hard drive window 2

tack cloth is your electrostatic friend

With the window opening cut, deburred, and sanded smooth, I needed to be sure every particle of material was cleaned from the housing. I used an inexpensive painter’s tack cloth to clean the surface of any dust or grease left from the cutting process.

just wipe thoroughly

Several thorough wipedowns with the tack cloth got all the residue, and imparted an electrostatic charge that helped repel dust.

Novus makes great stuff

I finally got a window insert cut to fit, so I finished the edges with sandpaper, and rounded the corners slightly. I used Novus #1 plastic polish to give the window insert a slick, dust-repellent finish and protect it from fine scratches.

ready for reassembly

I glued the window insert into the housing using a transparent adhesive similar to model glue. I applied it around the lip of my window, and I was a bit generous because adhesive oozed out of the crack and formed beads in my window.

That was pretty upsetting, but I knew I would make things worse by trying to fix it before the adhesive had set. So I left it to cure for 24 hours. Then I trimmed the excess using a very sharp hobby knife. That turned out to be one of the most time-consuming tasks of this project, so I recommend that you go easy with the adhesive if you try this at home. I kept my screws and other loose parts in a plastic bag so everything was in the same place when I came back to finish it after letting my adhesive cure.

Just needs a quick shine…

With the excess adhesive trimmed, I cleaned and dusted my top housing once again, and gave it several blasts with a can of compressed air before reassembling the top and bottom housings. With the screws in place, I made a replacement seal out of electrical tape to keep dust from entering through the gap between the upper and lower housings.

The finished drive

The finished drive.

Taking pictures of this thing is a challenge. The platters have a mirror finish to them, and it takes some planning to avoid getting reflections of the surroundings in your photo.

The coolest thing this does is when it powers up. The head scrambles all over the platter for a second while the drive initializes and spins up, it’s a mad visual. Also cool is when you power down, the drive will park its head. I installed Windows on it to give it a work out, and it looked like it was jitterbugging for 90 minutes while the install ran–also cool.

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