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How to Replace Hard Drive in Dell Laptop [Step-by-Step]

This passage is dedicated to providing you with a step-by-step guide on how to replace hard drive in Dell laptop, along with the best cloning solution to move your data

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Updated on May 10, 2024

When your Dell laptop hard drive is old or running out of space, you need to replace the hard drive with a larger HDD or replace the HDD with an SSD to get better performance. EaseUS will give a detailed solution to replace hard drive in Dell laptop. If you have any needs or questions, please read this article carefully.

Here's a table summarising the essential details of Dell laptop hard drive replacement:

⏱️Duration About half an hour
⛏️Tools Screwdriver (Size PH.1 (required for opening the laptop)
🧑‍💻Software EaseUS Partition Master (Cloning Software)

1️⃣Stage 1. Remove the Dell Hard Drive

2️⃣Stage 2. Clone Dell Hard Drive to the New Drive

3️⃣Stage 3. Install the New Hard Drive for Dell

🧑‍🤝‍🧑Suitable Users Intermediate to advanced users with basic technical knowledge and experience with hardware installations

Replace hard drive in Dell laptop is a normal thing, and many people have this need. The following is a typical case for hard drive replacement in a Dell laptop:

I have an older Dell model, which I have been running for years. Its 500 GB old hard drive is showing no space. I am wondering about upgrading the hard drive to a higher capacity. If anyone can help me to comprehend the steps to replace a hard drive in a Dell laptop without reinstalling the operating system would be highly appreciated. - from Reddit

Don't worry. EaseUS provides detailed information and steps for this task. Keep reading for more.

Preparations to Replace Hard Drive in Dell Laptop 

It is important to make the necessary preparations before replacing the hard drive in your Dell laptop. The following preparation measures are best to ensure a smooth Dell laptop hard drive replacement with all the essential components and tools at hand.

1. Find a suitable hard drive:

While considering the replacement of a hard drive, you must consider two factors: cost and compatibility. We advise you not to purchase any storage drive without ensuring compatibility with your laptop's hardware and not pushing your budget. Here is two options:

  • Samsung 860 EVO SSD is a popular alternative for its excellent performance and data transfer speed. Multiple storage options up to 2TB are available. Its 250GB 2.5-Inch SATA variant may cost you around $50.

  • Western Digital Blue HDD is a cost-effective solution for those looking for an affordable hard drive with a great storage capacity. It delivers up to 4TB of storage for under $74, which may be appropriate for daily computing users.

2. Reliable disk clone software:

We recommend you use a free and efficient cloning tool - EaseUS Partition Master. This tool provides a range of easy cloning features to rescue your data from your old hard drive. Windows users can transfer files, apps, games, and operating systems using its clone capability. This tool is compatible with all Dell models to ensure seamless transfers.

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3. Get the necessary tools: 

A small slotted screwdriver (Size PH.1) is also required to remove screws while changing the drive.

You may easily replace the hard disk in your Dell laptop by following these preparations. Let's now discuss the stages involved in the Dell laptop hard drive replacement procedure itself. 

This guide will show you all the details about replacing Dell laptop hard drive, and please share this article with someone who may benefit from the information.


How to Replace Hard Drive in Dell Laptop without Reinstalling

This section discusses three stages to replace the hard drive in a Dell laptop. Let's dive into the details:

Stage 1. Remove the Dell Hard Drive

Follow these steps to remove the hard drive from your Dell laptop carefully:

Step 1: Turn off your laptop and detach external components, such as the AC adapter, battery, external mouse or keyboard, USB drives, etc.

Step 2: Press the "Power button" for five seconds. It will drain any remaining powers in the system.

Step 3: Hold the laptop upside down and carefully remove all the screws to access the panel.

Remove all screws from the access panel

Step 4: Safely keep the access panel and screws aside.

Step 5: Find the hard drive and remove the screws of the metal bracket holding the hard drive. The drive may also be secure with clips. Check carefully.

Carefully remove the metal bracket

Step 6: Double-check if you have unscrewed the hard drive. Do not apply heavy force while unclipping the bracket.

Step 7: Pull out the data cable to disconnect the hard drive. Your drive would be connected to two cables: a power cable and a SATA or IDE data cable.

Note: These steps and processes are derived from Dell Support. You can completely trust this guide, and if you have some questions, you can also turn to Dell support.

Stage 2. Clone Dell Hard Drive to the New Drive

In the second stage, you are required to transfer all your files, software, and operating system to your new destination. Using cloning software - EaseUS Partition Master, you can clone your old drive without any hassle of manual data transfer. This tool is an effective and free solution to accomplish your needs. It is a reliable tool to efficiently manage partitions, cloning, resizing, merging, splitting, and optimizing disk space. The superb compatibility with all Windows operating systems empowers its users to install it on any Windows system for seamless cloning.

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In addition, it is quite simple to use, with an easy and user-friendly interface. Its robust cloning features come in handy when you want to replace an old disk, update your hard drive, or transfer your operating system to a new computer. Download this 100% safe disk cloning program to streamline the process of cloning your laptop's hard drive. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you through the process:

Step 1. Select the source disk.

  • Click the "Clone" from the left menu. Select the "Clone OS Disk" or "Clone Data Disk"  and click "Next".
  • Choose the source disk and click "Next".

Step 2. Select the target disk.

  • Choose the wanted HDD/SSD as your destination and click "Next" to continue.
  • Read Warning message and confirm "Yes" button.

Step 3. View the disk layout and edit the target disk partition size. 

Then click "Continue" when the program warns it will wipe out all data on the target disk. (If you have valuable data on the target disk, back up it in advance.)

You can select "Autofit the disk", "Clone as the source" or "Edit disk layout" to customize your disk layout. (Select the last one if you want to leave more space for C drive.)

Step 4. Click "Start" to start the disk cloning process.

Stage 3. Install the New Hard Drive for Dell

Follow these steps to install your new hard drive on your Dell laptop. 

Step 1: Take your new hard and insert it in the empty bay

Step 2: Align it with brackets and connectors. 

Step 3: Connect the SATA or IDE and power line. To avoid further damage, connect each cable to the correct ports. 

Step 4: Screw the hard drive gently and ensure a safeguarded connection.

Step 5: Insert the battery and turn on your laptop to test if the hard drive is detected correctly.

Step 6: Turn off the laptop if it is working and place the bottom access panel back.

Step 7: Insert the screws which you removed in the first stage.

Note* To prevent any hardware damage, ensure all the screws are tightly in place but not overly tight.

Turn on your laptop and enjoy operating your Dell laptop with an upgraded hard drive.

You may also like the following topics about hard drive replacement:


This page provided a detailed explanation of how to change a hard drive in a Dell laptop. The procedure entails taking out the previous drive, transferring the data, and setting up the new one. EaseUS Partition Master is a reliable cloning tool due to its user-friendly design and effective performance. Users can quickly transfer their old hard drives to new ones without reinstalling the operating system. 

FAQs About How to Replace Hard Drive in Dell Laptop

In this FAQ, we'll address common concerns and provide brief answers about the topic discussed on the page. 

1. Can I replace HDD with SSD in Dell computers?

You can replace the HDD (hard disk drive) with the latest (solid-state drive) SSD. It's a common upgrade that can greatly increase the speed and performance of your computer.

2. Is it worth replacing Dell hard drive?

A replacement hard drive may be wise if your present one is slow, corrupted, or needs more storage space. Your particular needs will determine if replacing the Dell hard drive is worthwhile.

3. What to do if Dell hard drive is not installed?

Ensure your Dell hard drive is correctly connected and recognized in the BIOS settings first if it hasn't been installed. If the drive is undetected, it might be a hardware or connection problem. We advise you to contact Dell's support or a specialist.

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About the Author

Updated by Sherly

Sherly joined EaseUS in 2022 and she has always loved writing articles and enjoys the fun they bring. She receives professional training here, focusing on product performance and other relative knowledge. She has written over 200 articles to help people overcome computing issues.

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Written by Cici

Cici is the junior editor of the writing team of EaseUS. She accepted the systematic training on computers at EaseUS for over one year. Now, she wrote a lot of professional articles to help people resolve the issues of hard drive corruption, computer boot errors, and disk partition problems.

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