How to connect an additional hard drive

Some buy a dozen flash drives , others take a premium tariff on cloud storage. And the smartest keep precious gigabytes with them. They know how to install another hard drive to retain all the information they need without compromise. Let’s figure out the intricacies of this process!

Why connect another hard drive

Information accumulates – whether we want it or not. And if earlier, for example, the same family album could be recorded on a 700 MB disc, now that much space is taken up by a 2-minute 4K video. To keep what you need in the integrity and safety, it is easier to connect an additional hard drive, which will act as a file storage.

It can also be used as a “sandbox” for installing programs and games from obscure sources. Even if the application somehow affects the file system on a particular local disk, the rest of the system remains intact.

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How to add another hard drive

In most computers and in some laptops, the user can add a spare hard drive. If only a number of conditions are met.

  1. The connection type of the motherboard and the hard disk must match. There are 2 types of them in total: ancient IDE (found in computers over 15 years old, you can understand that this is it by a thick cable made of many cables) and modern SATA (connects through 2 thin wires).
  2. Availability of free connectors of the required type for connection on the motherboard .
  3. Availability of vacant ports in the power supply unit – if the power supply unit cannot power the disk, it will not start.

On laptop

Not every laptop can be connected to an additional hard drive, as this requires free space. It is quite easy to legitimize the hard drive where there is a disk drive. Here you will need to “sacrifice” the DVD drive – then there is a place for the HDD or SSD. This is done in this way:

  1. You should purchase an adapter for the hard drive to the drive.
  2. Carefully remove the drive by unscrewing the screw in the middle of the laptop’s bottom.
  3. Install the screw into the adapter.
  4. Insert the adapter into the place of the laptop drive.
  5. Format hard and get started.

Many manufacturers sell a laptop without a floppy drive , and some offer a hybrid approach with a primary SSD and HDD in a “vacancy”. Then the user can easily expand the memory of the laptop by replacing the complete hard drive with a third-party one.

If the manufacturer has not stored a “vacancy” in place of the drive, you will have to be content with external media. Specialists will not undertake such a risky business, because in order to add a hard drive, they will have to remove some of the parts.

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On the computer

The connection is simpler here, since there is more free space. This is done in six steps.

  1. Turn off the PC and remove both case covers .
  2. There will be several “pockets” in front where you can place hard drives, and on the left there will be access to the “motherboard”.
  3. Install hard into the compartment, fix it with bolts.
  4. Connect an additional hard drive to both the motherboard and the power supply unit .
  5. Turn on the computer and format the second media.
  6. Click on its icon with the right mouse button (RMB) and select “Create a new volume”.

The spare hard is ready to go. Now you can load any content there and install the necessary applications. The new media will be written to the system as “Local Disk”.

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Windows 7

Hard is only half the battle. It still needs to be configured. Below is the algorithm working in Windows 7.

Hard disk initialization

The first step is to initialize the media – then the OS will see it fully.

If the Start panel is sorted by category, to find the program you are looking for, follow this path: Start → Control Panel → System and Security → Administrative Tools → Computer Management.

If the panel is not sorted, the “System and Security” item will be missing. The rest of the way will remain the same.

Having entered the desired menu, you need to make a choice of markup. Thanks to this, the system will finally see the required disk. In addition, this way you can “split” 1 physical disk into several small local ones. Let’s say a huge 6 GB HDD can be virtually divided into 3 volumes: 2 pcs. 1 TB each and one 4 TB.

And if a software failure occurs in some part of the media that deleted files from there, this will not affect the rest of the local drives. There will be 2 types of markup to choose from: MBR and GPT. And depending on the specific situation, the choice will be as follows:

  • MBR – if the volume is less than 2 TB;
  • GPT – for local drives larger than 2 TB.

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Creating a new volume

After successful initialization, a disc appears in the menu. True, it cannot be used yet, since the system volume has not been created. It is configured in the following way:

  1. Click on “Disk Management” in the menu on the left.
  2. Find the added disk (marked “not allocated”) and right-click on it.
  3. Select “Create Simple Volume” from the drop-down menu.
  4. Next, the “Wizard” will open, where you need to select a letter for the drive and format the media in NTFS (then files larger than 4 GB will be placed on it).
  5. Select “Quick Format”.

After the system has done this, the disk is ready for use.

Windows 8/10

Preparing the media in these systems practically does not differ from the already familiar process with 7. The difference is in the little things. Let’s focus on them.

Hard disk initialization

You can enter the initialization menu in the following way.

  1. Right-click on the “Start” panel.
  2. Go to “Disk Management”.
  3. Click on the new disk, if necessary, divide it into several local ones.
  4. Choose a suitable disk layout.
  5. Repeat the same procedure as with Win7.

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Creating a new volume

The disk is formatted according to the same algorithm as in Windows 7:

  1. Go to “Disk Management”.
  2. Find a new disk (marked “not allocated”) and right-click on it.
  3. Select “Create Simple Volume” from the drop-down menu.
  4. Next, the “Wizard” will open, select a letter for the local drive and format it in NTFS.
  5. Tap “Quick Format”.


This choice is one of the most difficult when buying a new hard drive, since HDD and SSD differ in characteristics and price.

High data transfer rate Medium-high data transfer speed for devices with SATA III connection type, average for SATA II and low for SATA I.
Vibration and shock resistant With too much vibration or shock, it can be corny to crack
Limited rewriting capabilities – several hundred thousand times, which is enough for 3-5 years of active work Virtually unlimited rewriting possibilities – up to several million times. Therefore, in everyday life, they live up to 10 years.
Solid price – 3-4 times more than HDD of the same volume Budgetary cost – the price starts from 1200 UAH for a solid volume of 1 TB, like the  WD 1TB 7200rpm

If you do not rush and do everything according to the instructions, connecting another hard drive will pass without a hitch. You just need to correctly select the size and path of the carrier’s connection. Good luck!

by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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