How to polish your HDD to make it sparkle and shine

Howto by Jort @ 2004-10-07

In this guide we show you how to make you Hard Drives sparkle, and with the correct light setup in your case, they can even become your "center piece", if done right.
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If you are into case modding, then this how-to might prove to be interesting, when you cut out a window in a side panel you open up the internal of your PC for the whole world to see. We have CCFL lights, UV reactive paint, rounded cables and other goodies to make the inside look more then just a collection of metal and plastic; of all the things which can be modded, the hard drive is usually at the bottom of the list. We've seen people create windows in the top plate, but the chance of ending up with an expensive paper weight is quite high.

In this guide we show you how to make you Hard Drives sparkle, and with the correct light setup in your case, they can even become your "center piece" if done right.

Polishing your hard drive is not difficult, but without the right ingredients and tips on how to proceed, the end result might not be what you were looking for. So of we go:

What do you need?

  • A Hard Disk ( duh )

    Madshrimps (c)

  • Polish paste ( for example: chrome or metal polish )

    Madshrimps (c)

  • Dry polish bar ( Dialux, Hagerty, … )

    Madshrimps (c)

  • A disc of vilt , a blackboard scrubbing device or something comparable

    Madshrimps (c)

  • A clean cloth or kitchen role
  • White Spirit or some other grease removing product

    Madshrimps (c)

  • A camera to show off your amazing result :p

    On the next page we give the HDD a make-over ->
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    Comment from jort @ 2004/10/07
    Comment from jmke @ 2004/10/07
    no no @ you
    Comment from FreeStyler @ 2004/10/07
    it got [H]-ed
    Comment from SuAside @ 2004/10/07
    hehe, very helpful for those guys out there that like to stare at lights and shiny things :P
    Comment from ph0ton @ 2004/10/08
    must ... polish ... hard driiiiive
    nicely done !
    Comment from jort @ 2004/10/08
    thank you guys 4 the reply's

    it make's me sattisfy.

    i'll do some more work in the future.

    there is going to be more modding this year i feel it
    Comment from Nacelle @ 2004/10/08
    Doesn't removing the label void the warranty? It would kinda bite to have a $200 HD go out, and not be able to get it replaced.
    Comment from jmke @ 2004/10/08
    yes it will void the warranty; like almost 99% of all mods out there

    if you use a 3rd party HSF on your P4 you void your warranty also
    Comment from kristos @ 2004/10/08
    but they won't know if you used a third party cooler unless you tell them. With the hard disk, they'll know unless you were miraculously able to remove the sticker without ripping or wrinkling it.
    Comment from jmke @ 2004/10/08
    *zucht*. it was an example how 99% of all modifications done to your PC will void warranty!
    Comment from jort @ 2004/10/08
    that is the risk of modding your hardware

    i'll live with it when something gets broken
    or just buy new one
    Comment from GorenBarry @ 2004/10/10
    damn, what a nice mod

    keep up the good work
    Comment from IKilledMyAGOIA @ 2004/10/11
    what of the dangers of getting polish in the hd vent hole?

    i thought that was supposed to be protected?
    Comment from jort @ 2004/10/11
    what do you mean?
    there can't go anything in the hdd.
    Comment from Canada_Dry @ 2004/12/13

    I will soon be getting a praetorian case. It is brushed aluminum. Would it be possible to mirror the finish in the same process as this?

    It obviously wouldn't have a smooth glass finish because it is "BRUSHED" aluminum. But I think the effect would look cool.

    Has anyone tried this?
    Comment from kristos @ 2004/12/13
    yes it's possible to get the same finish.

    you just have to prep the case... sand it down untill it has a real slick feel to it. then polish it.

    there's been a newspost at madshrimps before about someone who worked his shuttle up to a mirror like finish. very painstaking job but the results were amazing
    Comment from Canada_Dry @ 2004/12/13
    ok, so its not really possible to polish the aluminum while it still is "brushed" you have to have it smooth?
    Comment from kristos @ 2004/12/13
    well, it's a near impossible task because the little dimples will not benefit from all your polishing since you just can't' reach them.
    Comment from Canada_Dry @ 2004/12/13
    an all mirrored out case would be original eh?
    Comment from kristos @ 2004/12/13


    and hard to keep clean too
    Comment from Canada_Dry @ 2004/12/13
    the big problem is getting around the window, I'm going w/ a premodded cooler master blue acrylic window. You think I could just tape it off when sanding?
    Comment from kristos @ 2004/12/13
    yes but tape it well. I wouldn't feel safe with only one layer and use that tape that painters use, comes off easely and is quite sturdy.

    although it's probably better to remove the window if possible.

    I had a quick look at the coolermaster windowkits. I couldn't tell for sure but I think they use rivets.
    Comment from Canada_Dry @ 2004/12/13
    yeah they are rivets...thereefore i would have to drill them out and use high quality rivits to replace them...

    so I think I will just use tape