The Critical Guide

A simple Guide to everyday life

How to change a laptop hard drive

Posted by misssara101 on January 15, 2015

Guillaume Paumier (Flickr)

When it comes to a laptop, a hard/solid-state drive is the one that store data for the device to run. It’s different from RAM, which handle processing work to retrieve the storage. However, it doesn’t last forever, and it would most likely would have to be replaced. Here’s how it can be done with minimum skills for this minor job.


You’ll need
An internal laptop hard or solid-state drive
An external hard drive
Internet Access
Operating System ISO
USB Drive of 2GB or more
USB Booting Software
Back-Up Computer

CD/DVD Drive
External Keyboard or Mouse
IT Specialist

WARNING: Be sure power is disconnect during the process.

Step 1

Check out for some port you can use. Many new laptops would often have a port for Universal Serial Bus drive, though a CD/DVD-rom drive would also work. However, USB flash drive tend to be one of the fastest and is less prone to damages. Check to see if the drive works.

TIP: Opt for a drive that has at least 2GB storage or more, demanding on what Operating System ISO that is being considered.

Step 2

If you have important files on your old drive, back them with either CD/DVDs or an external hard or solid-state drive. Solid-state drives are less prone to shock because they don’t contain the spinning disks that traditional hard drive uses to store data, sometimes an entire Operating System.

TIP: Keep in mind of the cost when it comes to drives. It mostly depends on what kind and amount of storage.

Step 3

Know what kind of hard/solid-state drive your laptop has. You’ll need to remove the remove the power, including the battery, to prevent shock. There are special screw-kits you can obtain at hardware stores, electronic stores, or online in order to access the storage. You can also lookup on the laptop’s manufacturer’s website on what storage they use. Some can use either an internal laptop hard or solid-state drive, while other models require only the latter such as many ultra-thin ones. There are two different type of solid-state drives, depending on the size that is required. If you’re still confuse, consider meeting with an IT specialist.

Step 4

In order to boot from a USB drive, it’s need to be bootable with the new OS system you have an option to choose. You’ll be a back-up computer for this. UNetbootin is one of the most popular software to make a USB Drive bootable and available for Windows, Linux, and Mac. In UNetbootin, you’ll need to know where the USB Drive is located, since each computer has a different location.

Step 5

Check what key access the boot menu. It’s different depending on your laptop, you can use an external keyboard if needed. Check with IT or manufacturer’s website to find out what is the boot key and when to access it.

Step 6

Shut down your laptop and remove the power source. Open the casing with the screw-kit and remove the old drive. Place the drive, close it up, and power-up.

TIP: Consider getting replacing the RAM drive with a higher amount to improve the processing for your new OS system.

Step 7

If done right, you’ll be prompt to access your USB drive. You can install the new OS system. Follow the directions given to you.

TIP: You can either use a USB mouse on the mouse pad on the laptop, whenever is easier.

Step 8

Make sure codes are installed to allow many of the most common web services or programs. Macs and Windows often would have had automatically install, but Linux often require such installation. While some apt for a program known as the “terminal”, but a software center also provide such help. Keep in mind, you’ll need a password to install them. You should consider programs like “PlayOnLinux” or “Wine”, which allows most popular WIndows programs, like Microsoft Office, to be install in Linux.

Step 9

Check the drivers to see what would be some help. In most cases, it would work just fine while others require some help. Follow the directions or speak with an IT specialist Now, your laptop will be good as the day you bought it.

Did you know? The concept of a “computer bug” was coined in 1947 when a dead moth was found in Harvard Mark II computer during a maintenance repair.


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