Let’s start by opening up the case. Detaching 2 or 3 screws at the back can open a regular case. There’s a difference when you want to open the HD160. To remove the top panel you need to unscrew 5 screws (2 on each side and 1 at the back). With this case, we’re not talking about regular screws, but smaller ones colored black. This way they blend in nicely.
Once you’ve opened the case, you can see a lot of connections. Next to the standard led connections, on/off button and reset button, there’s also a header for the front USB ports and the fire wire port. Furthermore there are 2 extra USB headers. These are needed for the flash card reader and the module, which is used for the part of the Media Center (MCE). But I will tell you more about this later.
Now we’re going to start the actual assembling. Step by step I will install the parts.Optical Drive
The optical drive needs to be prepared a bit before it can be installed, you need to remove the current front drive plate and replace it with Zalman’s own. This one is attached using a piece of double sided tape.
Installing the drive inside the case was not as straightforward as I’d hoped, the small custom drive buttons kept fallen down inside the case and they are not that easy to recover in that area. In order to install the optical drive in its rack you need to remove the rack which is screwed tight onto the bottom plate. It’s quite a time consuming process.
Once the drive was screwed into place, the rack needed to be reattached. The space between the rack and the side panel was very limited, which made it very hard to place the screws. A screwdriver with magnetic head can be very useful in situations like this. Because I didn’t have one at the time, I also had to remove the side panel, add 6 very small screws to the “to be removed list”. Hard Disk Drive
Next the hard disc drives. The installation is similar to the optical drive, and I encountered the same issues. In a regular case, a HDD is attached with 4 screws. Zalman has another way of handling this. By removing the upper half of the HDD rack, you can see 3 rows with 2 pins. It appears as if they’re rising out of the mousse (2nd photo from the left, top row).
You put your disc on these pins. The pins represent the 2 screws at the bottom. Next you put the upper half of the rack back into place, and you tighten the screws. Finally the other side of the HDD is screwed into place. To prevent shocks, there are already some rubber rings in place. A regular screw wouldn’t do the job; therefore there are some special longer screws present.
The entire construction of rubber and mousse on both sides of the disc is to reduce vibrations.