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How To Install a New Hard Drive

You no longer need to be a certified computer technician or even experienced with computers to understand the inner workings of your favorite digital devices. Thanks to video tutorials and comprehensive step by step walkthroughs, building, deconstructing, and modifying your computer has never been easier. When it comes to computer modifications, hard drive upgrades and replacements are among the most popular projects DIY-ers take into their own hands. While your computer’s hard drive is an essential working piece to the larger machine, it’s also one of the easiest to install or upgrade yourself. Using this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about hard drives, how to install one into your laptop PC, and much more.

What Is a Hard Drive?

A hard disk drive more commonly referred to as a hard drive, is the non-volatile memory hardware responsible for the storage and retrieval of data on a computer. Every desktop and laptop computer houses a hard disk drive, though more modern computers are adopting newer solid-state drive technologies that perform the same function. While there are a number of key hardware pieces that allow your computer to boot up and perform as usual, the hard drive is one of the most integral components you depend on with every power-on. Hard disk drives are composed of five integral components: A head actuator, A read/write actuator arm, A read/write head, A spindle, and a platter. Internal hard disk drives are connected to the computer’s mainframe by two essential cables: a data cable (SATA, SCI, or IDE) connected to the motherboard and a power cable connected to the power supply unit. The hard drive functions is home to all of your necessary data, ranging from your library of photos and documents to your operating system and input drivers. Your computer simply cannot function without your hard drive correctly installed and working up to par.

How To Install a Hard Drive

Learning how to install a hard drive will take a bit of patience and a fair amount of careful plugging and unplugging. Following our user friendly guide, you’ll be well on your way toward a brand new hard disk drive.

How To Install a Hard Drive In a Laptop

Step 1: Unplug your laptop from any connected power sources or external cables and unscrew the underside of the body to gain entry inside of your laptop’s inner wiring. Remove the battery and place it to one side. Step 2: Take a look at your laptop’s instruction manual to locate the hard drive. Remove any screws that may be securing the current drive in place. Set the screws aside in a safe and accessible place. Step 3: Carefully maneuver the old hard drive free and remove it at the appropriate angle from its bay or compartment. Step 4: Using the same angled positioning, insert the new HDD and push it firmly into place until it makes successful contact with the interface. Step 5: Fasten all of the removed screws back into their rightful position. Re-insert the computer battery, re-fasten the back panel into place, and power on your laptop.

What are the advantages of an HDD?

Since their 1956 inception at the hands of IBM labs, hard drives have existed inside the bodies of computers from all manufacturers across the globe. Though the HDD hardware itself has seen a number of technological upgrades and advances over time it continues to be the most popular storage media option living inside laptops. As manufacturers and consumers lean further toward solid-state drive alternatives, it’s important to first understand where the differences lie and whether or not making the switch is a smart next move for you. Despite the push toward smaller, newer tech, there is a reason why manufacturers and consumers continue to opt for hard disk drives over their slimmer SSD siblings. Let’s explore the top five advantages of operating your PC system on a traditional hard disk drive.

1. Reliability

With years and years of tech innovation behind hard disk drive hardware there’s a certain reliability built into the hardware of modern hard disk drives. The state of the hard disk drive that exists in today’s computer is eons faster and more impressive than HDDs of earlier generations. Solid-state drives physically degrade when erasing and writing data which means that they deteriorate over time. Hard disk drives on the other hand can handle an infinite amount of read and write tasks meaning you don’t have to worry about your storage media reaching a point of irreparable decay.

2. Market Availability

Availability in the modern tech market is another advantage of operating an HDD. Unlike solid-state drives hard disk drives are far easier to pin down at your local computer hardware shop. Whether you’re on the hunt for internal or external HDDs you won’t have to worry about scouring the depths of the internet to find the right drive for your computer. The market is flooded with hard disk drive options many of which are bound to be compatible with your PC. On the other hand, solid-state drives can be significantly more difficult to source due to their retail prices, limited stock, and storage capacity constraints.

3. Cost Efficiency

If you’re working with a tight budget or simply looking to get the biggest bang for your buck hard disk drives are the way to go. Generally speaking, hard disk drives tend to be the more affordable option next to solid-state drives. In fact, if you narrow it down to dollar pricing per storage gigabit, hard drives are typically the better deal. A solid-state drive with 1TB of storage will likely come at a far higher cost than an HDD with 1TB of storage.

4. Durability

When it comes to durability, the hard disk drive reigns supreme. Solid-state drives are constrained to a finite number of write and erase tasks. This means that you are only able to complete a certain number of data creation and modification operations before the SSD can no longer handle your input requests. Based on the simple fact that hard disk drives are engineered to accommodate a higher and nearly infinite volume of read-write cycles than solid-state drives, HDDs are built to last longer and stronger.

5. Large Storage Capacity

For power users on the hunt for an internal drive that will accommodate large, expansive, PC libraries, HDDs will impress. Generally speaking, HDDs begin at higher base capacities than their newer SSD siblings. The vast majority of base-level HDDs start at 500GB whereas SSDs start at a base capacity of 128GB. It’s also important to note that it’s not uncommon for the price of a smaller base SSD to run a higher final cost than a larger base HDD.

Summing it all up

Whether you’re upgrading your current hard disk drive or you’re tacking on an additional HDD, do so with confidence and careful finesse. For even the most novice PC mechanics, this step-by-step instructional guide is all you’ll need to install a new hard drive.

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