(Here, have a photo of a hacksaw I found on the Internet)
tl;dr I hacksawed off a screw with a stripped head to make a hard drive fit in a bay*
Recall not long ago my wife bought me a computer and how awesome that was. From my old computer, I still had a hard drive with a lot of important files - mostly art of mine, old photos, documents, some games, you know the drill.
The old machine was a full tower and very accommodating and roomy and the new machine is a mid-tower, so things are a little more cramped inside. I tried simply sliding in the new hard drive a couple times, but it simply wouldn't go. I wasn't sure why, but there were plenty of things that could have been preventing it, so I shelved further attempts until I had a block of time where I could sit down with it and figure it out.
Like I said, it's cramped, so I needed to remove the SATA and power connections for the drive in neighboring bay, and also the 24-pin connector to the main board to give me room to make a real attempt.
Slide, and... * thunk *. Huh. Let me try and- * thunk *
Turns out this drive had an aluminum flashing kind of bracket surrounding it. It originally came from one of those external backup kits. was able to find it for super cheap, and at a full terabyte and brand name, I didn't care what it looked like as long as it worked. With that roomy full case I had before, it worked just fine. Not this mid-tower though - the bay had just enough clearance to allow for a drive and not 2mm more.
Just remove the bracket thingy, right? Trouble was, one of the screws holding it together had been stripped from a previous ham-fisted attempt at removing it before. It didn't matter before, but now I had to.
So I stood in the garage under the dim bulb with a hard drive in one hand and a wielded my hacksaw in the other and hacked off a third of the screw head. I noticed it started to spin freely so I unscrewed it by hand and removed the bracket. Huzzah!
After that it was smooth sailing. Before installing the drive, I took a microfiber cloth and some rubbing alcohol to dab at the drive to grab any metal filings that might've gathered on the solder points and contacts. I hooked everything back up, add the new connections for the drive, booted to BIOS to check it out (which had its own scare of "damn, can the power supply handle the additional hardware?" because the monitor wouldn't display anything, but my HDMI-connected TV did after a moment of thought), and here I am sharing a picture of a hacksaw.
I like messing with computer stuff to get things going, but really only when I'm successful, haha!
I also want to give a shout out to Micro Center and how awesome they are. They had exactly what I wanted and, as always, the sales staff was fast, courteous, knowledgeable, and just spot-on the whole way - so much better than anywhere else.
If you have a Micro Center in your neighborhood, you need to go there before anywhere else!
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