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How to: Disassemble Toshiba Canvio Desk (3Tb) External Hard Drive

Disassemble Toshiba Canvio Desk 3Tb

Since I published an article concerning the Toshiba Canvio Desk 3Tb External Hard Drive. many visitors to the site had arrived looking for instructions to disassemble the drive. The product itself is very well priced – and in some countries, disassembling such a drive may be the only way to get storage at the best price, while getting the best performance out of the drive.

Please remember – you do anything at your own risk. Further to this, by disassembling the drive, you will void all warranties.

The drive itself is manufactured quite solidly, and is a completely screw-less plastic shell design. The way to get it open is not obvious, however, any attempt to open it will damage the casing permanently.

Begin by identifying the bottom rear of the drive where the grille is the widest.

You will need a relatively stiff, thin and wide tool to insert into the casing to separate the halves. In my case, I repurposed an I/O rear cover, but a knife or a metal ruler could be just as adequate.

You will need to insert the spudger where I’ve indicated and move it towards the power/USB connector, where the shell will separate enough for you to tear it apart with your hands.

Unfortunately, you will damage the clips, so being able to reuse this case may be limited to one or two openings at most – but you could always glue/tape it back together if you wanted.

The drive itself is as I reported earlier.

The drive itself is shielded by a metal EMI shielding cover which is attached with rubber-grommeted screws on the side. You must undo these four screws.

There are also two screws on the underside which must be undone to release the shield.

You can then remove the SATA to USB 3.0 bridge, which has a minimized triangular footprint! Wow! That’s the smallest I’ve ever seen it!

The chip used on this bridge is a VLI VL701 USB 3.0 to SATA II Bridge Controller. The PCB is marked with PI-539 V1.3 dated 11th May 2012 and the PCB is made by Shenzhen Sun and Lynn Circuits Co. Ltd.

I hope this has helped you achieve happiness, if opening a Toshiba Canvio Desk was your quest. As a side note, Google has now encrypted all search terms, so I won’t be able to read your mind the next time …

Addendum: Reader Question on SMART Values

At the request of Dave. here are the SMART dump values for the three 3Tb drives I have shucked from my cases, and one last one that’s still inside of its enclosure. Note that I have set CrystalDiskInfo to report in base 10 [DEC] rather than 16 [HEX] – you can change this by going to Function, Advanced Feature, Raw Values and toggling the base value there.

The value of concern in the comment was attribute 02, labelled Throughput Performance. All of my values are hovering about 80-84 for raw value, with a SMART value of 144. As far as I can tell, you should really be concerned if the current or worst figures are below the threshold of 54 (the level the manufacturer deems “critical”). However, if you’re experiencing slow reads or writes, it may indicate drive difficulty in which case you are advised to back up your data ASAP.

Note that the values themselves may vary depending on your drive model and the way the firmware interprets the values. The value of 0 for raw or SMART value is suspicious and would trigger a warning, and may deserve an RMA erring on the side of caution. If it’s slow or making unusual noises – send it back. I have noted in the past that some drives may start getting “unexpected” or unusual SMART values due to firmware problems or many improper power-downs as well.

Category: Forex

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