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How To Install a Second Hard Drive

If you're quickly running out of room on your hard drive, this guide will show you how to get more storage space without purchasing a new system.


  • Step 1: Follow the directions for your new drive to set it up as a slave, or secondary, drive to your original, or master, hard drive.
  • Step 2: Close the housing and start the computer. Some computers will automatically configure the new drive, but check the manual for configuring instructions.
  • Step 3: Format the new drive for a PC by clicking on the Start button, selecting Computer, and then right-clicking on the new drive. Then select Format. Follow the system prompts to complete.
  • FACT: A Neodymium magnet, the strongest magnet in the world, can instantly erase hard drives and even crush fingers if two magnets slap together.
  • TIP: Refer to your computer manufacturer's website for help connecting the power and ribbon cables to the correct slots inside a tower.
  • Step 4: Remove the drive carrier if you are a Mac user. Piggyback the new hard drive to the old one and then reinsert both drives back into place.
  • Step 5: Turn off the computer and unplug everything, and then use a Phillips-head screwdriver to open up the housing.
  • TIP: Static buildup can destroy a new hard drive so be sure to ground yourself by touching something metal or wearing an anti-static wrist strap.
  • Step 6: Install the new hard drive using a micro screwdriver and mounting bracket, attaching the ribbon cable and Y splitter power cable if needed.
  • Step 7: Check for an open bay on your computer and then consult your owner's manual to see if you need a 3.5-inch drive or a 5 1/4-inch drive.

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