There can be multiple variables behind the decision to change and install a new hard drive on your Windows/Mac computer. The biggest reasons being if your P.C. is old and you have never upgraded your Hard Disk Drive (HDD) before, then your disk drive is in danger of failing and, which would potentially result in you losing your data. Stick around and see our practical method to install a new HDD on both Windows P.C. and Mac.
Before starting the procedure of installing a new hard drive on the computer system, it is advised that you know what a hard drive is? Along with a summary of its components and the importance of the hardware at play. We will discuss all that in this section of the article.
To think of it the hard drive of your computer is its soul, there's no P.C. without a hard drive. It is the place where you store all of your data from the computer's operating system to any ordinary image file. It is the place where all the codes of the O.S. rest, which enable you to connect to the internet and perform routine functions. It uses a magnetic disk that can hold information engraved in tiny strips inside, that is why the hardware is so inexpensive and accessible among masses.
Hard drives in your P.C. need a cable/connection for data and one for power. There are two types of cable available in the market which are IDE & SATA, and we will compare both of them.
IDE consists of a 40-pin/80-pin connector attached to a ribbon cable, which is available in different colors. Each cable has two connectors, where one is attached to the interface that connects to the motherboard and the second is connected to the drive. Following are the features of the IDE cable
Serial Advanced Technology Attachment or SATA cable consists of a 7-pin connector, three grounds, and 4 active data lines in two pairs. Following are its features:
The hard drive of your system is still a significant indicator of its quality. The primary hard drive of the P.C. is usually fixed inside a case, and many components of the HDD enables its functions. We will discuss some of them.
The read/write arm, which is also known as “the actuator arm” handles the movement of the hard drive’s read/write heads. These heads perform the task of reading and writing the data on the disk platters, which we will discuss later. There is a small motor called the actuator which handles the movement of the read/write arm by taking instructions from the HDD’s circuit board.
The written information is stored by converting the magnetic surface of the disk into an electric current. The R/W arm fixes the position of the head based on the data that needs to be accessed and saved.
The circuits in our computer's processor are made up of billions of transistors, which is activated by the electronic signals it receives. The data that those transistors collect is in the form of 0s and 1s, which is called the Binary number system. These digits reflect the on and off states of the transistor.
The platters are the discs inside your HDD where the data (0s and 1s) is stored. Platters have a magnetic surface which offers the opportunity to save the files permanently. The outer shell of the platters is made out of aluminum or glass. Data is collected on the platters in the form of sectors and tracks, which enables easy access to the files.
An internal desktop drive runs typically at a whopping 7,200 RPM, but other hard disks are also available with faster and slower speeds. The spindle keeps the platters in position and adjusts the rotation of the drive accordingly. Without the spindle, you won't be able to gain access to the platters as it will collide with the R/W arm.
Installing an internal hard drive requires no rocket science! You only need to know the inner structure of your computer, a screwdriver, and power/connection cables. Before installing a new one, it is advised that you check the status of your old hard disk by running a SMART test to give it one last fighting chance.
S.M.A.R.T. or Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology is the test a hard drive runs itself on to check its health, reliability and to determine if they’re failing or not. You can run this test through the Windows Command Prompt Utility. Please follow the steps below to run the tests on your old and new hard drives.
Hard drives are available in two sizes, which are 2.5 inches and 3.5 inches. The 3.5-inch drive is the most common used HDD in the world and is also known as "full-size desktop drives". You will see that every desktop P.C. has space for at least one 3.5-inch hard disk and you can also create room for more.
Before installing a new HDD, you are required to remove the old one, to begin the process, you should open the door on your computer case. A 3.5-inch hard drive is located at the lower part of the C.P.U. which is near the fan, and it is usually generally placed in a cage which is locked by a couple of screws. The cage holds the hard drive and other components of the system together.
Mounting a new drive is repeating the 2nd step in the opposite order.
Changing a hard drive on Mac is not as simple as performing the procedure on a Windows P.C. But you are required to complete this task if you notice the following things on your Mac.
In this part of the article, we will show you how to install a new hard drive on a Mac after replacing the old one. Please follow the steps mentioned below.
1. First, you are required to place the Mac computer on a static mat or table.
2. A Macbook has ten screws; please locate and remove them with the help of a screwdriver.
3. Gently take out the bottom lid off of your Mac and locate your hard drive.
4. After finding the hard drive, you will notice that a plastic cover holds it, remove the cover by loosening the screws.
5. Wiggle the SATA/Power cable connector, and it will be detached from the drive.
6. Connect the SATA ribbon to the new hard drive and place it back into your Mac.
7. Reattach the plastic case that was previously removed.
8. Place the bottom lid back and place the ten screws back to their original position.
9. Install macOS on your system.
10. You can also install an S.S.D. in the place of the old hard drive, which will do wonders to your computer.
Formatting the internal drive of your Mac means you want a fresh start by making the computer as good as new. You are required to have your MacOS installation disk that came with every Apple computer if you intend to go through with the practice of formatting the hard drive. Please follow our complete guide to format a hard drive or its partition on the Macintosh.
The health of our hardware depends on how we take care of it as consistent maintenance improves the longevity and the performance of the device. Here are some of the tips that would help you in installing a new hard drive in your computer.
It is our responsibility to maintain the health of our hard drive as it is the backbone of your computer system, and without the HDD, the P.C. is a piece of metal filled with expensive hardware.
We have discussed at length the method of installing a new hard drive on a Windows P.C. and briefly touched the process of fixing a new one on a mac as well. We recommend that you use SATA cable in place of IDE on your new disk.
It is also advised that you run diagnostic tests on the system regularly and keep the computer clean to increase its efficiency.