In the age of cloud storage, it’s easy to forget that laptops once relied on mechanical hard drives for local data storage. But those spinning drives are still a major component of today’s portable computing solutions. Fortunately, the ease with which we can upgrade laptop components has come a long way from the days of replacing desktop RAM or DVD drives. Today, you can easily swap a laptop drive without having to crack open your device or void its warranty though you should always perform proper research and measure the risks before you begin any upgrade project. Whatever kind of computer you have, upgrading your laptop drive is a fairly straightforward process with only a few potential pitfalls. Let’s take a look at what you need to know about upgrading your laptop hard drive.
How To Upgrade Your Laptop Hard Drive?
Check your hardware
Before you begin any hardware upgrade, it’s important to check your existing hardware. If you want to replace your laptop drive with an SSD, for example, you’ll need a SATA-compatible hard drive. If you have an older laptop without a SATA connection, upgrading to an SSD is going to be more difficult. You can find out what kind of hard drive connection your computer has by checking the device specifications. You can also search online for the model number of your computer and “hard drive compatibility” or similar phrases. This will provide more information about what kind of drives are compatible with your laptop and if there are any potential issues with installing a new one.
Back up all data on your drive
Since this is a major hardware upgrade, it’s important to back up all data that you want to keep before beginning the installation process. This way, if something goes wrong or if there is some other problem with the installation process (like incompatible drivers), you won’t lose any data that can’t be replaced easily or at all. One way of backing up data is by using cloud storage like Google Drive; another option is using an external memory device that plugs into your computer like a USB stick or external hard drive. Be sure that whatever backup method you use allows for multiple versions of files so that if something goes wrong during the installation process, you have access to previous versions of files.
Check your laptop model
Before you purchase a new laptop drive, it’s important to check your device model. If you have an older computer, it might not be compatible with newer drives, even if they are of the same capacity and type. For example, if you have a five-year-old laptop that was manufactured with a 500GB hard drive, and you want to upgrade to a 1TB hard drive, that is not going to work because the computer might not be compatible with the newer hard drive. You can find out what kinds of drives work on your laptop by checking your device specifications or by doing a quick internet search for your device model numbers plus “compatible hard drives” or similar phrases. This will give you information on what kinds of drives are compatible with your computer and which ones aren’t.
Get installation media for the new drive
It’s important to have the proper installation media for your new hard drive. If you are buying a new hard drive from a manufacturer, it might be shipped with installation media. If not, you can download the installation software from the manufacturer’s website. Once you have the installation software, make sure that it is compatible with your computer and operating system. This information will be included in the documentation that comes with the hard drive or on its manufacturer’s website; otherwise, you can use Google to search for “compatible hard drives” plus your operating system and model number.
Boot up your computer
With all of the previous steps completed, it’s time to install your new hard drive! Unplug any external devices like USB sticks or external memory devices (except for any cloud storage), and shut down your computer. When turning off your computer, hold down Alt + F4 instead of just clicking Shut Down on Windows 10 computers. This will give you a few more options than just shutting down right away. Select Restart as if you were shutting down normally; when prompted by a blue screen after restarting, select Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Command Prompt. You should see an empty command prompt window appear on the screen; this is where we will begin our work!
Why Upgrade Your Laptop Hard Drive?
To increase storage space
The hard drive is your laptop’s long-term memory. It stores all of your files, documents, pictures, videos, and more. A standard laptop hard drive can only hold a limited amount of data; after that limit is reached, you need to clear out some of your files in order to make room for new ones. Upgrading the hard drive on your computer can give you an extra terabyte or more of storage space, which will allow you to keep all of your files and have plenty of room for more.
To improve performance (speed)
Hard drives are one of the slowest components in a computer – they are mechanical devices and they do take time to read and write data to them. If you are having trouble with performance on your computer, then upgrading the hard drive could be an easy solution; it’s one of the least expensive ways to upgrade a computer and it works well for most people. Upgrading the hard drive will make programs load faster (especially big programs like Microsoft Office or Photoshop) and boot up Windows 10 computers even faster than before!
To replace a broken or damaged hard drive
If you accidentally dropped your laptop or got it wet (or worse), then the internal components could have been damaged as well including the hard drive itself! If this happens then replacing the internal hard drive with a brand new one is probably going to be cheaper than paying someone else to fix it – plus if you do it yourself then you’ll know that it was done correctly and you won’t have to worry about your computer breaking again in the future.
To increase the storage space on a new laptop
If you have a new laptop, then chances are that the hard drive is not very big. Many manufacturers are starting to include smaller and smaller hard drives in their laptops to keep costs down, but this means that there is less space for storing your files and installing programs. If you need more storage space on your computer, then upgrading the internal hard drive is an easy way to do this – plus it can be done without losing any of your data!
For better reliability
The hard drive is one of the most likely components to fail on a computer, and when it does fail it can cause major problems with your entire system. Hard drives are mechanical devices and they can get damaged or corrupted by things like dropping the laptop or spilling something on it. Upgrading the hard drive on your computer will give you a newer, faster, and more reliable drive that will hopefully last longer than the original one.
How To Identify Your Current Laptop Drive Type
- Turn on your laptop and look at the front of it.
- Locate the hard drive icon in your system tray and right-click on it.
- Choose “properties” from the menu that pops up.
- A new window should pop up with information about your hard drive (you can also get to this window by going to Control Panel -> System and Security -> System). The model number of your hard drive should be listed right under “Model”.
- Compare this model number with the list below to determine if you have an IDE or SATA hard drive.
Swapping out your laptop hard drive is a straightforward process that can yield a number of benefits. It’s also a relatively safe-upgrade, provided you observe a few simple precautions. First, make sure that you’re replacing your old drive with another 2.5” drive, as most laptops use this standard type. Next, make sure that you’re installing your new drive in the correct slot. Finally, be careful not to damage your circuit board or other components while you’re replacing your drive.