If you have a computer or a laptop already filled with various files, and if you still need more space, one of the options you have is to purchase an external hard drive. While you can also install another hard drive into your computer, or upgrade the hard drive size in your laptop, purchasing an external hard drive has the added advantage of portability. This means that you can connect the external hard drive to a number of laptops, and carry it with you wherever you go. Here’s how you can connect the drive to your computer or laptop.
- Power source. First of all, you need to connect the hard drive to a power source. A lot of people think that an external hard drive functions exactly like a USB. In reality, however, a USB and an external hard drive are structurally different, since the external hard drive contains moving parts and an actual disk. Because of this, you need to power up the hard drive’s disk so that it can spin and move. The power source can be an external outlet, or it can also be an extra USB 2.0 slot.
- Computer. Next, you will need to connect the hard drive to the computer itself. In the packaging box for the external hard drive, you will usually find a USB cable. Connect one end of the USBH cable to the external hard drive and the other end of the USB cable to the computer itself. If you have one of the newer external hard drives, one end of the hard drive will have two USB prongs. One prong will be for the information while the other prong will be for the power. Make sure that you use a USB 2.0 port for these.
- Installing. Next, you will need to install the software needed for the computer to recognize the external hard drive. Do this by taking the installation CD that comes with the box. You will only need to install the external hard drive disk once for each computer where you will use the external hard drive, and once the software has been installed, you will simply need to plug in and eject the external hard drive as needed. Keep in mind, however, that the latest external hard drives are recognized by most computers today, because of the plug and play features that these hard drives have. This means that you will no longer need to install software.
- Updating. Make sure that you still update the external hard drive occasionally, and during the first installation. Sometimes, updating is done automatically, but if not, you can always update the drivers through the Control Panel or a third party driver updater.
- Using. Once installed, you can access the external hard drive from the My Computer Panel. It will be shown as a separate hard drive, and you can save your files there as normal.
When you need to remove the external hard drive from the computer make sure that you always eject the device properly and wait for the computer to tell you that it is safe to remove the device. Otherwise, information can be lost.