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How do you switch an internal laptop hard drive?

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Quick Answer

To switch a laptop's hard drive, turn the laptop off, unplug it, remove the old hard drive and insert the new one. Unlike desktop hard drives, which are connected with ribbon cable and difficult to access, laptop hard drives usually use a simple slot connection. You need to get the model hard drive that fits your laptop. Buying from an online retailer makes this easier. You also need a replacement operating system disk.

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Full Answer

After you acquire a replacement hard drive, back up your data to an external hard drive or other storage medium. Turn off your laptop, unplug it, and remove the battery, allowing electrical current to dissipate for a moment. Next, ground yourself by touching a metal surface. Consult your laptop's instruction manual to determine exactly where the hard drive is located. Usually, a single panel covers it and can be removed with a Phillips head screwdriver.

Gently remove any rubber stoppers or other things holding the hard drive in place. Grip it by the sides, and pull it straight to the side; it should come free with little effort. If it doesn't budge, look carefully for other screws. Insert the new hard drive by sliding it into place and replacing stoppers ad screws. Replace the cover, restore power and turn on the computer. Have the operating system installation disc ready.

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