Instructions on how to replace a Dell Dimension 8300 Hard Drive as a DIY project. First, you will need to find out the type of connection your Dell Dimension 8300 hard drive has and whether it is ATA (aka IDE) or SATA. Click here for a picture to help identify whether your hard drive is ATA or SATA.
After determining the correct connection, the next step is to choose the size. You are pretty much free to choose almost any size hard drive you wish but your best bet is to always choose one that is the same size as your Dell Dimension 8300 hard drive or bigger, it is usually not a good idea to go with a smaller drive if you can help it. If you are not sure what size your Dell Dimension 8300 hard drive is you can always check by opening “My Computer” on your desktop and then right-clicking on your “C” drive and selecting “Properties”. From there you should be able to determine the size of your hard drive. Another way is to simply take the drive out and look at the information sticker which will usually state the size.
Next is to buy a new drive to replace your Dell Dimension 8300 hard drive using the information you gathered from before (i.e. 500GB SATA drive or 120GB ATA drive). You can buy new hard drives from many different places online as well as in brick and mortar stores. Just shop around until you find a good price that you are willing to pay for it.
After you buy a new drive to replace your Dell Dimension 8300 hard drive the next step is to transfer information from the old to the new. There are two different ways of accomplishing this task.
Method 1: Clone, or duplicate entire drive. This method will clone your old Dell Dimension 8300 hard drive to your new drive. The result will be an exact duplicate of how you had things as before; your desktop will look the same, your programs will remain the same, etc. The only drawback is that if you had any viruses or errors on your old drive those too would be transferred over.
How to clone your drive, DIY: You will need to obtain cloning software from somewhere. Some popular titles include Norton Ghost, Easeus Disk Copy or any other title you wish to use. (Note: Easeus Disk Copy is free to download, just Google it.) One you have the software, you will need to learn how to use it. The easiest way to clone a hard drive is to make a bootable CD or flashdrive. The cloning program should be able to do this for you. Simply connect both hard drives and boot the computer using the CD or flashdrive that you made. Because each program is different I can only tell you to take it step by step until it is done. Then remove the old hard drive and boot only to the new one. One done you will have your Dell Dimension 8300 hard drive replacement ready to go.
Method 2: Perform a clean install and copy important files over This simply involves installing a fresh copy of Windows on your new hard drive and then copying over all your documents, pictures, movies, etc. This is probably a much easier method than the previous, but the drawback is that you will have to install all your programs again. This sounds like a daunting task but if you try the first method and fail, you will have to do it this way anyway. This is what we call a “clean install” because it gets rid of all the old unused junk on your hard drive and tends to speed up your computer.
Whichever method you choose you should be proud because you just saved yourself a lot of money by not taking it to a pro. You should also feel good because you just performed a Dell Dimension 8300 hard drive replacement all by yourself.