Replacing a laptop hard drive

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Aug 31st 2012 - by Fix My PC FREE in: Blog Laptop Tweaks and Repairs | 0 Comment

Replacing a laptop hard drive

Many computer users have experienced the frustration of a broken hard drive at some point in their lives. Broken hard drives are devastating. You lose all your data, and recovering that information can be expensive. To make matters worse, you might have to spend hundreds of dollars on a new hard drive or thousands of dollars on a new computer.

Fortunately, replacing a laptop hard drive might not be as difficult – or expensive – as you think. In fact, by following an easy laptop hard drive replacement guide, you can save hundreds of dollars in repair costs and learn a lot about computers in the process.

Whether your laptop’s hard drive has failed or you just want more space on your computer, replacing your laptop’s hard drive has a number of advantages. Here’s what you need to do to get started:

Step 1) Read your laptop’s user manual

The first thing you should do is check your laptop’s user manual. Some laptop manufacturers make hard drive replacement as easy as possible. They might include a drive bay that easily slides out, for example. Other computer manufacturers, on the other hand, might place the hard drive in a hard-to-reach spot below the keyboard and track-pad.

Look at the table of contents in the user manual and find the hard drive replacement section. If there is a convenient sliding drive bay, then your repair job will be fairly straightforward. If there isn’t, then you might have to enlist the help of a professional PC repair shop or prepare to do everything on your own.

Step 2) Find the right tools

You’ll need a few tools to open your laptop and gain access to the hard drive. In general, you’ll need at least a few of the following tools:

-Philips screwdriver (preferably, one with a small head that can open up the little screws on your laptop)

-Hex-head Torx screwdriver

-Spudger (optional)

-Tweezers with angled tips

-Magnifying glass

-Overhead light that will illuminate the inside of your laptop while working

Step 3) Start taking apart your laptop

After consulting the user manual to discover how to access the hard drive and you’ve assembled your tools, you’re ready to begin. Now, since there are so many different types of laptops, we can’t give you specific instructions past these steps. However, if you Google “Hard drive replacement [your laptop model]” you should find more than enough information to get the job done.

Step 4) Go slow, be organized: Laptop hard drive replacement tips and tricks

If you need additional assistance, here are a few tips to ensure hard drive replacement proceeds as smoothly as possible.

Watch out for hidden fasteners: When you’re taking apart your laptop, some components might refuse to come apart. Instead of getting tough with the components and trying to pull them apart even harder, look for hidden fasteners. Laptop manufacturers often include little plastic clips along the insides of the case in order to secure everything together.

Go slow: Unless the data on your hard drive is extremely important, you probably don’t need to get the job done as fast as possible. Set aside two hours of your day to work on your laptop and don’t be afraid to go slow. Going slow might require you to take an extra 15 minutes of time today, but it will help you avoid causing permanent damage to your laptop.

Take notes or pictures: When you’re taking apart your laptop, you might think to yourself “I can remember how to put this all together.” But instead of depending solely on your memory, try taking notes or pictures as you move along. This will prevent you from misplacing a single cable or flipping a component around incorrectly. The more organized you are, the less likely you are to make a mistake and ruin your laptop.

For more information about taking apart a laptop and replacing the hard drive, read this fantastic article by PC World. That article also describes in detail how to remove a laptop’s keyboard in order to gain access to the hard drive beneath.

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