All right folks, now is where you get to learn from my mistakes. While there is no problem in removing the two threaded pins that allow the complete removal of the top cover for the primary unit, I discovered after I had finished the task that you only need remove one. The one to remove is the screw located at the bottom of the unit as it is standing, or the one by the fan. This allows the housing cover to rotate outward from the mounting bracket and is a lot easier than taking the entire cover off. Oh well.
The exterior cover is plastic and includes a piece of foam that is mounted to the interior side. This will be positioned over the installed hard drive to take care of any vibrations caused by the drive when it spins up. Not only does this keep the noise down, but it also helps protect the drive.
So since I have once again showed myself to be an over achiever, let's get down to business and install a hard drive.
With the cover off and out of the way we can see the mounting cradle that will hold any standard 3.5" hard drive. A quick look is all it takes to see that the default configuration is set up for a PATA device. Changing out the setup to accept a SATA drive is a piece of cake, though, so fear not.
Above is after the quick cable change. While not terribly long, the cables are set up to allow for very little extra once the drive is installed. Anyone who has done any work inside a computer enclosure will immediately appreciate this since extra cabling means something to get in the way of proper airflow.
From this angle you can also see the small rubberized tabs in the four corners of the drive cradle. They are not very thick and don't need to be since their purpose is to dampen the small amount of vibration caused by a sinning hard drive. This is just another nice feature to help protect your investment and also make the device work as soundlessly as possible.
The clip shown above is the retention device for the installed drive. There is nothing fancy here, just a cradle that has both front and back edges that keep the drive from sliding around and a plastic clip that will lock the drive in place once it is installed. This creates a totally tool-free work space that makes the installation of the drive a very simple task.
There we go, now we have a drive installed into the 780HD. Since the support of SATA hard drives is a new feature, we will go ahead and test with that type of drive. I am not using a monster drive, but this device will support hard drives of basically any size. As long as your OS can recognize the device as a USB storage drive, it will work.
Now that we have a drive installed, it is time to see what this thing can do.