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HP and Compaq Desktop PCs- Adding or Replacing a Hard Drive

This document pertains only to HP desktop computers with the following computer case:

HP and Compaq desktop computer

Before you begin

  • Obtain a flathead screwdriver.

  • Remove the Pocket Media Drive, if it is present.

  • Turn off the computer, and then disconnect all cables. Disconnect the Ethernet or modem cable before disconnecting the power cord.

  • Transfer the computer to a clear, flat, stable work surface over a non-carpeted floor.

  • HP strongly recommends the use of an anti-static wrist strap and a conductive foam pad when working on the computer.

  • Do not remove a component from its protective packaging until you are ready to install it.

  • To add an additional SATA hard disk drive, an additional SATA data cable is required.

WARNING: The edges of metal panels can cut skin. Be careful not to slide skin along any interior metal edge of the computer.
CAUTION: This product contains components that can be damaged by electrostatic discharge (ESD). To reduce the chance of ESD damage, work over a noncarpeted floor, use a static dissipative work surface (such as a conductive foam pad), and wear an ESD wrist strap connected to a grounded surface.

If you are adding an additional hard drive

When adding a hard drive, it is important to identify the connectors on the motherboard.

The hard drive connectors on the motherboard must match the type of hard drive you wish to connect. If your motherboard has SATA data connectors and one is not in use, you can attach an additional SATA hard drive. If your motherboard has an IDE connector available, you can attach an IDE hard drive.

NOTE: If you want to install an IDE hard drive to a motherboard that has only SATA data connectors, a third-party adapter is necessary.

Figure 1: Motherboard with IDE and SATA data connectors

Motherboard with SATA and IDE connectors
1 - IDE connectors
2 - SATA data connectors

Figure 2: Example of SATA connections

Hard drives with SATA cables connected
1 - Power cable
2 - SATA data cable

Figure 3: Example of an IDE connection

Hard drive with IDE cables connected
1 - IDE ribbon cable
2 - Power cable

Video overview

View the following video before using the steps in this article.

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Removing a drive

Use the steps in this section to remove a hard disk drive or to prepare to install a new second drive.

WARNING: Make sure the computer is disconnected from power before starting.
Step 1
Remove the right side panel.
For more information about removing the side panel, refer to the HP support document Opening the PC Case .
Removing the side panel
Step 2
Remove the front panel.
For more information about removing the front panel, refer to the HP support document Removing the Front Cover .
Lifting the front panel from the computer
Step 3
Lay the computer on its side.
The computer laid on its side
Step 4
Find the disk drives' removable cage inside the computer.
Hard disk drive cage inside the computer
Step 5
Remove the two screws that secure the disk drive cage in the computer.
Removing the two cage screws
Step 6
Find the latch for the hard disk drive cage inside the computer.
The hard disk drive cage latch
Step 7
Press the cage latch, and slide the hard disk drive cage toward the top of the computer to release.
Steps to press the cage latch and slide the cage toward the top of the computer
Step 8
Lift the cage...
Lifting the cage partway out of the computer
...partially out of the computer.
Holding the cage above the computer
Step 9
Find the power and data cables at the back of the drive.
Connectors on the drive cables are keyed and can be inserted only when aligned properly to the connector on the drive.
In addition, some connectors, such a SATA connectors, have a latch that must be pressed to release the cable connector from the socket.
Pressing the release latches on plugs for  power and SATA data cables
Step 10
Disconnect the power and data cables from the back of the hard drive.
Disconnecting the drive power and SATA data cables
Step 11
If you are adding a new second drive, skip this step and continue with Installing a drive .
Remove the four screws (two on each side) that secure the drive in the cage.
Removing the two front screws that secure the drive in the cage
Removing the two back screws that secure the drive in the cage
For a second drive, remove the upper four screws.
The upper two front screws that secure the second drive in the cage
Step 12
Slide the drive out of the cage.
Sliding the drive out of the cage

Installing a drive

Use the steps in this section to replace the existing primary or secondary hard disk drive, or to add a new second drive.

Step 1
When installing a PATA hard drive, set the new drive you are installing to CS (cable select) if the jumper is not already in the CS position.
A PATA drive set to CS
Step 2
Slide the replacement drive into the hard disk drive cage, with the label facing up and the connectors toward the right (the top of the cage).
Sliding the drive into the cage
Step 3
Slide the drive into the cage until the four screw holes in the sides of the drive align with the holes in the cage.
Drive screw hole aligned with the cage hole.
Step 4
Insert and tighten the four screws that secure the drive in the cage...
Tightening the screws in the drive cage
...and for the second drive, use the upper four screw holes.
The cage screw holes for the second drive
Step 5
Find the four tabs on the bottom of the cage...
The tabs on the bottom of the drive cage
...and find the four slots inside the computer that match the tabs on the bottom of the hard disk drive cage.
The four slots inside the computer that match the cage tabs
Step 6
Hold the cage over the computer, and connect the drive power and data cables:
Connect the data and power cables to the back of the drive by pressing each plug onto the connector.
If you added a drive, connect the data cable to the motherboard.
Connecting the power and SATA data cables to the drive
Step 7
Lower the cage into the computer, inserting the four tabs on the bottom of the cage into the computer slots.
Lowering the drive cage into the computer
Step 8
Slide the cage toward the bottom of the computer until it locks into place.
Sliding the cage toward the bottom of the computer to lock it into place
Step 9
Insert and tighten the two screws that secure the cage in the computer.
Inserting the drive cage screws
Step 10
Set the computer upright.
Setting the computer upright
Step 11
Replace the front panel.
For more information, refer to the HP support document Removing the Front Cover .
Swinging the right side of the front panel toward the computer
Step 12
Replace the right side panel.
CAUTION: MBR or NTFS partitions are limited to 2 TB (without using dynamic disks and volume sets). If you are installing a hard drive that is 2 TB or greater, HP recommends formatting the drive using GPT partitions.
For more information, refer to the HP support document Opening the PC Case .
Sliding the side panel toward the front of the computer

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