Recently I decide to add more space to my server. For some reasons, the internal hard drives are always more expensive than the external one, even the hard drives are exact the same thing. So I decide to buy an external hard drives first, and disassemble the case and take the hard drive out. I guess Western Digital doesn’t want you to do it, so there is no easy way to open the case. In fact, it is pretty easy to take out the hard drive without breaking the case. And I am going to show you how to open the Western Digital Elements hard drive case. The whole process should take no more than 5 minutes.

Open a Western Digital Elements Hard Drive Case:

Step 1 – Get the Tools Ready

You don’t need any fancy tool to get the job done. Simply use a precision screw driver such as 1/32″ flat and a regular Philip screw driver (PZ1) are enough.

Open a Western Digital Elements Hard Drive Case

Open a Western Digital Elements Hard Drive Case:

Step 2 – Knowing the Plan

Since Western Digital uses a self-snapping cover to snap on the case, it is good to know where are these clips.

Open a Western Digital Elements Hard Drive Case

Open a Western Digital Elements Hard Drive Case:

Step 3 – Open the Case

After knowing the locations of these clips, simply use a screw driver to open the case carefully on these locations.

Open a Western Digital Elements Hard Drive Case

Open a Western Digital Elements Hard Drive Case:

Step 4 – Almost Done

After removing the cover, you will see something like this. Unscrew the 4 circled screws with the Phillip screw driver and take out the hard drive very carefully.

Open a Western Digital Elements Hard Drive Case

Open a Western Digital Elements Hard Drive Case:

Step 5 – Remove the Connectors and Protections

We are almost there. All you need to do is to remove the blue protections and the circuit board.

Open a Western Digital Elements Hard Drive Case

Open a Western Digital Elements Hard Drive Case:

Step 6 – Completed!

Now the hard drive is ready. Simply snap it into your desktop and it is ready to go!

Open a Western Digital Elements Hard Drive Case

Open a Western Digital Elements Hard Drive Case:

The Adapter

Now you have an extra USB-SATA adapter available. You can simply build you own Lego SATA enclosure with it. However, keep in mind that it only works with Western Digital hard drives. If you plug in a non-Western Digital hard driver such as Seagate, it won’t recognize it at all.

Open a Western Digital Elements Hard Drive Case

Have fun.

–Derrick

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6 Responses to “How to Open / Take Apart a Western Digital Elements Hard Drive Case”

  1. Good clear post. My drive was cold stone dead this morning. No more Western Digital Elements for me. I was in luck though. Pulled the drive and I had an enclosure kicking around and the drive was live and well. Must have been something that died on the enclosure. I tested it with another Elements power adapter to make sure. It gave a one light flash and then nothing. Anyhow, I appreciate your post. With the small screw driver it came apart surprisingly easily.

  2. Glad that it works for you. And I agree, the Western Digital USB-SATA adapter wasn’t built very solid…

  3. dominik says:

    hey everybody
    i have such a hard drive myself and the usb port broke
    now im searching for a board like the one in the last picture to replace the old one. if anyone knows whats the name of such a thing or where i can get it please help!!

  4. I too am in the same situation as you dominik
    Any responses?
    Drive works .sometimes and have copied all data to another drive.
    Would like to not junk this 1TB drive. When I connect a mirco usb cable, the cable rocks sideways. So sometimes the hd works, sometimes it does not.

  5. I was able to open my drive of this type and it read a Seagate drive just fine. But my internal board looked a little bit different, so maybe my model (P/N WDBAAU0010HBK-00) is different from yours?

  6. that’s a very good work. thank u a lot

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