Installing hard drive in narrow floppy bay

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This is my first experience with modding a PC and I'm a bit stuck. I
bought an old PC (933MHz PIII) to play around with Linux. The problem
is that it's a low profile case and it's all a bit cramped. I decided
to replace the floppy drive with an additional hard drive. The floppy
sits in a 4" wide bay on top of the first hard disk. The top of the
floppy bay has a restraining lip, so that the floppy drive can slide in
and out, but can't be lifted up. It is then held by 3 screws from the
outer edge. The inner edge is flush against the 5.25" CD-ROM bay.

I found a spare 40GB disk and tried to put that in place of the floppy.
The problem is that the floppy drive is about 25mm thick and fits
snugly into the bay and the hard disk is about 17mm thick and is free
to move up and down in the bay. Also, the screw holes on the floppy
drive (which line up with the holes in the bay) are 5mm up from the
bottom of the drive and spaced 25mm, 85mm and 115mm from the front of
the drive. On the hard disk, the holes are 6mm from the bottom and are
spaced 15mm, 75mm and 118mm from the front. So, my problem is that
there is no way I can secure the HD in the bay.

Any suggestions? Also, the original HD is suspended off the bottom of
the case in a cradle. If the new HD is just placed in the old floppy
bay, then the exposed part of the hard drive would be just resting on
the bottom of the metal bay. Is this ok?

Any help would be appreciated.

Re: Installing hard drive in narrow floppy bay


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First off, I would buy a case that met my needs.  But maybe  you don't
want to go that route for whatever reason.
I can't really picture your case design, but here's an adapter that
may work, and would be my second choice. /

Lastly, you might also just use cardboard or carved wood to get an
adequate fit for the hard drive, then just strap it down with nylon
Hard drives don't normally shake themselves loose and don't require
screws to secure them.  You just have to restrict it from falling off
its location due to vibration or accidental jarring of the case.    
You should have at least some airflow around the drive, and make
sure it doesn't overheat.
I haven't done this particular jury-rigging myself, but if I was
unable to buy a proper case or adapter I wouldn't have any qualms
about it.


Re: Installing hard drive in narrow floppy bay

Vic Smith wrote:

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Thanks Vic, the whole computer only cost me20, so I wasn't intending
to spend any significant money on it. Also, I'm not that worried if it
blows up!

Re: Installing hard drive in narrow floppy bay

On 5 Oct 2006 05:39:33 -0700, "Simon"

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Actually you have a second problem, that this bay is not
designed to allow much airflow.  If you took a plate that
was highly perforated and this SFF system had a fairly
strong exhaust fan(s), rate, this will cause more passive
intake air to flow past the drive, IF you mount it up in the
bay such that the space between it and the bay is on the
bottom side of the drive, so the air flows across the
circuit board.

To mount the drive you need drill holes in the bay adjacent
to those in the HDD when mounted as described above.

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If the bay were flat, drives are make such that any
components on the circuit board are slightly recessed and so
should not make electrical contact, but even a supposedly
flat bay might bow some and it doesn't allow for airflow
past the circuit board.  Thus you could run a drive like
this for a very short period of time but it is not ideal to
do so long term.

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There are many ways to shoehorn in an extra drive.  One
would be to buy some L-brackets and short screws and nuts,
so you screw the brackets to the sides of the drive, pick
where you want the drive (where there is enough room but
also, expectation that the chassis airflow will have
sufficient rate past this point in the chassis), then
holding the drive in place, mark out the holes to mount the
brackets and drill out those holes.

Naturally when drilling you have to be mindful of the metal
debris, it is safer to remove all parts before doing so and
thoroughly clean out the case afterwards.

Re: Installing hard drive in narrow floppy bay

Simon wrote:
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if the metal surface is perfectly flat, it will not short the hard
drive controller card (it's slightly resessed).  If it's got some
raised areas....

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