Installing a backup hard drive is an excellent way to increase your computer's storage space and provide a backup location for important files. With so much critical data on a computer, it has never been more important to add a backup drive. Whether you use an external hard drive or add a secondary internal drive, you need to make sure the Windows XP operating system recognizes the new drive.
External Hard Drive
Connect the external hard drive to a power strip, UPS or electrical outlet and power on the drive.
Connect the square end of the USB cable to the back of the external hard drive. Connect the flat end of the cable to a free USB port on your computer.
Watch the lower right corner of your computer screen for the "Found new hardware" wizard. This is your indication that Windows XP has found the new hard drive.
Right-click the "My Computer" icon and choose "Explore" from the menu. Look for the new drive letter that corresponds to the external hard drive. In most cases it will be designated either the "E," "F" or "G" drive.
Insert the CD that came with the external hard drive if the operating system does not recognize it. In some cases you might need to install software to get Windows XP to recognize the new drive.
Internal Hard Drive
Remove the retaining screws from the back of the computer case and slide the cover off the case.
Slide the new hard drive into a free drive bay and secure it with screws. Attach one end of the drive cable to the back of the hard drive and the other end to the connector on the motherboard.
Connect a power cable from the power supply on the computer to the back of the new hard drive.
Power on the computer and right-click the "My Computer" icon. Choose "Explore" from the menu and make sure the new hard drive is reflected.
Insert the CD that came with the new hard drive if it does not appear in the list of drives in Windows Explorer. Some hard drives will require software installation in order for Windows XP to recognize them.
- Some hard drives include useful automatic backup software on the installation CD.
- hard drive interior image by Curtis Sorrentino from Fotolia.com