Archive for January, 2008

How to remove a hard drive from your computer case

January 21st, 2008 No comments

We get this question rather often so figured it best to write a bit about it for our customers reference. How do you remove the hard drive from your computer? There is no standard method for doing this as all cases are different. First, is it a desktop or laptop computer?

Note: Before getting started, disconnect all of the cables and wires from your computer, make sure the power is completely disconnected and if we are dealing with a laptop – remove the battery!


First we will need to get to the internals of the computer. To do this we need to find a way to open the case. Most modern computers have a simple little “lock” on the back of the computer that when utilized allows you to completly remove one side of the case and exposing the inside of the computer. This is called a “screwless case”. It will generally be a small tab that you can slide one way or the other to release the side of the case.

On some cases, you will actually have to use a screw driver to remove some screws. When doing this make sure you dont remove the screws for the power supply. That is the box towards the top of the case in the back where your power cable plugs in. It should have 4 screws around the square power supply. Don’t bother with these. The screws you are interested in will be around the outskirts of the case and on the back panel. Sometimes it will be what is called a “thumbscrew” – they look like this:


They are just like a screw but designed to be turned without a tool. Simply twist to remove, then open the side of the case.

Once inside, you might feel intimidated by all of the wires and connections. Don’t be! With a little effort you will soon be a master of removing hard drives. The hard drive will be about 4×6 inches in dimension and will have most probably have one of the following 2 cables plugged into it:



SATA Cable

SATA Cable (not always red)

Just locate these cables and follow them from the motherboard to the hard drive. Once you have identified the disk, simply securely grip the cables and pull them directly out from the hard drive. No, you aren’t going to¬† break it. Sometimes you have to exert a bit of force to get the cables to come free.

Once you have disconnected the cables, we need to remove the drive itself from the case. Generally this is a matter of removing a few screws or sliding a couple of clamps. Because there are so many different case manufacturers and styles it would be hard to picture all of the different ways – but you have come this far! Don’t give up now.


Again, we face the problem of there being hundreds if not thousands of different laptop case designs and ways to mount the hard drive. The best way to find out just where the hard drive is located on your case, is to check with the manufacturer. On Dell laptops for example, it is a matter of removing 2 screws and sliding the hard drive out. On most Apple laptops, you have to remove the battery and look for screws holding the metal band around the outskirts of the battery. Once removed pull the white tab to slide the disk out.

If you have any troubles removing the disk from your computer feel free to call us! We will be happy to walk you right through the process. If you don’t even want to try your luck feel free to send the entire laptop or drive enclosure.