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Open WD external hard drive case

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by graybeard, Sep 14, 2007.

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  1. graybeard

    graybeard Thread Starter

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    I would like to open the case of a Western Digital media center combo without destroying it. It appears to be designed with tabs and slots to snap together. There are no visible screws or rivets. I'm sure a knowledgeable service tech could pop it open easily given a few hints. WD tech support is unhelpful. Does anyone in this forum know the trick?
     
  2. graybeard

    graybeard Thread Starter

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    Receiving no suggestions, but eager to retrieve the hard drive, i pried the case open. Doing so broke off most of the molded plastic snap flanges. Only duct tape or added clamping hardware could hold it together again. I see no way to have avoided this; the case appears to have been deliberately designed to be impossible to re-open after assembly.

    Inside, I found what I had expected -- a standard 160 gb IDE hard drive. The unit could not communicate with the drive via USB. The firewire interface was still working, but only 1 of my 3 PCs has a firewire port. The unit is out of warranty. So I pulled the drive to use with a new USB/fireware enclosure.
     
  3. Rich-M

    Rich-M

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    I was going to say if the usb quit working then in time the 1394 will also so why not just break it to open and remove the drive that probably does work, but you did it anyway.
     
  4. mattyc

    mattyc

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    I would recommend getting just an external enclosure next time, then you pick and install your own hard drive.
    This makes it much easier to open/close because that is what it is meant for.
     
  5. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Next time you need to open the WD case, look under the glued on rubber feet for the screws. :)
     
  6. graybeard

    graybeard Thread Starter

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    Thanks John, but there were no glued-on rubber feet and no externally accessible screws. The case was molded plastic sections that all snapped together. The "feet" were likewise snap-on items that could be slid fore and aft in the mounting grooves. There was really no alternative to popping off the narrow top and bottom covers first, then separating the clamshell sides to get at the mounting screws for the hard drive. I do not believe I could have opened it without damaging the plastic parts. No matter; the drive works fine in a Metal Gear Box external enclosure.
     
  7. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Must be different than the one that I have, I was able to get mine apart. :)
     
  8. rcluet

    rcluet

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    i have a WD My Book Premium ES adquired one month ago, yesterday i realized the swithing adapter was damaged maybe by a power surge or any power failure i don´t know really, does somebody know if is there a website selling a replacement for this adapter?

    In a extreme way if a open and break the case of my WD book and i get it connected to my computer´s IDE or SATA interface, will it work the same way as an internal one? in theory it should work properly, but i´ve not had this kind of experience yet. I know there is still the other posibility buying and using an external enclosure in order to keep using the WD My Book instead

    Sorry about "my english" i hope i make myself understand
     
  9. graybeard

    graybeard Thread Starter

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    I don't know about the switching adapter. If it's part of the MY Book, then you might qualify for a warranty replacement of the unit. You could ask WD tech support about that.

    As far as opening the drive, I am pretty sure that if you do that then you will find a standard EIDE or SATA drive inside as I did when I cracked open my WD combo unit. The drive I removed works fine in a new external enclosure I purchased for it. It would work equally well installed in my desktop if I chose to put it there.
     
  10. rcluet

    rcluet

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    The Switching Adapter is the black box that comes together with the AC cable, that´s the power cable anyways, all WD external combos comes with such adapters, what is damaged is that black box. I asked for Warranty buy only applies for a new unit and not for any of the cables contained in the "combo", i can qualify for warranty to get a new one, but the problem is that i haven´t backed up those 500 Gbytes that´s why i bought the hard drive, beind the first time that this problem happen to me, i´m sure only a few have this problem

    As i said i´m not really aware that once the case is opened and the hard drive is connected it will perform properly in my desktop but that´s what i really think, according to my knowledge if a gotta do it

    Thanks a lot GrayBeard for your comment
     
  11. webspace

    webspace

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    I have a Silver/ Black WD Essential external drive. The power button mechanism broke, so I was unable to power on the drive. For anyone who needs to open such an enclosure, here's how:
    1. Disconnect all cables from drive
    2. Holding drive sideways press firmly on one side and push the side panel off toward the rear of the drive (a lot of force is required)
    3. Repeat for other side
    4. Pry face panel off on each side
    5. To remove top of enclosure, pry each side over the tabs (this will break the warranty stickers)
    6. Viola! You now have access to the internal guts (philips head screwdriver required at this point if you need to go further)

    -Matt
     
  12. cyberhawk

    cyberhawk

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