Data Recovery

The ultimate guide to replace your hard drive

Things you need to take care of before you replacing your hard drive

A hard drive is the computer’s data store i.e. it has all the data required for the normal functioning of your computer as well as the data that you may have additionally stored on it like music, photos and videos. Before replacing a hard drive, all this data will need to be backed up somewhere or if you already have been making backups you will need to move these backups to a different physical location instead of letting them stay on the same hard drive. If however, you are the victim of a failed hard drive and need to recover your data, you can make use of the tools like Wondershare Data Recovery, Recuva and PC inspector etc. to retrieve all that data for you.  Once you have made sure that all the useful data has been recovered and is safe, you can continue with the hard drive replacement process.

Choosing the new hard drive

Data and Power Connector Types

The new hard drive that you are planning on buying should have the same data and power connector types as you previous ones so that it can be attached to your computer or laptop. Buying one with different types of connectors will only create a huge mess for you and you may need to replace that one later on.

Capacity, Speed and Reliability

Three of the most fundamental characteristics that should be kept in mind when buying a new hard drive are capacity, speed and reliability. There is a wide range of options to choose from but you should buy one which is best suited to your needs. If for instance, capacity is not a major concern but you cannot compromise on speed and reliability, buy a hard drive that will cater to your need for faster data transfer speed and reliability.

Guide to replace hard drive on PC

  1. Detach your CPU from the monitor and other peripheral devices and take out any electrical connectors from their respective plugs. Open the case of the CPU by unscrewing the screws or pressing the latch if your CPU is without screws.
  2. Locate your hard drive and identify the connectors. Detach the connectors from the connections very carefully.
  3. Unscrew the screws that have been used to attach the hard drive to the cage inside the computer case. Use your hand to hold the hard drive in case there is no other support to stop it from falling other than the screws.
  4. Slide the hard drive out of the cage and then slide in your new hard drive. Carefully put the screws back in and attach the connectors to their respective connections. Place the case back on using the screws or latches.

Guide to replace hard drive on Laptop (windows)

  1. Turn off your laptop and remove the batter once the laptop is off. Using a screw driver, remove the screws holding the hard drive bay. You can locate the hard drive bay by looking for the icon marking the bay.
  2. If the hard drive is connected to a sled, remove the screws that are holding the sled and then slide the hard drive out. If the hard drive is secured to laptop itself however, unscrew the screws holding it and then take the hard drive out. Take care as to not damage any of the connectors.
  3. Place the new hard drive into the slot left empty by the old one. Slide it back in if you slid the previous one out or place it back in the slot and fasten the screws if the previous one were attached to the body of the machine. Either ways, the new hard drive should fir in properly in the hard drive bay and the connectors should be properly connected.
  4. Place the hard drive bay door back and attach with screws.

Guide to replace hard drive on Mac (MacBook and iMac)

Replacing hard drive on Mac

  1. Flip your Mac and remove all the screws attaching the back panel to the body of the machine. Remove the back panel and take a good look inside.
  2. Locate the hard drive inside the Mac. In the picture shown above, it is located in the bottom left corner and is held in place by 4 screws. Detach the screws holding down the hard drive in place using a screw driver.  Unplug it from the connections and remove posts on the side of the hard drive.
  3. Take your new hard drive and plug it in to the connectors that the old hard drive was previously connected to and screw it in place. Make sure that it sits perfectly and nothing is out of order. Replace the back cover and scree it back in position.

Replacing hard drive on iMac

iMacs are specifically hard to open up owing to their compactness and delicacy. If however, you’re determined to replace the hard drive on one yourself, go on and follow these instructions:

  1. Locate and remove the RAM slot.
  2. Remove the glass using a stick on tool.
  3. Remove the frame by removing all the screws on the front side of the iMac.
  4. Remove the screen by first removing the screws and then un-plugging all the connections of the machine to the screen.
  5. Locate the hard disk and remove the SATA and power connectors. Un-plug all other connections and free the hard disk by pushing the black handle mounted in the drive away from you. Now place the new hard disk in its place, mount it back on, and attach all the connectors and screws.
  6. Carefully place back the screen, the frame, the glass and the ROM slot and you are good to go.

What you need to do after replacing your hard disk

Testing a new hard drive is always a great way to know if the hard drive came with some fault that is not apparent for some reasons. This way you can return it to the vendor and get a healthy replacement so that you don’t have to suffer later on. To test a hard drive, the simplest thing to do would be to copy a lot of data to it and then copy that data back to a different location. The data has to be large so that the hard drive can be properly tested. Notice the temperature of the hard drive by touching the back panel of your laptop after it has been running for almost an hour. Check for noises or clicking. If anything seems to be odd, report the problem immediately to the vendor.

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