How to Install a Second SATA 2 Hard Drive as a Slave

Written by mahmood shaikh
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How to Install a Second SATA 2 Hard Drive as a Slave
(hard drive interior image by Curtis Sorrentino from

Installing a second hard drive in your desktop PC or notebook is an option used to increase hard disk space without losing or transferring the data from your original hard drive. Using this method not only increases hard disk space, it also increases the virtual memory space for the Windows operating system, increasing operational efficiency. One of the ways in which a BIOS can recognise the second hard drive is to boot it as a slave drive, with the primary hard drive booted as a master drive.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • SATA or IDE cable
  • Power cable

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  1. 1

    Turn the PC off and remove the desktop chassis. Refer to the pin connector diagram. This is displayed on the sticker, on top of the hard drive, for the position of the slave pin. Place the plastic connector on the slave pin as detailed on the diagram.

  2. 2

    Connect the hard drive to the power and IDE/SATA cable. Ensure the other ends are connected to the motherboard. Use the screws to mount the drive. Replace the desktop chassis.

  3. 3

    Turn on the PC. Enter the BIOS, by default this can be done by pressing F2. If this does not work consult your motherboard manual.

  4. 4

    In the BIOS, press right until the boot device tab is highlighted. Set the slave drive to boot following the primary drive.

  5. 5

    Read the bottom line and use the relevant key to save the settings. Restart the PC.

Tips and warnings

  • If the drive does not appear, use "Partition Magic 8.0" to diagnose any problems and to format the drive in different file formats. Another option is to use the "Disk management" option in Microsoft Windows.

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