I recently backed up all of my pictures to DVD. Having a fair amount of photographs this took up about 25 disks. I immediately started thinking of an alternative way of archiving my stuff. I already have an external hard drive that I use for "backups." the issue with that is that I leave it plugged into my computer almost constantly and its also likely to be stolen should my house be broken into. I wanted something that's faster then dvd's but not likely to be stolen. Rummaging through my massive amounts of computer parts I found a bunch of older hard drives of varying sizes and a usb to ide adapter. A few more parts from an old computer and my hard drive tower was born!
Step 1: Materials
Here's a list of what I used:
7 Hard Drives of various sizes, from 80 gigs to 20 gigs
1 old computer power supply with it's own dedicated on/off switch
1 hard drive bay chassis (don't know what the proper name is) from an old computer
1 usb to ide adapter (the more the better)
a bunch of different screws
and for tools:
Drill with metal drill bits
all the materials, except for the usb to ide adapter can be found at a computer recycling place, the side of the road, garage sales, attics, etc. for free or for a very low price.
Step 2: Putting It Together: Extraction
The first thing is to get the hard drive bay thing out of the case. If your case is like mine it's riveted tot the bottom and front of the case. Take your drill with a decent sized bit and drill out the rivets (just don't drill all the way through cause you'll need those holes to attach the hard drive bay to the power supply)
My case also had the power supply i needed so I got that out of this case too. Just remember, you want a power supply that has it's own dedicated on/off switch. They've stopped making these a while ago but you can still find them here and there if you look. There are ways to make a newer power supply turn on without the motherboard attached but i don't want to get into that here.
Step 3: Putting It Together: Attaching
Once you have the hard drive bay out we've got to attach it to the power supply. Mark with a sharpie or some sort of marking thing where you need to drill the holes in the top of the power supply. I found it helped if you temporarily put a hard drive in one of the bays just to make sure that the sides are straight.
TAKE THE TOP OF THE POWER SUPPLY OFF BEFORE YOU DRILL THROUGH IT. You don't want to drill into the electronics inside and you don't want tiny bits of metal inside it either.
I found some black self tapping screws that worked perfectly for holding the bay tower to the power supply. Just make sure the screws or nuts and bolts aren't going to far down into the power supply.
Put the top of the power supply back on and you're good to go.
Step 4: Putting It Together: Adding Storage
Slip the hard drives in and attach all the power cables, pretty self explanatory.
You can also dress it up and make it look a bit more cooler. I found a place to screw the switch on. I also added a led light on top and an awesome sticker on the side.
Step 5: Formatting and Copying
All that's left is to format the disks and copy your stuff. Since I only have one usb to ide adapter I have to move it if I want to switch disks. Just remember to eject (or safely remove for you windows people) the disks before you move the adapter.