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Lesson 5: Hard drive installation - Steps to replace a hard drive

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Overview

In lesson 5 we'll configure and install the hard drives into the case. Pay attention to the direction of the data and power connections, being sure they are facing the back of the case.  The steps to replace a hard drive are the same.  Just reverse the order to remove an existing hard drive.

If your motherboard has an IDE controller and you want to install an old style IDE hard drive, please go to www.homepcbuilder.com/ide for instructions on configuring the jumpers the IDE drive.

If you have a SATA hard drive, you don't need to configure any jumpers.


Installing the Hard drives

We’re installing a 2.5” SSD and a 3.5” HDD.

We’ll remove two 3.5” caddies. While the SSD doesn’t not produce much heat the HDD does and needs to have air flowing over it. It is important to install a hard drive just behind a cooling fan. The hard drive is a 3.5” drive and on this case is installed with no screws. Instead it has 4 pins that go into the screw holes on the hard drive. I’ll get one side in and then bend the caddy slightly to allow the other two pins around the side of the drive and into the holes. I’m installing the drive with the data and power connections towards the other side of the case. We’ll route the cables there to keep the inside of the case open and improve airflow.

The SSD is a 2.5” drive. The drive caddy has holes on the bottom to mount the drive with screws. I’ll again point the data and power connections to the other side of the case and secure the drive with 4 screws. Leaving them a little loose until they are all in and then tighten them down.

Some 3.5” bays are fixed in the case. You slide the hard drive in, from the back of the case.

Making sure the cable connections are facing the motherboard and secure the drives with 2 screws on each side.

It’s important to use all 4 screws. If the drive isn’t secure, it will vibrate, which will increase the chance of failure and increase the noise the drive makes.

Some hard drive cages require special screws that you attach to each side of the drive and slide the hard drive into the bay. Other cases have sliders than put tension on each side of the hard drive and secure it into the bay.

We’ll connect the power and data cables later.

In the next lesson we’ll install the DVD drive into the 5.25 inch bays.


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