Introduction: Disassembling a Western Digital My Book

Picture of Disassembling a Western Digital My Book

I will demonstrate how to disassemble a My Book using a new 500gb My Book.

Step 1: Removing the Cover

Picture of Removing the Cover

To remove the cover of the My Book, you will need a flathead screwdriver. I also used razor blades, but they can be replaced or omitted if you would like to do it differently.

First, use a flathead screwdriver to pry the mesh away from the cover (do not try to lift the cover up, you will just break things). Start to pry in the middle of the book and you should see two plastic snaps lift up, I put a razor blade between the snaps to prevent them from locking in again. Do this to both sides.

Second, begin to pry the binding area of the book away from the mesh. Pry in small amounts, alternating from one end to the other. When there is enough of the gap, you will be able to slide the cover off of the mesh with your hands.

Step 2: Remove the Hard Drive

Picture of Remove the Hard Drive

For this step, you will need a phillips screwdriver (any size that can handle the case screws in a computer).

First, remove the plastic led extender (I don't know what this is really called, but it redirects the light to the front of the book).

Second, use your hands to lift up the front of the metal insides. Lift the front up until it is high enough to pull the back out of the mesh.

Third, remove the two screws holding the sata controller in place. Then slide the sata controller down to remove it.

Fourth, remove the four screws holding the hard drive in place and remove the hard drive.

Now the enclosure is fully taken apart. If you decide to put it back together, just follow the steps in the reverse order. There is nothing special you need to know about rebuilding it.


JeffreyMCollins (author)2017-02-17

New ones have screws at the top and bottom. Much easier to take apart.

overthetop123 (author)2016-08-16

No prying needed. There are two tabs you need to depress with a philips screwdriver and the case slides off.

JamesD267 (author)overthetop1232016-12-24

Where are these tabs? Can you reply with photos?

nshootz (author)2014-06-23

I got this thing apart and put a 3TB drive in there. I had to first format the drive in my computer, but it's working great now!

lilidondon (author)2014-05-10

Thank you! I recovered mine perfectly. But there is a small piece which I can't define. Can you tell?

macformat (author)lilidondon2014-06-20

hi. looks like the support for lock system, upright from the usb connector, maybe is not necessary for the assambly.

Shanem21 (author)2014-02-04

Very good...this helped...hope I can recover it now that I know how it's built.

Didn't break anything but the expired warranty..;)

Boogie9605 (author)2013-01-01

TThanks!! very Informative... Nice and simple...

capn (author)2011-01-29

Can you remove the drive from the mybook and place it inside a computer?

pezmanlou (author)capn2011-01-30

Yeah, it's just a regular hard drive inside the enclosure. Nothing exotic

LTadpole (author)2011-01-16

Thanks a lot. My wife's computer didn't recognize the drive through USB, Firewire 400, or Firewire 800. Your instructions were easy to follow. Hooked it up to my Newer Tech drive reader thingie, and my wife can now access her files. One question: can anyone give me a hint about why all the interfaces would go bad? Is that common? The drive is probably 3 years old.

rotven (author)2010-12-16

Fortunately my hard drive is still alive and kicking, but I kinda dropped it (please don't file for hard drive abuse!) a few days ago and since then the LED light has been really weak. I could see by looking inside the case through the top that the LED extender slipped to the left a bit, so I cracked it open and moved it back into place. That LED extender isn't secured very well if you ask me.
Anyway, thank you very much for this guide!

marius100 (author)2010-12-09

How to I take the case off 1.5T WD my book?

pezmanlou (author)marius1002010-12-09

If you have the 1.5TB My Book with a similar looking case, you should be able to disassemble it using the same (or similar) technique that I use in this tutorial. If the case looks drastically different and you are nervous about damaging your hard drive, don't be. You can do a lot of damage (from prying) to the case without touching the hard drive.

mwade82 (author)2010-11-25

thanks for taking the time to share this, you just saved me a bunch of time, frustration, and probably a broken case

mrcheaterson (author)2009-04-26

Excellent for disassembly, but be ready for some damage to the case, as the plastic can't handle much levering. also does not work for a WD 1TB drive

WaLkInStIcK (author)mrcheaterson2010-11-12

This does in fact work for a 1TB drive. I have just done it since the hard drive was heating up quite high. Really big time gap for the response but hopefully this would help someone else.

silphium (author)2010-06-30

Replaced WD10EAVS that came with the Mybook with a WD20EARS. Easy swap. Works perfectly. Mybook uses rubber bushings for shock isolation, unlike most external enclosures. This plus the superior ventilation make the Mybook an excellent salvage choice.

cuchillo (author)2010-06-25

Thanks Baby! Finally open My book to test the drive out afetr some usb problems, thanks!

bronxboy40 (author)2010-01-20

hello everyone. my 1 TB WD hard drive my book died and i need to recover my files? what can i do?  freeze it , take i tout and connect it to the house pc internally ? etc??  anything? is there any software that you recommend? 

Solderguy (author)bronxboy402010-03-16

Take out the hard drive, attach it to your computer, boot off of an  Ubuntu DVD, and move all your files to a usb stick.

wule (author)2010-02-07

 hi, can i put larger  drive inside this case? I mean something like caviar green 1TB inside my book 500?

Itanium2k (author)2010-01-27

Hi. I have open my book ELITE 1tb but now is difficulty for deattach the hard drive. Who have photo?

freder.holland (author)2010-01-16

Thanks a lot, my friend. Some days ago, my WD 1TB stopped to works and I was very mad about it, because I would lost all my files...then...I test the power cable and it's was working, the problem was inside the Hard Drive...with this tutorial, I'd could finally open the case and plug the HD to my PC and recover all the files...

Thanks my life...


hi FRED, my drive died. 1 TB lass than 1 yr old. i have ot get my files back. were you able ot get yor files recovered from this WD drive...?


superdragonazn (author)2010-01-19

Thanks Buddy, with all the pictures and information available, finally I can open this stupid case.

LoXaR (author)2010-01-02

Same thing done on the newer 640 GB model :) Big thanks to You :)

jacklegg (author)2009-11-26

Thanks for the info.  Exactly what I needed before destroying my WD 1TB hard drive case.  Opening the case is my problem, the rest I can do.  It is always an interesting puzzle to figure out how the case is snapped together when no screws are visable. 
Great photos.  The internet is truely the "library of the world."

diac (author)2009-11-23

Thanks a lot man!!!

pbarnak (author)2009-11-20

After prying the top, it will swing out.  The outside black case does not lift out, but it will swing open. There is metal clip that holds the internal parts to the plastic casing. Make sure you release the to black clips on the ends.

sonicstorm (author)2009-10-12

Thank you very much for the guide.  The newer drive enclosures are definitely easier to open than the older ones.

centoligua (author)2009-07-21

Thanks, I was looking for the manual like this. hmmm.... I think that strong finger power is required in first step. Anyway I'll try it. Thanks again.

nnyxmfan (author)2009-05-07

i couldn't get it to work on the 1 tb one i just bought.

orphicdragon (author)2009-05-06

Worked Great on my 1TB and no damage anywhere, didn't even scratch the plastic. Thanks very much :)

imbenx (author)2009-04-25

thx so so so much~! i have been looking for this new edition of my book take apart instruction for a long time.

m1kta (author)2009-03-18


Common practice in nearly all PC kit these days to use a clear formed piece of poly carbonate plastic to take the LED light away from a PCB or similar to where it is needed. All those usb cases with external red and blue strips are done the same way.

BTW to open the case which is the hard bit really there is a MUCH easier method....

On the BOTTOM there are two little circular holes either side near the 'spine' on the book. They have plastic locking lugs in them. Depress and the cover slides off. No messing about with razor blades etc. Easiest way to depress them is with a 2mm jewellers screwdriver (like what is used to fix the arms on your glasses).


sunglint (author)2009-03-02

On a newer model, the 500G dual interface, there are two little clips that need to be pushed down, if you look at the picture above where he says "pry gently" on the pop-up, on each end in one of those big slots there is a little clip (similar to where you see a white strip inside the case in his photo.) Although I ended up largely doing what was described here, it looks like just those clips are the real hold in the newer model.

ninjanody (author)2009-02-12

very helpfull guide... i try too open my old book 160gb but it also has a screw hidden i ste on side.. i want to change the green led with auto change rgb leb but no luck it was very different inside and i couldn't hack the led ring color.. the led are in a pcb panel in side with the switch in frond so no rgb led can be changed easily...

dangel66 (author)2008-11-07

Hi there and thanks a bunch for the step by step. Managed to open mine in a minimum time

aj619 (author)2008-08-15

Thank you I needed this because I wanted to take my hard drive apart and couldn't understand the video on youtube that well this was a big help thanks

gimincorp (author)2008-07-30

THANK YOU for Instructable! I now have a USB adapter for my IDE drives! Yeah! Only correction: on regular USB drives pry from the back first (like it said) then at the either side and THEN at the binding. Please post continuation on how to remove drive from its mesh housing

123456 (author)2008-07-12

Good work. I don't have to use a chisel and luck now! Thanks (this is not my real login - so no IMs)

TheMiddaySun (author)2008-06-14

Thanks, was thinking of putting my 500 inside the machine and putting a different larger drive in the wd. Now I can do it without breaking the enclosure. :-)

pezmanlou (author)TheMiddaySun2008-06-14

I'm glad this helped somebody! Thanks for the comment.

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