How to Install a Second Hard Drive

One thing about computers that can be annoying is the fact that you are limited in space. Your hard drive can only handle so many files, and eventually you’ll reach capacity. If you have reached that limit or are nearly there, it’s only a matter of time before you run out of space.

Step 1 – Figure Out If You Can Add A Hard Drive

Before you can do anything, you need to figure out if you can have a second drive in the motherboard. To find this out, turn off and unplug your computer. Open the case, and look to see if your motherboard has extra supports for this. The back of your computer may show this too, but once you open things up, you can see the motherboard, where the existing drives are, and if there is space to house another card.

In the case that your computer does not have the space, you may need to purchase a new encasement or motherboard. Most modern computers, however, have at least one extra space that is meant for video, sound, wireless internet cards, or a drive.

Step 2 – Buy Your Hard Drive

Assuming you have room your computer’s case, you will need to buy a hard drive. A standard hard drive is 3.5” and may come with wires. Your computer may already have wires to connect, and slots to hold it. If that is the case, then you do not need to purchase a kit. If those wires and connections are missing, then purchase a hard drive installation kit.

Step 2 – Back Up Files

Back everything up. Do not try to add another drive without this. If you ignore this step and something goes wrong, you will lose your files. Back your files up on an external drive, and create a boot disk if need be. At the very least take your files and put them on another hard drive or thumb drive. Do not skip this step at all.

Step 3 – Opening the Case

This step assumes you have your computer closed. Turn off and unplug your computer before doing anything. Open your case by removing the screws that hold it in place. If you already have the case open, then simply ground yourself before touching anything. You do not want to have static electricity build up, it can sting.

Step 4 – Installing the Drive

Installing the drive is easy, if you have followed the steps thus far. If you purchased a kit, you will have all the pieces to connect the drive. If you did not buy a kit, and you have the wires in the case, simply push the drive through the correct slot, and connect the wires. If you have room, the drive will fit in place, and will be screwed in place on the back of your computer’s case. Secure everything, gently push the wires in place, and double check the connections.

Step 5 – Reboot Your Computer

Once you have double checked the connections, start your computer. If you did the installation correctly, your computer will recognize the new drive and assign a letter to it. In the rare case, it doesn’t’ recognize it, check the manufacturer’s website of your hard drive. You may need to download a file, or manually connect the drive to your operating system. However, modern systems recognize changes fast, so you may not have issues.

The following video shows the whole process step by step: