How do I install a new hard-drive?

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Installing a hard-drive is actually very simple. All you will need to do is verify that your motherboard (or IDE/SATA controller card) supports the type of hard-drive you are trying to use. Most hard-drives are either IDE or SATA. Or, you can click here to determine which type of hard-drive you are using. SATA hard-drives will be covered first, and IDE hard-drives can be found lower on the page.

NOTE - Computer cases may be designed differently, and it is recommended that you view the manual of your case and locate the location to install the hard-drive before you proceed with the installation.

SATA


SATA hard drives use two unique cables.

The SATA "Data" cable
The SATA "Power" cable

Simply connect the data cable from your hard drive to the motherboard (the connector is shaped like an "L" and will only go on one way), then connect the power cable from your power supply to the hard drive. Next, you will put the hard drive into the case. Using the screws that are provided with the hard-drive, simply screw the hard drive into place.

Typically, to install Windows to a SATA hard-drive, a driver is required to install directly to the drive. This driver can be found from the motherboard manufacturer's website, or by contacting the manufacturer directly.

IDE


IDE hard drives use two more commonly used cables.

The IDE "Data" cable
The IDE "Power" cable

Simply connect the data cable from your hard drive to the motherboard (the connector is shaped like a rectangle and will only go on one way due to a piece of plastic on the top of the connector), then connect the power cable from your power supply to the hard drive. Next, you will put the hard drive into the case. Using the screws that are provided with the hard-drive, simply screw the hard drive into place.

Typically, with an IDE hard-drive, a driver is not required to utilize the drive.