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How to Remove a Hard Drive from a Computer

How to Remove a Hard Drive from a Computer

If your hard drive has failed or if you want to replace the hard drive in your computer with a new one, you can remove it using the following steps. The good news is that how to remove a hard drive from a computer is straightforward, but there are always exceptions. It pays to start by examining the information on how to remove a hard drive from the brand or manufacturer first, but they mostly follow the same pattern.
Preparation
First, if your hard drive is still working, you will want to back up the information on it before removal. This way, if anything goes wrong during the removal process, you will at least have the information stored securely somewhere else.
If your goal is to replace your hard drive with another, be sure that the one you get is made for your computer. The key is to ensure that the replacement hard drive uses the same form factor and data or power connections as the original. That way, replacement is easy, and you do not have to add any new connectors or other equipment. You will want to check first before purchasing a new hard drive that it will fit your computer.
Another factor is whether the motherboard will support the new hard drive, so you will need to see if the IDE or SATA connections are the same. Plus, hard drives come in different sizes, so you will need to make sure that the new one will fit properly. The new 2.5” SSDs are highly popular, so check to see if they will fit into your computer which used the standard disc hard drive.
Starting the Removal Process
Once you are ready, the first step is to unplug the computer so there no electrical current. However, there is always the chance that static electricity may damage the parts, so take extra care with electronic components. This means that you need to be grounded when touching the computer, so wearing an anti-static strap is important. If you do not have a strap, you can hold on to the back of the computer case which will also ground you. This way, any static electricity will discharge into the computer case and not damage any components.
Now you are ready to open the computer case, so remove the screws located on the back of the tower and take off the panels. Some tower cases do not use screws, so you will need to find the button or latch that releases the panels.
Locate and Free Hard Drive
You should see the hard drive inside a cage, so the first step is to identify and disconnect the power and data connections. Once removed, you can start on the drive itself by removing the screws that’s holding it inside the case. There are usually screws on both sides, so be sure to keep the removed screws in one place so you can easily find them. Once the screws are removed, you can pull the hard drive from the cage.
If you have an IDE hard drive, then you will want to match the settings on the jumper for your replacement hard drive. SATA drives do not need to do this, but IDE hard drives will have one of three settings;
Master
Slave
Cable
Simply look at the IDE hard drive you removed and make sure the replacement drive is set the same way. You may have to look at the diagram if you cannot see the jumper positions on the IDE drive. Once you match the settings, you are ready to put in the new drive.
Keep in mind that if the disk of the hard drive is damaged, repair is usually not possible or practical. However, it may be possible to recover some, if not all the old data that was stored. Again, you’ll want to try to recover the data before removing the drive.
Replacing the Drive
All you need to do is reverse the process of taking out the drive. Start by putting the new drive into the cage, putting back the screws so it is secure, and then attaching the power and data cables. Once in place, you will need to reinstall your software or use recovery disks if you want the data from your old drive to be put onto the new one. Be sure that the new hard drive is compatible so that it works for your computer.
If you are not interested in reloading the old drive’s information, then simply installing an operating system will provide you with a working computer drive. Now you have completed the process of removing your old drive and installing a new one. The old hard drive of your computer can be used externally, but the desktop will no longer work. The old hard drive will operate like an external storage device.
There may be some small differences between different computer manufacturers, but for the most part the towers and drives are made to work together. This means that you should be able to find what you need and learn if it is compatible with your current computer and whether it will fit into the cage that held the old hard drive.
Recovering the Data
If you are interested in recovering the data from your old hard drive, then you should seek out professional help if there has been any damage. Undamaged hard drives that are still working can be backed up easily by using an external storage system whether it is another drive or on the cloud. However, if the hard drive you are removing has been damaged or you cannot access the information, then you should take it to a professional data recovery company.
While some consumer data recovery software is good, there is no guarantee that the information will be recovered properly. So, if the information that is trapped on the damaged hard drive represents real value to you, then taking it to a professional data recovery company is the answer.

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