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Modding HDD window... need some help.

Discussion in 'Modding' started by TranZam, 16 Feb 2005.

  1. TranZam

    TranZam What's a Dremel?

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    I decided to start a new thread, because I felt I was hi-jacking the mod guide thread with the same subject. Sorry if that confuses anyone. Just trying to do the right thing.

    Well, I was foiled before I even began. I cleaned my workspace, swabbed down the drive and the static proof bag and retrieved my toolset to open the drive, and I come to find that I can't open the drive, because I don't have a TORX bit small enough. My set comes with a #10 bit, and it's just a tad too big to fit into the drive's screws. Anybody have any tips? I went to the local tool/hardware store and they didn't have any toolsets with a smaller torx bit, so I'm stuck. I can't open the drive. Anyone have suggestions. I could try a flat blade, but I don't wanna mark up the screws, I want them in good shape so I can re-use them.

    I've attached a pic to help people understand what I'm looking at.
    [​IMG]

    -TZ
     
  2. Blue Raven

    Blue Raven What's a Dremel?

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    For odd screws like that, I'v used a small flathead jewelers screwdriver, if your lucky, you can find one that fits into the screw. either that, you can use a dremmel to cut a slot on the top of the screw and use a flathead screwdriver to take it out. I'v used both of these methods successfully lots of times.

    Also, if anyone knows where to get a good set of security bits that come in small sizes, please tell because I'v been looking for some as well.
     
  3. TranZam

    TranZam What's a Dremel?

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    The slot trick sounds good. Can anyone say for sure if the vibration will be too much for the drive to handle? I'm thinking a dremel shouldn't cause too much stress, but I'd hate to break this drive before I even get inside.
    I'll give it a shot tonight and post up some pics of the results.


    -TZ
     
  4. Emon

    Emon What's a Dremel?

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    Just buy a set of torx bits.
     
  5. Speed

    Speed I'm all you need!

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    Yeah thats what they are, torx. Most good sets have them, even the cheap ones do.
     
  6. Springs

    Springs Boing boing

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    ive tried all my bits in a torx set and none seem to fit... i think they are a special kind that u cant buy in shops...
     
  7. Speed

    Speed I'm all you need!

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    were they all too big? or was it something about the shape? I know sometimes they have a small rased dot in the middle to stop you.
     
  8. Springs

    Springs Boing boing

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    they are a special bit that i believe dont come with standard torx screw bits..
     
  9. Speed

    Speed I'm all you need!

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    so are the extra small or do they have something different to the one that fits?
     
  10. TranZam

    TranZam What's a Dremel?

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    I have a torx set... the smallest size is a #10... which is just a tad too large... it feels like it wants to grab, but won't... I'll check again on the little "bump" to keep it from going in... if that's the case.. I can just file it off real quick and I'll be back in business. I tried a jewlers screwdriver, it worked fine for the first screw, but then the second one turned it into a pretzel. Guess the steel wasn't hardened.

    -TZ
     
  11. H2O-G33K

    H2O-G33K What's a Dremel?

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    Just dremel, or file a slot in them and use a regular flat-head - that's what I did..
     
  12. tk421

    tk421 Idiot.

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    you need a #5T bit ... shouldnt be hard to find actually, i have a couple that came from discount store 1/4" screwdriver bit/drill bit sets ...

    failing that, i'd go with the dremeling a slot with a cutoff wheel. that's basically what compaq screws are - #10T/staight slot combo screws.
     
  13. TranZam

    TranZam What's a Dremel?

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    [​IMG]

    Well, the scope of my insanity has begun to set in. I opted for the dremel solution... and I've learned to love fiberglass re-enforced cutting wheels.... yum. Each screw came off without complaint... I even think I heard one scream uncle... but that was all. Total airtime for the drive was less than 25 seconds... and I opted for a ziploc bag, since the only static proof bags I had around the place were all over 1 year old, and had been open... thus they would have been much more likely to be contaminated than the ziploc was. I'm excited mostly because I don't think I'll really even need to cut the cover at all... the way my drive is assembled, I'll be able to simply replace the top with a complete plexiglass piece, thus showing off ALL of the drive's internals. The only downer is that the screws will not be long enough to completely penetrate the NEW cover (using 1/8" plexi) so I'll have to stop by the hardware store to get some longer screws.

    Anybody got an idea of the thread size on these babys?

    I'll be working the plexi tonight and tomorrow.

    -TZ
     
    Last edited: 17 Feb 2005
  14. Stormtrooper

    Stormtrooper Shh...

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    Since the thing is in a bag, couldn't you measure? Anyways, make sure to seal the edges somehow, so dust doesnt get in.
     
  15. TranZam

    TranZam What's a Dremel?

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    OK, another quick request for help here.

    This is the underside of the top cover of the drive.

    [​IMG]

    The height of the side mounting screws is different than the two center mounting screws... so I've developed a plan:

    I'm going to cut out the center area of metal, around where the "ridged perimiter" is that you can see in the picture. I'm going to carefully remove the two center screw plates (I will call them "buttons" for short) and re-attach them to the plexi window. I think this will work, because the metal foms a flat "plane" from the inside of the ridge to the edge of the "buttons".

    My question is this: How is the best way to guarantee their alignment? I can think of 2 ways, one is more risky than the other, but the more risky version will pretty much get it perfect, where the less risky way could be a tad bit off center.

    option 1:

    Create a template in plexiglass, using the UNCUT drive cover, with holes drilled into the plexi that are small enough that the original screws can thread into it. Then cut the window in the cover, and set the "real" window and cover on top of the "template" and use the screws to re-align the "buttons" that have been cut out of the center of the cover.

    option 2:

    Create the window, and glue it to the cut portion of the frame. The window will have holes pre-drilled into it large enough to accept the two "buttons", but the buttons will not actually be glued yet. Re-assemble the drive by first mounting the buttons, then laying the frame, and window on top of them, and adding the adhesive after it's been assembled. The "buttons" would be cut out with enough extra metal to create a "flange" that would go under the window.... so when the time comes to glue the buttons onto the window, this would be done from the OUTSIDE, dabbing the adhesive onto the crack between the window and the metal.

    The first way is less risky, because the drive isn't exposed to any fumes from adhesives, or anything else. The second way is more accurate because the "buttons" will be perfectly aligned before being glued. I'm thinking that regular acrylic weld will not hold since this is an acrylic to metal bond... so I'm not sure what to do. I've used superglue before to bond metal to acrylic... it's quite strong, but doesn't give the most apealing look. Used in small quantity it would probably be OK. I've also heard of people using clear silicone caulk to bond it... this would be weaker than superglue, but might still be strong enough. Any suggestions?

    Also wondering about how to get the "buttons" perfectly rounded.... I'm thinking I can put a screw through the center of the button, and attach it to my dremel, or my dewalt drill... then run it agains flat sandpaper, in effect making it a "lathe" to make it perfectly circular, and quite smooth. Anybody got any ideas there?

    Thanks!

    -TZ
     
  16. TranZam

    TranZam What's a Dremel?

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    eh... I'm done for the night... but I thought I'd leave ya with one more teaser!

    [​IMG]

    Window, sitting next to HDD cover, and a mystery plate that was attached to cover with adhesive... the wife's hair dryer and some pointy tools separated them with ease.

    -TZ
     
  17. TranZam

    TranZam What's a Dremel?

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    So here's the latest:

    [​IMG]

    I cut out the buttons, and mounted them on my dremmel cutting wheel spindle. Then spun it against my 4.5" grinder so they were moving in opposite directions. The larger button took about 3-4 minutes of carefull grinding to make perfectly round, the smaller button was done in under 2 minutes.

    [​IMG]

    Here they are again with the new holes drilled into the plexi. I didn't have any drill bits that would cut this large, so I had to sand them out... I'm afraid they aren't perfectly round, but oh well.

    [​IMG]

    Here's the top side of the assembly. I decided to draw lines on the paper to align the holes. I did this BEFORE I cut the buttons from the top cover, so I was sure to get the holes centered. They will allow for a TINY bit of play, as the screws are slightly loose in the holes. The Adhesive I used is automotive silicone, in clear. I'm not sure what temperature it will withstand, but most of permetex silicone is rated for use in automotive aplications, such as valve cover gaskets and such... that puts it at about 250 degrees farenheit... so the acrylic will fail long before the silicone does.

    [​IMG]

    Here's the bottom of the assembly. Paper has been removed to allow for gluing. You can see that there is a tiny bit of "squish" from the glue... not a big deal, I expected this. Silicone will NOT damage the surface of the acrylic, so I'll be able to cut it away with a razor knife after it's cured for 24 hours. Stay tuned... I'll re-assemble tomorrow and let you know if it worked.



    This is a 25GB drive... does anyone know if anybody has succeded in putting a window in a larger drive???? I would like to be able to tell my wife that for once, I was able to do something that nobody else had done before... :hehe:
     
  18. Springs

    Springs Boing boing

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    i think some one has done it on a bigger drive but i think it failed after a few months...
     
  19. TranZam

    TranZam What's a Dremel?

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    alright springs... you're forcing me to take drastic measures... :)

    Meet the HDD Blue light special. Somebody earlier said "put some LEDs in there"... and since I can not be certain to claim my fame with the size of the disk being modified... I thought I'd have to pull off a hat trick. (1: disk window, 2: floating spindle supports, 3: blue LEDs)

    [​IMG]

    Hardly the size of a crumb, these are 2 surface mount 3.5 v LEDs... configured in series, and to be powered from the seven volt rail, they will illuminate all the time when the system is on. I MIGHT have tried to hook it up to the disk access light, but since this is not my primary drive, that might have been rather booring. Once complete, I'll have to find a place to put a window in my system, so you can see the drive working!

    [​IMG]

    -TZ
     
  20. duggyb

    duggyb What's a Dremel?

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    looking good looking good....gunna look killer when finished and glowing

    BTW what color are the LEDS??

    THNX
    Duggy :dremel:
     

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