How To Install A Hard Drive

If you've ever been unsure about how to install a hard drive, don't be, after a couple of quick steps, you'll wonder why you've never attempted it in the past.

Installing a hard drive has only a couple of basic steps.  Putting the drive into the computer case, connecting the interface cable that goes to your motherboard, and last, connecting the power cable.  It really is that simple.

Since just about every motherboard on the market auto detects a newly installed hard drive, after you boot up, it's recognized by Windows and you'll be free to use it.  If you don't see it in Windows, then you just need to format the drive in Windows so it's available.  

Below, you can watch the assembly, as an alternative, if you don't like the breaks, watch how to assemble a computer on DVD.

How To Install A Hard Drive Video

Step by Step Installation

Adding or removing hard drives is a commone procedure in any computer.
Replacing a drive takes only a couple of minutes when you've done it a few times.

Let's take a quick look at the connectors on a hard drive before we start.  The connection on the far left is a standard power, use this only if you don't have a SATA power connection which is the one on the far right.  The connection in the middle is know as a SATA.

hard drive connectors
  • Step 1 - Slide your hard drive into one of the drive bays in your computer case.  Move the lock or install the screws to hold it in place.
computer case drive bays
  • Step 2 - Plug in a SATA power connector from your computer power supply.  If it doesn't have one, use a standard power connector.
sata power connector
  • Step 3 - Locate the interface connections on your motherboard.
empty sata connection on motherboard
  • Step 4 - Get a SATA cable.
sata cable
  • Step 5 - Connect the SATA cable to hard drive, then connect the other end to the motherboard.  A motherboard with a few drives installed will look something like the picture below.
sata on motherboard

That's it, your hard drive is installed.

Go from How To Install A Hard Drive to How To Build A Computer.
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