Assembling a computer is really not very complex, since each component has a unique installation point and position. One of the simplest processes when assembling a computer is the installation of the hard drive, either mechanical or solid state. We will explain step by step the process to install a new hard drive.
When we work with computer components, we must have certain precautions, but not be afraid of the process. Computer hardware these days is built to be pretty tough, so we shouldn’t have any problems. Also, as we said, all the connectors are designed so that they can only be connected in one way and avoid problems.
Install a hard disk (HDD or SSD) in the PC
We are going to focus, at this point, on the installation of a hard drive in the PC tower . This process is indistinct for mechanical hard drives (HDD) or solid state drives (SSD), it doesn’t matter. Let’s start.
Back up your data
Before carrying out any other task, always in computing, it is important to make a data backup. A lot can happen during the installation process and it’s best to be cautious. We can store the data on a USB memory or on an external hard drive, even in the cloud we can make the backup.
Verify that there is installation space left
Most PC chassis have space to install multiple storage drives. The manufacturer will always tell us how many bays the tower has, either for 3.5-inch drives (HDD) or for 2.5-inch drives (SSD) . Then we must visually inspect if there is space to install additional storage units. Usually only one slot is taken up by the primary drive, but you’d better check if you have space and what type of drives it’s for.
Important: work safely
Before starting to operate, we must turn off the computer and disconnect it from the current . Once we have turned off the equipment, we remove the power cable from the power supply. It is also interesting to press the power switch of the PC for a few seconds to discharge the capacitors of the system.
Although it is not something that is usually done, it is also positive to connect to the ground. This is as simple as with an antistatic bracelet , connecting it to the ground terminal of the Schucko plugs (the side tabs that we see in these plugs). We must remember that people are charged with static and a discharge in any computer component could destroy it.
Once we have completed these steps, we can proceed to remove the side cover and begin the installation process.
Installing the new hard drive
Currently we can find a column where to install the hard drives , a removable bay based on guides and the last one, installation space behind the motherboard. Both the column and the rail-based bay usually support HDD and SSD hard drives without major problems. The space behind the motherboard is usually reserved for SSDs , although some manufacturers indicate that HDDs can also be installed.
If it is a removable bay system, we must remove it and screw the storage unit. The screws will always be given to us by the chassis manufacturer, they come in a bag with many other screws. Normally, manufacturers already separate them into separate bags and indicate the use.
Once we have the storage unit correctly installed in the adapter, it is time to install it in the system. Some bays are screwless installation , they are based on a simple anchoring system. But still in this case, we can fasten this bay by screw s. It is recommended to do so for greater security.
For drives that install behind the motherboard , in many cases they rely on a bolt-on backplate . We must remove the metal part and screw the SSD. Some require the motherboard to be removed, but these are the bare minimum, as it’s very cumbersome for future upgrades.
NOTE: The mounting holes are designed so that we can only install the units one way. They are located so that the part of the manufacturer’s brand is visible and the fixing holes remain in the lower part.
Once we have the unit installed (either SSD or HDD) it is time to connect the unit . This is also a fairly simple and fast process. Any current storage unit requires two cables , one for power and one for data. The good thing about these two cables is that they only have one connection position , so there are no errors. We must look before connecting the connector of the storage unit and the cable. If we try to connect and it doesn’t fit, it’s because we have it upside down, we just have to turn it around.
The power supply, of course, comes directly from the power supply. The data cable , at one end we connect it to the SSD and at the other end to the motherboard . Which end of the data cable we connect at each point is totally indifferent.
Last steps to take
Well, once we have all the cables connected, and still without putting on the side cover , we will connect the power cable. Now, we must start the system to see that everything works correctly . We do not put the side cover in case the equipment does not start, to save time. The normal thing is that the system boots without major problems. After this, we install the side cover, something we can do without turning off the system.
It may be that the equipment does not start or starts beeping (if it has the speaker). We must see what the beeps emitted by the speaker mean. If we do not hear anything, the first thing we must do is remove the power again to work safely. The easiest step is to carefully apply gentle pressure on the graphics card, RAM, and power connectors. It could be that they came off a bit or shifted during the installation process and because they don’t make good contact, it won’t start.
If the problem persists, the quickest thing to do is to remove the data cable that we just connected from the motherboard. After doing this, if the system boots, we can turn off and try to install the hard drive in another SATA port . If the problem persists , we must change the data cable , it could be defective. If the problem persists , the storage drive may be defective.
Hard drive configuration in Windows
We have finished installing the hard drive and the computer boots, but now it needs to be recognized by the operating system. Windows requires that we format the new hard drive. This process is quite simple and we can do it quite quickly.
The steps are the following:
- Right click on the Windows button on the taskbar
- Now click on Disk Management
- A list of all available storage units will appear.
- The new drive will appear with a black bar indicating “Unallocated” . This means that it has no assigned path and format
- We right click on the new unit
- From the drop-down menu, we select the Format option
- A small, fairly simple window opens with the following parameters:
- Volume label: This is the name we give the drive, which can be anything like “dog”, “photos”, “backup”, etc.
- File system: Drive format. It allows NFTS and exFAT, and they have very few substantive differences. The downside of NFTS is that it is not compatible with Apple computer equipment
- Allocation unit size: Simply explained, it is the number of “chunks” into which the hard drive is divided. We can modify it, but the default system is enough
- Give quick format: It is convenient to leave it, this makes the process faster
- Now we click OK and wait for it to finish
- Once the process is finished, we can go to This computer and we will see the new storage unit
We are now done with the process of installing a new hard drive and configuring it to work in Windows.