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Pixel Eater

Attempting to open/disassemble the aluminum WD My Book Studio

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After what was honestly hours of trying and mostly just looking for anything like videos of how to open the all aluminum My Book, I stumbled into this Storage Review article on complete accident, bringing me here. Really lucky because at that point I was no longer attempting to look up information on taking it apart, and it may literally be the only article on the web to reference doing so. Anyway it says the drive is held together by just friction. That's in contrast to every previous gen My Book I've heard of, which are all of course held together by tabs, usually in need of pressing to unlock, even on the previous generation Studio ones. Those were designed different enough though, slats instead of circles and all that. So most of my time was spent trying to find a tab. It's really a sturdy enclosure, I am impressed with the quality. I can't even think how I'd get more grip than I already am in terms of trying to pry the clamshells apart. Can anyone offer any advice at all for getting this thing open?

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So despite having spent hours, I realize much of that time was spent looking for a tab that wasn't even there and trying to get things to move with my bare hands. Still I owe my success to Storage Review's well-written article. Here's what worked... yes, there were just four screws to remove, including one under the nice warranty voiding sticker WHICH almost came off clean with heat and an X-acto, but not quite. If you Google "iPhone pry tool", I had to just about melt the tips of these little plastic crowbars, but they are designed specifically for attempting to get into stuff without marring the finish. This is just two metal clamshells stuck together by the power of Thor. I had to use every inch and bump of those pries like never before. I had to start by working an old Amazon card a bit and just fidgeting until I created I mean the most marginal gap towards the face of the unit. Then I had to carefully but super firmly wedge my pry one bit at a time in the frontmost edge of the top and bottom. Progress was in terms of teensy gaps. I finally had just enough room to continue some prying from the back panel of the drive and from there you have to jam the thicker parts of the tools in as it becomes possible and finally escort the back off kicking and screaming. Amazing that two pieces of metal can do this, just for a consumer external. I'm honestly just impressed with the quality, but not with the stance that you're not even supposed to open this. Well now I'll install an SSD for what should be a silent external in I think one of the best looking enclosures ever.

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Glad you got it open. But, lets sum up the journey with images:

y-u-no-meme-generator-metal-y-u-no-come-apart-a89167_zps2417a01b.jpg

Challenge_accepted_zps6ab03452.png

u8du_zps626faa6a.jpg

:P

Do you have an SSD in mind and what are you going to put on the drive?

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Yes, I have an extra 160 GB Intel X25-M. This is definitely an unusual solution, but I'm one of those nutty silence enthusiasts so this kind of has the double solution of letting me avoid the Wii U's noisy disc drive and killing that WD Green hum that was broadcasting across the desk. I'm actually playing it a whole lot, and it's right here on the desk so it's not quite 100% overboard, just somewhat ;)

Regrettably the Wii U likes the My Book, but not my Icy Dock 2.5 to 3.5 converter. Back to the drawing board for that.

Edit: Any suggestions for converters? I need 2 screws on the bottom left like in this picture. It is strange to me that it doesn't work, but I see the Icy Dock has a little green board in the base that must change some property of the drive... Other people have mentioned things like the Icy Dock disabling their activity LED. My computer sees it the same with or without the converter on, in both cases perceiving the drive as unallocated and in need of initializing due of course to Nintendo's proprietary format.

Edit 2: Yes! Wii U <3 Icy Dock. But wait. Argh. I think it is being surprisingly sensitive to how carefully I plug it in. Boo. Everything really does seem secure, but until I took it apart and put it together 4 times, stuff didn't load, and errored one time. Right now it is totally happy though.. not sure what to think. Do you guys have any further recommendations for converters? They do need to be as close in dimensions to a real 3.5 drive as possible, because the enclosure uses 4 rubber bushings to just kind of float the drive by the corners and isolate noise. Other than that all that matters is those 2 screws.

Edit 3: No idea what happened, everything is working great now. Since one of the rubber corners was uniquely shaped for a bare hdd, I had to cut out a small cube of it to accommodate the Icy Dock. That was easy with an X-Acto. Getting the whole thing to slide back in and line up all 4 rubber blocks so they could cling to the corners was a little bit of a game, but just a matter of patience not difficulty. Sliding the case back together was much easier than taking it apart.

Edited by Pixel Eater

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