How to upgrade the hard drive on a Dell OptiPlex GX260

Written by robert sloan
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How to upgrade the hard drive on a Dell OptiPlex GX260
Replacing the hard drive on a Dell GX260 is a simple process. (hard drive interior image by Curtis Sorrentino from

During the life of your Dell GX260 computer, it may become necessary to replace or upgrade the hard drive. You may need more space or the existing drive may go bad. The process of upgrading the hard drive on a Dell GX260 can be accomplished by most people with limited computer hardware knowledge. The process will take about 15 minutes depending on your comfort level dealing with computer hardware and peripherals.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Screwdriver
  • Grounding strap

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  1. 1

    Remove the power cord from the back of the computer. This is the black, thick cable that runs from your power source to the computer's power supply.

  2. 2

    Ground yourself by touching something metal. You can also ground yourself by wearing a grounding strap that goes around your wrist with a cord attaching to something metal. This will keep you grounded during the entire process. Grounding prevents static discharge, which can damage sensitive computer components.

  3. 3

    Open the case. This case will have a quick-release latch that does not require tools. Simply slide the latch in the back to open a side panel to expose the inside of the computer.

  4. 4

    Disconnect the power from the hard drive. On the back of the hard drive, you will see a multicoloured cable with a white connector plugged into the drive. Remove the connector by grabbing both sides of the white connector and wiggling it free.

  5. 5

    Disconnect the data cable from the hard drive. Next to the power cable you removed, you will see a grey ribbon cable with a black, plastic connector. Remove this cable from the back of the drive by pulling from the plastic connector.

  6. 6

    Remove the drive from the chassis. The hard drive will be mounted inside its cage with two green levers. Squeeze those two levers together and slide the drive from the cage.

  7. 7

    Remove the mounting bracket from the existing drive and attach to the new drive. This bracket is attached to the drive by small machine screws. The same screws can be reused to attach it to the new drive.

  8. 8

    Install the new drive into the drive cage. Slide the new drive into the same slot the old drive was removed from. The green tabs will lock into place and secure the drive.

  9. 9

    Connect the data cable to the new drive. The ribbon cable that was removed earlier will be connected to the new drive. The drive has a slot in one side of the connection area, and the ribbon cable has a notch on its plastic connector. The notch on the ribbon cable will line up with the slot on the hard drives connector. This will help ensure you have the cable oriented correctly before you attempt to force the connection of the ribbon cable to the hard drive.

  10. 10

    Connect the power cable to the drive. The power receptacle on the drive is shaped in a way where the power connector can only be plugged into it in one direction.

  11. 11

    Close the case back by replacing the panel removed earlier. The panel will snap into place using the quick-release latch.

  12. 12

    Reconnect the power cord removed previously. This, again, is plugged into the power supply on the back of the computer.

Tips and warnings

  • Any information you had on the old drive is no longer accessible. It is a good idea to backup anything you want to use on the new drive. You can save it to CD-ROM, USB flash drive or other storage media to copy to the new drive at a later time.

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