DIY: Installing our new 2 TB Seagate internal hard drive

02 October 2016

A new, extra hard drive had been on my wish list for a long time.  It was only now that I was able to buy it.  I was originally intending to buy a 1 TB but Patrick convinced me to go for the 2 TB because there's only a small difference, so I did.  We went to our favorite computer store, Dynamic PC in Gilmore, and bought this 2TB Seagate Barracuda in addition to 4GB RAM to upgrade our PC.  So, let me tell you how installation of this Seagate hard drive went.

First of all, if you want a painless, easy installation of your hard drive into your PC, you might as well bring your whole CPU into your store and have them install it for you, even if there's an extra charge.  On hindsight, that's what I should have done, but I'm stubborn and a cheapskate so I thought I could do this on my own.  It was hard and there were frustrating moments, but I was able to make it work.  So you can too :)

Take note of the following though :

  • I checked my motherboard for compatibility with the hard drive that I bought before actually buying it.  You can easily Google your motherboard's compatibility with current hard drives and there are even websites like that can scan your PC and recommend compatible drives.
  • Check if your motherboard is capable of running a higher-capacity drive.  Older motherboards, like mine, can't handle anything over than 2 TB.  
  • Check your connectors (from hard drive to motherboard) if you have SATA or IDE.  SATA connectors are usually small while IDE are flat and long.  My hard drive requires a SATA connector so that's what I used.
  • If you're replacing an old hard drive, make sure to back up your files before you begin.  In my case, I was only adding a new drive so I didn't need to. 

These are the essentials, which I found necessary only during the process of installation:

First, you need a screwdriver to open up your CPU.  A magnetic screwdriver is best because it prevents the screws from falling all over the place.  Make sure that you remove all plugged cables on the CPU and clean it first before installing the hard drive.  When you open it up, you'll see where to put your hard drive (if this is the first time you're doing it).

Next, once the CPU is open, you may now prepare to put the hard drive in.  Handle the new hard drive with care.  There are two methods to secure the hard drive in your CPU.  First, you may use these "clips" to attach the hard drive to its drive bay or cage. These clips fit into slots on the hard drive and they make it easy to plug the drive into the cage/bay.  Second, you may use screws on the hard drive to secure them, depending on where you're installing them.    In my case, I used the clips and attached them to the sides of the hard drive.  I think these are spare ones from when I bought my old hard drive.  The other picture shows the clips attached to the hard drive.  The hard drive will simply slide into place and lock itself, you'll hear a click, and it's secure.  No need for screws.

Once it's in place, you need to attach the SATA connector from the hard drive to the motherboard. You need to use this SATA connector in the picture below.  When you buy your hard drive, make sure to ask if it comes with a SATA connector.  My hard drive didn't come with it and I only found out about it when I was getting everything ready for installation.  I had to go back to the store where I bought it and they kindly just gave me this connector for free. 

Plug your SATA connector in its proper slot in your hard drive.  You can't really make a mistake during this part because there is only one slot that your SATA connector can fit in.  The other slot (the one to the right of the SATA connector in the pic) is the slot for the power cable.

There's another cable that you may need to fully complete the installation.  This power cable adapter.  I found out belatedly that I didn't have an available power slot to accommodate my hard drive.  Or rather, I had an available power cable in the power supply but it wasn't compatible with the power slot of the hard drive.  I needed a flat power cable (the black part in the picture) and all I had were the rounded ones.  So, I bought this adapter too.

So, you just plug this bit in, or not, if you don't need it for your hard drive.  But you need to plug in the power cable of the hard drive to the power supply of your computer for it to work.  Once you've done that, then all you have to do is close up your computer, plug it in and see if your hard drive works.

SATA hard drives are usually plug and play and don't need to be configured prior to use, unlike IDE's so you shouldn't encounter any problems.

I did though but it wasn't the hard drive.  It was the battery! haha  It took longer to diagnose because I also installed additional memory so I wasn't sure which one was malfunctioning.  I had to do it one part at a time.  I installed the memory first and booted up. It didn't work.  I removed the memory and put in the hard drive and booted up.  It didn't work too.   And then I remembered that I was already experiencing problems with date and time on my computer so I finally figured that maybe my battery was going kaput and then I had to buy a new battery too.  When I finally plugged in the new battery with my original setup, everything was working so that meant it really was the battery that was the problem.  I just installed the memory and the hard drive one at a time, booting every time to make sure that everything was running smoothly.  And it did! :)

So, I hope you learn something from this :)  It was a learning process but it's something that will stay with you until your next upgrade :)

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