Basically, no. You can hollow out the case and stuff the works to an external HD inside, but a cardboard box would work almost as well.
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Sorry but I have to disagree with you.My Iomega external USB DVD drive contained a fairly standard IDE controller with standard IDE cables & a standard PC power connection, all I did was make them longer.I use mine on a daily basis & it works perfectly well in fact it is currently connected to the very laptop I am using with a 160gb hard drive full of music in it.As I said before I don't know which specific model is involved but I have adapted several similar drives for friends over the years at least two others were Iomega & they have all been the same, I haven’t yet come across one with an SATA controller but that should work just as well.Put simply if it doesn’t work I would love someone to explain to me why mine does & has for about three years as well as the ones I have done for friends.
Not knowing which particular model you have I can't say yours is identical but I have an Iomega Super DVD external drive enclosure which I use to for hard drives on a daily basis.All I did was dismantle it & remove the existing DVD drive, I then replaced the original ribbon cable with a longer one & made up a longer power cable from parts salvaged from an old PC power supply.Because I left the front open I can swap hard drives without having to dismantle the case again whenever I like just by pulling the drive out of the front & unplugging the cables.It isn't the prettiest add on my set up has mainly because of the big hole in the front but it does the job well enough which is the important thing to me.The only thing I really want to alter on it is the addition of a cooling fan which will probably be added by cutting through the top & fitting a pc case fan, again not pretty but functional.
What do you want it to do that it won't already - you mean "can I take the CD drive out and replace it with a HDD"? - probably, take it apart. L