Beginners Guide for Setting up and Protecting your new Hard Drive

So, you have finally bought your first external hard drive but you just realized you don’t know how to set it up or use it effectively. Worry not because in this article I will share with you the procedures that you use to set up your new hard drive. Let’s dive in right away

Connect the hard drive cable to your pc and power (if necessary)

First of all, there are two types of external hard drives, one that uses two cords for power and data transfer, and another that only uses one cord for both. To get started, connect the cable from your hard drive to the computer through a USB port. Some laptops/PCs make a sound to notify you of successful connections. Those with two cords, plug one in a socket to power the drive and another to the computer through a USB port.

Choose the right files to store on your hard drive.

Once connected, you’re free to copy any files you want to the hard drive. You may want to either back up those files for safekeeping or just transferring them from your workstation to your home PC. On Windows 10, double click “This Pc” and for older versions, you should click the “My Computer” icon. This will automatically take windows file explorer. Within file explorer, you should now see your external hard disk listed among the volumes.

Organizing your drive

You can partition your external hard drive in such a way that gives organization to your files. Partitioning is like breaking down your drive into two or three parts. You may use one part as a personal section where you store your photos and videos, and another part for work files like spreadsheets, PowerPoint, and Word documents.

The procedure for partitioning your hard disk is windows is as follows; Press the Windows key and X simultaneously. This will open up a menu that will appear on the bottom left side of the screen, click on “disk management”.

Under disk management, right-click on the name of the external drive and select shrink. Shrinking means reducing the space on the current partition which in the end leaves come unlocated space. Right-click on the unlocated space and select create a new volume. Follow the prompts thereafter.

Monitor its health

You can use third-party software to monitor the health of your hard drive. Just like any piece of technology you own, your hard drive wears down with use and may get issues like overheating screeching noises or slowing down with time. One tool that does a good job in monitoring hard drive health in an app called Hard Disk Sentinel (HD Sentinel).

Precautions and safety

  • Do not place heavy objects on your hard drive
  • Do not expose it to any form of heat for prolonged periods
  • Do not pour liquids or store it in dump areas, this may cause electric shock
  • Do not use any chemical products like detergents to clean it. We recommended using a soft cloth to wipe it clean whenever it has dust or any other form of dirt.

Final thoughts

Just like any device you use for the first time, it may seem a bit hard at first to use your new hard drive, but as you spend more time with it, you will get to learn how to use it properly. However, if you realize something you can’t understand, seek technical advice to avoid damaging the hard disk.