[ KB ] Hard Drive Clear-Case Modification

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Derek
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[ KB ] Hard Drive Clear-Case Modification

Post by Derek » Mon Jul 21, 2003 8:00 pm

I came across this in one of our site archives while I was cleaning up our old server. This mod was originally done by Holodeck2 a long time ago (sometime in 1999 I believe). Unfortunately he's disappeared since then; no one has been able to get a hold of him! So I decided to blow the dust off this one (virtual dust of course) and add it to our new article database (I hope you don't mind Holodeck2, wherever you are).

When we first published this article it was the talk of the town, we were one of the first sites (if not, the first) to present something so radical and so cool; we've been around for quite some time don't forget. Anyway, enough with my chitchat!

Holodeck2's Intro:

This hard drive mod came about when one of my friends wanted a clear case and he also wanted something unique for his computer. I brainstormed for a few hours (while I was playing Quake) when it hit me *WHAM*

I've seen, and I'm pretty sure most of you have seen too, a hard drive advertisement with the cover off and the platters exposed.

Until the time I first took the covers off of my computer, I always thought hard drives came like that (platters exposed). Oh, how wrong I was :)

So that's how this Mod evolved, I've never seen this done before to the best of my knowledge and I surfed around the cool case mod places like Virtual Hideout, Hard|Forum's case mod area, etc. to make sure.

He wanted me to build a raid system 0+1 (4HDs)

They look very sweet inside the clear case and the coolest part is watching them seek in tandem.

Contrary to popular belief hard drives are not vacuum sealed; well, at least most desktop ones aren't. Specialized drives might be different. They have ventilation holes that allow highly filtered air to equalize the pressure inside and outside the drive.

Time For Some Moddin'!

Tools you'll need:

A Dremel or equivalent
About 4 heavy Duty cutoff Disks
Sanding attachment
200 Grit Sand Paper
Goop (Glue)
Silicone Sealant
Toothpick
Clamps
Spiral cutting Bit
Hard drive (Duh)
Either Plexiglas or Lexan (Lexan Preferred)
Goggles
Guts!

Steps: (May differ upon make and model of hard drive)

The subject is a hard drive I pulled out of my Linux Box, which brings us to the first step: Obtain a hard drive.
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Take the screws out. I you don't have a special screw driver, do what I did; take a flathead and sand down some of the sides so it fits in there just perfectly.
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The naked drive in all its glory.
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Cover the platter part with plastic wrap and put it in a safe spot.
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You can peal off the front sticker if you still want it.
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Take the top metal cover off the top cover using a flat head screw driver.
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Front.
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Back.
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Flip it over and clamp it down. Let the cutting Begin.
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You can see where the circle is starting.
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Get a general Idea on how much of the drive you want to see and cut that area of the
cover out; the cutting should be simple, don�t put too much pressure on the cutting blade or else it'll snap! Since most of these drive casings are made out of aluminum, a soft metal, it should be easy to cut. Devise a method of catching and containing the aluminum shavings. Do not use a vacuum without a protected motor to suck up the shavings.

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This is cut so only the platters show.
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If you want most of the drive showing this is how you should cut it.
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Testing the empty frame without Plexiglass.
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Sand down all the edges.
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Cut a piece of Plexiglass the same size as the top cover.
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Cut the Plexiglass so it's the same shape as the top part.
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A Spiral cutting bit helps if you know how to use it.
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Grab your favorite adhesive; I used Regular goop, this stuff works like no other, and use a tooth pick to spread it on the areas that will be in contact with the Plexiglass on the frame.
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After that sets go around the edges with a Silicon Sealant.
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Clean the top with soapy distilled water then rinse with fresh distilled water and dry then dry the cover with a clean lint-free towel. Use canned air and try to remove as many dust particles as you can.

Tip:
An interesting trick that photographers use to get a dust free environment is to go work in the restroom. Turn on the shower (hot water) for a few minutes and the moisture in the room will reduce the dust particle count.

After you get the Plexiglas mounted, screw it down.

Take some black electrical tape, cut it in half and use that to seal the slit between the cover & the base of the hard drive.
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There you have your modified hard drive! Mount it so the revealed platters can be seen when operational. That will sure bring attention when attending those LAN parties!
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All the hard drives I have done this mod to are running fine. I stress test them for about a week of intense disk activity and they pass gracefully.
That's all folks!

Guide by Holodeck2
Edited by Derek

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