Make an External HDD From Old External CD/RW

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Introduction: Make an External HDD From Old External CD/RW

Pretty straight forward conversion of an old external cd/rw to a more useful external hard drive.

Supplies

1-external cd/rw (preferably the more boxy type)
1-hard drive (must match internal connector of drive case, needs to be formatted/sysed )
1-small fan (preferably able to fit the case nicely and quiet enough not to be annoying)
1-5.5"-3.5" bay insert to hold drive (should be easy enough to fab if necessary)
---minor tools and the want to do it

Disclaimer and ---t
I take no responsibility/liability for any damage to anything you might incur from this instructable. Do not ingest, spray into eyes, etc..............................

I've been using a spare 40gig in this for weeks before this and now a couple weeks after w/o issue mounted under misc. *nix or doze.

Step 1: Dissassembly

-- Remove the case screws, clips, etc. and open the case. (Just work cautiously so as not to damage the case)

-- Remove any mounts or screws holding the cd/rw drive.
-- Gently unplug the power, ide, and audio connections.
-- Remove old drive and install elsewhere or shoot it, blow it up, scavenge laser and motor,etc.

Step 2: Fan

Nothing major here.

--pick a fan
I based my descision on mount location/size, noise, amp/volt.
Found a small 12v that was quiet, had lowest current draw from selection, offered sufficient
airflow, and fit a blank face plate.

--find a way to mate it to the internal molex
I had a fan molex connector, cut off unneccessary leads and soldered/shrink wrapped to new
fan. You could just as easily solder inline to orig. molex.

Step 3: Mount Fan

In my case I'm using a Blank plate from an old case bay.

-- Check that the fan mount location will allow for free airflow, space, room warp drive etc.
-- line it up and mark mounts and inner diameter of fan.
-- Drill away.
-- After mounting double check that blades still spin freely.

Step 4: Exhaust

I'm installing my fan as an intake and have decided on exhaust vents on top.

Post thought --- Great: heat rises and out it goes. Bad: crap falls typicaly down (as into your drive). Probably be better to exhaust on upper sides of case.

--Chopped out what wasn't needed.
--Vented logo plate.

Step 5: Completion

-- Mount pre-formatted/sysed HDD into rails (I form/sysed with old win98 floppy in spare 'puter)
-- Mark any new mount points necessary to attach rails/drive to case.
-- Remove drive, drill mount points.
-- Reinstall HDD plugging cables as you go. Stow or remove audio cable.
-- Carefully route your fan cable so as not to pinch.
-- Put case back together and enjoy.

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32 Comments

I tried this and with a cd drive connected it works fine, but when I connect a hard drive it doesn't show up in "my computer" and in device manager (It does show up as mass storage device) it says the device cannot start.

please help my windows xp can't detect the harddisk drive

Make sure all the connections are secure, and that the HDD works.

yes all connect correctly ... winxp still see it as optical driver nor hdd drive ... so it's can't detect it >.<''

Thanks a bunch for this tutorial. I was going to buy an enclosure, and I remembered I had a Memorex CD Recorder under the couch. I'd never heard of putting a hard drive in a n external CD Drive, but when I Googled it, I found this site. I used an AMD processor fan and put it on top as an exhaust fan with a screen and cover to make it look nice and protect the fan. I used a mesh blank plate that I had laying around for the intake on the front. I like how it all looks, but I didn't realize how loud processor fans are! I think I'll go get a couple of those smaller fans like you used, and the next ones I make will be QUIETER! Thanks again, I enjoyed this little project! Eric

Ewilhelm eric or other eric?

? Not sure what Ewilhelm Eric is, so I must be some other Eric! :-)

yes i have

Well, I was saying that to eclayton, but oh well