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How to Shuck a WD Elements External Hard Drive

What you need

  1. How to Shuck a WD Elements External Hard Drive, Locate the enclosure clips: step 1, image 1 of 2 How to Shuck a WD Elements External Hard Drive, Locate the enclosure clips: step 1, image 2 of 2
    • Make sure to turn off and unplug the drive prior to disassembly.

    • The external enclosure cover is attached to the vented frame with four plastic clips from the inside. Note their locations before moving on to the next step.

  2. How to Shuck a WD Elements External Hard Drive, Insert a Jimmy into the seam of the enclosure: step 2, image 1 of 2 How to Shuck a WD Elements External Hard Drive, Insert a Jimmy into the seam of the enclosure: step 2, image 2 of 2
    • Insert a Jimmy into the seam between the frame and the cover on one side of the drive, roughly halfway between the top and bottom.

    • You may need to wiggle the Jimmy in order to slide it in between the frame and the cover.

  3. How to Shuck a WD Elements External Hard Drive, Release the bottom clip: step 3, image 1 of 3 How to Shuck a WD Elements External Hard Drive, Release the bottom clip: step 3, image 2 of 3 How to Shuck a WD Elements External Hard Drive, Release the bottom clip: step 3, image 3 of 3
    • With the Jimmy inserted in between the frame and cover, pry the frame outward to release the bottom clip.

    • Take care not to pry too forcefully, as that may break the enclosure.

    • If you're having trouble releasing the clips, slide the Jimmy closer to the clip and try again.

  4. How to Shuck a WD Elements External Hard Drive, Release the top clip: step 4, image 1 of 2 How to Shuck a WD Elements External Hard Drive, Release the top clip: step 4, image 2 of 2
    • Slide the Jimmy up along the seam and pry the frame outward to release the top plastic clip.

  5. How to Shuck a WD Elements External Hard Drive, Release the clips on the other side: step 5, image 1 of 2 How to Shuck a WD Elements External Hard Drive, Release the clips on the other side: step 5, image 2 of 2
    • Repeat steps 2-4 on the other side of the enclosure.

    • Take care not to pry too forcefully, as that may break the enclosure.

    • If you're having trouble releasing the clips, slide the Jimmy closer to the clip and try again.

  6. How to Shuck a WD Elements External Hard Drive, Remove the cover from the enclosure: step 6, image 1 of 3 How to Shuck a WD Elements External Hard Drive, Remove the cover from the enclosure: step 6, image 2 of 3 How to Shuck a WD Elements External Hard Drive, Remove the cover from the enclosure: step 6, image 3 of 3
    • Slide the cover straight off the frame to remove it.

  7. How to Shuck a WD Elements External Hard Drive, Remove the LED light guide: step 7, image 1 of 2 How to Shuck a WD Elements External Hard Drive, Remove the LED light guide: step 7, image 2 of 2
    • Slide the LED light guide out of the LED slot on the drive's controller board.

  8. How to Shuck a WD Elements External Hard Drive: step 8, image 1 of 3 How to Shuck a WD Elements External Hard Drive: step 8, image 2 of 3 How to Shuck a WD Elements External Hard Drive: step 8, image 3 of 3
    • Grab the end of the LED light guide and slide it completely out of the frame to remove it.

  9. How to Shuck a WD Elements External Hard Drive, Remove the hard drive from the frame: step 9, image 1 of 3 How to Shuck a WD Elements External Hard Drive, Remove the hard drive from the frame: step 9, image 2 of 3 How to Shuck a WD Elements External Hard Drive, Remove the hard drive from the frame: step 9, image 3 of 3
    • Use your hands to push on the four rubber blocks in the corners to unseat the hard drive from the frame.

    • Slowly push one or two blocks out at a time until the hard drive is completely unseated from the frame.

  10. How to Shuck a WD Elements External Hard Drive: step 10, image 1 of 2 How to Shuck a WD Elements External Hard Drive: step 10, image 2 of 2
    • Remove the hard drive from the frame.

  11. How to Shuck a WD Elements External Hard Drive: step 11, image 1 of 2 How to Shuck a WD Elements External Hard Drive: step 11, image 2 of 2
    • Remove the rubber blocks from the hard drive if they're still attached—some of them may have already fallen off when you removed the hard drive.

  12. How to Shuck a WD Elements External Hard Drive, Remove the controller board metal bracket: step 12, image 1 of 3 How to Shuck a WD Elements External Hard Drive, Remove the controller board metal bracket: step 12, image 2 of 3 How to Shuck a WD Elements External Hard Drive, Remove the controller board metal bracket: step 12, image 3 of 3
    • Use a Phillips screwdriver to remove the 8.5 mm-long screw securing the small controller board metal bracket to the hard drive.

    • Remove the metal bracket.

  13. How to Shuck a WD Elements External Hard Drive, Remove the controller board: step 13, image 1 of 3 How to Shuck a WD Elements External Hard Drive, Remove the controller board: step 13, image 2 of 3 How to Shuck a WD Elements External Hard Drive, Remove the controller board: step 13, image 3 of 3
    • Use a Phillips screwdriver to remove the 8.5 mm-long screw securing the controller board to the hard drive.

    • Slide the controller board straight off the end of the hard drive to remove it.

    • There will be a bit of resistance when removing this board, since it's connected to the hard drive's SATA and power connectors.

  14. How to Shuck a WD Elements External Hard Drive: step 14, image 1 of 2 How to Shuck a WD Elements External Hard Drive: step 14, image 2 of 2
Conclusion

Be sure to keep the enclosure—as well as all the parts and screws that accompany it—until the warranty has expired. After that, take them to an R2 or e-Stewards certified recycler. You can also offer them to folks on r/DataHoarder to be reused.

To reassemble the drive and enclosure, follow these instructions in reverse order.

52 other people completed this guide.

Craig Lloyd

Member since: 02/10/16

35,348 Reputation

82 Guides authored

15 Comments

Can you recommend a Mac program for running a deep scan to check for bad sectors?

This article only gives two recommendations and they’re both for Windows :(

Martin - Reply

Disk drill (not free but hey... works well)

JeanJean -

I have a question. Is it possible to take a similar drive but smaller capacity like this about and turn it into a portable drive from it having to have a power supply?

Louis Wilson - Reply

It is not possible. The problem is that a 3.5” disk drive (as used in the Elements drive) needs 12 V as well as 5 V, and they need more power than a USB socket can typically deliver. 2.5” disk drives operate from just a 5 V supply, and, having smaller disks inside, they use less power to start up, so they can be run completely through USB.

Andrew Morton -

Hi Craig! My PC sees it as Local Disc (E:) and wants to format it. Can’t do that! Is there a workaround? This was due to a power surge and I think it was just the adaptor power supply that got damaged. Running W10Home21H1 on Lenovo DESKTOP-699CIMO. Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4790 CPU @ 3.60GHz 3.60 GHz 16,0GB 64bits Any ideas would be greatly appreciated! Cheers, Marco

Marco66 - Reply

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