Instead of simply discarding your hard drive, you can use it in your new computer, and this will provide you a lot of benefits. You will end up having more storage space in your PC; you can also back up your current files and software; and you will not run the risk of having your old files and data falling in the wrong hands.
To connect a hard disk is not a difficult task, and you do not need to visit a computer repair shop to carry it out. Of course, if you have no idea about the interior of your machine, and if you have absolutely no clue about how to connect a new hard drive, then you must visit an expert.
What is a Hard Drive?
It is a component inside your computer that contains all your data. This is where all the information is stored. Every PC has a hard drive, and this is an absolutely essential component of desktop and laptop computers. It is very easy to connect them in desktop computers, as they are easily accessible, and they can hold more than one hard drive at a time. Laptops are a bit more complicated, and this is further compounded by the fact, such machines can only hold one hard drive at a time.
So, the answer to whether one can change hard drives is a resounding yes, but the benefits of additional space, and another source of back up can only be enjoyed in desktop computers. Connecting them is something that you should carry out, only if you are absolutely certain that you will reap all the benefits of doing so. Hot swapping hard drives is possible, but only with external hard drives. It is not advisable to attempt this with your internal ones.
You need to open up the old computer and locate the hard drive. You need to keep two things in mind; ensure that the power is switched off and all cables are disconnected, and also your old drive does not have computer viruses in it.
Carefully observe how the old hard drive is attached to the motherboard, before you go ahead and remove it. This is because you will need to install it similarly in the new computer. The wires that connect the hard drive to the computer motherboard will be in the form of ribbon data cables, and most of the old machines use a PATA (Parallel ATA) cable. Newer machines make use of a SATA (Serial ATA) cable, and you must attach your old hard drive to the secondary controller of the new motherboard. This will enable you to use the old hard drive. Refer to the motherboard's manual for some changes that you may have to make in the BIOS settings.
Now, you must mount the old hard drive into the new computer, and then attach the data cable. You can locate the data cable that is attached to your optical drive (CD drive or DVD drive), and then find another socket for the hard drive. Also, attach a spare power cable into the hard drive. Once you have attached this cable, your work is done.
To check if you have successfully carried out the connecting procedure, switch on your new machine and go to "My Computer"; see if your old hard drive has been listed. If it is listed, you've successfully connected drives. Note that the operating system on the old hard drive will not affect the machine, as the computer will always look first at the new hard drive, when it is booting up.
You can either format the old hard drive or keep it as it is. Connecting hard drives is simple to carry out if you have some basic computer knowledge, and can grant you many advantages.