Installing A Second Hard Drive On A Computer

The time has come when one hard drive in the computer is no longer enough. and more users decide to connect the second HDD to their PC, but not everyone knows how to do it correctly themselves, in order to prevent mistakes. In fact, the procedure for adding a second disk is simple and does not require special skills. It is not even necessary to mount the hard drive. it can be connected as an external device, if there is a free USB port.

Connecting a second HDD to a PC or laptop

The options for connecting a second hard drive are as simple as possible:

  • Connecting the HDD to the system unit of the computer.
    Suitable for owners of ordinary desktop PCs who do not want to have external connected devices.
  • Connecting a hard drive as an external drive.
    The easiest way to connect the HDD, and the only one possible for the owner of the laptop.

Option 1. Installation in the system unit

HDD type detection

Before connecting, you need to determine the type of interface with which the hard drive works. SATA or IDE. Almost all modern computers are equipped with a SATA interface, respectively, it is best if the hard drive is of the same type. The IDE bus is considered obsolete, and may simply not be on the motherboard. Therefore, there may be some difficulties with connecting such a drive.

The easiest way to recognize the standard is by contacts. This is how they look on SATA drives:

And so the IDE has:

Connecting a second SATA drive in the system unit

The process of connecting a disk is very easy and takes place in several stages:

  1. Turn off and disconnect the system unit.
  2. Remove the unit cover.
  3. Find the compartment where the optional hard drive is installed. Depending on how the compartment is located inside your system unit, the hard drive itself will be located. If possible, do not install the second hard drive right next to the first. this will allow each of the HDDs to cool better.
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The second cable also needs to be connected. Connect one side to the hard drive and the other to the power supply. The photo below shows how a group of wires of different colors goes to the power supply.

If the power supply has only one plug, then you will need a splitter.

If the port in the power supply does not match with your drive, you will need a power adapter cable.

  • Close the system unit cover and fix it with screws.
  • Priority boot SATA-drives

    The motherboard usually has 4 connectors for connecting SATA disks. They are designated as SATA0. first, SATA1. second, etc. The priority of the hard drive is directly related to the numbering of the connector. If you need to manually set the priority, you will need to go into the BIOS. Depending on the type of BIOS, the interface and management will be different.

    In older versions, go to the section Advanced BIOS Features and work with parameters First boot device and Second boot device. In newer BIOS versions, look for the section Boot or Boot sequence and parameter 1st / 2nd Boot Priority.

    Mount a second IDE drive

    In rare cases, there is a need to install a disk with an outdated IDE interface. In this case, the connection process will be slightly different.

    1. Follow steps 1-3 from the instructions above.
    2. On the contacts of the HDD itself, set the jumper to the desired position. IDE disks have two modes: Master and Slave. As a rule, in Master mode, the main hard drive works, which is already installed on the PC, and from which the OS is loading. Therefore, for the second disk, you must set the Slave mode using the jumper.
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    Look for instructions on setting up the jumper (jumper) on the sticker of your hard drive. In the photo. an example of instructions for switching jumpers.

  • Insert the disc into the free bay and secure it with screws if you plan to use it for a long time.
  • The IDE cable has 3 plugs. The first blue plug is connected to the motherboard. The second white plug (in the middle of the cable) is connected to the Slave disk. The third black plug is connected to the master drive. Slave is the slave (dependent) disk, and Master is the master (the main disk with the operating system installed on it). Thus, only a white cable needs to be connected to the second IDE hard drive, since the other two are already in the motherboard and the master drive.
  • If the cable has plugs of other colors, then focus on the length of the tape between them. The plugs that are closer to each other are for drive modes. The plug that is in the middle of the tape is always Slave, the closest extreme plug is Master. The second extreme plug, which is further from the middle, is connected to the motherboard.

  • Connect the drive to the power supply using the appropriate wire.
  • It remains to close the case of the system unit.
  • Connecting the second IDE drive to the first SATA drive

    When you need to connect an IDE disk to an already working SATA HDD, use the special IDE-SATA adapter.

    The connection diagram is as follows:

    1. The jumper on the adapter is set to Master mode.
    2. The IDE plug is connected to the hard drive itself.
    3. The red SATA cable is connected on one side to the adapter, the other on the motherboard.
    4. The power cable is connected on one side to the adapter, and the other to the power supply.

    You may need to purchase an adapter with a 4-pin (4 pin) SATA power connector.

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    OS initialization

    In both cases, after connecting the system may not see the connected drive. This does not mean that you did something wrong, on the contrary, it is normal when the new HDD is not visible in the system. To use it, initialization of the hard disk is required. Read about how to do this in our other article.

    Option 2. Connecting an external hard drive

    Often, users choose to connect an external HDD. It is much simpler and more convenient if some files stored on the disk are sometimes needed outside the home. And in the situation with laptops, this method will be especially relevant, since a separate slot for the second HDD is not provided there.

    Installing a Second Hard Drive on a Computer

    An external hard drive is connected via USB in exactly the same way as another device with the same interface (flash drive, mouse, keyboard).

    A hard drive designed for installation in the system unit can also be connected via USB. For this you need to use either an adapter / adapter, or a special external case for the hard drive. The essence of the operation of such devices is similar. the required voltage is supplied to the HDD through the adapter, and the connection to the PC is via USB. For hard drives of different form factors, there are cables, so when buying, you should always pay attention to the standard that sets the overall dimensions of your HDD.

    If you decide to connect the drive by the second method, then follow literally 2 rules: do not neglect the safe removal of the device and do not disconnect the drive while working with the PC to avoid errors.

    We talked about how to connect a second hard drive to a computer or laptop. As you can see, there is nothing complicated in this procedure and it is completely optional to use the services of computer masters.

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