How to Add External Hard Drive to a PC

by Contributor

External drives are easy to add since they do not require opening the computer. These drives provide increased storage and portability since they work with multiple systems. You can use your external drive to back up files or transfer files from computer to computer. External hard drives connect to your computer via a USB, Firewire or eSATA cable. Firewire and eSATA provide increased speed and decreased compatibility across systems. USB 2.0 does not provide the same speed, but virtually all computers include one or more USB ports.


Check your computer to see which interfaces it supports. Most external keyboards, mice and cameras connect using USB ports so you can see what they look like. If you aren't sure which ports are available, check the computer manufacturer's manual or website.


Purchase an external drive according to your storage and portability needs. External hard drives provide more capacity and include their own power supply. Portable external hard drives include less capacity and draw power directly from the USB cord.


Plug in the external hard drive's power supply. Plug one end of the included USB, Fireware or eSATA cable into the hard drive and the other into the computer. Wait for Windows to display a message that the new drive has been found and is available for use.


Open the "Computer" shortcut in the "Start" menu to access the external drive and add files to it. Right-click the drive and click the "Eject" option before unplugging it from the computer.


  • check Did you know that you can attach an external hard drive to your gaming system?

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