Beginner's Guide - Install A New Hard Drive/SSD in Windows 10/8/7

In the following, you'll learn a complete guide on how to install and set up a new hard drive or SSD on Windows 10/8/7 computer. If you are looking for a detailed tutorial, follow through this page to make the new drive work on your PC or laptop now.


Part 1. Install New Drive to PC or Laptop

After getting the new hard drive or new SSD home, you need to install it to your PC or laptop. You can follow through with this part to install the new drive. Here we will tell you the tools you need and all the detailed steps.

Tools You Need

Here is a preparation list of tools that you will need for installing the new disk on your PC or laptop:

Steps to Install The New Drive

As you know that due to the different designs of desktop and laptop, the ways to install a new hard drive are also dissimilar to some extent. Follow through the detailed steps and install the new disk on your computer now.

For PC:

Here, we will take a 2TB hard drive as an example to show you the full process of installing it into a desktop computer.

Step 1. Shut down your computer and take the new drive out of the drive case or box.

Step 2. Prepare the new drive.

If it's a new hard drive, remove the screws on both sides of this disk.

And slide the drive bays into the screw holes on both sides of the new drive.

If it's an SSD, you will need to add a special mounting slot or a drive adapter to fit in 3.5 slots with screws like this:

Step 3. Remove the desktop computer case.

If it's locked by screws, remove them with your screwdriver.

Step 4. Slide your new drive into the computer case next to your old drive.

Step 5. Connect the new drive to your computer motherboard with the SATA cable and plug in a power cable to power on the drive.

Step 6. Close up your computer case and reboot it.

For Laptop:

Nowadays some new laptops support adding two or more hard drives. While most old laptops or some slim new laptops have only one hard drive bay.

If your laptop has another hard drive bay, you may easily insert the new drive in and make it work for you.

If your laptop has only one hard drive bay, you may have two options to install the new hard drive or SSD drive.

Add 2nd HDD/SSD to Laptop By Replacing DVD or Blu-ray Drive

Here, we found a detailed and useful video tutorial that can help you add the second hard drive or SSD to the laptop by replacing DVD or Blu-ray drive.

Follow the video: Adding a 2nd HDD/SSD to a laptop by replacing the DVD or Blu-ray drive

Part 2. Set Up New Drive in Windows 10/8/7

After installing the new drive on your laptop, you can now move to the next part to set up your hard drive, making it work for you.

To save your time and energy, we'd like to recommend a reliable partition manager software - Qiling Partition Master to help you effectively initialize disk and partition hard drive with ease.

Key features of Qiling Partition Master:

Download Qiling Partition Master now and follow the guide below to manage your new drive.

Go through the next two stages to make the new drive work for you:

# 1. Initialize Disk to MBR or GPT

Assume that the installed new drive is now unallocated on your computer or laptop, you'll need to initialize it first.


If you plan to use the new disk to replace the system disk, you need to initialize it to the same partition style as your system disk.

Follow to get your new disk ready:

Step 1. Install the new disk to your computer properly.

Step 2. Restart PC and enter Disk Management to find your new disk.

Step 3. Right-click the new disk and initialize it to MBR or GPT.

# 2. Make Use of The New Hard Drive

If you plan to upgrade your system disk to the new drive, the Migrate OS feature of Qiling Partition Master is a good choice.

If you plan to make the second hard drive as a data disk, you may apply the partition hard drive feature in this software to create new partitions with ease:

Step 1. Launch Qiling Partition Master. On the main window, right-click on the unallocated space on your hard drive or external storage device and select "Create" in "Disk management" page.

Step 2. Adjust the partition size, file system, label, etc. for the new partition and click "Proceed" to create a new partition.

Preparation. Choose Your New Hard Drive

If you have bought a new hard drive home, you may directly skip this part and follow the guide to install the new hard drive or SSD.

If you haven't yet chosen a suitable drive, here below are some critical factors that may help you to decide which drive you would like to apply and install on your computer - a regular hard drive or an SSD disk.

1. The Price

If you don't plan to offer too much money on purchasing a new disk, a regular hard drive will be your best shot. Compared to a regular hard drive, we know that although recently the price of SSD disk indeed goes down, yet a solid-state disk is still charging regular people quite a bunch of bucks.

2. Your Purpose

Another important factor that may affect your decision is to make clear about your purpose of installing a new drive - to Migrate OS or Increase Storage Capacity.

If your computer system performance degrades, your system hard drive is old, you will need to upgrade the system disk. Your wise choice is to get a new SSD disk.

If your computer hard drive is out of space for saving data, you will need to add a second hard drive into your computer as a data drive. In this case, all you need is a regular hard drive with enough storage capacity.

3. The SATA Interface

Usually, the number of SATA Interfaces on the motherboard of your computer decides how many hard drives that you can add to your computer.

If your computer or laptop only has a pair of SATA interfaces, we are very sorry that you can only install only one disk. It means that you will need to purchase a new and bigger drive to install on your PC:

You may refer to this link for more details between SSD and HDD: HDD vs SSD.

FAQs About Install A New Hard Drive

Some of you may still have questions about installing a new hard drive to your Desktop or Laptop. Here we gathered 5 top concerned questions and listed a brief answer to help you.

1. How do I set up a new hard drive?

First, use Disk Management or Qiling Partition Master as shown in Part 2 on this page to initialize the new hard drive.

Next, you may use Disk Management or Qiling Partition Master to create new partitions for usage.

For upgrading the system disk, you may follow Migrate OS to SSD as a guide.

2. How do I install a new hard drive in Windows 10?

The process is similar to the provided process on this page:

For a detailed guide, follow up provided guidelines on this page.

3. How to format a new hard drive?

When you first install a new hard drive, if it's not initialized, the computer may not be able to detect it.

So your first job is to open Disk Management, locate and right-click on the new hard drive, select to initialize it. Then you can create partitions on it by right-clicking on the unallocated space and select to create new simple volumes.

After this, you can format the new hard drive by right-clicking to format the created partitions.

4. What to do after installing a new hard drive?

After you install a new hard drive, you may initialize it first in using Disk Management or partition manager software like Qiling Partition Master recommended here.

Then you need to re-think your purpose of installing this drive.

5. How to use the old hard drive as a second data drive?

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