beginners guides

How to add a hard drive to a PC

Making sure you have enough storage space on your PC is important. Here’s how to install a hard drive on a PC to increase your overall computer storage space.

This blog was updated in June 2022.

When it comes to storage space on your desktop PC or gaming laptop, more is always considered better. No matter if you work with just Word documents, or edit massive video files, you can never have enough storage.

But what if you’ve already bought a PC or laptop and now you need more storage than you currently have?

Well, fear not, in this article, we’re going to explain how to get more storage on your PC by teaching you how to install a hard drive on a PC, increase storage on a laptop, and whether or not you should invest in a solid-state drive instead.

What is the hard drive on a PC?

Your hard drive is the computer component that is responsible for storing your operating system and files. Essentially, it’s a very important piece of kit, which is what makes having plenty of storage space so important.

Where is the hard drive on a PC?

This will depend on your computer case. Typically, the hard drive of a PC is stored towards the lower front of a rig, screwed into a cage or mount that sits perpendicular to the case base and away from other components.

This location provides the delicate HDD with excellent protection should the case be knocked and prevents other components from interfering with its systems. The HDD is then connected to your motherboard via a cable.

How to install a hard drive

No doubt, if you’re reading this piece, you’re looking to find out how to add more storage to a PC. Fortunately, adding another hard drive to your computer is a very simple process.

If you want to, you can watch one of our experts demonstrate how to install a new hard drive in the video below. But we also cover the process in detail in the rest of this article.

Step 1: Choosing your new hard drive

First things first, before you even think about installing a new HDD, you need to know what type of HDD you want, its storage space, and the HDD brand.

Which make you choose will come down to personal preference but it’s important you pick one with enough storage for your needs. If you’re unsure how much you need, more is considered better as it never hurts to have bonus space just in case.

As for HDD type, your options will be between an internal hard drive, like the one currently inside your PC, external hard drives, or an SSD.

We’ll cover external hard drives later in the article, but in terms of picking an HDD or SDD, this will be determined by speed, space, and price.

While not technically an HDD, an SSD is a much faster storage device that allows you to load things quickly. However, they’re much more expensive than a standard HDD and come with less space.

If you only need a little bit more room and want fast speeds, opt for an SDD, if not, then an HDD is a better option.

Step 2: Mounting your HDD

With your HDD chosen, the next step in how to install hard drive tech is to mount it into your rig. While this shouldn’t pose any issues, it’s often considered the trickiest part of the installation process.

Traditionally, most HDDs are screwed into their mountings, so you’ll need to get your hands on a small screwdriver and make sure that the HDD is facing in the same direction as your other one to ensure it can connect to the motherboard.

One thing to note while doing this is to leave plenty of space between hard drives. A cool hard drive will be more efficient than a warm one, so you want to leave plenty of space for heat to dissipate while it’s active.

On a side note, if you’re lucky, the hard drive in your case might be installed using simple pins and clips. If this is the case, all you have to do is attach your hard drive to these and you’ll be good to go. It’s certainly easier and much less finicky.

Step 3: Connecting the hard drive to the motherboard and PSU

With the hard drive securely in place, the next step to take when you install a new hard drive is to connect to your motherboard using a SATA cable. Your hard drive should come with one, but if not, they are an inexpensive purchase.

Simply attach the cable to your hard drive and then insert the other end into the spare SATA port on your motherboard.

Next, you need to ensure that your HDD has power, and this means using a SATA power cable and plugging it into the port on your PC’s power supply unit. Again, this cable should come with your HDD.

Throughout this step, be sure to be delicate. The cables should fit easily so don’t try to force them in in case you damage something.

Step 4: Setting up your HDD

The next step for how to get more disk space on a PC is to power up your computer and go directly to the BIOS on startup. This can be done by pressing the DEL or F2 keys once it’s switched on.

Once in the BIOS, you need to head to standard System Settings or Internal Peripherals and find the SATA menu. If everything was connected properly, all your HDDs should show in this list.

If it isn’t there, shut your PC down, check the connectors, and then repeat this step. You may want to try a different SATA port on the motherboard if the problem repeats itself.

Finally, to ensure that Windows has also registered the new HDD, open up Device Manager and double-check that drive appears in the Disk Drive section. You may get a pop-up when you first log in that prompts you to partition and format your drive.

With this done, you’re good to go!

How to increase storage on a laptop

Naturally, not all of us are PC users. However, if you want to install a new hard drive on your laptop, the process isn’t quite as simple.

Unfortunately, laptops tend to not have the extra space required to add an additional HDD to their system. That, and most laptops often aren’t upgradable past their base stats.

However, there is a way to increase storage on a laptop, and PC, without installing an entirely new HDD, and that’s making use of an external hard disk drive.

An external HDD fulfils the same role as an internal HDD, and can have the same volume of storage, the only difference is that it’s external. With an external HDD, all you need to do is use a cable to connect it to your machine and it’s ready for use.

External HDDs are the best way to increase storage on a laptop as they’re easy to use and very portable.

Hard drives at Ebuyer

And there you have it, that’s everything you need to know about installing a new HDD into your computer. We have a range of HDDs and SSDs here in the Ebuyer store that you can start browsing right now!

For more articles like this one, don’t forget to head over to the Ebuyer blog for all your tech and gaming info.

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