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Tuesday 4 September 2012

How to add a massive internal 2TB Hard Disk with Windows 7 on an ACER computer for less than £85

If you are starting to run out of hard disk space on your computer then its time to think about adding a new internal hard disk. I'm going to show you how easy it is to add a 2TB hard disk to a computer running Windows 7. Hard disks are so cheap these days that its not worth getting a small capacity one unless you have to because your motherboard will not support it.

The Samsung 2TB SATA-II Hard Drive from Amazon for less than £85 :
My new Samsung HD204UI F4 EcoGreen 2TB 32MB 5400RPM 3.5 Inch SATA-II Internal Hard Drive and SATA II cable.
In my tutorial here I bought an absolutely massive hard disk of 2TB (yes that 2048 Gb or 2097,152 Mb!) and it was only £84 delivered for free from Amazon :

This hard disk is a Samsung F4 EcoGreen 2TB 32MB 5400RPM 3.5 Inch SATA-II Internal Hard Drive with 3 Year Warranty This hard disk comes with a 3 year warranty and the Amazon price is better than anywhere else. The same item from Ebuyer with 3YW would cost £115. It only took 4 days to come from Amazon.

Before you buy a hard disk you need to confirm that it will work on your system and that you have the correct cables and know how to install the drive into the computer. I'm not going to describe that bit as there are many other tutorials on how to fit the hard drive into the case. Something which I have done hundreds of times over the years.

How to add a massive internal 2TB Hard Disk to Windows 7 on an ACER computer.
My computer is a Acer Aspire M3800 system running Windows 7, I currently have two physical hard disks installed. A 750Gb split into two partitions and a 500Gb drive that I use for storage. This 500Gb drive has become so full with my photographs and videos that I only have a few gigabytes of space left.
So time to install the new one!

The motherboard in this computer is an Acer G45T/G43T-AM3 v1.1 so according to the motherboard specs it has SATAII 3Gb/s connectors that support HDDs, Internal Solid State Drive (SSD), (Raid 0/1 Support). The Samsung HD204UI 2TB drive is a SATA-II drive so is perfect for this system.

At this point I will assume that you have physically installed the drive in your PC Case, Connected the power plug and connected the SATAII cable between the hard disk and the motherboard and booted up Windows 7.

Before you can use your new hard disk you have to prepare the drive for the system so it knows how to use it. This consists of allocating the free space as a partition, allocating it a drive letter and formatting it. Don't worry this process is so quick and easy using Windows7, you don't need to know anything technical. I have done screen grabs of the various panels that show up during this process.

1) First goto the Start Button and click on Control Panel then click on System and Security to get to this screen. In the Administrative Tools section near the bottom click on Create and format hard disk partitions.

In the Administrative Tools section, click on Create and format hard disk partitions.

2) You should now see this screen, this means the system has detected that a new unformatted drive has been detected. Simply click on OK to create the MBR for your new 2TB  drive.
The Initialize Disk screen will show because its found a new hard drive.

3) You will now see the Disk Management screen which shows all of your drives. You should see a new drive space which has a black line across the top of it like this below.
In my system my 2TB drive shows as 1863.02Gb Unallocated.

Here we can see the new hard disk showing as Unallocated.
4) Right-click anywhere in the Unallocated bar and select New Simple Volume from the popup menu.
A New simple volume wizard will show up.

5) Now you can decide how you want to use all that storage. i.e. do you want the whole lot as one drive or do you want to partition it into several smaller drives.
In this example I'm going to make one single massive drive of  1907,727Mb. Click next to get to the next screen.

6) Now you can assign a drive letter to this new drive. It will default to the next free letter but you may prefer to use a different letter such as S for storage or V for Videos. Click Next.

Here you can select a different drive letter to give to your new drive.

7) In the Volume Label field type in a suitable name so you can recognise it in when you view it in "My Computer" or Windows Explorer. Click Next.
Here you can type in a suitable name for the new hard disk.

8) It will now format the drive with your settings. This will only take a few seconds (unless you have unticked quick format) You should now be returned to the Disk Management screen and your new drive should now show as Healthy (Primary Partition).

Here we can see that the new partition is now ready to use.

9) So if you now goto My computer you should see your new drive ready to use. As you can see here we have a Drive S: called 2TB Storage which has nothing used so far.
Here we can now see our new hard drive showing as one drive. Drive S:
10) Now all I have to do is move all of my data from drive F: which was my old storage drive onto my new 2TB drive. Once I've done that I will remove the 500Gb drive as that's far too small to bother with :)

That was easy wasn't it !

2TB Backup Drive
Did you know that you can get something called a USB Hard Drive Enclosure or HDD Caddy?
This is a box that you fit your 3.5" SATA hard disk into and it allows you to use it as a portable mass storage device which is great for backing up your data. They come with a USB 2 connection, some even have USB 3 or Firewire depending what you need :

Make sure you have the correct cables to connect your new hard disk to your motherboard, there is nothing worse than starting to install your hard disk only to find you did not have a spare SATA cable.
The cable I bought was a latching SATA II cable :

Here are the SATA-II connectors on my Acer motherboard.
Here my new 2TB hard drive is connected to my Acer G45T/G43T-AM3 v1.1motherboard.

I hope you found this blog post of use. Please comment if it helped you.
Thanks Andy


  1. Wow, I did not know that hard disks were that cheap from Amazon. The last time I bought a hard disk it was a 60Gb one and cost £210. How things have come along.
    Cheers for the info, looks dead easy to follow guide.


  2. So cheap that I'd thoroughly recommend buying two! And do regular backups from one to the other. If there is no room in the case buy an external caddy. Who can afford to lose 2TB worth of precious photos, videos and documents??

    1. Yes, I've now added details about how to use a HDD caddy.

    2. You need to watch out for the change to SATA III. I've just tried to install a Seagate 2Tb drive to the same motherboard but it isn't recognised.

  3. This is interesting post, i like your post. Keep sharing info and handy stuff like this. Amazon is reliable and good medium to purchase something like hard drive. Keep it up.
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