Don"t be afrassist of cracking open your desktop computer PC"s instance. Installing a brand-new hard drive is a basic job anyone deserve to accomplish.

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Marco Chiappetta/IDG

Installing an interior tough drive is among the even more straightforward upqualities out there—and is often a far better alternative than making use of exterior drives that might be dropped or misput. 

The procedure normally needs no more than mounting it, connecting a pair of cables, and formatting the drive for usage. Still, tbelow are a couple of things you have to recognize to make installation as smooth as possible. 

Installing a difficult drive in your PC doesn’t necessarily follow the exact same procedure as installing an SSD. If you’ve opted for a solid-state drive, be certain to inspect out our companion guides explaining exactly how to install an SSD in a desktop and also a lapoptimal. SSDs tfinish to market a lot faster speeds than hard drives, yet difficult drives sell substantially even more capacity at reduced prices.


Before we dive right into the nitty-gritty details, if you’re trying to find a tough drive to install in your computer, these are some highly regarded alternatives. All 3 spin at 7,200 transformations per minute (RPM), the fastest speed easily accessible in customer tough drives.

Now let’s get this difficult drive set up in your computer system.

Drive cperiods, bays, and mounting options

Internal 3.5-inch hard disk drives are frequently placed in a drive cage or in an obtainable drive bay. Placement and also orientation of the cages or bays will certainly vary from instance to instance. The the majority of prevalent location is at the lower front, near the intake fans and also amethod from other components. Drive cages/bays will certainly the majority of often be placed perpendicular to the bottom of the chassis, while drives placed in the cages generally sit parallel to the bottom of the instance.

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Marco Chiappetta

Screws are the ideal way to secure your tough drive into your case’s drive cage. Magnet-tipped screw drivers have the right to aid save you from dropping screws in difficult-to-reach areas.

In mainstream instances, drive connectors will certainly commonly allude to the rear. In enthusiast-course instances, it’s ending up being even more common to watch the drive’s connectors dealing with the ideal side, making it simpler to course and hide cables behind the motherboard tray. Some enthusiast-class likewise cases give customers the capacity to rerelocate drive cperiods or to mount them in various positions to optimize air circulation and also simplify cable administration.

Mounting your hard drive

Physically mounting the hard drive in a PC is probably the many challenging component of the installation procedure.

Securing the drive to a cage usually calls for four screws on the sides or bottom of the drive. Many type of cases—particularly enthusiast cases—use tool-less trays that hold the drives via basic pins and also clips.

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Some instances come via tool-much less brackets that make mounting difficult drives really simple. However before, these brackets are frequently much less secure than traditional screws.

Using screws is the even more robust mounting approach, but tool-much less trays are fine for systems that won’t be moved approximately much.

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This tough drive is flipped upside-down to show its components. Salso of the 10 screw holes are circled in red, while SATA power and also data relations are circled in blue and also green, respectively.

Drives last longer once they remain nice and also cool. When mounting drives in a system, try to leave as a lot room between them as feasible to maximize airflow over the tops and bottoms. Positioning the drives directly in front of an intake fan likewise helps.

Connect the tough drives through SATA

Once the drive is placed, connecting it to your mechanism is quick and also easy.

Virtually all brand-new desktop tough drives offered this particular day use the SATA interchallenge (unless you’re managing servers). SATA supplies simple cables that are keyed to fit on the drive and motherboard connector one means.

Connect one end of the SATA cable to the drive, and the various other end to an available SATA port on your motherboard, and also you’re halfmethod tright here.

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Marco Chiappetta

Some SATA data cables come via L-shaped ends, which can aid keep cables tidy.

You may discover the SATA cables consisted of through your new drive or motherboard function different connectors: right ends or right-angle (L-shaped). Some may have metal retention clips, while others execute not. The shape of the connector renders no difference in performance.

I prefer to usage SATA cables through right-angle connectors on the drive side, gave there is enough clearance between any drives in the device. Using right-angle connectors on the motherboard side will certainly will lead to blocked ports, bereason the connector might overlap surrounding ports.

Try to uncover SATA cables through metal retention clips, bereason they aid save the connectors secured. Many SATA 3 (6-gigabit)-compliant cables will certainly commonly come via the clips.

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Marco Chiappetta

The SATA power cable connection looks similar to the information cable, however is longer. The connector is keyed to fit just one method.

When you’re done connecting the SATA cable, you’ll need to affix the drive to your power supply unit (PSU). The SATA power cable from your PSU, like the SATA information cable, is keyed to fit onto the drive one-method. As long as you don’t pressure it, there’s really no way to mess it up.

Prepare the tough drive for use

Once you’ve installed and also linked the drive, power up your system and also enter the BIOS/UEFI. You deserve to normally access the BIOS/UEFI by pressing the DEL or F2 tricks best after powering up the device. Usually, your mechanism will display a message alengthy the lines of “Press DEL to enter Setup.” Consult your motherboard’s hand-operated for the correct key.

In the BIOS, go to the conventional System Settings food selection or the Combined Peripherals > SATA food selection to check out all of the drives installed in the system. If every one of your drive controllers are permitted and the drive is effectively connected (and also functional), it must be noted in the BIOS. 

If the drive isn’t provided, shut dvery own your COMPUTER. Double-check every one of the relationships, boot right into the BIOS and examine again. If the drive still isn’t showing up and all the relationships are secure, attempt plugging the SATA data cable right into a various port on the motherboard.

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The UEFI BIOS will display all hard drives that are connected correctly and also detected by the system. BIOS and also UEFI interencounters deserve to differ based upon the motherboard make and design, so check your motherboard manual or manufacturer website for details.

To confirm that Windows recognizes the drive, open up Device Manager. In Windows 10, right-click the Windows switch on your desktop computer and also choose Device Manager. Check for the drive in the Disk Drives section. 

When you boot right into Windows after installing the drive, you may watch the New Hardware Found wizard pop up if the drive is detected. The last thing you must perform is partition and format the drive.

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And with that, the drive should be obtainable for use. If you break-up the drive up into multiple partitions, you have to see several drives appear in Documents Explorer, each with its very own drive letter and also label.