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How-To: HDD Window Mod Clean Box
May 2, 2005
Author: Geno Manufacturer: Geno
Department: Modding Model: N/A
Article Type: How-To Time Spent: 30 minutes
 
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Introduction




MODDING YOUR HARD DRIVE IS VERY COOL, BUT ALSO VERY STUPID. ANY DIRT OR DUST YOU GET IN THE DRIVE WILL KILL IT. IF YOU GET LITTLE UGLIES AND BUGS, ETC. IN YOUR PAINT JOBS, THEN THIS MOD MIGHT NOT BE FOR YOU. IF YOU CAN'T AFFORD TO REPLACE A DORKED DRIVE, THEN DON'T DO THIS MOD. IF YOU CAN AFFORD TO REPLACE YOUR DRIVE THEN BE SURE TO BACK-UP YOUR DATA. IF YOU LOSE YOUR DATA AND/OR DRIVE, DO NOT BLAME ME...YOU WERE WARNED. A HARD DRIVE COSTS HARD EARNED MONEY, BUT IS WORTHLESS WHEN COMPARED TO ONE OF YOUR FINGERS, YOUR HEARING OR YOUR EYESIGHT...USE PROPER PROTECTION.

All prices and materials listed are from US sources and in US dollars.


THE GOAL


A reader named Alex wrote asking about the method used to window mod the drives in my HL2 Project which we did a Case Study on here. There you go Alex. I hope this answers your questions.

Hard drive mod's are one of the coolest mod’s going, and have been for quite some time now. What separates them from most if not all other mod’s is that they actually spotlight the only real moving/mechanical parts of a computer system. If you have ever seen the arm moving across the face of a hard disk during a seek/read/write, then you know what I mean.

Obviously, the reason we don't see this attractive mod more is the inherent danger of dorking a drive. In order to pull this one off, you have to remove the cover of your expensive drive and replace it with a clear cover made of Plex or Lexan. Get even a tiny particle of dust or some other grit inside and your drive is now a paperweight.

The solution is to recreate the environment your drive was assembled in as closely as possible. A clean room is a very difficult and costly space to maintain, so we are aiming for a Clean Box. An environment we have a larger measure of control over. The biggest offender in contaminating any space is you...you shed all manner of little "stuff" like dead skin cells, etc.


Since we don't have access to a sterile/clean environment with air-locks and some form of mechanical manipulation like robotic arms we have to use our own hands, just coated in rubber and surrounded by a "cleaner" environment. What follows is the method I use. It is simple to the point of being--well, simple.

One last thing to take into consideration before you undertake this mod.
There is no real advantage in modding your drive if it is located in such a way that the effect isn't readily visible...this mod like most, is about changing the way something looks.

I am not going to cover the actual procedure because it has been done. Rather, I am going to show a good method of combating the most dangerous
element...F. O. D. or Foreign Object Damage. If there is enough interest,
I will do a second part or companion to this article showing how I do the mod itself.


 
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