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I recently backed up all of my pictures to DVD. Having a fair amount of photographs this took up about 25 disks. I immediately started thinking of an alternative way of archiving my stuff. I already have an external hard drive that I use for "backups." the issue with that is that I leave it plugged into my computer almost constantly and its also likely to be stolen should my house be broken into. I wanted something that's faster then dvd's but not likely to be stolen. Rummaging through my massive amounts of computer parts I found a bunch of older hard drives of varying sizes and a usb to ide adapter. A few more parts from an old computer and my hard drive tower was born!

Step 1: Materials

Here's a list of what I used:

7 Hard Drives of various sizes, from 80 gigs to 20 gigs
1 old computer power supply with it's own dedicated on/off switch
1 hard drive bay chassis (don't know what the proper name is) from an old computer
1 usb to ide adapter (the more the better)
a bunch of different screws

and for tools:

Drill with metal drill bits
screwdriver



all the materials, except for the usb to ide adapter can be found at a computer recycling place, the side of the road, garage sales, attics, etc. for free or for a very low price.

Step 2: Putting It Together: Extraction

The first thing is to get the hard drive bay thing out of the case. If your case is like mine it's riveted tot the bottom and front of the case. Take your drill with a decent sized bit and drill out the rivets (just don't drill all the way through cause you'll need those holes to attach the hard drive bay to the power supply)

My case also had the power supply i needed so I got that out of this case too. Just remember, you want a power supply that has it's own dedicated on/off switch. They've stopped making these a while ago but you can still find them here and there if you look. There are ways to make a newer power supply turn on without the motherboard attached but i don't want to get into that here.

Step 3: Putting It Together: Attaching

Once you have the hard drive bay out we've got to attach it to the power supply. Mark with a sharpie or some sort of marking thing where you need to drill the holes in the top of the power supply. I found it helped if you temporarily put a hard drive in one of the bays just to make sure that the sides are straight.

TAKE THE TOP OF THE POWER SUPPLY OFF BEFORE YOU DRILL THROUGH IT. You don't want to drill into the electronics inside and you don't want tiny bits of metal inside it either. 

I found some black self tapping screws that worked perfectly for holding the bay tower to the power supply. Just make sure the screws or nuts and bolts aren't going to far down into the power supply.

Put the top of the power supply back on and you're good to go.

Step 4: Putting It Together: Adding Storage

Slip the hard drives in and attach all the power cables, pretty self explanatory.

You can also dress it up and make it look a bit more cooler. I found a place to screw the switch on. I also added a led light on top and an awesome sticker on the side.

Step 5: Formatting and Copying

All that's left is to format the disks and copy your stuff. Since I only have one usb to ide adapter I have to move it if I want to switch disks. Just remember to eject (or safely remove for you windows people) the disks before you move the adapter.
<p>Sorry for the question.... you connect one drive at a time?</p><p>Doesn't that put a bit of stress ot the hard drive's pins?</p><p>I have a FREENAS disc server, it has about 8 discs at the moment, and after 5 min not being used, they shut down. Very low power consumption. Try it! :)</p><p>Nice instr. Thanks!</p>
<p>This one has got my interest :)</p>
<p>Or, have you tried using the IDE cables with multiple connectors to connect more than one drive at once to the adapter</p>
You should add a power switch for every drive. It's kinda alot work, but will save power and reduce hard drive noise. You could also add a CD drive that has a audio jack and control buttons to add an extra use, CD playback! Add some (cheap) speakers to the tower and blast some tunes to drain out the time of copying, moving and deleting files! And ofcourse, you could replace the hard drives with CD/DVD/ect. drives to create a burning station.
if you want to do a NAS or have eSATA check this little project that this guy did.<br>http://www.willudesign.com/BlackDwarfTop.html
http://aphnetworks.com/lounge/turn_on_psu_without_motherboard_the_paperclip_trick Quick way to make your PSU work for this project.
you can use a more modern power supply, short the green wire going into the 20/24 pin connector to a black. <br><br>i found this in another instructable, it shows where to place a standby power and power LEDs, and even a power supply.<br><br>https://www.instructables.com/id/ATX--%3E-Lab-Bench-Power-Supply-Conversion/step2/Planning/
cool looks like a simple vacum form case could make it a pro then agin i love the look of it as is just wow reminds me of strgate data crystals
Like this. Do most towers come with 7 power connections? How would you link the drives together so that theres only one interface for them? RAID? Now where will I find an old tower with a power supply with its own switch....
To answer your question yes you can get a PSU with 7 power IDE connections!<br>my old one had six, but you can always mod a PSU with a few more because the motherboard connection is not getting used so you can put like 10 HDD on a 250 watt PSU!<br><br>You can make a PCB Board that all the HDD can plug into maybe a little hard but is possible, ill have a look around for you at a place.<br><br>You can get oooollllldddd power suplies that have their own switch but then your talking 1990's stuff, i have a few but sadly they are 'as dead as a door nail'.
Hmmn I really want to build one. Might have to design it from scratch. Where's Woz when you need him?
I can get one designed for you but that would cost big bucks!!!<br><br>Like hundreds, ($).<br><br>Sorry, i think if you build one from scratch it would cost alot cheaper, By the way who is 'Woz'!
Where would you get it designed?
i know a company who designs them. i think they have a branch in New Zealand and USA and South Africa<br><br>But i would recomend building your own one or designing your own with a program called 'Eagle Cad....'
If you are going to build this i would recomend using Serial ATA (SATA) HDD's. <br><br>SATA's are quite cheap, fast and you can get a 250g for really cheap!! <br><br>Also Sata would be easier building an adruino board for.!<br><br>
Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple.
You can get a 256 gigabyte flash drive for around 650 US dollars. So much memory i that little thing.
I'm planning to do this as soon as I get some more hard drives.
Now you just need to be able to put all of the drives into raid.
I appreciate the fact this is a DIY project but this reminds me a lot of a DROBO from Data Robotics...but I guess this a neat and cost effective (basically free) alternative.
Drobo does use multiple hard drives, but it can't use older drives like this. Drobo is more of an always on system whereas this is more &quot;put your files on it and stick it in your closet&quot; but yea it's basically a cheaper alternative to paying for backup mediums
I've actually been wanting to do this but didn't know how. Thank you! 5 stars.

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