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Old 16-09-11, 17:21   #1
 
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Hardware Upgrade: How To Install A New Hard Drive

Hardware Upgrade: How To Install A New Hard Drive, Pt 1 htg Hardware Upgrade






It’s recession economics 101—you can’t always afford to shell out for a whole new PC! HTG is here to help you repair and upgrade the parts that are in desperate need. Today’s topic: how to upgrade your hard drive.
In this first of a new series of “Hardware Upgrade” posts, we’ll cover the basics for buying new drives, backing up old system disks, and opening up your PC to swap out drives. It’s great geeky fun, and it can help you put off a new PC purchase for just a little bit longer.



What You’ll Need

Installing a hard drive is a fairly simple—although intimidating—affair. Here’s the lowdown on what you’re going to need to upgrade your storage.




Phillips Head Screwdriver: The most important tool in a PC geek’s toolkit—a regular Phillips head screwdriver. Almost all the screws you’re going to run into are going to be Phillips head. While your author has never had any trouble with magnetized screwdrivers, considering we’re going to be working with hard disks today, they probably aren’t the best of ideas. Find yourself an ordinary, non-magnetized screwdriver just to be on the safe side.
A “Tower” Style PC: Unfortunately, we aren’t going to talk about how to install a hard drive in a laptop today. Some day! Hopefully your PC is in reasonable shape and isn’t incredibly ancient, and you know, runs. If your hard disk is dead, you can follow these directions to install a new one, but having a functional hard drive with a running OS can save you a lot of time and heartache.
A Shiny New Hard Drive: Depending on how old your PC is, you might be installing a shiny old hard drive. There are two basic types of drives we’ll be concerning ourselves with today: SATA and IDE. More detail on those later, as well as some guidelines for buying a drive.
You’re going to need a form factor of 3.5 inch. Any other size will most likely not fit inside your case.
A USB HDD Enclosure: Optional, but very very helpful if you intend to back up your existing drive. More on this later. USB HDD Enclosure



How Does Your Drive Connect: IDE or SATA?













Most standard internal hard drives have a form factor of 3.5 inches, and come in one of two major connection styles. Neither are cutting edge new, so most PCs you upgrade should have the capability of one or the other. Pictured above, the left cable is a SATA cable, which is a newer standard, and easier to work with. The older connection is called IDE, and the drives are sometimes called PATA. While there’s nothing wrong with IDE hard drives, you’ll want to check if you have the capacity to use SATA before buying a IDE drive.














Not all PCs will have the connections to read a SATA drive. If your machine is older, you may wish to open up your case first, and see if your mother board has the connections for SATA. In most situations, you’re going to want to opt for SATA, because the setup is easier and the transfer rate is faster than IDE.
The red connectors like the ones on the left connect up to SATA cables—you can even see the beginning of “SATA” behind the right side of the connector. Most motherboards (that aren’t terribly old) should support it. If you don’t see these connectors, you’ll have to use the IDE connectors, like those pictured on the right.
There are, of course, loads of other ways to connect hard disks to a PC. For today, and for the sake simplicity, we’ll stick with what’s most likely to be inside most PC cases.

Buying A New Hard Disk







When you buy a drive, you buy based on several different factors. The first is usually “can my system handle it?”
Older systems have drive capacity limits and will struggle to recognize large disks. Systems older than 1998 will be limited to 8.4 GB, while systems older than 2002 may have a drive capacity limit of 137 GB imposed by the motherboard’s BIOS. You’ll require a PC that supports 48 Bit LBA (Logical Block Address), at the very least by the OS, if not the BIOS as well. If your machine is running XP with Service Pack 1, Windows Vista, or Windows 7, your machine likely supports these large drives over 137 GB, and you shouldn’t have to worry about this. If you’re running Windows 98, or something just as old, you’re likely to have some trouble with this upgrade—maybe more than it’s worth.
Once you’ve determined the size disk your PC can support, and found out what kind of of drives you can connect to your motherboard (IDE or SATA) you can start to answer the other big questions that go into buying a drive. Here’s a short list of the three main criteria you should go over before shelling out your hard earned cash for a drive.
  • Capacity (Size, measured in MB, GB, and TB)
  • Performance (Disk read speed, measured in RPM)
  • Price (What fits your budget?)
There are lots of other factors that go into buying a drive, although these are the major ones. If you can determine what kind of drive your PC can handle, you’ll be able to pick a drive based on these criteria. You might be able to get a high capacity drive (1TB +) for very cheap, but you’ll likely be sacrificing performance, and end up with a slow drive. High performance drives are often expensive, no matter the capacity, but can be worth it if you’re replacing your system disk.
Once you’re satisfied with your HDD purchase, you’re ready for the next steps.


Backup The Old Drive







Before you open up your PC and start ripping out hardware, it might behoove you to make a copy of the disk you’re planning to remove. This is where the aforementioned (see above, in tools) hard drive enclosure can come in handy.



There are several ways to make a perfect, bootable copy of your system disk, like PING, DriveImage XML and FOG Project, as well as Clonezilla, which we covered in an extensive hard drive-saving how-to here;


Hard Drive Saving






If you’re simply adding a second drive for storage, you don’t need to back up your system disk. But many of you may want to replace it with a newer, larger, faster drive and keep your OS and files intact. If that’s the case, check out some of the many imaging programs listed above, or read our how-to on cloning your disk.



Upgrading A System Disk: Removing the Old Drive








With your prep out of the way, you’re finally ready to start ripping out hardware. A couple of warnings—removing hardware from a PC is done at your own risk and at the risk of your own hardware, so only do it if you’re prepared to learn some potentially expensive lessons!
Step one is always removing these screws that hold on the case sides. Notice how the PC is also unplugged, and make sure that yours is, as well.














If the sides of your case don’t come off the way the red arrows are directing, you’ll likely find more screws holding them in place. Double-check and try them again. If this doesn’t work, your case may be built differently—look to see what catches or releases might be holding the sides in place.









If you’re unfamiliar with the innerworkings of a PC, here’s a rundown of the parts we will be working with today, and the parts we’ll need to avoid. Notice that the optical drive and the hard disk are in roughly the same place, and may even be connected with the same cables. Make sure you remove the right one!





Remove the cables from the old hard drive as shown.



You’ll need to remove two cables from each disk—one for power, and one for data. The cables above are IDE data cables, the more difficult of the two to remove. SATA cables are fairly easy to remove from a drive, while IDE cables are wide and firmly seated on a large row of pins. You may struggle when removing them—be firm, but careful not to warp the pins, break any part of the cable, or yank to hard on any part that is connected to the motherboard.





There are typically four screws holding a HDD in place. Look for this cage in the front of your PC case and undo the screws as shown.

The opposite side of the PC case should also have screws holding the drives in place. You’ll have to remove them from the hole illustrated here to get the drive out.





Depending on how tight the inside of your case is, you may have to remove other hardware. In this case, the easiest part to remove would be the power supply, shown top left, rather than the processor fan and heatsink, shown bottom left. Pull the drive out as shown, and you’ll be ready to connect up your new drive. You can expect to install the new drive the same way you removed this one, but backwards—but for more detailed directions and solutions to common problems, check back next Monday for part 2.

Next: Connecting and Troubleshooting Your New Drive








Installing a new hard drive can get complicated if something goes wrong, and we’re already getting into tl;dr territory. Check back next week, when we’ll cover common problems with installing new hard drives, how to get your system to recognize your new disk, and some tips for fresh installs of an OS.


Thanks to Eric Z Goodnight
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Old 20-09-11, 17:39   #2
 
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Default Re: Hardware Upgrade: How To Install A New Hard Drive

Hardware Upgrade: How To Install A New Hard Drive, Pt 2, Troubleshooting






Last week we took a look at some of the basics to installing and upgrading a hard disk in your PC. This week, we’re going to look at the many problems that pop up when install a new drive.


Installing a disk is one of the easier upgrades you can perform, but it’s not without its headaches. In this edition of Hardware Upgrade, we’ll try and quickly squash as many common problems that we can. If you’re currently having trouble with a hard drive installation, or have solved problems in the past, tell us about them in the comments, so that other readers can share your experience as well. And if you missed the first part of this two part article, you might want to check it out before reading this one.

Check And Prepare The New Drive





As we discussed in part one, your drive will likely be one of two basic types: a IDE (also known as PATA) drive, or a SATA drive. If you’re upgrading a particularly old system, your machine might have issues with SATA drives—issues that can’t be resolved. In almost any scenario when you can use SATA, you’ll want to. But if you can’t, you’ll have to muck through some master and slave settings to get your IDE drive to work properly before installing it. If you’re planning to use SATA, you can jump to the next step where we install the new drive. If you’re using IDE drives, you’re going to want to look this over carefully.





Jumper settings are often critical. In first pic in this section, you can see an illustration of the hard drive jumpers and their various settings. On the pic directly above, you can see the part on the power/cable end of the IDE drive that shows the pins where you make your jumper settings. Jumpers complete critical parts of the circuit that tell the drive how to operate. The important thing to recognize here is that IDE drives have an illustration of how to set up the drive properly before installation, and you have to read that before installing.




If you can install drives on separate IDE cables, it’s always easier to do so. You might be in a situation where you have to connect two drives on one IDE cable because you have too many devices and not enough IDE connectors on your motherboard. For instance, maybe you’re installing two new hard drives for storage, you already have an IDE drive, and you also have an optical drive you need to keep. If you only have two IDE connectors on your motherboard, you’ll be forced to deal with jumper settings to get your drive to work.




Set system disks to master, and other disks to slave or cable select settings. Master/Slave settings tell the computer which drives respond to which commands, and are therefore critical. If you can install your system disk on its own IDE cable, set it to single disk master mode (sometimes achieved by removing the jumper) and install other disks and devices on other cables. If not, you’ll have to install your system disk to the master dual-drive setting, choosing to set the other drive on the IDE ribbon as either Slave (dual-drive) or Cable Select, which will automatically determine if the drive should be the master or the slave. (Only use cable select as slave setting drives.) Some disks may require an additional “slave present jumper” for a master with slave present setting—again, check your drive to see the settings you need to use.

Install The New Drive


Gently slide the drive into the HDD cage, usually under the Optical disk cage. Pay attention to the holes in the cage, and make sure that they line up with the holes in the drive.

Hopefully you have the hardware from when you removed the drive. If not, you’ll have to find or buy some hard drive screws. With the drive seated, insert and tighten two screws for each of the broad sides of the drive cage. The power and cables should be facing outward.


Connect your data cables to your motherboard. The left cable is a SATA cable, and the right is an IDE cable. You’ll need to connect one to the drive, and another to the appropriate connector on the motherboard.

These are usually how the motherboard connectors are going to look. Find them and connect your drives, making sure that the cables are properly seated and installed correctly.

Once your data is connected, you can connect power to your drives. The connector on the left is SATA power, which not all computer power supplies have. It is not necessary to use SATA power unless your drive doesn’t support the ordinary Molex power connectors, which many do. The molex connector on the right is not exclusively “IDE Power.” Either power connector will carry the juice to your drive.

Set Up The Drive In Your BIOS





If you’re installing a new boot disk, you may need to fiddle around with the boot order. Most modern PCs still use a BIOS utility to set boot disk order, and manage an array of other low-level utilities that run the PC.
Right after you hear the POST beep when you turn your computer on, you’ll need to press one of the common keys to get into BIOS. These are usually one of these: Delete, F1, F2, F3, F5, F10, Esc, or Insert. The first screen you see after POST will usually say something like “press Del to enter BIOS.”





You may have to look around in some of the other menus, depending on how your BIOS works, but you’re looking for “Boot Sequence.” You usually want your optical drives or other removable media listed first. This is including USB or even Floppy, if you’re old school. You should be able to see the drive in this list of boot devices. If you don’t, you’ll have to look at this next section on troubleshooting disks.


Troubleshooting An Unrecognized Drive





It’s not a perfect world, and sometimes, when you install a new drive, sometimes your PC doesn’t recognize it. Here’s a few common reasons that new drive isn’t working.


The easy stuff first:

Check to see that your cables are well connected, and properly seated. Obviously If power and data aren’t connected properly, your drive won’t be recognized.
Your cables could have shorts in them, or be damaged. It’s not the most common problem, but it is possible your cable could look okay but not carry data.


The pins/connectors on the motherboard have been damaged. This can be frustrating. If a connector has been irrevocably damaged, you might not be able to use it for your drive. You can bend pins back into place safely, although there’s always the chance that they can break off if you use too much force.


SATA Drives:
Your computer does not support your SATA drive out of the box. You may require an updated BIOS to use your drive, and you’ll have to check the manufacturer of your motherboard to find out where you can update it.
Your computer doesn’t support SATA and you can’t get PCI-based SATA connectors to recognize the drive. This is normal, and there’s no way around it. You’ll have to install drivers for the PCI card either in or when you install the operating system.


Your computer supports SATA, but the drive is not listed in BIOS. You may have to install drivers for the disk before using them. Older versions of Windows allow installation of 3rd party drivers by pressing F6 during setup. This will allow installation of SATA drivers for the disk, or for the PCI cards you need to use the hard drive.


IDE Drives:


Device and jumper settings are critical! As we discussed in the earlier section, if you’re having a problem with an IDE drive, you can almost always be sure it’s jumpered improperly. Take a look at how you’ve got the drives installed, and check your jumper settings. Use a single cable for each device, when possible if you’re having a lot of issues.


Other Issues:

Obviously we’ve tried to list as many issues as possible. In the comments, tell us about any of your hard drive installation issues not listed here, and we’ll add them (and hopefully solutions) to this list. Of course, if you’ve had crazy hard drive problems, and have solved them yourself, tell us about those too for some serious geek cred!

Extra Storage: Managing New Disks



If you’re not installing a new system disk, you’re likely just wanting to use your new drive for storage. With your new drives connected and humming happily, you’ll need to get your OS to recognize the disk.

In Windows 7, click your start menu and type “Computer Management” to get to the disk management tool.

Use this tool to initialize disks, add partitions, and format drives that Windows doesn’t automatically mount.



In Windows XP, you can get to the XP version of this tool by clicking “Run” on your start menu and typing compmgmt.msc. Disk management works the same way on both operating systems, as well as on Windows Vista.


Install A New Operating System





Most Windows installations require an optical drive, and some kind of DVD or CD. If you’re looking for a fresh start, you’ll likely need to have your DVD-ROM or CD-ROM in proper working order. Of course, you could always create a perfect clone of your existing system drive, as we discussed in part 1 of this Hardware Upgrade. We’ve also covered how to install the developer preview of Windows 8 alongside Windows 7—or you could simply install the dev preview only on your new system disk.
Thanks to How To Geek Eric Z Goodnight
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