How to Open a Western Digital Elements 500GB USB 2.0 Portable Hard Drive Case

[amazon template=iframe image&asin=B002CZQ4GU]I found myself needing to upgrade my MacBook Pro. So I went out and bought a WD 500gb Elements drive (External p/n:WDBAAR5000ABK-NESN Internal p/n:WD5000BEVT) to quickly swap out my old drive and get some needed space. Before actually performing the upgrade though, I cloned it using Carbon Copy Cloner and when that was finished, removed the old drive and replaced it with the new drive.  Western Digital came out with a revised enclosure that’s a little different than the last generation, so I decided to make it a blog post. Enjoy!

For this tutorial, I used my handy-dandy swiss army knife.

1. Start by taking the swiss army knife and inserting the screwdriver end (not the knife!) into the top portion of the drive and gently sliding it across the top. It may be a little difficult at first getting the edge of the screwdriver into the plastic edge.

2. Continue alone the left side of the case with the blade. You may here popping as you go along the edge which is normal.

3. Then move the blade to the other side of the casing until you hear a few more pops when the casing separates itself.

4. When there is sufficient room, finish removing the back piece with your hands. Keep in mind, there are a few more clips that will make noise, this is normal.

5. Here is a picture of the two pieces separated completely. Notice the clips on the back piece. These made the cracking/popping noise when you took it off.

6. To remove the drive, start by taking out 2 rubber fillers at the bottom of the case between the plastic and the hard drive.

7. Here is a picture of the rubber fillers removed.

8. Next, insert the blade into the bottom of the drive and gently pull the drive out of the case. It is not held in by screws or glue, but it is quite snug in the case.

9. Then remove the 4 remaining rubber fillers on the sides (they act like screws).

10. Turn over the hard drive and slide it out of the metal casing.

11. Remove the USB to SATA connector on the top by sliding that off as well.

12. Here is all the pieces laid out and a close up of the hard drive.

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