My motivation was fairly simple. A good friend of mine bought both a green and a blue My Book because they just look cool. He really wanted a third one, but Western Digital only makes two colors. His birthday was coming up and they were on sale at Best Buy, so I figured what the heck. I grabbed a green one, took it home, and ripped it apart.
Step 1: Getting to the Inards
The easiest way to separate the flanges is to gently pry the cover away with one screwdriver and push the flange down with another. Using this method I was able open the enclosure with minimal damage to the plastic.
Step 2: Remove LED's
Removing the LEDs was not that hard. I tried a hot air "pencil" that I made from an air pump and a desoldering iron, but the solder failed to flow completely. Because of this and my lack of patience, the first two LEDs I took off brought one the leads from the board with them. I switched to a real soldering iron (WESD51) and had no problems thereafter.
Step 3: Installing the New LED's
1. Tested and marked the LEDs to know which end is which (anode / cathode).
2. Tinned the LEDs and the leads on the board.
3. Flowed the solder on one of the board leads and slid the LED into place.
4. Heated the opposite side of the LED until the solder flowed together with the solder on the board.
As you can see, my job is far from perfect - even on the two mounts I did not rip the leads off the board. I think most of my problems stemmed from using too much solder, especially when tinning the board.
On the two mounts that lost a lead to my carelessness, I simply used a wire to jump over to the resistor. I then used hot glue to minimize the wires getting stuck on anything and coming off when I put the cover back on. Besides, I was going to have to ship it to my friend, so the more stable the better.
Step 4: Small Finish
Input and comments are most, most welcome.