External Hard Disk Hack

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Had a busted hard disk enclosure? This shows how you can replace the damaged enclosure with a clear plastic book case.

Step 1: Salvage Parts

Salvage working parts from the damaged enclosure. Most important of these are the IDE to USB adapter connected to the hard disk inside and the external power supply (the 3.5" hard disk enclosure variety has this)

My aluminum 3.5" hard disk enclosure fell and had a serious dent that damaged not only the case but the hard disk itself. The disk shown here is an old seagate 20GB hard drive from my wife.

Step 2: Securing the Components Inside

Use screws to hold the hard disk inside securely. Here I just used the tip of my soldering iron to melt a small hole into the plastic book case for the screws. All cables running inside the case were secured with small green zip ties.

To keep the thing elevated from the table (i guess this helps cool it a little. the hard disk sometimes get too hot), I glued some rubber footing on one side of the case

Step 3: In Action

Pull out the USB cord and align it at the slot made for it and the external power cord (this slot was melted with a soldering iron tip and trimmed by a cutter. not shown in the picture).

As you can see, the old indicator LEDs are still working.

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    22 Discussions

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    asda653

    11 years ago on Introduction

    Gotta revive this one.

    So basically, if I found any random cheap enclosure (say a 2.5), got a plastic case and my 5.25" DVD drive, I could rip the components out of the enclosure and seat them in the case, then all I'd have to do is cut a hole for the DVD tray?

    3 replies
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    rexxxiiiasda653

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    a 2.5 enclosure wont do since it gets its power directly from the usb (which is only around 5v at 1000 mA). a dvd drive gets power from a molex connector inside the pc (12V and 5V) and can only be powered by an external 5.25" enclosure which has its own power adaptor.

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    shadowfoxxxxrexxxiii

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    yeah, but he can always use a 5v dc inverter from an old cell phone charger and strip the cables form the main power source of the dvd player. itd take more power, and i cant guarantee itd work but its an easy fix if it doesnt

    2.5 drives use a smaller connection than 3.5" hdd and dvd drives, pin compatible yes, but the connectors wont match up. USB is rated 5V at 500mA.

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    Alias8

    10 years ago on Introduction

    Hello everybody. I wanted to ask anyone of you wether its possible to add HDD 2.5" into a DVD(Divx) player whose DVD drive is broken and transform it into a HDD player. My DVD Divx player doesn't have USB port, but isn't it possible to connect thhat flat wire tape which goes to DVD drive to a HDD with IDE connector. Help needed here!

    2 replies
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    hobblesAlias8

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    WAY LATE but yes you can i had an external cd rw drive my mom had it in the garbage saw it then snatched it. Every thing connected all right but it runs kinda slow but has 40g of space not much but it was wat i had laying around. Put it in some rechargeable battery case and its next to me right now.

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    DJBDAlias8

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    I think so, DVD drives use IDE connectors if I remember correctly, older hard drives can be attached directly, for newer SATA hard drives there are SATA/IDE converters.

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    paologodz

    11 years ago on Introduction

    hey guys this is close. can you tell me how to convert my stand alone dvd player to a HDD player. my dvd player have a usb port on it, but it will only read memory stick like 1 giga or 4 giga. I have a 3.5 HDD enclosure with 300 giga inside, I just want to modify these two things into one like of the HDD player. please help.

    1 reply
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    rexxxiiipaologodz

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    partition the disk with 32gb on the first partition. most dvd players with usb reads only fat32 drives. 32gb is the upper limit for a fat32 file system so you can set your first partition to this size. i suggest you also partition the rest of the drive using fat32 because i had an experience before where i formatted the remaining partition of my external hard drive to ntfs and the dvd didn't recognize the whole disk. you can place all the movies you want to watch on the first partition while the 2nd partition can act as a repository of your previously watched movies. hope this helps!

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    binnie

    12 years ago

    a little while back i wanted to make my own usb > ide adapter now im older AND smarter Its eaiser to buy one! lol i need $$$

    1 reply
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    rexxxiiibinnie

    Reply 12 years ago

    that would make a good article in "buyables" but not in instructables though, lol.

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    antarchy

    12 years ago

    If you have ever Bought a hard disk enclosure then you probably got a busted one pieces of junk everyone I have seen. Should do one on making your own from scratch.

    2 replies
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    rexxxiiiantarchy

    Reply 12 years ago

    I would love to do that but unfortunately I do not have the schematics to build the IDE to USB adapter. Any links where I could get them?

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    mrmathFrenchCrawler

    Reply 12 years ago

    What if he just leaves the case open while using it?

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    FrenchCrawlermrmath

    Reply 12 years ago

    I think he wants to keep it closed, hence the reason he used the solder iron to make a hole for the cable.

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    rexxxiiiFrenchCrawler

    Reply 12 years ago

    I would want to. Could you suggest where would it be best placed?