How Many Hard Drives Can My Motherboard Support? [Guide]

How Many Hard Drives Can My Motherboard Support

There is always this happy euphoria that comes along with buying a new computer. We usually feel like we have more than enough space with the new purchase. In no time at all, the treasured space might likely become full. So, you really must pay attention to the memory specifications before buying a new computer.

One component of your computer that determines how much space it can hold is the hard drive. The hard drive is that compartment that holds the storage where you have your operating system. It is required for the installation of programs. It is also needed to keep the files you have on your computer. So, the hard drive is quite an important part of your computer.

We will be showing you a couple of insights for your hard drive. We are certain that this bit of information will help you in making better purchase decisions. So, let’s get right in.

How many hard drives can my motherboard support?

A computer system can technically support more than one hard drive. The number of hard drives depends on the specifications of your motherboard. Most motherboards come with four SATA ports. This means that they can be connected with two hard drives and two DVD drives. You could also work with a different combination of three hard drives and one DVD drive.

In recent innovations, most computers come with five or six SATA ports. This makes room for more hard drives spaces. Just for clarifications, SATA ports are ports used in connecting your motherboards to hard drives.

How can I check the maximum number of drives that my PC can have?

So, maybe you have decided to add more drives to your computer, well there is something to consider. You have to first check how many drives your computer supports though. You can decide to try out the conventional way of opening your computer and checking your motherboard. This however needs some level of expertise. So, if you do not have any experience doing this, then, you should not dabble into it.

There is a much easier way to check this specification. You can do this by checking the BIOS setup. The BIOS setup is a startup program that is very important for your computer. It is the program responsible for the booting of your system. You will find it on your motherboard as a chip.

The BIOS setup will give you an insight into how many SATA ports are available on your motherboard. To access the setup, you have to press the setup key while your system is still booting. This key is not the same for all computer types. Depending on the manufacturer, it could be keys F1, F2, F10, F12, or DEL. The manufacturer determines the setup key, so you have to consult the manual here.

If you work with a windows 10 operating system, you can check the advanced recovery menu option. The BIOS menu will provide you with details about how many SATA ports you have. If you are not satisfied with the number of SATA ports, expansion cards can come in handy.

Expansion cards can help you increase the options of SATA ports at your disposal. The expansion cards must be compatible with your operating system though. If their compatibility is in question, the motherboard will not work with them.

Related: Good Motherboard For Gaming

Installing a second hard drive to your computer

If you have thought it through and feel that you want to add a second drive, then there is a defined pattern to doing so. The first thing to decide on though is where you want to mount the drive. A desktop computer may have considerably better space to accommodate the drive. All you just have to decide about is where to put the brackets that will hold the drive.

If you have a laptop, however, you might have to let go of the DVD drive to make room for an extra hard drive. So, how exactly do you get started with this process? Let’s consider some of the basic steps.

Disconnect the power source

First things first, you have to unplug your computer from the source of power. This is necessary when you consider safety in the process. It is never advisable to open up an electronic gadget with the power source still connected. It could cause surges in power and could be harmful.

Disconnect the drive cables

Most drives come with two cable connections. This includes the data and power cables. The data cable has a wide tip and it is ribbon-like. The power cable on the other hand has a white tip with red, yellow, and black wires attached.

Remove the DVD drive

Next, you have to unscrew the DVD drive and remove it. You can do this by either releasing the latch or by sliding it out. You have to follow what is prescribed by the manufacturer though. As we said earlier, if you use a desktop, you don’t need to remove the DVD drive. You can just install the brackets for the new drive and secure them with screws.

Connect the hard drive and power on your computer

Put in the hard drives in the already installed brackets. Secure them with screws and connect them to the motherboard. Make sure to also connect the power and data cables. So, screw back the cover of your computer. Put everything back in place and turn on your computer.

BIOS Setup

After turning on your computer, try accessing the BIOS setup. Locate the setup or hardware tab. You will be directed to information that shows the hardware connected to the motherboard. You should be able to see the newly installed drives. Select the booting process and save the setup. Your system should restart now.

If you can’t locate the hard drive, go back and check the connections. Ensure that every connection is in place. You have to make sure that your auto-detect option is spot on. You will also need to format your new drive so they are in a format compatible with your system.

Related: Do Motherboards Have Bluetooth


So, say you are looking to increase the storage capacity of your computer, you have just hit gold. The insights we have provided are just about what you need. Your hard drive is a great place to start from.

Feel free and take a look at every piece of information. Pay attention to details and make use of the information we have given.

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