How to upgrade a hard drive or SSD

Updated: 06/30/2020 by Computer Hope
Upgrade hard drive, SSD

A hard drive or SSD (solid-state drive) is the primary storage device of your computer. If a computer is low on storage space and you want to increase the size of the hard disk drive or SSD, there are options available.

Follow these steps to upgrade a hard drive or SSD in your computer.

Upgrade an existing drive

It may seem the best option is to upgrade the existing drive in the computer. Unfortunately, upgrading a drive is not possible without also purchasing a drive duplicator.

A drive cannot have additional space added to it, making it impossible to upgrade an existing drive. Replacing an existing drive or installing an additional drive are the only options for adding more storage space in a computer.

Replace an existing drive

To add more storage space, you can choose to replace the existing hard drive in the computer. Replacing the drive requires you to do the following.

  1. Purchase a new drive with more storage space than the existing one. We recommend checking the total storage space of the existing hard disk first before purchasing a new drive. Also, check if the existing drive uses IDE or SATA to determine the type of drive needed.
  1. Back up the files on your computer, so you can copy them to the new drive.
  1. Remove the existing drive by taking out the screws and disconnecting the cable.
  2. Install the new drive.
  1. Using the computer restore discs, reinstall the operating system and original software that came with the computer. (If you do not have a set of restore discs, you need to contact the computer manufacturer.)
  1. Copy the personal files you backed up in step 2 above onto the new drive.

Install an additional drive

The most common option chosen by computer users to add more storage space is to install an additional drive. Doing so does not require the existing drive to be removed, which saves you time. To install an additional drive, do the following.

  1. Determine if the existing drive uses IDE or SATA connections. Your computer must support the type of drive you want to install. Most computers built since 2012 support SATA. Computers older than 2012 may only support IDE.
  2. Purchase the new drive.
  3. Install the new drive.
  1. After the new drive has been installed, enter My Computer or File Explorer, to ensure it is being read properly. In this case, it's the Extra Space (F:) drive.

Drive space in Windows 10