How to Remove the Hard Drive from an HP Pavilion 17 Laptop

Upgrading or replacing the hard drive on an HP Pavilion 17 laptop is a straightforward process once you know the steps. Here is a guide on safely removing the hard drive.


The HP Pavilion 17 laptop series provides easy internal access to the hard drive bay for replacing the existing drive or adding a secondary drive. This just requires removing the service cover on the bottom and a few screws.

When replacing the hard drive, be sure to have the new drive, a small Phillips head screwdriver, and an external enclosure or PC to backup files beforehand.

Hard Drive Removal Steps

Follow these steps to remove the hard drive on an HP Pavilion 17:

  1. Turn off the laptop, unplug all connected devices, and remove any removable media.
  2. Place the laptop upside down on a flat, padded surface. Locate the rectangular service cover on the bottom panel secured by two screws.
  3. Remove the two screws using a Phillips #0 screwdriver. Lift off the service cover.
  4. Locate the 2.5” drive bay in the middle, secured by four screws. Remove these four screws.
  5. Gently pull up on the plastic lip of the hard drive bay to slide out the drive.
  6. Detach the drive by carefully unplugging the SATA data cable and power cable.
  7. Place the old drive into an external enclosure or SATA-to-USB adapter and backup your files as needed.
  8. Once the old drive is removed, you can install the replacement drive secured in the bay. Reattach the cables and replace the service cover.

Tips for Hard Drive Removal

  • Use a soft, static-free surface when handling the bare drive to avoid damage.
  • Always properly eject or log off the OS before powering down to dismount the drive safely.
  • Be extremely gentle when disconnecting the fragile SATA and power cables from the drive.
  • Avoid touching the circuit board components directly and hold the drive only by the edges.
  • If upgrading to an SSD, be sure it matches the physical size format and connection type.


Removing the hard drive on an HP Pavilion 17 laptop simply requires unscrewing the service cover, detaching the drive cables, and sliding out the bay. Go slowly when handling the drive itself. With the old drive removed, you can safely install an upgraded or replacement drive suited to your needs. This straightforward process allows extending the life of an aging Pavilion 17 laptop.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can I tell if my laptop uses a HDD or existing SSD?

A: In Disk Management, HDDs show as Disk 1 while SSDs display as Disk 0. Physical size may also indicate HDD vs. SSD.

Q: Do I need to replace the mounting caddy when installing a new drive?

A: No, the HP 17 uses a universal SATA drive bay that houses either HDDs or SSDs interchangeably.

Q: Do I need to reinstall Windows when replacing the hard drive?

A: Yes, Windows will need to be cleanly reinstalled unless you clone the OS drive beforehand.

Q: Where is the recovery partition located?

A: The recovery partition is on a separate disk location not affected when replacing the main hard drive.

Q: Can I upgrade to a faster SSD like NVMe?

A: Unfortunately no, the Pavilion 17 only has a standard SATA connection that doesn’t support NVMe SSDs.

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