You Do It Yourself (YDIY):How To Properly Replace Your Damaged Hard Drive

File-It-Under: Tek-Tutorials By: D.F.Skin  

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Out of all the hardware that's prone to fail at some point in time,it is the hard drive that can go to pieces on you in a drop of a hat. Whether or not if its a solid state drive (SSD) or the traditional spinning hard drive HDD,both at some point will wear out its welcome,literally. Partly because hard drives are always in constant use,thus it will go through elongated wear and tear. Even in its idle state there is some sort of activity taking place within the hard drive.

What do you when the day comes when your hard drive crashes to oblivion? Buy a new one and replace it yourself. Welcome to the newly minted installment of "You Do It Yourself" (YDIY). Yes,you the owner of your precious computer with the failed hard drive is not going to take your machine over to Best Buy's Geek squad or even depend on guys like myself to fix your problems. You going to install it yourself,I'll walk right along through the process,read along.

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Tools Needed

Assuming that you've done your research and shopped around and purchased your hard drive,the next step is to gather your tools and prepare yourself for the installation. You'll need only one set of tools and that's a Phillip head screw driver.

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Discharge your body and Power Down

Before we proceed,to avoid hardware damage from electrostatic discharge you must always ground yourself when doing any type of hardware installation. Its so important that you discharge your body's static electricity before opening your computer case. Same procedure applies to laptop owners. Most first time hardware upgrade's may not own an anti-static wristband,if you don't own one you can simply just touch any metal object like a door knob or your computer case.

After you have grounded yourself,before you open up the case of your computer,make sure you shut down your system. Boot down from Windows OS and turn off your power supply through the rocket switch that's in the back if your power supply which is located in the back of the computer. What I usually do is unplug the power cord entirely from the power supply.

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Desktop Hard Drive

Once you have done all the procedures as instructed in the above paragraph,now its time to replace that dead hard drive. Unscrew the side panel so you can access the hard drive. Usually the hard drive is placed in a drive 3.5 inch drive bay. If its a SSD storage drive you are replacing,it should be placed in a 2.5-inch drive bay.

There's a power adapter and a SATA cable that plugged to the hard drive. Unplug the power adapter first,then unplug the SATA cable. Unscrew the hard drive that's placed in the drive bay and carefully remove the hard drive.

Once you have removed the hard drive,take your new had drive and carefully place it in the drive bay. Then screw your hard drive into the drive bay,plug your SATA cable and power adapter back into your hard drive.

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Now we must see if your computer recognizes your new hard drive. How do you do that if there's no operating system to work with? Ah! Here's what you do,we must go into your BIOS setup. I can do a whole blog post about the BIOS how it works,but I'm not. Briefly BIOS stands for Basic Input Output System that gives you a profile of every working piece of hardware operating the computer. How you access the BIOS? Upon boot-up press and hold down the DELETE key,that will then take you to your BIOS setup.Once there,the first thing you should see is any storage devices that's attached to that motherboard,if you see your hard drive  you have successfully completed your mission.

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Now just simply load your operating system onto your new hard drive.

 

The Laptop

 

 

The hard drive in a laptop unlike the desktop is located on the bottom of the device. The laptop hardware architecture is different from the desktop in that most of components such as the processor and graphic card are embedded  on the motherboard. The only piece of hardware that's replaceable is the hard drive and RAM (memory).
Both the hard drive and RAM have what I call minature panels that are both labeled with a insignia stamped on each panel. What you want to look for is the panel that has a HDD stamped on the miniature panel.
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To open it you must unscrew the panel which usually is secured in place by four screws. The screws itself are very tiny so you may need a small Phillip head screw driver. Carefully begin unscrewing the screws,place the screws in a small plastic cup so you won't misplace them.
Once you've removed the cover, you'll see the hard drive secured in place in a slot. There are no power adapters or SATA cables to contend with, that comes in a form of a connector that is within the slot. You simply slide the hard drive in and out and connect it to the SATA / power connector.
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Speaking of which, it's time we get that failed defective drive out of that slot. Carefully hold the drive by the corners and gently slide the drive out of the slot. Grab your brand new hard drive and slide it back in the slot,make sure you firmly, carefully lock the hard drive in place. Place the cover back over top the drive and screw it in place.
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You are now ready to load your operating system (Windows ) onto your brand new hard drive. Like the desktop,you want to pull up thebBIOS so you can see if your laptop is reading the drive.
This completes the YDIY (you do it yourself ) tutorial.