How to Install a Second Hard Drive

(Note: This article is from and republish here for your convenience.)



Running out of disk spaceclip_image001 is a common problem to have if you download a lot of music and movies to your computer. When you need more disk space, it is easier to add a second hard drive than it is to replace the existing drive. This procedure is for installing an ATA hard drive in a PC-compatible computer.

By: eHow Computers Editor


Tips & Warnings:
  • Always ground yourself and your tools by touching a safe metal surface (such as the computer cover or frame) before handling the hard drive to prevent damage to the electrical components.
  • Don’t mess around inside the computer, especially near the power supply (there should be warning labels), if you don’t know what you’re poking, to avoid the risk of electric shock.
  • Handle the hard drive carefully to avoid damaging the circuit board.
  • Handle the drive cables carefully to keep from bending the cable or pins.
Install Hard Drive


Turn off the computer and unplug the power cord.


Remove the computer cover.


Touch a metal part of the computer to ground yourself, or use a grounding strap. A kitchen table is a great place to work on a computer because of the flat space and the lack of static.


Locate the ribbon cable connected to the existing hard drive.


Change the master/slave designation of the second hard drive (see Related eHows).


Connect the second hard drive to the second connector on the cable (colored strip should be closest to the power cable). If the cable does not have a second connector, replace it with one that does, or use a second ribbon cable to attach the second hard drive to the motherboard (if a second drive port is available).


Connect an available power cable to the hard drive.


Insert the hard drive into an available drive bay and secure with screws.


Replace the computer cover.

Add Hard Drive to CMOS Setup

Step1: Start the computer.

Step2 : Enter the CMOS setup program (the system generally indicates

which key to press), immediately after memory check.

Step3 : Use arrow keys to select Autodetect option (or comparable option

for your computer) if it is available, and press Enter. If this option is

not available, see step 5 to manually enter the drive parameters.

Step4 : In the Autodetect screen, enter Y to select the default settings for

each drive that is installed and bypass settings for uninstalled

drives. The screen will return to the main setup screen. Continue to

step 8.

Step5 : To manually enter drive parameters, select the setup screen that

displays hard drive parameters (usually Standard or Main screen).

Step6 : Use the arrow keys to scroll through the list of drive parameters.

Step7 : Select the set of parameters that most closely represents your drive

and does not exceed the drive volume (such as 2 GB) and press


Step8 : Press Enter or OK (or Esc if the other keys are not available) to

accept the new setting.

Step9 : Use arrow keys to select Save and Exit setup and press Enter. The

computer restarts, indicating the presence of the second drive.

Your drive is ready.


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