What is a Hard Drive Bracket?

G. Wiesen

A hard drive bracket is a piece, or several pieces, of hardware that are used inside of a computer to allow a hard drive to be installed securely within the computer tower or case. There are a number of different types of brackets, depending on the type of computer case into which the hard drive is being installed. Most brackets typically consist of two separate pieces that are connected to the inside of the computer case, and then the hard drive is attached to the bracket to create a strong, stable installation for the drive. A hard drive bracket also can be a piece of hardware that is connected to other brackets within the tower to allow a new hard drive to be added to existing drives.

Hard drive.
Hard drive.

While many computer towers and cases are designed to easily allow one or more hard drives to be installed into the case, a hard drive bracket may be required in some cases. This is typically necessary for towers and cases that are provided by a company that builds pre-fabricated computers, or for adding a hard drive to a tower that does not have adequate hard drive space. Depending on the purpose of the hard drive bracket, it may consist of one or more pieces and can have a number of different features.

Hard drive with case removed.
Hard drive with case removed.

A hard drive bracket typically consists of two piece of metal that are connected to the inside of a computer tower or case. These pieces are spaced far enough apart that a hard drive can slide between them, and the drive is connected to the bracket pieces with screws. This creates a strong bond that is stable and keeps the drive in place. Some types of hard drive brackets also can be created to allow the hard drive to easily be removed or swapped out for other drives, though this is often referred to as a hard drive caddy.

For a prefabricated computer, such as those offered by a number of different mainstream computer companies, a hard drive bracket may allow a person to add another hard drive to a system with one or more hard drives already installed. These types of computers often use hard drive mounts that are self enclosed, rather than systems used in other towers and cases that are more like shelves. This type of computer will not usually come with brackets for other hard drives.

Adding another hard drive to a prefabricated set up typically cannot be done without a hard drive bracket. The bracket will usually appear similar to the enclosure already used, and either connects to that first bracket or to the tower, or both. This type of bracket may need to be purchased from the computer maker or a third party that specializes in hardware compatible with that used by the manufacturer.

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