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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Rubba dub dub


  • Take the HD which you want to polish and place it in front of you.

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  • Remove the sticker. Be sure to remove all pieces.
  • Next you take your dry cloth and put some grease removing product on it, which serves to clean the cover.

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  • After this, you try to prevent the HD from moving around for when you’re about to scrub it. Do this by using a bench-vice or the really strong right arm of your younger brother who has just hit puberty.

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    Now for the polishing work:

    STEP 1: put some polish paste on the HD cover and use your cloth (or other device suitable for scrubbing ) to scrub the HD cover, clockwise or from left to right, whatever suits you. While doing that, the paste should start to turn black.

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    After this, let it rest for 2 minutes or so.

    STEP 2: use a clean cloth to remove the paste.

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    Repeat STEP 1 and 2 until the HD cover starts to look like a mirror.

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    STEP 3: take your “scrubbing device” (make sure it’s clean) and rub it against your dry polish bar about ~20 times.

    STEP 4: rub that same device against your HD cover, this should be really smooth, if not you have to rub it some more against the dry polish bar.

    Repeat STEP 3 and 4 about 5 times.

    At the end you clean the HD cover really (really!) well with a clean cloth. Take a look at the result and if you can see your reflection in it: success!

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    If the reflection of your face is still a bit blurry and you’re convinced that it’s the fault of the HD cover ( :-) ) You’ll have to repeat STEP 3 and 4 some more.

    The final result:

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    And here next to my previously polished victim:

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    Question/Comments: forum thread
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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