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Case Smithing: The Stealth Optical Bay Drive

By: John Williamson | Guides | Posted: Dec 6, 2012 9:39 am

Making it Work


So, I know what you're thinking it looks good, but how do I open it? Well there are two schools of thought for this problem. Leave it how it is and eject through your OS desktop or keyboard (if it has an eject key), or we can rig up a "soft touch" button. To make our button, again using dual sided tape, the only other thing we need is a small piece of scrap metal or plastic. In fact, nearly anything can be used for this - I normally just scout around on my shed floor for materials.




For my button I found some scrap that looks like an old front bezel button, notice that it is very small. The trick here is to find something smaller than you need and let the tape do the real work. Again we will need to remove the door, and we can do this by sliding the new door still attached to the drawer cover up off the tray. While holding the unit, slide the door up one side at a time, and this should release the front panel from the tray.




With the door removed cut a small slither of dual sided tape and apply it to the general area the button needs to be in. Now to line up the positioning exactly I place some painters tape on the lower part of the drives new door under where the button needs to reside.




Without attaching the drive line it up over the drive and mark out where the button should sit on the painters tape. We can now proceed to attach our desired button. If the button doesn't reach as far as it needs to apply a second, or perhaps even a third layer of dual sided tape.




Once the button is mounted at the needed height and location, the front drawer can be reattached by sliding it back on to the drawer's rails. Reinstall your now stealth drive, it is important to fasten it in place, as using your new "Soft Touch" button may lead to pushing the drive back too far into your drive bay.


With everything mounted and reconnected, we can now test out our handy work. If everything has gone to plan a simple touch of the bottom right side of the bay cover should send the tray out of the shadows waiting to be loaded with your optical media.





TIP - If you are planning on using a 5.25 cover with mesh I would suggest painting the silver components of the drive as this will help to hide the parts we are trying to conceal. Paint can also be substituted for a thick black marker pen.



Final Thoughts




Drive stealthing is a prime example that modding does not have to be expensive or overly complicated to be effective.


Using only a minimal amount of materials and some creativity, nearly anything is possible. Another really cool use for this mod is LAN cases - have you ever had discs stolen from your drive at that premiere gaming event? Well no longer as most people won't even realise that you are still even using an optical drive. Problem solved!


A good quality stealth job will compliment any case from the office work horse to the pride of your PC fleet. Have fun!

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