Introduction: DIY USB "Hard Drive"

Picture of DIY USB "Hard Drive"

Using a dead Hard Drive, a 4-port USB hub, and a few Flash Drives, we will kill some time and get a few laughs from anyone seeing you use this.

You guys can see MAKE magazine's rip-off article of my project at:

Thanks for the credit MAKE, I really appreciate it....

Step 1: Find a Candidate.

Picture of Find a Candidate.

Any Hard Drive should do..

Step 2: Dismantle..

Picture of Dismantle..

Take the Hard Drive apart...

Step 3: Compare

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Make sure your USB hub will fit, either with the plastic case on, or not...

Step 4: Hub

Picture of Hub

For this purpose, I removed the plastic case.

Step 5: Install

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I placed the "nekkid" USB hub into the area where the platter used to be.

Note: I was only placing this temporarily, if I was going to keep this mod permanent, I would glue the hub in either using epoxy or hot glue.

Edit: I forgot to mention, if this was going to be used permanently, I would coat the circuit board with epoxy, just like I do with Flash Drives.

Step 6: Flash Me!

Picture of Flash Me!

Now add your Flash Drives, you may have to remove the casing for some to fit well.

Step 7: Button It Up.

Picture of Button It Up.

Replace the cover to the Hard Drive, and plug in!

Now you will have a "new" Flash Drive that will be sure to get some comments.

Also, there is a way, I haven't done it, but with a certain flavor of Linux, you can install Linux onto all 4 of the Flash drives in a RAID configuration, assuming you have all the same capacities.

Have fun!


Quazaka (author)2010-02-15

I must say that this comes out very cool, here is mine :P

frenzy (author)Quazaka2010-06-23

have great news!

This posting has won today's "I Made It" Challenge. For winning you will receive a 3 month pro membership!

Thanks for using instructables!

jmoore61 (author)2016-02-14

sooo... just having seen the first page, you picked an 80GB drive apart for this??

riekard (author)2010-01-20

so...does anyone know where to get dirt cheap flash drives???

Yonatan24 (author)riekard2015-11-14


irishjim68 (author)riekard2010-02-08

Wal Mart

TSC (author)irishjim682011-03-02

Walmart does not sell flash drives cheap! Microcenter  is way cheaper!

ChristinaF14 (author)TSC2015-11-04

Yes it is!

ChristinaF14 (author)riekard2015-11-04

neivadan (author)riekard2010-01-21

ya i know u can get em at staples,future shop,best buy,u can even make ur own.

riekard (author)neivadan2010-01-21

cool, but i wanna try and make my own, how would i go about it?? what do i need?

Nxtfari (author)riekard2010-01-22

um, thats what the instructions are for

riekard (author)Nxtfari2010-01-22

...this build doesnt mention anthing about makin your own flash drives

Xixfas (author)riekard2013-07-17

you cant make a flash drive

Nxtfari (author)riekard2010-01-23

Oh, sorry, I thought you said you wanted to make the USB Hard Drive. To make your own flash drive would be pretty hard. I mean, Its got over 100 pieces that have to be soldered together perfectly on a circuit board. You'd be better off buying one. They're like $10 for a pack of three.

willrandship (author)Nxtfari2010-02-07

Go to and you can get some incredibly cheap 512MB ones.

512 is as much as my old desktops ram size and it is pretty slow dont go with 512 man.

account3r2 (author)flame boyyyy2012-04-11

That's how much RAM my current laptop has... I need an upgrade sometime...

512 wont get you very far with any thing i got a 4gb microsd and other accesories came withit at target

bendog38 (author)riekard2011-05-25


rebelgrunt (author)riekard2011-04-28


Adam Manick (author)riekard2010-10-28


shenzer (author)riekard2010-08-11

nowdays flash drives are 4gb for 10 so its pretty cheap

Callum Snowden (author)riekard2010-07-11

Ebay or dealextreme :)

menababu (author)riekard2010-02-15

most of time i get good deal from
check out here

kenith1999 (author)riekard2010-02-11

Staples is offering 4 gig drives this week for $6.95 each

nabukadnazar (author)riekard2010-02-09

in china :)

amclaussen (author)2015-03-12

You still don't say how to manage this storage ion the PC, to make it appear as a single large device instead of several smaller removable drives...

ChristinaF14 (author)amclaussen2015-11-04

Make then into spanned or striped raid volume

Sperdog (author)2015-03-10

I want to boost the speed of my laptop while I am at home for gaming, would this be compatible with ready-boost and with different size flash drives? Also, when the drive is plugged into a computer, does it show up in multiple folders or are all of the drives storages combined into one massive drive?

bštrkalj (author)2012-09-05

if you open hard drive air will destroy him ,inside is vacum :)

AndyPipkin (author)bštrkalj2013-12-18

HDD's are sealed at atmospheric pressure to keep dust out, as that pressure varies, there is a small plastic sticker over a hole that seals the case, but flexes to allow for the pressure change. :)

aprimadani (author)bštrkalj2013-11-28

Did he say "dead harddisk"

Buggerlugz (author)bštrkalj2012-09-13

you dont need a vacum to run 4 usb drives

gmgfarrand (author)bštrkalj2012-09-05

Negative, that information is INCORRECT.
DUST will kill your drive.
We do data recovery on the platters, and we do it on earth, not in a vacuum. ;)

kuronoKeitaro (author)2013-12-13

Change Title, it says usb hard drive, must say someting like usb hub case

gmgfarrand (author)kuronoKeitaro2013-12-13

Over 640,000 views and you are the only one with an issue with the title?

It's not misleading, hence the use of "

hhuỳnh phi (author)2013-08-31

quá độc đáo!

R4MP4G3RXD (author)2013-07-17

Only 1 problem with this my friend. And that is that your making an ssd because there are no actual moving parts.

shinji246 (author)2009-12-03

This is disappointing as I was expecting to see the actual hard drive being used and converted, however it still makes for a cool looking flash drive :D

thanks for the tut!

AJMansfield (author)shinji2462013-07-10

If you want to see that, take a look here:

PieterDC (author)2012-10-25

I'd think it would be unwise to ruine a hard drive IF it was still functioning espacially when you can buy a litle housing for them that makes them usb connectable for only 10 or 20 bucks, it's not flash but you probably have more capacity that way

mguima (author)PieterDC2012-11-04

If you do not run a museum, I think that is really wise dismantle an OBSOLETE electronic equipment if you can use it for something cool or useful. I´ve already dismantled an operational cable modem (the cable company provides one for free), DSL router, hand scanner... The only case I would be wrong would be after global nuclear war, when suddenly an old 386 with 40GB HD could become rare and useful again.

Regul8or (author)mguima2013-07-09

Except that after global nuclear war, the EMP would probably render your 386 useless.

mguima (author)mguima2012-11-04

I meant to say 40 MB

divimo (author)2013-05-20

wa ! It's so cool,回去弄一个!

squee2088 (author)2013-04-26

You, sir, are a legend! Very clever

ubotbuddy (author)2013-03-21

VERY cool instructable! Now if the LED lights could blink when in use THAT would be awesome. I'll have to check my usb hub to see if it has lights.

Kudos for your project!

ChrisE123 (author)2013-03-14

my laptop dosent work know moar. alls i d0ne is take-out the soft drive

dog digger (author)2010-11-01

At this step, SAVE THE MAGNETS. THEY ARE EXPENSIVE AND POWERFUL. Save them. they are also very cool and very strong.

About This Instructable




Bio: Ex-Navy Gunner Learned to repair I.T. equipment because nobody local knew what the hell they were doing!
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