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Old 26th Jan 2012, 22:31   #1
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How to Get a FREE (sort of) Hard Drive and Other Small Parts.

Before I go on can I just state that THIS IS NOT A SCAM!!! I don't want you to click on a link to register at a website and I do not want any of your personal details. I'd also like to apologise in advance for the piss poor quality of the photo's, as I had to use my ShatBerry

Now that's out the way, let me begin. As I'm sure you're all aware, the horrific landslides in Thailand have sent Hard Drive prices through the roof. So what can you do? Easy! All you need is one of these.


Yep, a Sky+ box. Now, you can flog these on Ebay, but I'd been keeping an eye on prices they sell for. But, for all the hassle of having to post it and deal with dodgy nigerians who want to send you more by cheque and you return the difference and with Ebay taking their cut, it's not really worth it. Besides the fact that it's just not as fun as taking them apart and smashing stuff So if you've got one lying around, or know a friend or family member who does, go grab it!


The first one I'm going to show you is a fairly old one, left behind by a former housemate (the dark grey one at the bottom in the first pic).


You'll also need some screwdriver heads like these, with star and hexagonal heads. I won't explain which one i used and where, as both boxes had different screws in different places and yours might be different than mine. If you've got a few like in this set then you'll be fine.


First I took out the 3 screws holding the lid on circled in red. Then slid the lid back 'side panel style' to take the lid off completely.





This particluar model has it's Hard Drive inside a 2 peice case. Remove the 3 screws circled above, unplug the IDE cable from the motherboard and lift back the lid to reveal your new Hard Drive. Then simply unplug the 4pin molex power cable and take it out! The one in this case is a 40GB Maxtor Fireball 3 made by Seagate. Although initially I thought 'what a cool name', on second thoughts referring to anything as a 'fireball' in a PC just doesn't sound good. "Introducing the new CPU cooler from Zalman, The Furnace!" No, just not good.

Now while we've got the lid off, have a poke around and see if there's anything esle you fancy salvaging for your current build or future projects.



I'd never turn down a free fan and with just 2 screws removed from the backplate, this little 60mm beauty was mine!


I also quite liked the look of these heatsinks from the PSU. Once I'd undone a couple more screws i took the hole thing out to find they were soldered to the PCB


This is the only soldering iron I have. A hideously old 25W jobbie that used to be my dads.

Now, I would have taken pics of me removing the heatsinks, but on my first attempt to do so burned myself rather stupidly and had to do the rest while holding an ice cube.


As you can see he wasn't impressed either.

So, I'll just have to talk you through it. I held the iron onto the part of the heatsink poking out underneath (about 1mmx2mm) until it had heated up enought to melt the solder, then did the same to the other side and went baqck and forth till i had the solder on both sides in a fluid state. But it wouldn't budge.

On closer inspection, the clip attaching the heatsink to the chip it was taking the heat from was incredably tight. As I had no intentions of using any of the capacitors or anything, i just cut through the 3 pins attaching it to the PCB. With a little more heat and a bit of waggling it came out.

When I finally got the first one off i saw that the parts sticking through the PCB were something that had been stuck onto the heatsink and not part of it. If I were to use them in a build I'd want to file those bits off, so for the others I just clipped the pins for the chip and snapped the heatsink off. Sometimes brute force is the best option!!!

Now onto the second box.

This is the newer white model and according to the details on the back, has an 80GB hard drive at least. Super! I'd Actually fished this one out about a week ago, so had to reverse the process to get pics. There may be a few small parts missing from the pics that i yanked out and chucked, but shouldn't be too much


Remove the lid same as before (although there were 4 screws not 3), and inside you'll find your Hard drive housed in a more familier fashion. 4 screws with anti vibration gromets hold this one in place and it's a sinch to get out. Remove the IDE and 4 pin molex from the back of the Hard Drive first, then take out the 4 screws and it'll pretty much just drop out. Easy peasy


When I pulled it out I got a nice little surprise. It's actually a 160GB Seagate drive from the DB35.3 Series, Product code ST3160215ACE.


There was also a little fan in this one (40mm), but was a bit more of a pain in the arse to get out.


This one was held in with 4 screws and even after cutting out the power cable, i just couldn't get the bottom left one, so the whole mid beam would have to come out.


There was a screw mid way along attaching it to the base through the motherboard. Simple enough for even Sergei the Meerkat to get out. But there was also a screw ncoming through from the front of the case, so the front panel would need to come off.




There were 8 little clips that needed to be pulled back to get it off. 3 on the bottom, 3 at the top accessed through the inside of the case and one on each side. These were really annoying. I had to get a flat-head screw driver to prise them up. I started on one of the side ones, then went along the front of the case doing each top and bottom pair before moving to the next.


Once I'd finally got that off (and taken it to the back garden to give it some Office Space style treatment to vent my frustrations so I didn't let loose on something I wanted) I got the screw out. I had to lift the mid beam up through a gap in the top rail to release the tabs that stuck through the front panel you can see above. It took a fair bit of wiggling and a wee bit of bending but I could finally get to the screw and get the fan out.

Yeh, it was a lot of effort for a crappy little 40mm fan, but hey, not everything you do is gonna be easy. And if it is then you must leave a really boring life . I also got another heatsink from this one today, just the one, but in a nice adonised dark blue.

So here it all is. And it didn't cost me anything!




I hope ya'll enjoyed the thread. Special thanks go out to longweight and mosquito who helped me in my previous thread with getting pics embedded.

http://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?t=224803
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Old 26th Jan 2012, 22:48   #2
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Yeah, it can be surprising what you can get from dismantling disused equipment. I had about 10 pounds (5 Kg) of screws from old equipment - I threw them all out a few months ago and started again And a crate of fans/motors/etc from tape recorders, dead drives, etc (always good for scrap if you can't use them!). I never throw anything away if it is worth collecting for a scrap run, including old circuit boards.

The bits that pass through the board on those heatsinks are to keep the heatsink grounded, and that also helps to dissipate the heat.
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Old 26th Jan 2012, 22:54   #3
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Originally Posted by debs3759 View Post
Yeah, it can be surprising what you can get from dismantling disused equipment. I had about 10 pounds (5 Kg) of screws from old equipment - I threw them all out a few months ago and started again And a crate of fans/motors/etc from tape recorders, dead drives, etc (always good for scrap if you can't use them!). I never throw anything away if it is worth collecting for a scrap run, including old circuit boards.

The bits that pass through the board on those heatsinks are to keep the heatsink grounded, and that also helps to dissipate the heat.
I'm a terrible horder. I've got a nylon cord from a camera i lost on holiday years ago that i've kept. i've no idea what happened to the camera but i might need that strap sometime. maybe.....

i flogged the empty cases to the scrap man who comes round my area, but you could keep them for odd bits on mods and scratch builds. Hell, the older one was big enough to fit an ATX board in! Dam why'd i get rid of it
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Old 26th Jan 2012, 23:01   #4
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Ice cube.

Lolz were had
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Old 26th Jan 2012, 23:38   #5
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Ice cube.

Lolz were had
Indeed

I will have to give this a try. I have got an old sky+ box but I think the HDD drive in that one died which is why I got a HD box which no longer gets any use so I'm going to see what's in that

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Old 26th Jan 2012, 23:44   #6
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Indeed

I will have to give this a try. I have got an old sky+ box but I think the HDD drive in that one died which is why I got a HD box which no longer gets any use so I'm going to see what's in that

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On the left where their name is, at the bottom of the box there is a small person, click that
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Old 26th Jan 2012, 23:46   #7
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depending on the model I would say either 250gb or 500gb from memory. Don't forget this is not just Sky boxes but any PVR...
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Old 26th Jan 2012, 23:46   #8
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Originally Posted by russ555 View Post
Indeed

I will have to give this a try. I have got an old sky+ box but I think the HDD drive in that one died which is why I got a HD box which no longer gets any use so I'm going to see what's in that
Thanks. I try and add a little humour just to make things a bit more interesting. especially in a ridiculously long post like that.

I'd try and research online what hard drive is in them, as the HD boxes do go for a bit more than the older models, anything up to £100. even with ebay taking a cut that's still enough for a nice 60gb ssd. although if you want a good amount of storage i think they've got 1tb drives in.
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Old 26th Jan 2012, 23:48   #9
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On the left where their name is, at the bottom of the box there is a small person, click that
Small person. Massive yellow cock. He should really get that checked out
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Old 27th Jan 2012, 00:54   #10
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Small person. Massive yellow cock. He should really get that checked out
HAHAHA
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Old 2nd Feb 2012, 01:36   #11
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Post 29 in this thread... http://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?p=2761421

But well done for the pictures and walkthrough...
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Old 2nd Feb 2012, 03:37   #12
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Post 29 in this thread... http://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?p=2761421

But well done for the pictures and walkthrough...
Just just an excuse to pull something apart really. always more pleasurable when you dont have to waoory about putting it back together again.
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Old 2nd Feb 2012, 03:56   #13
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I pulled apart an old sky+ box not so long ago to find it was housing a 2.5" Ultra ATA drive which surprised me somewhat. I must get around to taking apart various other bits and pieces which are lying around in boxes lol
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Old 2nd Feb 2012, 09:15   #14
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just thought id ask, has any actually had successful results with one of these in their PC? they are meant to be encrypted
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Old 2nd Feb 2012, 10:28   #15
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just thought id ask, has any actually had successful results with one of these in their PC? they are meant to be encrypted
Yeh I've got the 160gb one runnin fine. The 'encryption' people have come across is probablywhere they've tried to read stuff that's saved on there
Their encryptions are nothing to the power of my formatting! Muwah ha ha ha haaaaaaaaa
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Old 2nd Feb 2012, 10:51   #16
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Nice guide i do have my old sky+ box laying around somewhere! ill see if i can find it!
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Old 2nd Feb 2012, 10:55   #17
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just thought id ask, has any actually had successful results with one of these in their PC? they are meant to be encrypted
The encryption is really just everything being stored in a file-type that only the software within the Sky box is able to read.
I'm sure a skilled programmer, if enough effort was put in could make the files readable on a PC but it isn't worth it.

As mentioned by The_Crapman, a simple format of the drive and you have a nice empty drive which will function perfectly fine in any machine.
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Old 2nd Feb 2012, 17:10   #18
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I read that it was encrpyted to just be read on a sky machine, and isnt visible to any PC/Mac or whatever, and this makes sense seeing as the 1TB box (which is actually 2TB due to on demand thingy) is only £50 and 2TB HDDs are probably around £100-200
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Old 2nd Feb 2012, 19:50   #19
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I read that it was encrpyted to just be read on a sky machine, and isnt visible to any PC/Mac or whatever, and this makes sense seeing as the 1TB box (which is actually 2TB due to on demand thingy) is only £50 and 2TB HDDs are probably around £100-200
Pretty sure you could still use a nuke program to wipe the drive in dos and make it usable again. Never tried however.
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To win the battle, is to be prepared to die - Miyamoto Musashi

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Originally Posted by RedFlames View Post
Asking to pick between the main parties is like asking which testicle you want to be kicked in, you're gonna get kicked the nuts whoever you pick... Just have to hope whoever you pick aren't wearing steelies...
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Old 2nd Feb 2012, 22:21   #20
Wozza365
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 53
Wozza365 has yet to learn the way of the Dremel
but thats a bit of work just to get what will most of the time be an old 80gb SATA1 hard drive, although i suppose i could put a backup on one of these
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