Wednesday, February 6, 2013

DIY Hard Drive Dock

Hard drive docks allow you to plug in internal hard drives to your computer without opening up your computer and installing it on internal SATA. These cannot always be justified, however, due to price and a lack of regular usage (until a catastrophe hits, that is). The solution to the problem is twofold. Maybe it isn't even a problem, but you can still get a two-for-one deal with my method!

Difficulty: Easy
Price: $20-$80 (depends on the price of your external)
Materials: A Seagate FreeAgent Go portable hard drive (or any portable of your choice)
Tools Required: jewelers screwdrivers

1) Okay, this shouldn't be hard, but be careful. The idea is to lift up the top cover between the cracks of where it meets the plastic body. The best place is at one of the corners where the top cover curves down (by the Seagate logo). Once

2) Once you have a screwdriver in there, slowly wiggle it up and run the screwdriver along the edges to pop off the cover. If you meet resistance, just wiggle it a little until it pops off. Don't be too rough!

 3) What you should get is something like what is on the left hand picture. Just tease the hard drive from the plastic enclosure and you will have your hard drive.

4) There will be four screws holding it in a cage. Remove them, and pop out the hard drive and the controller board (carefully, this part is important).
5) Voila! You now have a nice laptop hard drive for whatever project you want, and a very portable usb hard drive dock for SATA hard drives.


  • This new dock has only been tested on both 5400rpm and 7200rpm laptop hard drives. I have not attempted desktop hard drives. It would be nice to find out how well this works across the board.
  • This being said, it would also be worthwhile to take apart an $80 1TB external and you would get both a 1TB Hard drive and a dock capable of powering full size desktop hard drives!
  • Each external is different in terms of type and size. Mine was $80 for 320GB a few years ago, a few months after that, you could get a 500GB for the same price.
  • This Dock is really only good for field situations. I've brought it into offices, clipped it on peoples hard drives quickly and ran whatever task I needed. It is a really quick solution

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