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How to Install a Hard Drive Into a Dell Computer

Updated February 21, 2017

Upgrading the amount of storage space in Dell desktop or laptop computer can be accomplished by installing a new hard drive. When a new hard drive is installed it will no longer have the operating system your personal files. Before installing a new hard drive, backup your files to an external memory device like a flash drive or external hard drive.

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  1. Shut down the operating system and power off the Dell desktop. Remove any peripheral connections, including the power cord, from the computer case.

  2. Lay the computer case on its right side. Unscrew the two screws with a screwdriver from the left-side panel and slide the panel back to remove it from the case.

  3. Locate the hard drive bay toward the front of the case. Remove the power and data cable from the hard drive.

  4. Push the two tabs on the left and right side of the hard drive bay toward the centre. Pull the tabs outward to remove the hard drive bay.

  5. Use the screwdriver to unscrew the four shoulder screws from the two plastic rails on each side of the old hard drive to remove it.

  6. Screw the plastic rails into the new hard drive with the four shoulder screws. Align the rails with the hard drive bay and slide it back until it snaps into place. Re-connect the data and power cables to the hard drive. Slide the left panel back on and connect all cables to the computer case. Power the computer back on.

  7. Shut down the operating system and power off the Dell laptop. Remove the power cable and any peripheral cables from the device.

  8. Turn the computer upside down and remove the two screws from the hard drive bay.

  9. Slide the hard drive out of the computer.

  10. Slide in the new hard drive and re-screw in the two screws to secure it in place.

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Things You'll Need

  • Mini Philips screwdriver (size 2)

About the Author

Si Kingston

Si Kingston has been an online content contributor since 2004, with work appearing on websites such as MadeMan. She is a professional screenwriter and young-adult novelist and was awarded the Marion-Hood Boesworth Award for Young Fiction in 2008. Kingston holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mills College.

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