The hard drive is an essential component in any PC. Its job is to store data such as photos, videos, documents, and applications.
The hard drive is different from RAM. Though both components store data, the hard drive stores its data permanently, while data stored on RAM is only temporary. On a hard drive, data stored can remain there for years. But if anything happens to the hard drive, you may lose your data forever.
Furthermore, the higher the storage space on the PC means, the greater the opportunity to store larger files. That’s why users always go after PCs with more storage space. PC makers, on the one hand, know this. That’s why they keep manufacturing computers with higher storage capacities.
However, most people wouldn’t mind having more than one hard drive in their computer system. After all, it will mean more storage space. But the question is can you have more than one hard drive on a PC?
Let’s fix this question.
How many hard drives can I have in my PC?
Several factors determine the number of hard drives you can have on a computer. The first obvious factor is the type of computer in question. Is it a laptop or a desktop?
If you’re using a laptop computer, then you can only use one internal hard drive. You can’t have more than one, given the slot and space available on the motherboard and casing, respectively.
You can only use an external hard drive as your second storage option. And you can even use multiple external hard drives.
However, some laptops might boast two hard drive bays and offer a slot for one SSD (solid-state drive). In total, it would have three internal hard drives. When you add your external hard drive, your laptop’s storage capacity would therefore increase.
But keep in mind that laptops that can accommodate the above number of hard drives would be a bit bulky, making it an arduous task for users to transport.
For desktop computers, the situation is quite different. You can have four or more internal hard drives, depending on the SATA port available. If the motherboard has eight SATA ports, you can automatically add eight hard drives.
You can also increase the number of hard drives on a desktop by mounting extension cards on any PCIe slots. The slots are long strips planted on the motherboard, where hardware such as graphics cards is mounted.
So that’s it on how many hard drives you can have on your PC. But we have more in store for you, and we would like you to keep reading.
What Hard Drive Is
It’s expected of any PC user to know what a hard drive is. But computers are pretty complex and boast several components, which can be pretty confusing. So, you can’t blame anyone that claims he doesn’t know what a hard drive is.
So, what is a hard drive? Firstly, it’s called the hard disk drive, HD, HDD, or fixed disk. The hard drive is non-volatile storage that stores a computer’s digital content.
Hard disk stores your photos, videos, operating systems, applications, music, and other files. You can also retrieve content stored in the hard drive when the PC is on, and the hard drive is still working.
A Handy Tip: It’s essential to treat your hard drive with care. Keep in mind that once it crashes, you may never recover your stored digital content again. That is, all of your data would be gone forever unless you had backed them up.
Hard drives can be external (attached to the computer via USB port) or internal hard drives (Attached to the motherboard directly).
Both hard drives perform the same duty, and you can use them for the same purpose. That is to store videos, music, photos, applications, and others.
A Handy Tip: If you’re installing a new OS on your hard drive, ensure you backup the data stored in your computer before you proceed.
The hard drive also comes in varied capacities. The smallest is the 4GB, and 8GB hard drive manufactured by Toshiba and they are Guinness Book World Record holders.
Finally, you can use an old hard disk from a laptop you’re no longer using as an external hard drive. It’s even better to use it than for it to remain idle and become faulty.
All you need is an external enclosure, which costs little money. Place your old hard drive in the enclosure, and you’re good to go.
How To Know The Number of Internal Hard Drives Your PC Can Operate
If you’re planning to add more hard drives to your PC without figuring out how many hard drives it can operate, you’re making a big mistake. Your first task is to determine how many hard drives the PC can hold, so you don’t buy excess of what you need.
Now, how can you determine the number of hard drives your computer can operate with ease? It’s simple. But please note that guesswork isn’t helpful in this regard. Here’s how you can determine this.
Check the motherboard: The motherboard is where you attach the hard drive. So, it’s the most crucial component when checking for the number of hard drives a computer can operate. The number of the port on the board determines the number of hard drives you can attach to the computer.
In addition, the number of ports on a motherboard varies from one PC to another.
So, if your PC’s motherboard has eight slots, it means your PC can operate eight internal hard drives. Your only limitation would be to connect the power into each hard drive, just like the original one.
This step involves physical examination. In this case, you need to remove the PC’s casing to manually count the number of internal hard drive slots the device can operate.
Check from the BIOS setup: You can know more about your computer from the BIOS. You can also determine the number of hard drives the PC can operate from the BIOS.
All you need to focus on is the number of SATA ports available. If there are 4 SATA ports, it, therefore, means that your computer can operate four hard drives.
A Handy Tip: With the help of expansion cards, you can increase the SATA ports on your motherboard. And there would automatically increase the number of internal hard drives your PC can operate.
But please don’t do this if you don’t have the knowledge or experience. Stick to the available SATA ports on the board.
When you attach expansion cards to the motherboard, it might not work initially. It’s because the board hasn’t recognized the cards yet. So, they would need OS support for any hard drive attached to the extension cards to work.
Consider the casing: Have you seen a hard drive dangling outside the case of a brand new computer? It’s not possible. Manufacturers know how fragile the hard drive is. That’s why they always make provision for it within the computer.
So, before you add an extra hard drive to your computer, consider the PC’s casing. Will it close down properly after you have mounted the other hard drives?
Anyway, even if the extra hard drives make it impossible to close the PC casing, you can always find an alternative way of getting it to stay firmly. In most cases, many people wouldn’t mind using duct tape to hold the hard drive in position.
Is Having Multiple Hard Drives In A PC Beneficial?
Yes, it is. One would have said “no” if the multiple hard drives reduced the PC’s performance. But that’s not the case. It even helps to boost the PC’s performance.
So, many reasons having multiple hard drives in one computer is beneficial exists. Let’s discuss them below.
Increased storage space: Boost in storage space is practically the most common reason people add multiple drives to their PCs.
Having two or more hard drives in a PC would greatly benefit a company that handles larger files.
Higher storage capacity, which multiple hard drives causes, is highly beneficial for businesses that are into video editing, graphics design, etc.
Makes Back a breeze: Your PC is just a machine. Though it might be working well now, there’s no guarantee of how it will be in the next second. Your hard drive can also develop a fault at any time.
So, imagine if you had only one hard drive, and suddenly, it stops working. What would you do? Nothing! The only thing you can do is buy a brand new hard drive and get a technician to mount it.
But if you have two or more hard drives, you might have duplicated the files. In this case, if one hard drive develops a fault, you can easily switch over to the next one. And all your files would still be intact.
What Damages Hard Drives Faster?
Several factors can damage your hard drive and cause you to lose all the information stored in the device. Let’s discuss each of them.
Damaged recording surface:
This accounts for 70 percent of the damages or failures experienced by hard drives out there.
So, what causes damage to a hard drive’s recording surface? It’s primarily due to physical shock. It happens when you hit the hard drive so hard, drop it, or when it falls over.
Damage to the platters or a head crash can also cause physical shock to the hard drive, leading to permanent damage.
Circuit board failure:
Here’s another cause of hard drive damage. Circuit board failure is responsible for approximately 18 percent of hard drive damages.
What causes circuit board failure? It’s no other than moisture and static electricity.
Stiction: Another way to put this is friction plus sticking. And it’s from the stuck read-write head armature. Additionally, stiction causes 11 percent of known hard drive failures out there.
It’s important to know that you can avert this hard drive failure by keeping the device active. Hard drive failure under this condition happens when you leave a drive idle for an extended period.
Drive motor failure:
Approximately 1 percent of hard drive damages are due to motor failure.
A Handy Tip:
You can prevent hard drive damage with ease. Just avoid static electricity discharges, physical shock, and moisture.
In addition, if you can, then endeavor to store data in another storage device. If something terrible happens to one hard drive, you won’t lose your files.
How many hard drives can I have in my PC? That’s the primary question. But we decided to share information on other subjects to broaden your knowledge on the hard drive.
Hard drives are a crucial component in computers. And remember that several factors determine the number of hard drives you can have on your computer. Additionally, we shared the causes of hard drive failures and how common the damages are, including ways to store hard drives.