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Choosing from 500 GB Internal Hard Disk Drives

Internal hard drives are storage devices that reside in the drive bay in computer systems. Software programs, operating systems, and most other files are contained in these metallic platters. They feature interfaces that allow for the exchange of the data and for attachment to a power supply. When you need to expand your computer's internal storage, you can upgrade to a new hard drive. eBay offers internal hard disk drives (HDD) with a storage capacity of 500 GB for your Dell Inspiron, PowerEdge or PowerVault, among other Dell PCs.

What is the difference between SATA and SAS hard drives?

There are two main types of interfaces that allow for the exchange of data to and from the internal HDD. These are the SATA and SAS. This interface should match with the one on the motherboard.

  • Serial attached SCSI (SAS) drives are typically used for servers in enterprises such as banks. This type of interface offers a high-speed connection of up to 6 Gbps and is quite reliable.
  • Serial advanced technology attachment (SATA) - SATA hard drives are ideal for less demanding roles. They are less speedy and are therefore used in personal computing for data storage and backing up files.

What do I look for when getting an internal hard drive?

Besides choosing a hard drive with an appropriate interface, other things to look out for include the size, rotational speed, and capacity.

  • Form factor - Typical hard drives come in 2.5- and 3.5-inch sizes. It is crucial to know what your Dell laptop can accommodate prior to getting one.
  • Capacity - For storage of the pre-installed software applications, the OS and a few more files, a 500 GB internal storage will be sufficient. However, if you intend to store much more, you can get hard drives with over 1 Terabyte capacity.
  • Rotational speed - This is the rate at which the hard drive spins. The faster you want your laptop to serve up your files, the more speed you'll need. The average speed for most drives is 7200 rpm (revolutions per minute).

How do I replace an Internal Hard Drive on my Dell laptop?

Before replacing an internal hard drive, ensure you have all the software needed to reinstall. Examples are the operating system disc or USB key, a resource DVD, and installation discs for programs you would love to install. For the installation procedure below, you will need a screwdriver.

  • Power the laptop system off and unplug all peripheral devices including the AC adapter. Drain the remaining power by holding the power button in for five seconds
  • Remove the screws that hold the bottom panel and the screws securing the hard disk drive
  • Gently remove the hard drive together with the brackets
  • Attach the brackets to the replacement drive and secure using the screws previously removed
  • Put the drive into the slot in the drive bay and insert screws
  • Insert bottom access panel for the hard drive and screw down
  • Reconnect battery and AC adapter and power the system on.