Hacking a Maxtor external drive
April 7, 2006 3:03 PM   Subscribe

Upgrading (hacking) a 40 GB Maxtor 3000LE USB external drive?

Because I am ungodly cheap, I'd like to drop a much bigger hard drive into my 40 GB Maxtor 3000LE USB drive, rather than just buy a new and larger unit. The Maxtor people, reasonably wanting to discourage this sort of thing, have not made it obvious how to crack the enclosure, and while I hope to find standard parts and connections if/when I do, there's no guarantee I will.

Has any MeFier experience with this sort of foolishness?
posted by mojohand to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
Well, I've never cracked an external unit that wasn't designed to be cracked, but I think they use pretty much bog-standard components. If you can get it open, you can probably buy and use almost any Maxtor drive with it.

As far as how to open it... look for stickers that say 'warranty void if removed', and remove them. (heh). There are usually screws underneath. And it can be more than just warrandy stickers... run your thumbs over every sticker on the case, and look for depressions. The big stickers are hard to get off... you can usually just punch through them with a screwdriver, if you determine the right spot with your thumbs first.

Note that you can also buy reasonably good external enclosures that are _designed_ to be opened. Generally, they don't cost very much, and you can use whatever damn drives you want with them.
posted by Malor at 3:23 PM on April 7, 2006

I've done this with a maxtor firewire external (40 to 120MB) and it worked fine. The case was a little hard to open - but once opened it was easy to exchange the drive.
posted by Sagres at 3:35 PM on April 7, 2006

Depending on the age of the Maxtor enclosure, it may not have the guts necessary to support drives larger than 127 GiB. So if you get a 200 GiB drive and plug it in and the computer only sees 127 GiB, that's why.

Fortunately, if necessary, enclosures can be had for $20-$40; see this Fatwallet thread on enclosures.
posted by kindall at 3:47 PM on April 7, 2006

When peeling off stickers looking for screws, also look under the rubber feet (if it has rubber feet).
posted by mendel at 4:12 PM on April 7, 2006

My 250GB FireWire Lacie now has an old 120GB drive inside it (the 250GB was moved inside my computer). I had to lever it open to unclip it.

The drive inside will almost certainly be a completely standard IDE mechanism, and you should have no problems putting a different one in there.
posted by cillit bang at 6:16 PM on April 7, 2006

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