Solid-state drive installation
SSD drive installation. Image credit: Denis Rozhnovsky/

Replacing the hard drive in your computer can seem like a daunting task if you’re not necessarily a tech savvy person. However, it’s actually a pretty easy thing to do with a little guidance.

With some know-how from the internet you should be able to replace the hard drive in your tablet, laptop, or desktop computer pretty easily yourself (unless things get really hairy and then you might want to call in the pros like the guys at Computer Fixperts).

So, before you go taking your machine apart, here is a little bit more about how and why to replace your computer’s hard drive:

Why Would You Need to Replace Your Hard Drive?

Generally, there are two main reasons why you would need to replace your computer’s hard drive; and the first reason is that you are experiencing some sort of hardware failure. If your hardware stops working due to something malfunctioning within the hard drive, then you might have issues trying to back up all of the data from your computer, but you can certainly replace the hard drive so that it does not happen again.

The second reason that you would want to replace the hard drive on your computer is that you are simply upgrading the system. The reasons that people typically upgrade their system are for increased storage capacity or for increased computer speed.

Upgrading a hard drive to something faster and bigger is a great idea for someone who does a lot of specialized work, like digital graphics, or gaming on their personal computer and have found themselves without space. Replacement can also help if you find your computer has started slowing down.

How to Replace Your Hard Drive

Once you have purchased a new hard drive, the hard part comes when you have to insert it. As stated before, it can seem like a daunting task, but it really doesn’t have to be. As long as you take it step by step and follow our tips you’ll have the job done in no time.

So, here are the three steps that you have to take to replace your hard drive:

  1. Backup Your Data

Arguably, backing up your data is the most important part of the hard drive replacement process. This is because, in reality, the most valuable part of your computer isn’t the hard drive itself, but rather the data that you have saved onto it over years of use.

If you don’t back it up then you will lose precious work, photos, and other things that are on your computer that you probably don’t want to lose. You could back up your files onto a large thumb drive, an external hard drive (ideal, here’s how to shop for a fast one), or even a cloud backup service.

  1. Uninstall the Existing Hard Drive

Make sure your computer is shut off completely, and then locate the existing hard drive in your computer and remove it from the computer. If you have reservations about being able to find the hard drive or safely remove it without causing damage to your machine then you can find plenty of videos online (YouTube is a great place to find tutorials) that show the full process of hard drive removal. Be sure to find a video about your specific computer model.

To summarize, you discharge static electricity from your hands with an antistatic device such as an antistatic wrist strap, then remove the SATA power and data cables from the drive (there is one of each). Finally, you can unscrew the drive from the drive bay (the screws are often located at the sides of the drive).

  1. Reinstall and Format

Once you have the old hard drive out, just put the new hard drive in the exact same way that you took the old one out. To ensure you don’t forget how you did this, record a video of yourself removing the old hard drive so that you don’t accidentally miss a step when putting the new one in. Keep any tiny screws or parts absolutely safe in a jar or box next to you so they don’t go missing.

Once that is done, turn your computer back on, format the hard drive, and you are ready to go!


Replacing your computer’s hard drive can seem scary when you haven’t done it before – but you’ll soon see how easy it can be. Order your new hard drive now and see how easy it can be to upgrade your device.