Components for Building Computers From Scratch/install a new HDD


Please Help me. I have a dell Latitude E6500 Laptop. It was upgraded to Windows 7. It came with a 60 GB HDD. How do I  formant and install windows 7 on a new 320 GB HDD? The 320 HD is not installed yet. I tried to hooked it up with an external HD jumper kit I just got. The 320 HD shows up on computer printer and devices window. But no-ware else. I don't have the Windows 7 disk that the dell was upgraded with, it came with the upgrade. Please Help. Sincerely, John.

You will require the installation media for Windows in order to do this properly. You may need to contact Dell if you've lost your installation media, alternately if the machine was purchased used you may have to purchase your own copy of Windows 7 to re-install it (it costs around $100).

Once you've got the installation media, you would replace the hard-drive with the new 320GB model, and re-install Windows on that drive following the on-screen directions (you would boot from the CD and then Windows will walk you through the installation - it's relatively straight forward). Then, since you've got the external HD kit, place the 60GB in there and copy off any data you want (like files, pictures, etc). Applications will generally have to be re-installed to properly function.

If you're not meaning to install the drive internally, but just want it as an external drive with the kit you've purchased, you'll need to assemble that and connect it, and then format the drive so Windows can use it. It should be visible in "Computer" but not show any capacity and Explorer will have errors if you attempt to browse it. Right click on it's icon and select Format, and everything should be auto-filled correctly (capacity will be some number over 300GB, but not likely exactly 320.00GB), file system should be NTFS, allocation unit size should be 4096 bytes, and then you can pick whatever label you like for Volume label (if you don't put anything Windows will name it "Local Disk" - this can be changed later by right clicking and selecting "Rename"). Generally you can leave Quick Format checked, and it will save you a reasonable amount of time. From there, click Start, and it will take a minute or so and the drive will be usable for Windows.

If you have any more questions or need clarification, feel free to ask.


Components for Building Computers From Scratch

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I have nearly two decades of experience in IT, computer repair, and related fields and will attempt to provide the most solid, brand-agnostic advice when it comes time to purchase a new computer, or upgrade an existing machine. I can answer anything from the seemingly basic to the downright complicated - and will do my best to provide this information in a clear and concise manner.


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