I altered the built-in LED so that I could have custom red lights coming out the bottom. This is an optional customization; if you aren't comfortable with cutting some wires and adding your own stuff, don't do it.
NES cartridge (one that you can bear to open up to take away its playability)
External hard drive - a SMALL one (4.5"x2.75" bare, about 5"x3.5" with the case on)
Screwdrivers, of various sizes, philips and flat head
Dremel or other multi-tool
Pencil & paper
2 small LEDs, I chose red to fit with the NES color pallet
Hot glue gun
Helping hands (not your little brother's hands, a stand with clips for holding things while you solder)
Oh yes, and I am so NOT liable if you screw up your hard drive. Perform the operation at your own risk.
Step 1: Open Her Up
I've heard that melting the tip of an appropriately-sized plastic thing with a lighter and sticking it in the hole to let it cool will result in a little tool that you can use to unscrew the custom screws. I'm not responsible if you end up melting a Knex piece to your hand.
Anyways, unscrew the thing, whichever way you need to do it.
And remember to save ALL of the screws!
Open the cartridge and take out the little circuit board. Smaller than you thought it would be, huh? Keep the cartridge; you might use it in some wacky art project some day.
Step 2: Open the Hard Drive
The answer should be, "Yes."
If it isn't, then you just aren't cool enough to have a NES cartridge hard drive. It's ok. Not everyone can be that cool. Uncool people are necessary for cool people to exist.
Now then, CAREFULLY begin to tear your precious hard drive open. All hard drives are not made equal, so I cannot tell you exactly how to go about doing this. Hopefully, common sense will guide you. Here's a tip: look for screws; if you don't see any, start prying things up. If there are stickers covering important joints, cut them.
Step 3: Prep the Cartridge
It may also help if you trace the cartridge and where the drive fits in it to use as a guide for drilling any other holes if needed. My drive had two screw holes that I used to secure it to one half of the cartridge.
Step 4: Make Sure It Fits
I decided to chop off part of the metal housing. If yours is built a similar way, look at the pictures to see how I did it. Not particularly eloquent, but it worked. I hope you've got some tin snips. Or maybe something better. That stuff was REALLY hard to cut.
Step 5: Optional LED Customization
Well, it didn't turn out to be particularly awesome at making it look like it was glowing from the inside (though maybe I could have used more LEDs) but I did get custom red lights to fit with the NES theme.
If you don't want to get into cutting wires and soldering, continue to the next step. Otherwise, continue reading.
I figured out which wires went to the little LED on the board and which ones went to the button. I never use the button, so I decided to nix it and focus on the LEDs. obviously, the red wire was carrying the positive current, and the one next to it was the ground for the LED, so it was those I separated from the rest.
I hot-glued my two LEDs in, but I moved them later when they didn't give the right effect.
The pictures are pretty self-explanatory, but basically I soldered 1. red wire to resistor, 2. resistor to positive leg of LED, 3. negative leg of LED to hookup wire, 4. wire to positive leg of second LED, 5. negative leg of second LED to another wire, and 6. other wire to ground wire.
Remember that when soldering, do NOT melt the solder directly with the iron, because that will result in a cold solder. You want the solder to melt onto the wires, so heat up the wires until you see a little smoke, then touch the solder to the wires and it will flow onto them.
Step 6: Close Her Up
And, of course, hook it up to your computer to see if it still works..........
Step 7: NES Drive
Now you can use your new NES drive to hold your NES emulator and all of your illegal NES roms.
Or Art School project work, in my case...
Comments are welcome!