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How To Buy A Hard Drive

Tips for choosing and buying a hard drive

The hard drive is one of the most important parts of your computer. It stores the operating system, your application software, and your precious data.

If your free hard drive space is running low, system performance will go down and you may find it impossible to install new software packages.

Here are a few tips for choosing a new hard drive:

  • Buy a larger hard drive than you will immediately need. Hard drive prices have fallen so much that it simply makes no sense to skimp on hard drive storage capacity.

    That 3 Terabyte hard drive might seem way too massive for your needs right now, but an upgrade to the next version of Windows and other software packages may well require it! Buy more now instead of buying again later.
  • Buy the fastest hard drive that your PC can handle. Check your PC's specs (or motherboard specs) to determine the fastest hard drive that it can handle. Buy a hard drive to match those specs.
  • Select a hard drive that will work with your system. Most modern computers use SATA hard drives, but some use older technologies. Refer to your system's documentation to determine which type of drive to buy.
  • If you're a relative "newby" to computer hardware upgrades, buy a retail hard drive kit instead of an "OEM" hard drive.

    A retail hard drive kit will typically include the hard drive itself, mounting screws, a data cable, an installation guide, and a floppy disk or CD/DVD-ROM that holds software that helps you move your programs and data from the old drive to the new one.

    An "OEM" hard drive on, the other hand, typically includes the bare hard drive only.
Alternatively, you can always just buy an external hard drive and plug it into a high speed USB or eSATA port.

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