How to Install a Second Hard Drive


Running out of disk space is a common problem to have if you download a lot of music and movies to your computer. When you need more disk space, it is easier to add a second hard drive than it is to replace the existing drive. This procedure is for installing an ATA hard drive in a PC-compatible computer.

Moderately Challenging


Things You'll Need

  • Drive Cables
  • Hard Disks
  1. Install Hard Drive

    • 1

      Turn off the computer and unplugg the power cord.

    • 2

      Remove the computer cover.

    • 3

      Touch a metal part of the computer to ground yourself, or use a grounding strap. A kitchen table is a great place to work on a computer because of the flat space and the lack of static.

    • 4

      Locate the ribbon cable connected to the existing hard drive.

    • 5

      Change the master/slave designation of the second hard drive (see Related eHows).

    • 6

      Connect the second hard drive to the second connector on the cable (colored strip should be closest to the power cable). If the cable does not have a second connector, replace it with one that does, or use a second ribbon cable to attach the second hard drive to the motherboard (if a second drive port is available).

    • 7

      Connect an available power cable to the hard drive.

    • 8

      Insert the hard drive into an available drive bay and secure with screws.

    • 9

      Replace the computer cover.

    Add Hard Drive to CMOS Setup

    • 10

      Start the computer.

    • 11

      Enter the CMOS setup program (the system generally indicates which key to press), immediately after memory check.

    • 12

      Use arrow keys to select Autodetect option (or comparable option for your computer) if it is available, and press Enter. If this option is not available, see step 5 to manually enter the drive parameters.

    • 13

      In the Autodetect screen, enter Y to select the default settings for each drive that is installed and bypass settings for uninstalled drives. The screen will return to the main setup screen. Continue to step 8.

    • 14

      To manually enter drive parameters, select the setup screen that displays hard drive parameters (usually Standard or Main screen).

    • 15

      Use the arrow keys to scroll through the list of drive parameters.

    • 16

      Select the set of parameters that most closely represents your drive and does not exceed the drive volume (such as 2 GB) and press Enter.

    • 17

      Press Enter or OK (or Esc if the other keys are not available) to accept the new setting.

    • 18

      Use arrow keys to select Save and Exit setup and press Enter. The computer restarts, indicating the presence of the second drive. Your drive is ready.

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