computer" to launch Windows Explorer. Click the "Devices with Removable Storage" link to view drives. Make note of your external hard drive's assigned letter.
3.  Open the Start menu again, and type "Administrative Tools" in the search box. Click it in the list that appears and then double-click "Computer Management." Enter your administrator password if Windows asks for it.
4. Click the "Disk Management" link, and then click your external hard drive's assigned disk. Right-click the disk and click "Change Drive Letters and Paths."
5. Click the "Change" button and click "Assign the Following Drive Letter." Click the new letter to assign to your external hard drive and click "OK" to save your changes.

James Anderson

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Re: How to Change a Hard Disk
« Reply #2 on: 28. July 2020., 10:43:36 »
Thank you very much for such a detailed answer. This is really very helpful. Glad you give such good advice.


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Re: How to Change a Hard Disk
« Reply #3 on: 30. July 2020., 15:40:18 »
You forgot to mention this step:
Back up the data on the existing hard drive. If the drive you want to replace still works and you want to keep any of its data, you'll need to perform a backup before removing it. If you don't have an external USB drive to back up to, check out this wikiHow to learn how to back up your files online using OneDrive.
If you are replacing an existing drive with an SSD drive, the new drive may come with its own cloning software.[1] You can use this software to clone your current hard drive's contents (including the operating system) to the new drive. If software is not included in the package, check the drive manufacturer's website to see if they offer cloning software for download. Other popular reliable cloning options are Symantec Ghost, Clonezilla (one of the few free options), Acronis, and Macrium.
See How to Back Up a Windows Computer to learn how to back up your data to another drive.
If you've purchased any software with license keys, make sure you back them up and/or have copies of the keys so you can reinstall them easily.

Backing up the data on a drive is very essential before you move to change the harddrive

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Re: How to Change a Hard Disk
« Reply #3 on: 30. July 2020., 15:40:18 »


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