Introduction: 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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Step 1: Take the Rubber Footing Off.
Start at one of the corners and peel back the rubber footing. This was honestly the most difficult part of the entire process, mine came off in sections and not one clean chunk, which would've been cool for my now very expensive coaster.
After you get the foot off, remove all of the screws, be sure to get the ones hiding under the glue. If it's difficult at all to remove the metal sheet then you haven't gotten all of the screws. Once you've gotten all the screws, be careful not to snap the wire that connects the two sides.
Step 2: Taking the Hd Out
You can unplug the wire that connects the fan to the bottom part of the case, leaving you with the main section. The hard drive looks like what you'd think it looks like, at least to me. If you don't know where it is, I'm holding it in my hand in the third pic.
It came out surprisingly easy, I think some of the screws from step one were also holding the drive in. Unplug the cable that are currently plugged into the drive and remove it.
I put everything back together, I might use some part of it again in the future, who knows.
Step 3: Buy a Housing and Put the Drive in It.
First off, I'm not sure why these pics came out sideways. I know I was holding the camera upright, anywho, you'll get the meaning. You now need to buy a housing. I recommend the brand Acomdata because that's what I overheard the sales associate recommend. First I bought a Sabrent, but it broke halfway through me getting the drive installed. Just to cover my bases, the housing will house your old drive, protecting it, powering it, and giving it a usb hookup. The sabrent was the cheapest and I paid for it with driving back and forth to fry's. The Acomdata was quick, easy, and looks nice to boot.
Putting the drive in the housing is pretty straightforward, things only go together one way, so take your time and you'll get it right the first time. Know what kind of drive you have, in the apple time capsule case it's a 3.5 inch SATA drive, so I needed to find a 3.5 inch SATA compatible housing. It was a piece of cake, know that just because there are wires inside the housing, you don't necessarily have to use them all, reading the instructions can resolve this issue.
In the final picture you can see my drive setting in the case-almost finished.
Step 4: Plug It In, Turn It On.
Get your case put together, plug everything in, hook the drive to your computer before you turn on the power to your drive.
After being dead for more than a week, my time capsule(which I named The Delorean) came right back up with everything all there. There are a couple more drives that showed up called, "APconfic" and "APswap"...I don't know what they are and I'm not going to mess with them. I know the first time I tried to unmount one of them the entire thing unmounted, but I just unplugged the usb from my mac and plugged it right back in and they showed back up.
In retrospect this is a brilliant product and I love it. I can use my computer anywhere in my network's range and have access to files/folders that are too large to keep on my macbook. I hope my new one doesn't poop out in a year or two, but if it does I'm just going to call apple again and keep my fingers crossed their customer service is still A+. Either way at this point they've already done me a solid, I've got 2 terabyte drives now for the price of 1 that I paid for in '08.