External Drive "Harness" for Laptops




Introduction: External Drive "Harness" for Laptops


After having had enough of balancing my external hard drive on my laptop while trying to carry them around my room, I decided to do something about it.

However, I didn't want to do anything permanent to either the drive cover or the laptop so anything with glue was right out. I decided to go for the next best thing: Velcro!

I also didn't have much of a budget and since I just moved to the area, I didn't have much idea where to shop so I only looked in the stores down the road.

Right, enough excuses, let's get started...

Step 1: Components

As I said, I only went down the road and I went for the cheapest components. All I needed to buy was:

1. Velcro (I found a pack of velcro-ish reusable cable ties) (About $5)
2. Braided Elastic (same as found in pants but I need new) (About $1.50)
3. Hooks. (I didn't find the right sort but I went with nice hard-steel paper-clips) (free)
(Total cost: about $6 with plenty parts left over)

The only tools I used are my trusty Leatherman, scissors and needle and thread from a travel kit. You may want to use a sewing machine instead. My sewing is functional but a machine will do a proper job sewing the elastic (and you spare your fingers)

Step 2: Making the Hooks

I made the hooks from paper-clips made from stiffer than usual wire.

(1) I started by straightening the wire and cutting it in half.
(2) I bent the wire in half again.
(3) I bent the bent end of the wire into the hook and then, about 1cm below the hook (so as to fit the curve of the screen's edge) I bent the "legs" of the hook outwards.
(4) I bent the "legs" downwards and then
(5) bent the legs closed to create a flat loop that fits the elastic strap.

Remember to make 4 hooks. 2 each for the 2 straps

Step 3: Assembly

Assembly is pretty straight-forward.

1. Cut the elastic to the right size, this should be just a tad (about 2-3cm/1") longer than the size of the screen. Remember that the starts need to hold on tight but not so tight so as to damage the plastic. You'll need to make 2 straps so that the drive is held securely.

2. I cut the "wings" and "tongue" off 2 of the Velcro ties so that they fit the elastic better.

3. Sew the Velcro to the elastic (I put the rough or hooks of the Velcro on the outside of the strap. This means that the Velcro on the drive is the smooth or fluffy side of the Velcro so doesn't scratch your laptop). Try getting the Velcro in the middle so that there's room to cut the elastic to size. Use a sewing machine if possible so you get a neater and stronger strap. Turn back the edge of the elastic so that it won't fray too easily.

4. If you find better hooks, attach them appropriately otherwise, slide the elastic through the hooks' loop. Make sure that they face the right way (away from the Velcro side).

5. Fold the elastic back and sew the strap closed.

Don't forget to put Velcro onto the external drive too. Since I used 2 sided (not 2 part) Velcro so all I needed to do was wrap it tightly around the drive. I also put another tie around the drive to hold the cable as well.

Step 4: Mounting the Drive

Hook the straps to the edges of the Laptop screen, then press the drive onto them and plug them in.

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    4 Discussions


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Oh my goodness, I've been trying to do this for forever, I originally tried paper clips and mounted it the same way, but this way is much better. Thanks for the fantastic Instructable!