How to Install a Second Internal Hard Drive

by Jean Brewer

Hard drives can be viewed as digital filing cabinets--they store all of the data and files that you and your computer need to operate. Like filing cabinets, a computer's hard drive can become filled up, affecting the performance of the machine.

If your hard drive is becoming overcrowded, you can install a second internal hard drive into desktop computer systems. After the installation, you can transfer some of your files to the new hard drive, freeing up space and restoring performance to the computer.

Turn off the computer and disconnect all cables and connections attached to it.

Move the computer to a flat, clean work surface.

Remove the screws holding the computer's service panel in place. There may be a thumbscrew instead of traditional screws in this area, depending upon the computer brand.

Place the new hard drive into an empty hard drive bay. Secure the hard drive with the screws that came packaged with it.

Attach the hard drive cable to an available SATA port on the computer's motherboard. Attach the other end of the cable to the connector on the back of the hard drive.

Attach an available SATA power connector to the power port on the back of the hard drive.

Replace the service panel on the computer case. Reattach the thumbscrews or regular screws to secure the panel.

Reattach the cables and connections that were attached to the computer.

Turn the computer on and allow to it boot completely.

Enter into your operating system's disk management utilities to configure the hard drive for use. If the hard drive is already formatted you may be able to skip this step.


  • check This tutorial is for modern computers containing a SATA drive interface. If your computer is an older one with PATA connections, you will have to use a PATA ribbon cable as opposed to a SATA cable, a peripheral power connector instead of a SATA power connector and set your jumpers accordingly.


  • close Static discharge can damage your computer, creating numerous mysterious errors if not killing it entirely. Protect your computer from static discharge by wearing an anti-static wrist strap, standing on an anti-static floor mat or occasionally touching a piece of unpainted metal to discharge the static that has built up in your body.

Items you will need


About the Author

Jean Brewer is a self-starting computer professional who has been writing since 2008. Her work can be found on various websites and she is the author of "How to Write and Sell an Ebook," "Where to Work Online" and "Professional Help: How to Prevent and Fix Malware, Viruses, Spyware and Other Baddies." She is a computer repair graduate of Harcourt Education Direct.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera bare oem hard drive image by davidcrehner from