How To Install an Internal Hard Drive

Despite the availability of external hard drives, a majority of desktop computers still use internal hard drives. It helps to have the technical knowledge on how to install an internal hard drive so you can do it yourself.

Items needed to install a hard drive:

  • An IDE or SATA hard drive compatible with your computer unit
  • An IDE cable
  • Screws supplied to secure the unit
  • Philips screwdriver 
  • An anti-static wrist-strap (optional)

Steps in installing an internal hard drive:

1.    Make sure the CPU unit is not connected to a power source.

2.    Remove the PC's case cover.

3.    Look for the drive bay for the hard drive. If you are installing an additional hard drive, if possible, place a gap between the first and second hard drives. Floppy drive bays are usually found above the hard drive bay.

4.    Set your jumper settings. Computer jumpers are needed to configure your hard drive. Jumpers have metal pins with small plastic black sleeves and slots.

If you are using an SATA drive the jumper setting is easy. For an IDE drive, you need to use the provided manufacturer's manual and the guide on the hard drive to locate the jumper selector and settings.

For the proper setting, determine if you are using a Primary or Master drive, or a Secondary or Slave drive. The jumper selector needs to be set to Master if you are only using a single hard drive. If you have two hard drives and the drive you are installing will be the main hard drive, the jumper needs to be set as the Master and the other drive set as the Slave. You can also use another IDE cable to separately attach the new drive to the secondary IDE motherboard interface.

5.    Carefully slide into the hard drive bay the jumper set drive. Align the screw holes to the drive bay and secure the hard drive with the provided screws.

6.    Connect the power cables and IDE cables. An IDE cable has three connections. Connection A is plugged into the motherboard, the master connector will be connected if the hard drive you are installing is the master, and the third connector, the slave connection will be used if the new drive is the slave.

One side of the IDE cable will show a black or red PIN 1 strip that should be matched with the indicator for Pin 1 at the back of the new hard drive.

Look for the power cables attached to the power supply in the CPU. Plug into the matching slots the power and IDE cables.
7.    Finish the installation. Recheck all the connections completed. Check if the unit was correctly set as a slave or master drive. Tighten all other cable connections you may have touched during the installation. If you are confident all connections were properly installed, place back the covers and connect the main cables.

8.    Reboot your computer. During the rebooting process, the computer system should detect automatically the new hard drive. Go to your My Computer files to check if the drive has loaded into your installed operating system. Depending on the configuration set, your installed drives should be reflected labeled in letters. If the drive you just installed is your single drive, you need to install or reinstall an operating system

If you prefer instructions with illustrations, or would like to watch a video on how to install an internal hard drive, there are available videos in Google.


Share this article!

Follow us!

Find more helpful articles: