Hard drive space is not infinite. Today’s massive drives of over 1TB can create this illusion. But as drives get bigger, so do the ways in which they can be used. For example, HD video can eat up gigabytes for breakfast.
It is bad news. The good news is that it’s easy to learn how to install a new hard drive, so there’s no need to worry about the hard drive being nearly full. Read on to find out how to install a new drive to replace the old one.
Determining the correct replacement
Before you can upgrade your hard drive with a new replacement, you need to determine the type of drive you need to purchase Most hard drives today use a data connection known as SATA. However, computers that are several years old may instead maintain a data connection called an IDE. You can easily tell the difference between the two since IDE uses a lot of pins while SATA uses an L-shaped connector with no pins. The figure below is a comparison with the SATA drive on the left and the IDE drive on the right. Laptop drives will obviously be smaller, but have the same look and feel.
Speaking of size, you also need to make sure that you buy the drive with the correct physical dimensions. There are two popular sizes of hard drives — 3.5″ and 2.5″. The larger size is for desktops, while the smaller size is for laptops and small desktops. However, solid state hard drives are often 2.5″ regardless of the type of machine they are to be installed on. However, this rule is not absolute as some all-in-one computers use 2.5″ drives.
Transferring data from old to new drive
The process of installing a new hard drive is one of the least difficult hardware installation procedures in terms of the physical effort required. However, the hard drive is one of the most important components in your system as it stores all of your information. Everything from your operating system to your emails to your favorite songs is stored on your hard drive. Obviously a direct replacement would leave you without this information.
If you are using a computer with multiple hard drive bays, you can easily transfer data from one drive to another. All you have to do is install a second hard drive on your system and then clone an image of the existing drive. using one of the many free tools available for this task. Once the old disk image has been cloned and placed on the new disk, you can simply remove the old disk or reformat it and use it as a second disk (however, make sure the clone was successful before doing this step!)