Removing and Rehousing the Hard Drive from your dead Apple Time Capsule

Picture of Removing and Rehousing the Hard Drive from your dead Apple Time Capsule
If you're reading this, I'm going to assume that yours died and you want to get all your info off of it. Apple does not offer data recovery, and you could go to an apple certified place, the one I called here in LA told me it would cost somewhere between $300 and $1000. That's way out of my range for things that I already own. 

In this instructable I'm going to show you how to crack this badboy open, remove your HD and rehouse it so that you can save at least a hundred bucks. 

I bought my time capsule in '08 and it lasted longer than the 18 months many sites report to be the average lifespan. I did register it with timecapsuledead.org/, and that's where some of my research began. 

Luckily Apple was kind enough to send me a new one(even though mine was out of warranty) and all they asked was that I send them my old one. Most people get this far and then fret because while getting a new one is great, their files are still on the old one. I can tell you firsthand your files are still there and still fine, the part that seems to break most often with time capsules is something related to power source. Mine went out when the power went out in my living room, but then never turned back on. 

After politely explaining my predicament to apple, they re-arranged the order so that I could keep my old one, specifically to perform this experiment. Thank Apple!

I'm including my pics, much better pictures can be found here: www.flickr.com/photos/24254876@N03/2300920529/in/set-72157604011791554/

And here are much better instructions here : www.applefritter.com/node/23907


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Buzzinski5 years ago

This is a simple method of saving data. I have done it hundreds of times for clients (Putting hard drives into external cases that is) and I have never had a non cooled one fail on me yet.  Seeing as i live in Tropical North Queensland Australia you would expect that they would fail beacuse of over heating but they don't.
Good instructable. 

Buzzinski, can you tell me how to access my old back-ups once i have completed this. My MACBOOK recognizes the time-capsule drive, but when i enter time machine to pull old files that I need recovered, it will only let me access the current state of the computer. Thanks a bunch.
pemay083 years ago
I did this and the drive works. However, when i enter Time Machine to pull off some old files that inadvertently were deleted from my hard drive, I can only see the current status of the computer. When I hit back-up now, a white drive entitled back-up appears and I can quickly flip through here and see all the old back-ups, but do not have time to search through them before the back-up finishes and the drive 'back-up' drive disappears. What am I doing wrong here?
i found one all broken and dead with no hard drive and i have fixed it but i need a power suply
scubacenote4 years ago
Great! This makes me feel that I can probably rescue my files from my dead Mac Mini by following a similar procedure! Does anybody knows what kind of HD does the Mac Mini has? To buy the right housing that is.
To help to get off the rubber backing, before beginning to peel it off, heat with a hair dryer. Continue to heat as you carefully peel the rubber back. This softens the glue, which allows it to come off much easier, usually without damage
wolfy_90055 years ago
Nice, too bad it is a mac :)

Might be cheaper for people to buy a 1TB 3.5" and a housing than a time capsule.
oklacalit (author)  wolfy_90055 years ago
 definitely cheaper, although the bonus of the time capsule is the wireless router function, as well as the auto backups if you have a later mac os.
Holden_vy_s5 years ago
Rotating images is a easy as opening it in an image viewer and rotating the image then closing it (In Windows) or using the image editor provided (Artworks i think it is called)
oklacalit (author)  Holden_vy_s5 years ago
 yeeeeeah, the images are straight up and down when I open them in anything.
If I were you I would get an actively cooled case for my HDD. Had one crap out on me in a case that was similar to the one in your pics.
So does the Apple Time Capsule work with Windows?
i believe it does