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The Correct Way to Swap Out your Failed Hard drive

blogadmin     26 May 2023     Backup & Disaster Recovery / Cloud Infrastructure / Colocation / Network / Security     0 Comments

A failed hard drive can be a frustrating experience, especially if you have important data stored on it. However, with a bit of technical know-how and the right tools, you can replace the failed hard drive and restore your system's functionality. Here is our step-by-step guide on how to replace a failed hard drive.

Disclaimer: Replacing a hard drive requires some technical skills and knowledge. If you do not feel confident completing any of these steps, it's best to seek professional assistance.

Step 1: Gather the necessary tools prior to swapping out your failed hard drive:

  • Replacement hard drive: Buy your new hard drive with specifications that match your old one. Keep in mind factors such as storage capacity and interface (SATA or NVMe) as well as physical size (2.5-inch or 3.5-inch).
  • Screwdriver set: Most hard drives require a Phillips-head screwdriver for removal and installation. Check the size needed for your specific case.
  • Anti-static wrist strap: Protect your hardware from static electricity by wearing an anti-static wrist strap or by touching a grounded metal object before handling any components.
  • External storage device: If you want to recover data from the failed hard drive, you may need an external storage device to temporarily store the data.

Step 2: Backup your data (if possible) 

If your failed hard drive is still accessible, it's crucial to back up your important data before proceeding with the replacement. Connect an external storage device to your computer and copy the necessary files and folders.

Step 3: Power down your computer 

Shut down your computer and unplug it from the power source. You need to have your system completely powered off to avoid electrical damage or acidents.

Step 4: Open your computer case 

Locate the screws or latches securing the computer case and remove them. Carefully slide off or open the case to expose the internal components. Note that the exact process may vary depending on your computer's make and model.

Step 5: Locate the failed hard drive

Identify the failed hard drive within your computer. It is usually located near the front of the case, secured in a drive bay. The hard drive is typically connected to the motherboard via cables and fixed with screws or brackets.

Step 6: Disconnect cables and remove the failed hard drive 

Gently unplug the cables connected to the hard drive, including the power and data cables. Keep in mind the orientation of the connectors for proper reinstallation later. Then, unscrew or remove any brackets or fasteners securing the hard drive to the drive bay.

Step 7: Replace the failed hard drive with the new one

Take your new hard drive and carefully connect the power and data cables to the corresponding ports. Ensure a secure connection, but avoid using excessive force. Place the hard drive into the drive bay and fasten it using screws or brackets.

Step 8: Close your computer case 

With the new hard drive installed, slide the cover back on/ reattach it with screws or latches. Be sure that it is firmly in place to prevent any loose connections or accidental damage.

Step 9: Power on your computer and configure the new hard drive 

Connect your computer to the power source and turn it on. Enter the BIOS or UEFI settings (usually by pressing a specific key during startup) and verify that the new hard drive is detected. If necessary, adjust the boot order to prioritize the new hard drive.

Step 10: Restore data (if applicable)

If you backed up your data in Step 2, you can now restore it to your new hard drive. Connect the external storage device containing the backed-up data. Then copy that data back to the appropriate directories on the new hard drive.


Replacing a failed hard drive can be a daunting task, but with the right guidance, you can successfully restore your system's functionality. With the help of our step-by-step guide, you should be able to replace the failed hard drive to get your computer up and running again. 

Remember to handle the hardware delicately and seek professional help if needed.

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