Can Your Computer Support a Second Internal Hard Disk Drive?

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Can Your Computer Support a Second Internal Hard Disk Drive?

A hard drive can fill up fast. For many people, some of the most important things they do on the computer,, the things that make the computer most useful to them, add a fair amount of memory to the hard drive each time they do them. A full hard drive can make a computer run much too slow, significantly decreasing the users productivity and the operators enjoyment in using it.

Most people want the computer to do what they want it to, regardless of how much hard drive space the activity they are trying to do requires. When the computer gets too full and starts running slow, these computer owners start wondering if there is anything they can do to speed it up. Understandably not wanting to stop engaging in the activities that are quickly consuming the hard drive space, they want to know if it is possible to add a hard drive, giving them more space.

The answer, in most instances, is yes. There are only a very few things that actually limit a desktop computer's ability to accept a second hard drive.. Determining that a second one can be installed is reasonably easy. Then, it is simply a matter of choosing the right one and being sure to take the right necessary precautions when installing it.

Determining If Your Computer Supports a Second Hard Drive

When the hard drive space on their desktop computer begins to become full, many people start to consider whether they need to purchase a new computer. The thought of installing a new hard drive seems beyond their capability. In general, however, installing a second hard drive in a desktop computer is well within the capabilities of most computer users.

It does require that the computer owner takes some precautions and the installer needs some necessary common tools. With these secured, however, gaining the extra hard drive space that a secondary one allows for is not something that necessarily requires a trip to the shop or the purchase of the new computer. Determining whether a computer can support a second hard drive is determined mostly by how many hard drives are already installed in the computer, and the space and connections that are available.

Where to Look to Determine If Your Computer Supports a Second Hard Drive

The most important step in determining whether a computer supports a second internal hard drive is determining how many hard drives are already installed in it. In general, most computers are factory built with only one hard drive. However, there are a large number sold that already have two hard drives installed, and these computers cannot support another one.

Without specific modifications, a computer can only support two hard drives, the 'master' and the 'slave'. In order to determine how many hard drives are already on the computer, the easiest thing to do is to consult the computer's owner manual. Another way is by looking at the specifications on the computer itself, in the computer's menu.

Is There Enough Space?

After you have determined that there is only one hard drive installed on the computer, the next step is to determine if there is enough space for a second one. This usually requires looking inside the computer. Of course, this should be done with caution and the computer should be unplugged at the time. Using the correct tool, remove the casing screws and then remove the computer casing. Determine where the hard drive is located and then determine if there is a space for a secondary hard drive to be installed. The majority of computers that are built with only one hard drive do include the space for a second one.

Are There Enough Connections?

Determining that there is this space available for a second internal hard drive is not enough. The computer connections must also support a second one. To determine this, look to see that the cable connected to the motherboard has an unused, secondary connection in place a short distance from the connection that is already in use by the master hard drive. This second connection is identical to the one that is already connected. If there is the space and the necessary connections for another one, the computer supports the installation of the second internal hard drive.

Things to Keep in Mind When Buying a Second Internal Hard Drive

Once it is determined that the computer that supports a second internal hard drive the next step is choosing one. The following chart lists several key things to keep in mind when shopping for one.



Storage Capacity

Currently manufactured internal hard drives are quite large, even up to several terabytes; choose the largest that you can reasonably afford


This is the connection inside the computer; the most common interfaces are SATA II,,  SATA I,,  IDE,, SAS,, ATA,, Ultra-320,, SCSI


There are a number of different hard drive sizes to fit different styles of computers; almost without exception, the most appropriate one for a desktop computer is a 3.5-inch drive


In order to be most satisfied with the purchase, research the different brands choose a well-respected manufacturer, such as IBM,, Toshiba,, and HP

Purchasing and installing an internal hard drive is a relatively straightforward endeavor. The main things to keep in mind are choosing one that fits, has the correct interface, and provides enough memory space for your future computing needs.

An External Hard Drive as an Alternative to Installing a Second Internal Hard Drive

For many computer users, choosing and installing the secondary internal hard drive is the perfect choice to increase the efficiency of the computer and thus increasing their productivity and enjoyment of it. However, installing a second internal hard drive is not the only way to increase the computer's memory space and boosted efficiency. Most computers now support the use of an external hard drive,, an option that may be much more versatile and easy to implement and installing a second hard drive.

Using an external hard drive does not require any disassembly or assembly to the computer. This is good news for those computer users who want to increase their hard drive space but do not want to get involved with the internal workings of the machine. An external hard drive is one that sits outside of the computer in its own protected casing. It can connect to the computer in a number of different ways.

Connecting an External Hard Drive

The most efficient connection between a computer and an external hard drive is a FireWire connection, which allows for very fast transmit rates. An external hard drive can also connect via a USB cable, which is a much more common and easily understood connection that more casual computer users are more comfortable with. These drives plug-in much the same way any other USB plug-and-play device does, and this is something most computer users are familiar with. The USB connection also makes these external hard drives very portable, which means the user can easily take it, and all the information it contains, along while on the go.

A third, more recently developed way to connect an external hard drive is via Wi-Fi. This connection requires a Wi-Fi enabled computer, and the connection speeds can be subject to interference in some situations. However, a major bonus with a Wi-Fi enabled external hard drive is the ability for more than one computer to connect to it. This allows it to be used in a household situation very efficiently, providing a common location for all shared information and documents, such as recipes, family photos, and videos. With these files stored on the external hard drive, the computer's internal hard drive is free to keep the computer running efficiently.

Buying Internal Hard Drives on eBay

Once you have determined that the computer does support a second internal hard drive,, one can be purchased from a number of different places, including electronic stores, computer repair shops, and through online venues, such as eBay.. Of these, the electronics store probably has a limited selection, although the counter person at the computer repair shop may offer helpful advice in choosing the hard drive and installing it. This could be a real bonus. However, the prices of the part is likely to be much more than purchasing it elsewhere, especially compared to online options, where eBay sellers regularly offer a wide selection at bargain prices.

eBay sellers list internal hard drives for desktop computers that are very reasonably priced and have storage capacities anywhere from 100 GB to over three TB, which is a very large amount of memory space. To find a hard drive that suits your needs, try a keyword search from the main page for an "internal hard drive&". The search returns many listings, but remember, the main thing is that it fits the desktop computer, so it should be a 3.5-inch drive.


With all of the activity that most people do on their computers these days, the internal hard drive space fills up fast, leaving the computer sluggish and its owner stressing over how to optimise it. Many computer owners would like to consider installing a second hard drive on their computer, perhaps one with much more memory space than the current one already has. Determining whether the computer can support this, however, may seem like a challenge for some users.

Figuring out whether a desktop computer supports a second hard drive is not a difficult task for most computer users. It involves determining if the computer already has a second internal hard drive in place, examining whether there is space available for a second one, and locating the necessary cable connection. These tasks are easy to do, even with limited computer know-how. The user who is still unsure about installing one, however, or for those who requires still more memory space, an external hard drive is yet another possibility.

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