How to Install Second Hard Drive?

By Puja Chatterjee on July 20, 2023

It is quite easy to install and activate a second hard drive on your PC. Here is a step-by-step guide which will help beginners and enthusiasts alike during the installation process of an additional drive and ensure a successful experience and smooth installation.

Additionally, you will also learn how to activate the second drive, which involves everything from creating partitions to formatting and assigning drive letters to have a fully functional hard drive.

Here are the methods that you can follow.


What are the Reasons to install a Second Hard Drive?

You may run out of space soon if you have only one hard drive installed on your computer. You will then need to install a second hard drive to store more programs, files, and multimedia content without having to frequently delete the old ones.

It is also a very good solution to add another hard drive while upgrading your system. The significant reasons behind it are:

Data segregation: It will allow proper segregation of data and organize things more efficiently with much better storage management.

You can use one to store all programs and the operating system and the other to store all your personal documents, files, financial records, music, photos, and videos.

Enhanced system performance: When programs and other data are well segregated, it is easier for the system to find and access them.

This will eventually add to the performance of the system as a whole due to enhanced read and write speeds because of less data congestion.

This will eventually help in performing resource-heavy tasks such as running virtual systems, gaming or video editing.

Efficient backup solution: You can use the additional drive as your backup. This will be a much more effective solution to protect your vital files. When you save them on your second hard drive, it protects against loss of data due to data redundancy.

It will give you peace of mind when the primary hard drive fails knowing that your data is safe on the other. You can recover it quickly and easily and save yourself from unexpected data disasters.

Use multiple operating systems: If you use different operating systems, a second hard drive is almost essential. Having two operating systems in different drives and creating dual-boot setup will help in switching between them quickly and easily without affecting the performance.

It is very helpful for enthusiasts, developers and other users who work in diverse software environments.

Enhance the lifespan: The additional hard drive will save the primary hard drive in particular from having to read and write continually, which will reduce its lifespan.

Since the workload will be divided, each hard drive will now face less stress and lower usage to have a positive effect in their lifespan and the reliability of your storage system.

Ways to Install Second Hard Drive

The process of installing a second hard drive in a PC starts with finding a compatible hardware and the appropriate cables. Henceforth, there are two stages of this process – physical installation and activation.

First, you need to install the drive in the available bay and connect the cables for power and data.

Then, you will need to activate the drive. For that you will have to boot the PC > Access the operating system > Open the Disk Management utility > Initialize and format the second hard drive.

There are also a few other aspects involved in the activation process, which is explained in detail below.

Method: Installing the Hard Drive and Activating Via Disk Management

The first part of the process involves installing the hard drive into the right slot and connecting the cables properly.


Unplugging the power cord

Unplugging all the cables from the back of your PC

Removing the screws at the back

If you are using a larger hard disk drive, select the appropriate slots. Additionally, you may also need to buy the right type of mounting kits for that, as shown in the image below:

Right type of mounting kits

Checking the direction of the drive

Slide in the new drive

Checking the cables to ensure their right direction

Fixing the SATA cable

Empty slot on your motherboard

Zap strap the cables

Plugging in all the cables

You are now done with the first stage of the process. The second stage involves activating the newly installed additional hard drive from the Disk Management utility. The steps to follow for that are as follows:

Click on Create and format hard disk partitions

This will open the Disk Management utility.

Alternatively, you can right-click on the Start Menu and select Disk Management option from the menu.

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Disk Management window

Selecting New Simple Volume

New Simple Volume wizard

Simple volume size in MB

In the following window Assign Drive Letter or Path, you may leave it as it is and click on the Next button.

Assign the following drive letter

Format Partition window

Clicking on the Finish button in the New Simple Volume wizard window

This will format the new hard drive and activate it with a Healthy (Basic Data Partition), as shown in the image below:


So, now the second hard drive will be accessible on your computer system.


Installing a second hard drive in a computer system is probably one of the most common upgrades.

And, as you can see from this article, you do not need to take your PC to the service station. It is a simple DIY process.