Here is what I bought:
A new hard drive (the size is up to you. It will depend on what you use your computer for, and how long it will be before you buy a new one.) Check with support where you purchase the hard drive to ensure that you get one that is compatible with your computer.
Latex gloves (they do not conduct static)
Dust can (pressurized air, you may as well clean out your computer while you’re in there)
Operating System (you might be able to use the program disks that came with your computer, but not all manufacturers leave this option open.) If you have an external hard drive, you can use it instead.
Thumb drive or memory stick
Disks for any program that may have been in your computer
Small Philips screw driver
If your computer still works:
If your computer still turns on and functions but you are replacing your hard drive; log onto your computer and move all of your files onto a memory stick, external hard drive, or thumb drive. Make sure to get all of your pictures and documents as well. Drag all of your program files onto your portable drive. If your computer does not work at all follow directions below.
Unplug your computer and make sure there are no connectors still left on the tower or CPU. Take the side panel off of your computer. The way you do this will vary depending on the manufacturer. Rub your hands on the inside of the panel you removed. This helps break up any static that you may have built up. Put on your latex gloves so that you do not build additional static. Do not touch inside your computer before doing this because a lot of the components inside are sensitive to static. Use your duster to blow out any dust particles that are built up in your computer. This will ensure that no dust gets into the connection of your hard drive.
Place your computer on its side on a table or work bench. Locate the hard drive. Typically it is in a metal case connected to the inside panel of the computer. Unscrew the case that the hard drive is sitting in and gently turn your hard drive around and look at where it is connected. This is where you will hook up the new hard drive as well. There is a switch on the hard drive that will show you how the hard drive is running. If you only have one hard drive in your computer, it should be running as the master drive. Set your new hard drive to the exact same setting. As you unhook your old hard drive, immediately plug the cable into the new hard drive so that you do not get mixed up on where it goes. Put your computer back together the way it started. The new hard drive should be seated in the case that the old one came out of. Replace the side panel on the computer and plug in all of the components. This includes the monitor, mouse, keyboard, and speakers.
When you turn your computer on, you will not see anything familiar. If you used an external drive, simply plug it in and move your files over. After the transfer, you will be finished
However, if you did not use an external disk, you will have to insert a disk to an operating system. This process can take a while, so be patient. After the set up process is done, start by installing the disk given to you by your internet provider. Many of your drivers can be pulled off of the manufacturer’s website. You will want to do this next. You will be asked the serial number and the model number of your computer. This is to verify that you have the right drivers. Simply follow the instructions given on the screen.
Next you will want to move all of your personal files from your flash drive or thumb drive. This should be your pictures and documents.
You should then restart your computer, this will allow any updates to install that are specifically for your computer or programs..