Introduction: How to Open a Western Digital MyBook USB Drive.

Picture of How to Open a Western Digital MyBook USB Drive.

After a few months of loud clicking coming out of my Western Digital MyBook it finally died.

I had an extra SATA drive around, so I thought why not replace it?

This version of the MyBook has no external screws and has to be opened similar to a bike tire.

Step 1: Supplies

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There are many models of MyBooks, this one has a set of blue LEDs that "spin" when the drive is active.

The model is: WD3200D032.

A flat blade screwdriver
A Phillips screwdriver

Step 2: First Entry

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The easiest place to start is above the USB port and behind the WD logo. Carefully insert your screwdriver between the plastic trim and the metal cover.

Step 3: Work Your Way Around

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Work your way around the case popping the cover off as you go.

Step 4: Tabs

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So do both sides of the cover like in the previous steps. Once that is done you'll notice its still stuck on there.

There are some tabs on the bottom of the drive that hold it in, press them in with your screw driver and the cover will come off.

Step 5: 4 Screws

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Remove the four screws from the back of the drive.

Step 6: 2 Screws

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Remove the 2 screws holding on the circuit board.

Step 7: 4 More Screws

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Remove the last 4 screws on the side of the actual hard drive.

Just replace with your sata drive and reverse the steps.


jmeree (author)2010-12-26

Mine has a little philips screw under on the the rubber foot pads. Once I took out that screw I could just push the plastic tabs on the side in and the unit slid out. Unfortunately, my hard drive is a IDE type connector, not SATA. Need to check how the $/gbyte are for those these days...

You_Broke_My_Book (author)2010-09-13

Hi Joe,

First of all, thanks for sharing your knowlage. Found your article via google.

But you did NOT use the correct methode to open the case.
Following upi your instructions, you WILL damage the case. Now the clips are broken, and the device can not close anymore.

Please alter your instruction, and instruct people to open the case by push down the 2 clips on top and bottom via the holes in the top and bottom in the front of the case.

This is meantioned before by "lemonshark10" and "nnnnnnnn".

@Admin: I would not pay for a site with incorrect instructions.


Xenojimmy (author)2010-06-30

I also have that screwdriver! i love it :P

lump27 (author)2009-04-24

Thanks man, I got this same type of case on my failed My Book, no screws anywhere on the outside. Still under warranty so I should get a replacement, i put it back together very carefully and looks same as it was before opening. I managed to rescue some irreplaceable photos by freezing the hard drive, then I connected it to my PC with a USB/IDE/Serial ATA adapter. Freezing it gave me like 10 minutes at a time to work with it each time I froze it so i had to freeze it about 5 times (24 hrs at a time or overnight) and rescue some data, happy to say I got all my irreplaceable stuff back... Thanks again ;)

Syring (author)lump272010-05-13

 Our IT guys did this same thing to recover a ppt psoter I had spent DAYS on.  Awesome little trick to have in the repertoire!  They were sure to put it in an anti static bag as well just to be safe.
They had about 10min as well.  They explained it as being a "warping" issue with some parts (maybe the actuator?) and the freezing allowed things to reform, but then warp again when it heats up after 10min.

alexg69 (author)lump272009-10-27

do you mean literally freeze it? or is it some thing else

sleepydog (author)alexg692010-01-22

Yeah, he means he put it in his freezer to lower the temperature to make the hard drive work just long enough to get his data off. This is an old but useful trick for data recovery.

rama2000 (author)2009-09-13

Thanks a lot for your help

spoonyfork (author)2009-08-27

Awesome, thanks.

lemonshark10 (author)2009-08-23

There is no need to pop the edges the tabs merely slide through rails on the inside. one can just use a screw driver to push down the tab on the top and use a flathead to pull it back far enough that it doesn't go back into place and is under the grill crossbar things. then flip it over and repeat. more or less the entire cover can be removed just by doing step four and then sliding the two pieces of the case apart

brandonstiles (author)2009-04-05

Hello. I have the Westen Digital My Book Essential Edition... 160 gigs. The light on my drive blinked quickly continuously. Basically meaning it wasnt getting the correct power it needed. So I took it to the shop where they took ait apart. The tech there informed me that my circuitboard has went out and that i would need to replace the circuitboard if I wanted the data off my drive. That is the only way to get power to my drive is to replace the board. WD sais they dont manafacture those drives anymore (remember Ive had this drive for four years) So basically I need a new circuitboard. Any suggestions?

renabee (author)2009-04-02

This post saved my life! Literally....these instructions were so precise and easy to follow, and I got my data back. You rock!!!

farrers (author)2009-03-28

Thanks mate! You're a genius! I knew there was a way to do this, but couldn't figure it out. Thanks for posting this! :)

bwpatton1 (author)2009-03-10

Ive got an old My book WD 160GB drive, ive had this for about a year and a half it works like a charm, its even quieter than my computer HD.

EmTee48 (author)2009-02-04

Good stuff this but on the WD3200I032 there is a hidden screw under one of the corner pads.

nnnnnnnn (author)2008-12-14

This is the only step you need to get the case off -- if you depress the tabs on the top and bottom as shown in the second photo here the case will slide apart.

nnnnnnnn (author)2008-12-14


This is a good way to damage the case. The generation of MyBook in the pictures is actually quite easy to open. Look at the tabs in step 4 -- using a flathead screwdriver you can depress the little nubbins on these tabs through the perforations in the metal casing. The two pieces of the shell will then slide apart without any prying. Hold onto the "book cover" with one hand and shimmy the perforated part back and forth to start the sliding.

I'm not sure about older MyBook drives but for the one pictured and later you should not have to pry at all!

bwcbwc (author)2008-08-12

Nice to confirm that this is just a regular SATA drive inside. Plenty of new hacks (like routing the SATA connector outside the case) possible now.

spankthejester (author)2008-05-29

You saved me breaking this poor plastic beast!! Thanks!

medeaortica (author)2008-05-14

ok.. assuming that in my dumminess my WD-HD fell yesterday from a table... (:(((((....) and now It looks like working, but it has even more strange noise then before (one of the noisest external drive I 've never had)... my problem is 1) how to ceck if everything is ok and I can still trust he device? 2) after the fall is a bit disassembled by itself, maybe falling on the edge made to slide a bit the parts and the rubber thing is not all in place and the shells like a bit opend... how to reassembly it in a propper way? It is better to open it all before?

GorillazMiko (author)2008-02-04

Cool! That's a huge USB drive.

its an external Hard Drive

heretics_ghost (author)2008-02-06

Also works on a WD3200I032! Only difference is that there is no metal trim.

LinuxH4x0r (author)2008-02-04

Awesome! My external drive died a few weeks ago and I'm going to do this as soon as I get a drive. Great job!

About This Instructable




Bio: I like to tinker with just about anything, sometimes it works out in the end. Have fun looking at the projects, try tearing something open ... More »
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