How to Install an External Hard Drive

Level of difficulty: Easy

With so much digital data available such as MP3s, digital photos, programs, videos and more, having an external hard drive seems necessary. The external hard drive serves as an accessible storage space for all these files, which will free up needed memory in the computer. It also serves as a backup for important files. Before anything, it is important to decide the preferred type of connection of external hard drives, such as Integrated Drive Electronics (IDE), Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA), Universal Serial Bus (USB), or FireWire connections, and the amount of memory space you need. This kind of device may run in both PC and Mac computers.

Materials Needed:
- External Hard Drive and its accessories
- computer
Step 1
Remove the External Hard Drive and its accessories from the packaging. Check whether the External Hard Drive is already assembled, or if it needs assembly. Items included in the package, if the drive needs assembly, include the hard drive enclosure, the power cable, the hard drive stand, cable (depending on the type of External Hard Drive connection), power adaptor, and a CD instruction manual. If there is no assembly needed, the items included in the package will include the drive, the power cable, the connecting cable, and the CD instruction manual.
Step 2
If the kind of External Hard Drive needs assembly, attach the hard drive into the carrier by first attaching the power cable and others, depending on the kind of drive. Afterwards, screw the hard drive to the carrier frame, then slip the device inside the external case. Secure the ends with the screws that came with the kit.
Step 3
You need not turn off the computer or remove the computer case in order to install the External Hard Drive. Attach the end of the cable connector (USB, FireWire, SATA, or IDE) to the drive, and the other end to the computer. Look for the appropriate port in accordance to the kind of connector cable you have.
Step 4
Connect one end of the power cable to the drive, then the other to the power adaptor and to a corresponding electrical socket. Take note of the voltage needed in order to power the device. Some External Hard Drives do not need to be plugged in an electrical socket but to the computer as its power source. If this is the case, attach one end of the power cable to the drive, and the other to the computer. Again, look for the appropriate connector.
Step 5
Now the icon of the External Hard Drive should appear on screen or under the 'My Computer' portion of the computer in PCs. Double click the icon or right-click the icon and go to the option 'Add Device'. Some drives will have a CD installer included in the package, if this is the case, insert the CD and launch the program.
Step 6
Follow the instructions given by the prompter. It will also indicate that the hard drive should be formatted. Be sure that the chosen hard drive to be formatted is the External Hard Drive. Format the drive.
Step 7
After formatting, the drive should be added to the hard drive pool. When it is added, the External Hard Drive is now ready to be used. You can now put the files in the drive for storage and backup purposes.