HP Media Center 873n Hard Drive
Instructions on how to replace an HP Media Center 873n Hard Drive. First, you will need to find out the current connection type on your HP Media Center 873n Hard Drive. You need to find out whether it is ATA (aka IDE) or SATA. Click here for a picture to help you identify the difference between ATA and SATA. Be sure to pay close attention to the difference in cables as an ATA drive will have a much wider cable than the SATA drive.
Next is to choose the size of drive you want. Here you are basically free to choose any size hard drive you wish, but your best bet is to always choose one that is the same size as your HP Media Center 873n hard drive or bigger. It is usually not a good idea to go with a smaller hard drive if you can help it. If you are not sure what size your current HP Media Center 873n 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 take the drive out of the computer and look at the sticker on it which will usually state the size of it somewhere. Once you find the size then move on to the next step.
The next step is to buy a new drive to replace your HP Media Center 873n hard drive using the information you just gathered (i.e. 80GB SATA drive or 250GB ATA drive). You can buy new hard drives from many different places online as well as in many brick and mortar stores. Just look around until you find a good price that you are willing to pay.
After that you will need to transfer information from the old to the new. There are two different ways of accomplishing this task:
Method 1: Clone an HP Media Center 873n hard drive. This method will clone your old HP Media Center 873n hard drive to your newly purchased drive. The result will be an exact duplicate of how you had things as before. All your programs will be there, your desktop will sill look the same, etc. The only drawback is that if you had any viruses or errors on your old drive those too would be transferred to the new drive.
How to clone a hard drive: You will need to download cloning software from somewhere online. Two popular titles include Norton Ghost and Easeus Disk Copy. (Note: Easeus Disk Copy is free to download, just Google it!) One you have the software installed you will need to learn how to use it as it pertains to cloning disks. The easiest way to clone a disk is to make a bootable CD or flash drive. The cloning program should be able to do this for you in some way. Then, simply connect both hard drives to the computer and boot it up using the CD or flash drive that you made with the cloning software. Because each program is different I can only tell you to take it step by step. After that, you simply remove the old hard drive and boot to the new one. Once done you should have your HP Media Center 873n hard drive replacement ready to go (If not then you will need to do method 2).
Method 2: Clean install and copy all important files over. This simply means installing a fresh copy of Windows 98, 2000, XP, Vista or 7 on your new hard drive and then copying over all your documents, pictures, movies and anything else you want to keep. This is probably a much simpler method than the previous, but the big drawback is that you will have to install all your programs over again. This sounds like a daunting task but if you try the first method and fail, you will have to do it this method anyway. This is what we call a “clean install” because it gets rid of all the old unused junk files on your drive and as a result it tends to speed up your computer.
You should be proud because you just saved yourself a whole lot of money by not taking it to a professional to have it done. You should also feel good because you just performed a HP Media Center 873n hard drive replacement all by yourself.