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j8994
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Joined: Feb 05, 2006
Posts: 1853
Location: Tennessee, USA

Post Posted: Wed May 24, 2006 6:04 pm   
Post subject: Plexiglas harddrive window
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this article from grynx.com
and was found by hellblazer55
great find blaze!!!

Plexiglas harddrive window
by Chris J. @ 0:25. Filed under Uncategorized
Okay, letís get started. As I said Iíve used a 10Gb Maxtor drive for this - or actually two (more about that later), a piece of Plexiglas to fit over the lid, a hammer, a screwdriver, a torx screwdriver, some glass silicone kit, and most important of all - the Dremel. I can also be helpful if you have some high pressure air either from an compressor or from a can of Canned air, to clean all the parts throughout the stages. What I wanted to do first was simply to take of the lid of the hard drive and simply replace the lid with the Plexiglas, but that wasnít that as easy as I though. Why? Well when you take the lid of the hard drive you will see that the spindle from the disc and the head voice coil (=head motor) is not levelled with the edge of the hard drive. Why theyíve actually designed it this way is unknown to me but I guess itís cheaper to make a dent in a piece of steel (the lid) to fit the higher parts, then to make the aluminium cast higher.
So what we need to then is to either mill out the shape of the spindle and head in a 7 mm piece of Plexiglas or to cut out a viewing hole in the existing lid and then place an square piece of Plexiglas on top of it. I do think that it would definitely be nicest with the first alternative but that would take some serious equipment that I donít have access to, so Iíve decided to go the other path.
Another couple of benefits of using the existing lid as a base is that you know it will fit, it already has a gasket, and the holes are definitely in the right place.



Remember earlier on that I mentioned that I havenít used one but two hard drives for this project? Let me explain why this is and why you actually only need one.

Method 1. In an dust free area dust of the hard drive, and remove the lid. Place the hard drive (now with the lid off) immediately inside a clean dust free container (like an freezer bag). Cut out the hole in the lid and glue on the Plexiglas, then put the lid back on to the hard drive.

Method 2. Use two hard drives, one as the slaughter victim and one as the hard drive to use later on. Using hard drive 1 with everything in place, cut out the hole in the lid and glue on the Plexiglas. Take of the new lid from hard drive 1 and clean the lid and hard drive 2 from dust. Then, in a dust free area, simply do a swap of the lids.

Method 1 is what Iíve seen other projects do, and method 2 is what Iíll describe here. The reason for this is that the chance of the hard drive to be contaminated with dust is so much smaller with method 2. The swap, later on, in this project took only 3 seconds (loosen all screws, remove original lid, place the new one on) and this feels a lot safer then having my hard drive inside a plastic bag while I work. Another benefit of method 2 is that the frame of the lid is fixed while cutting so it wonít become skew and it will also keep the gasket undamaged.

"A dust particle getting between the disc and the head inside your hard drive can be compared to a 747 flying 5 meters above the ground and Ďbumpingí into a tree"

Enough talking!! Letís get down to business. Get the screwdriver and the hammer!!



Letís get down to it. As this particular hard drive, and many many others, has a vibration damping extra piece of steel on top of the lid we need to remove this first so that we donít have to use the Dremel to cut trough an extra 1.5mm.



Disclaimer: If you donít know what youíre doing then donít do it. You will loose any warranty you have and you might render the device useless.

Next remove the lid from the hard drive and use it as a template for cutting out a piece of the Plexiglas. I had it in place when cutting but you can of course also take a knife and scratch the lines in the plastic before cutting. The benefit of having the lid in place while cutting is that you will get nice straight lines and it will be in the right size. The drawback is that you might scratch the edge of the lid if youíre not careful.

A word about taking the lid of. There is almost always more screws then meets the eye. They hide screws often under stickers, and on this hard drive the hidden screws was under the two white stickers.



Polish of the edges and put the lid in place again and mark the holes on the plastic. Then drill holes that are big enough for the head of the screws for the lid to fall trough. Donít use to much pressure while doing this as the plastic might crack otherwise as itís close to the edge.



To cut or not to cut?! will we start cutting steel!

Now comes the fun part - cutting out the viewing hole. Remember that you need to cut away the flat area, and not the raising edge that weíre going to use as the support for the Plexiglas.
This part was a bit frustrating actually, because the discs to the Dremel were used up very quickly. To cut out the hole which is a total of maybe 25cm we used up 6 discs. It was a good thing that we removed the extra piece of steel first.



I wonder if my warranty is still valid?



Remove the lid and polish off the edges using your Dremel and make sure you donít have any rough threads hanging on. You can just imagine what would happen if one of those got loose inside your finished hard drive after a couple of weeks.



Letís apply some serious silicone!



Place the Plexiglas on the frame and check that you can drop the screws into their holes. Attach the screws. Then polish off the edges on the plastic so that it looks nice and clean.

Clean the drive (still using the Ďoldí one), the frame, and the Plexiglas extremely well preferably by using high pressure air.

In preparation, before we do the actual gluing of the glass we need to keep one thing in mind, namely pressure. When placing the glass on top of the frame with the glue in place we will create an over pressure inside the hard drive and this will cause the glass to float. This is no good. To avoid this you will need to puncture one of the stickers covering the holes, like the one on the picture above. You can see it on the left side, a round silver coloured sticker.

Use a transparent kit, any kind should do, but Iíve used a kind of silicone that is usually used for aquariums. This kind of silicone is temperature and chemical resistant, and it will flex when the hard drive gets warm.





Put on a thin, 3 mm, continuous string in the middle of the edge of the frame. Then carefully place the Plexiglas in place and press it straight down not using to much force. The silicone should slide out both inside and outside the frame.
On this picture you can also see the punctured sticker allowing the over pressure to escape.

The silicon I used needed 24 hours for it to dry 2.5mm, so I waited 36 just to be on the safe side.

Using a sharp knife you then need to cut out the excessive silicon on the inside of the frame. Just cut in an continuous line using enough pressure to get trough the silicon, but not hard enough to scratch the plastic. Take your time as you donít want to slip with the knife ruining your work.



Clean the new hard drive and the your window lid thoroughly. Again, preferably use high pressure air for this. Clean any finger print smudges of the inside of the window.
Loosen all top screws on the new drive and remove them, and then carefully and slowly do the swap of the lids to your new window lid. If everything went ok then you should be left with the result below.



After this there is actually not that much more to then to connect it to your computer and watch the magic begin!

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Manik
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Joined: Aug 21, 2006
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Location: Ontario, Canada

Post Posted: Sun Sep 03, 2006 11:40 pm   
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That is pretty amazing, I'd say. You can watch the HD spin if you put it in the xbox.
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hellblazer55
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Joined: Oct 03, 2005
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Post Posted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 2:09 am   
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thats the idea
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forahobby
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Joined: May 22, 2003
Posts: 22927
Location: NSW, Australia

Post Posted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 2:25 am   
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very very nice mod. I love it.. hehehe
Cheers for sharing.

hobbs
http://www.xbox-hq.com

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defyboy
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Joined: Jan 02, 2009
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Post Posted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 8:31 am   
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Thanks for some info here. I actually have performed this mod myself many years ago on a segate 120gb drive. My only advice is that hdd's are very sensitive. A 10gb drive is probably much less sensative than modern 300+gb drives. I originally modded my drive by turning the shower on hot in my bathroom and steaming it up. turn the shower off and the steam will condense and settle and catch the dust as it falls. This creates a really cheap effective clean room for modding your hard drive.

My 120gb is actually still functional (around 6-8 years later!) and I have just brought a 250gb for my xbox and plan to do the same mod this week, I may post some photos later.


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nissan300zx1985
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Xbox Version: slim 360 S
Modded: light mods and case mod

Joined: Sep 20, 2012
Posts: 16
Location: Mass

Post Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:48 am   
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thats an awesome mod, i think im gonna try that very soon! thanks for the cool post Smile


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Prehistoricman
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Xbox Version: 1.6 crystal
Modded: Xecuter 3

Joined: Oct 09, 2011
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Post Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 4:35 pm   
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Great mod but I'd probably mess it up...
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