This post concentrates on the topic of Dell hard drive replacement, answering two highly-concerned questions: how much does it cost to replace a Dell hard drive and how to replace a Dell hard drive. Now follow this post to explore this topic with MiniTool.

My Inspiron 15 3567’s hard drive gave out the other day. Dell can fix it but, since it’s not under warranty, I’ll have to pay. I know there’s a diagnostics fee, plus the actual fee to replace the hard drive and reinstall Windows. Dell won’t give me a roundabout price of course, so I’m unsure if I want to send my laptop to them only for them to tell me it’ll be a high price to fix …

In the above case, it is wise to replace the broken Dell hard drive rather than repair it. Well, how to choose the right replacement drive and how to replace a Dell hard drive? Keep reading.

Choose a Right Dell Hard Drive: Cost and Compatibility

The Dell hard drive replacement cost depends on the drive you choose, while the hard drive price is set by many factors like hard drive type, interface type, capacity, etc. Here takes Dell 202V7 4TB 3.5in 7.2k NL SAS 6gbs Hard Drive for example. This hard drive is sold on Amazon at the price of $46.20.

a hard drive sold on Amazon

Aside from the cost, another factor “COMPATIBILITY” should not be neglected when you plan to do a hard drive replacement.

Here is a concern:

I need to replace the hard drive on my Dell OptiPlex 750 desktop. I am having problems finding which particular hard drive to purchase. The current hard drive is dying and needs a replacement. Sorry for the noob question it's been 10 years since I've replaced a hard drive I haven't a clue what's compatible …

Hard drive compatibility is mainly confined by two factors including interface type and drive form factor. So, here we are going to discuss how to choose a price-reasonable and compatible hard drive for your Dell computer.

Four Factors for Choosing a Right Drive

First, there are three hard drive types: HDDs, SSDs, and SSHDs.

An HDD (also known as traditional hard drive) features large capacity with a low price and low speed. An SSD (also known as solid-state drive) boasts high speed at a high price. As to an SSHD (also known as hybrid drive), it is the combination of an HDD and an SSD, featuring high speed and large capacity. It seems that an SSHD is ideal. However, the fact is unexpected. At the same price, the SSHD provides less space than the HDD does, and the SSHD cannot perform as well as the SSD does.

Well, which type of hard drive to choose? If you need large capacity and low price, an HDD could be the top choice; if you pursue high performance, then an SSD could be better; if you want to enjoy relatively large space and high performance, an SSHD should be considered.

Then, in terms of the drive interface type, it is divided into IDE, SATA, SCSI, SAS, and FC (Fiber Channel), NVMe, and PCIe. This factor is more important for drive compatibility than drive price. The hard drive interface acts as a bridge that connects the drive and the host computer system, transmitting data between the drive cache and the host memory.

So, check what drive interface your Dell computer supports. You can search the keywords like “Vostro 3458 drive interface type” online to find clear information.

Next, as to the drive form factor, desktop HDDs tend to be 3.5 inches, while laptop HDDs tend to be 2.5 inches. And most SSDs come in 2.5-inch form factor; there are also some SSDs with special form factors like mSATA, M.2, and U.2. (See How to Pick an SSD of the Right Form Factor for Your Device)

Check the manual to figure out what the drive form factor is supported by your motherboard.

Finally, how much data the drive can hold is also important. Large drive capacity means more data can be held with a low chance of low disk space. But an SSD with a large capacity is expensive.

You might be interested in How Much SSD Storage Do You Need? – Get Answer Now

Ideal Hard Drives for Dell Computers

Here are two recommendations from Dell Technologies:

# 1. Dell 1TB 5400 RPM SATA 2.5in Hard Drive (sold for $129)

This HDD offers a storage capacity of 1TB, which ensures that you store large amounts of data. Then, it is equipped with a SATA interface which delivers high data transfer rate. In addition, its 5400 RPM spindle speed ensures high performance.

This hard drive is compatible with the following systems:

  • Inspiron 15 3000 (3502)/3000 (3510)/3000 (3511)/3000 (3515)
  • Latitude 5521
  • OptiPlex 3090 MFF/3090 MT/3090 SFF/3090 UFF/7090 UFF
  • Vostro 15 3000 (3510)/3000 (3515)

# 2. Dell M.2 512GB PCIe NVMe Class 40 SSD (sold for $478.82)

The storage capacity of 512GB can ensure that you store as much as data. Then, it comes with an NVMe interface which delivers high data transfer rate.

It works with the following systems:

  • Latitude 5280/5285 2-in-1/5289 2-in-1/5290/5290 2-in-1/5480/5490/5491/5495/5580/5590/5591/7280/7290/7380/7389 2-in-1/7390/7390 2-in-1/7480/7490
  • OptiPlex 5060 MFF/5060 MT/5060 SFF/5260 AIO/7050 MFF/7050 MT/7050 SFF/7060 MFF/7060 MT/7060 SFF/7460 AIO/7760 AIO/XE3 MFF/XE3 MT/XE3 SFF
  • Precision 3530/5520/5530/7520/7530/7720/7730
  • Precision Workstation 3430 XL/5820 Tower/7820 Tower/7920 Tower/R7920/R7920 XL/T5810/T5820XL Tower/T7810/T7820XL Tower/T7910/T7920XL Tower
  • XPS 13 (9365) 2-in-1

After preparing a new hard drive for your Dell computer, you can start replacing the old hard drive.

Start Dell Hard Drive Replacement

There are two ideas for replacing the hard disk:

  • Replace the Dell hard drive without OS reinstallation.
  • Replace the Dell hard drive with OS reinstallation.

No matter which you choose, a corresponding tutorial is available below.

Replace Dell Hard Drive Without OS Reinstallation

In this way, you need an OS migration program, and here MiniTool Partition Wizard is recommended. MiniTool Partition Wizard provides you two choices: only migrate the system-required partitions and migrate all partitions.

two choices of OS migration

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The whole OS migration process on MiniTool Partition Wizard goes like this:

Step 1: Connect the new hard drive to your Dell computer.

Step 2: Launch MiniTool Partition Wizard to access its main interface where you should see at least two hard drives.

Step 3: Choose the Migrate OS to SSD/HD feature from the Wizard menu on the left side.

choose Migrate OS to SSD/HD

Step 4: Choose the right migration method and then click the Next button.

Step 5: Choose the new hard drive as the destination disk and then click the Next button.

Note: If you want to migrate all data, the new hard drive should be large enough to hold it.

choose a hard drive

Step 6: Choose a copy option and click the Next button.

Note: Choose the one you prefer from the two copy options. As to the Align partitions to 1 MB option, please keep it checked if your new hard drive is an SSD, plus the Use GUID Partition Table for the target disk option is also recommended if the new hard drive is larger than 2 TB and your computer supports UEFI boot.

choose a copy option

Step 7: Read the note carefully on the window and then click the Finish button.

Step 8: Preview the operations and then click the Apply button to start this OS migration.

click Apply

Step 9: Wait for this OS migration to be done. Once it finishes, disconnect the new hard drive.

Step 10: Remove the old hard drive gently and install the new hard drive carefully.

Remove the old hard drive:

  1. Power off your computer and unplug all external devices including the AC adapter and the battery.
  2. Hold the power button in for 5 seconds to drain any remaining power.
  3. Remove the screws used to secure the bottom access panel.
  4. Remove the screws used to secure the hard drive.
Note: If the new drive did not come with the hard drive brackets, you need to continue to remove the screws securing the hard drive brackets to the drive. Then remove the brackets from the hard drive.

Install the new hard drive:

  1. (Optional) Use the bracket's screws to attach the brackets to the new hard drive.
  2. Insert the new hard drive into the system.
  3. Fix the new hard drive.
  4. Replace the bottom access panel.
  5. Insert the screws for the bottom access panel to secure it in place.
  6. Install the battery and reconnect the AC adapter.

Step 11: Power on your computer and it will boot from the new hard drive.

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Replace Dell Hard drive with OS Reinstallation

Alternatively, you can choose to reinstall Windows on the new hard drive. Here are four steps:

  1. Back up your computer.
  2. Create a bootable USB.
  3. Remove the old hard drive and install the new hard drive.
  4. Install Windows on the new hard drive.

For more details of the four steps, please refer to How to Replace Laptop Hard Drive and Reinstall Operating System.

How to Deal with the Replaced Dell Hard Drive?

If your computer boots successfully after Dell hard drive upgrade, that’s great. But it is not the end, and another thing needs to be done — deal with the replaced hard drive.

How to deal with the replaced hard drive safely? Before throwing the hard drive into a recycle bin, it is highly recommended that you wipe it in case of any chance that people steal your data. You can complete that with MiniTool Partition Wizard for free.

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Step 1: Connect the hard drive to your computer and launch MiniTool Partition Wizard.

Step 2: Highlight the hard drive and then choose the Wipe Disk function from the left action panel.

Step 3: Choose a wiping method and click the OK button.

Note: The longer the wiping method takes, the safer your data is.

Step 4: Click the Apply button to start wiping the hard drive.

wipe a disk via MiniTool Partition Wizard

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Which Dell Replacements Parts to Buy for Upgrade? How to Install?
Which Dell Replacements Parts to Buy for Upgrade? How to Install?

Which Dell replacement parts should you buy for a computer upgrade? How to install these common components? A full guide is for you!

Read More

Bottom Line

The key points of Dell hard drive upgrade have been displayed above. First of all, choose a proper hard drive based on three factors (hard drive type, drive interface & form factor, and drive capacity). Then, replace the old hard drive with the replacement hard drive. Finally, do not forget to wipe the old hard drive before throwing it.

That’s all about Dell hard drive replacement. If you have any questions about this topic, leave a comment in the following zone. If you have any questions about MiniTool Partition Wizard, please contact [email protected] immediately. We will contact you as soon as possible.

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