Learning Resources

Install Hard Disk

Internal hard disks connect to your computer's motherboard using an IDE interface or SATA interface. Most new hard drives come with either an IDE or SATA connection cable, depending on the type of drive.

Installing an internal hard disk takes a bit more work, especially if you plan to make the new disk your primary hard disk where you install Windows. To install an internal hard disk, you should be comfortable opening your computer case and connecting cables.

Most desktop computers have room for at least two internal hard disks. Laptops have room for only one hard disk. If you are replacing the primary hard disk rather than adding a secondary disk, you'll have to install Windows after you connect the disk.

Steps to install are -

  • The IDE/ATA connector is on the left hand side which consists of many pins. Next to the IDE connector is the jumper setting for the drive. The jumper should be set to Master, which is the default setting for a new HDD. Any other device sharing the same IDE cable should be set to Slave. Different HDD has different jumper settings, please refer to your HDD manual for more information. On the right hand side, next to the jumpers is the power connector. Every device except FDD uses this type of power connector. The ATA 66 cable which is also known as UDMA 66 cable is an advance IDE cable, which offers higher performance and data integrity than the standard IDE cable. ATA 66 cable consists of 80 conductor cable where as the standard IDE cable consists of 40 conductor cable.
  • Place your hard drive into the HDD mounting slot of your case, make sure the IDE/ATA connector is facing outwards. Screw the HDD to the case using screws provided with the HDD or the ATX case.
  • Insert the ATA 66 cable into the ATA connector of the HDD. Make sure the pin 1 on the cable is connected to pin 1 on the HDD connector. Pin 1 is the red or pink strip on the edge of an ATA cable. Most new IDE/ATA cables are designed so that it will only go in one way which will correspond to pin 1.
  • Push the power cable into the power connector as shown. The power cable is designed to go in one way, so you shouldn't have any problems.
  • Connect the other end of the ATA 66 cable to the primary ATA socket of your motherboard as shown. Make sure the pin 1 on the cable connects to the pin 1 on the ATA socket.
  • That's it you have successfully installed a HDD.