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How to Upgrade a PC Laptop 's Hard Drive

Need a bigger hard drive for your laptop? Follow these steps to install a new one.


  • Step 1: Clone your hard drive Place the new hard drive in the external hard drive enclosure; then connect the enclosure to your laptop with a USB cable. Open up your cloning program and follow the on-screen instructions to make a bootable copy of your computer's hard drive.
  • TIP: The cloning process can take several hours, but be patient: Altering files during cloning could result in lost data.
  • Step 2: Prepare to remove the hard drive Once the cloning is complete, unplug the hard drive enclosure from the laptop. Then, turn the laptop off, unplug it, remove the battery, and touch something metal to discharge any static electricity.
  • Step 3: Take the carriage out Check around the edge or on the bottom of the laptop for the access panel that covers the hard drive carriage. Remove the screw or screws that hold the panel in place and take the panel off. Then, gently pull the carriage out.
  • Step 4: Take the drive out Take any shock absorbers off the carriage, and remove the four screws fastening the carriage to the hard drive.
  • Step 5: Put the drive in the carriage Remove the new hard drive from the enclosure and place it in the carriage, checking that the connections line up correctly. Replace the screws that fasten the carriage to the drive and put the rubber shock absorbers back on if necessary.
  • Step 6: Replace the carriage Slide the carriage back into place in the laptop, and screw the access panel back on.
  • Step 7: Turn it on Put the battery back in, plug it in, and turn it on. Just like new, only better!
  • FACT: In 1956 it cost more than $30,000 a year to lease five megabytes of digital storage; in 2006 it cost less than 80 cents to buy a gigabyte of storage.

You Will Need

  • New hard drive
  • External hard drive enclosure
  • USB cable
  • Hard-drive cloning program
  • Small Phillips-head screwdriver

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