How to Replace a Hard Drive in A Dell Computer Tower

by Carl Pruit

The hard drive on your Dell computer tower is designed to store programs like the computer operating system, programs and personal settings. The hard drive on your Dell computer is attached by a bracket located on the front of the tower right behind the cover plate. It is held on to the bracket by screws, and is about 2 inches high and about 4 by 6 inches in size. You can replace the hard drive of your Dell computer tower yourself in under an hour.

How to Replace a Hard Drive in A Dell Computer Tower

Step 1

Download any programs or files that you want to keep onto another storage device like a CD or external hard drive. Remember to delete any personal information or private files before removing the old hard drive.

Step 2

Turn off the power button of your Dell computer tower and let the CPU shut down. Disconnect the power cord from your electrical outlet, and then detach the cord from the back of the CPU.

Step 3

Unfasten the screws on the back of the tower with a screwdriver, so that the case can be opened. Swing the cover of the CPU case open to reveal the inside of the case.

Step 4

Locate the silver colored, 2-by-4-by-6 inch metal hard drive in the frame bracket at the top of the case near the front of the CPU, and find the white plastic electrical IDE connectors that are plugged into the back of the hard drive. Unplug all the electrical connectors from the back of the hard drive by pulling them straight out.

Step 5

Disconnect the hard drive from the bracket by removing the screws in the hard drive with a screwdriver. Remove the hard drive from the CPU and place the new hard drive in the bracket, securing it with screws.

Step 6

Plug the IDE electrical connectors into the back of your new hard drive. Close the computer tower case and secure it with screws.

Plug the power cord back into the power supply of your computer, and then plug it into the electrical outlet. Turn your computer back on and reload your files.


  • To get rid of static electricity, always ground any tools that will be used on the computer by touching the tool to a piece of metal before using it on the computer parts.

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About the Author

Carl Pruit has been a freelance writer since 2005, specializing in service journalism and travel. His work has appeared on various websites. Born and raised in California, Pruit attended Contra Costa Community College in San Pablo, Calif. and received an associate degree in the administration of justice.

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