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Toshiba Canvio Desktop External Hard Drive Disassembly

Today, I had the opportunity to pick up a 3TB version of the Toshiba Canvio Desktop Hard Drive for a good deal. My existing hard drive was running out of space and this 3TB version was the next step up. And much like my other external drives, the first thing I do after testing that it works is to take it apart and see what's inside. In this article, I will show you the process and the hardware inside the enclosure.

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Box Content

The Toshiba Canvio Desktop External Hard Dive comes in a big red box (see photo above). It's well packed with lots of air cushion around it to prevent damage. The retail box includes the black external hard drive itself, an instruction sheet, a SuperSpeed USB 3.0 cable, and the AC adapter as shown in the photo below.

The external enclosure is made out of plastic. As shown in the photo below, there are enough rubber feet to allow it to stand up right, or sit horizontally. It's box like shape allows you to stack multiple drives on top of each other. And there are tons of ventilation slits to cool the drive.

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Connectivity

The hard drive enclosure only has two ports: 1) the SuperSpeed USB 3.0 port and the AC power port. As shown in the photo below, the AC port is 12 volts with a positive center. The SuperSpeed port is labeled with the SS logo. Not show in the photo is a single blue LED shows whether the drive is on or off.

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Power

The AC adapter has the ability to supply 12 volts at 2 amps (label shown in photo below). It works with voltage all over the world. However, the version I got only has a power plug for the United States.

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Disassembly

There are no screws anywhere on the case. They are not under any rubber feet, nor are they under the label. Instead, the case is snapped together with locking tabs. It's obvious that the manufacturer didn't intend you to open it.

Use a small flat-head screwdriver to pry between the seams on the top of the drive (see photo below). Because they are locking tabs, you will break off several, if not all, of the tabs to open the case. Apparently Toshiba had made this enclosure non-serviceable.

Inside the large plastic enclosure is the hard drive, mounted to a thin heat sink (see photo below).

The hard drive is easy to remove from the plastic case. Two screws at the bottom of the heat sink secures the drive and the SATA/USB adapter. Four additional screws on the rubber damper securely mounts the drive to the heat sink. Unscrew the screws shown in photo below to separate the hard drive from the heat sink.

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SATA/USB Adapter

The following two images shows the SATA/USB adapter. It's a small triangular adapter that can be easily secured onto a hard drive with a single screw. It can come in quite handy when you just want to use the adapter without the case.

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Is the Internal Hard Drive Replaceable?

The question is whether it's possible to replace the drive inside the case with another SATA drive. We might want to do this when the 3TB drive eventually fails. Or maybe we simply want to use the 3TB drive somewhere else and swap a different SATA drive into this case.

The answer is yes. I have swapped a 7200 RPM Seagate 1.5TB SATA drive into it. And it works just fine.

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Internal Hard Drive

The 3TB 3.5" internal hard drive is a Toshiba DT01ABA300. The following are the basic specs from the Toshiba web site:

  • Up to 3TB capacity
  • 6Gb/s SATA Interface
  • 4kB sector size
  • 5700 RPM performance
  • Superb power utilization and heat emission
  • Quiet acoustics

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Does the Internal Hard Drive Work Without the Case?

Unfortunately, I was unable to test this possibility, because I do not have another USB adapter that support 3TB drives yet. But I don't see why not, as long as your computer or drive connector supports 3TB drives.

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