Install A Second Sata Hard Drive

install a second SATA hard drive

Having enough storage capacity on your computer is critical, but because you have your computer‘s operating system on your primary hard drive, it isn’t always a simple matter to upgrade it. Adding a second hard drive can not only be an easy way to increase your storage, but if your computer uses SATA drives, then you will be able to access the information stored on the drive much faster than you would with an older IDE drive. It should take under 10 minutes to install a second SATA hard drive into your computer.

Instructions

1. Unplug your computer. Once it’s unplugged, press the power button as though you were trying to turn it on; this will discharge any residual power left in the power supply or other components.

2. Remove the screws or loosen the thumbscrews holding the side panel of the computer case in place, then slide the panel toward the back of the case to remove it. After setting it aside, lay the computer case on its side so that you will be able to get a better view of the interior, allowing light to enter the case without the need for a flashlight.

3. Locate the SATA ports on your motherboard. These are small square plastic ports with a plastic bar in the middle, most likely located near the front of your computer case on the bottom of the motherboard. The easiest way to locate them is to look at the red SATA cable that is attached to your primary SATA hard drive and follow it to where it connects to the SATA ports. Once you’ve located the ports, plug one end of the SATA cable that came with your new hard drive into one of the SATA ports.

4. Slide your new SATA drive into one of the mounting brackets near your primary hard drive; chances are the first available hard drive bracket will be located directly below your existing hard drive. Look for the small threaded holes in the side of the hard drive and line them up with the holes in the bracket; use the screws that came with your hard drive to secure the new SATA drive into its position.

5. Locate an unused SATA power cable in the wires coming from your power supply. The power cable will end in a small black plastic plug, with a tab sticking out from it that will plug into your hard drive. If you have an older power supply, it may not have any SATA power cables coming out from it; if this is the case, look for a standard hard drive power cable (it will end in a white rectangular block with four holes in the end) and attach the SATA power adapter that came with your hard drive. The adapter will simply slide onto the power cable.

6. Plug the SATA power cable (or adapter) and the red SATA data cable into the back of your SATA drive. Each will only fit into the drive in one direction, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally plugging them in wrong. Once the two cables have been plugged in, replace the side panel on your computer case and plug the computer back in.

7. Boot up your computer. When you log in to your operating system, it should recognize the new hardware and ask to install drivers for it. Use the driver CD that came with the SATA hard drive to install the drivers, then format the drive if prompted to do so. Once the SATA drive is installed and properly formatted, it will be ready to use.