Western Digital’s ‘MyBook’ range of external drives come in all shapes and sizes. Whilst I could find a ‘how to’ for a lot of models I couldn’t find one that covered dismantling the MyBook Pro edition (the one pictured here). My model was a WD5000E032. Inside the disk itself was a Western Digital (no surprises there) WD5000AAKS drive.
Dismantling is actually a rather simple affair. Alongside a cross-head screwdriver you will need a flat bladed screwdriver (worst case) or a spudger (best case, in case you don’t know what one is, it’s basically a plastic/nylon flat-blade that in this instance will save you from mashing up the plastics when you’re trying to get into the case)
First of all, simply pull the rubber surround from the outside of the case. This doesn’t require the screwdriver, just pull it with your fingers and it will come away from the case.
There are now a series of plastic tabs that hold the outer shroud (the piece of plastic with the WD logo on) to the main part. Carefully, using the spudger/flat-blade screwdriver lever the shroud away. It may help to first release the two you can easily see through the vents top and bottom (there is one top and one bottom) and then gradually work your way around. DO NOT force the case open at this point or you may well split the shroud.
Once the shroud is removed you will need to get the drive from the chassis. There are four cross-head screws one side and four the other. Undo them all and don’t mix the screws up (they are slightly different lengths). You will also need to unscrew a single crosshead that sits at the front of the chassis on the power button board (it’s the one that screws through the metal plate the drive sits on). As you pull it out you will need to pull the foil cover away that covers the SATA connection and unplug the SATA connection (the plastic plug that attached the cable to the drive).
You can now lift the drive out (mine was a 500GB WD5000AAKS drive inside), still attached to the caddy. Just unscrew the four screws either side of the drive to release it.
You can then opt to either add a different drive or simply stick the existing drive into a different device. I opted for the later and used it in a ReadyNAS Duo, which I’ll talk about more in later posts…