Maxtor OneTouch III USB 2.0 E14H300 disassembly & repurposing

Back in 2005 I bought a couple of Maxtor 320GB external disk drives (E14H300) of the OneTouch III series with USB 2.0 connectors, for those of my clients that wanted to backup large datasets without the delays of the network drives. Maxtor is Seagate now, there’s been a financial crisis, and 320GB is simply not sufficient any longer; so I’d say the disk paid it’s due. You can find a product sheet in PDF here. This is a PICTURE FAIL from the stock photo embedded in the specification sheet of an external hard disk drive:

Maxtor (now Seagate) stock photo fail
"You won’t believe it’s not a digital video camera (and is an external hard disk)"

Not only that, but if you look closely at the blown up picture in the PDF you’ll see that the baby’s not happy at all. As a matter of fact, it’s crying. Why? Because mum and dad cares more about playing with their damn hi-tech gizmos than actually doing something worthwhile, like serving dinner. But I digress.

I received the Maxtor this week, because the hard disk wasn’t recognized by Windows any longer and yada-yada-yada. The user had a complete backup so all I had to do was to wipe the drive. Here follows the complete disassembly of the OneTouch III USB 2.0 enclosure. Just remember that I am not responsible for your actions. That would simply be unfair.

Warranty void if seal is broken

The Maxtor chassis is a robust and beautiful build, methinks, but that was way back when. I don’t think it’s suited for the "modern" office life unless you’re a nerd:

The Maxtor OneTouch III

The images really speak for themselves, you can see them all by visiting the Maxtor OneTouch III USB 2.0 E14H300 disassembly picture set on Flickr. The disassembly was mostly done by locating the hard plastic hinges and unlocking them, and since none of the sides were connected to the others it was a simple job.

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Just like the Terminator T100s, under the rubber skin there’s bare metal!


Remove the screws, remove the tape to reveal more screws.. This is when I realized what a nice chassis this really was, and began thinking about re-purposing it. Paydirt, finally;




It would be a shame to let all of that sexy metal go to waste! It still makes for a nice enclosure. In addition the exterior, rubber-coated hard plastic vertical plates of the Maxtor OneTouch III is a bit wider at the top and bottom (see first photo above). This would make for nice shock-absorbing feet! But in order to fasten the enclosure on the newly found feet we must make some holes innit. Be creative with what you’ve got:


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The concept is a vertical disk stand for heat dissipation under loads:







And finally, running DBAN for 48 hours straight without even getting lukewarm! There are more photos of the disassembly and build on the Flickr photo set. Having tested it using a Deltaco USB SATA/IDE adapter kit called SATA-61 (jpeg), the only thing needs changing are the four screws on the back. I would like them to be thumbscrews so that they won’t get worn out after just five disks, and don’t require a screwdriver to fasten. As you have seen the Maxtor OneTouch III enclosure is awesome.

5 thoughts on “Maxtor OneTouch III USB 2.0 E14H300 disassembly & repurposing

  1. Well, you don’t have my users:)
    I wouldn’t go around knocking it on wood, though.

    Seriously, though, my worst enemy is myself. I have destroyed more of my own data playing around as root than any natural disaster could. In some cases I’ve had backups, and shrugged away the couple of hours a re-install would take. Other cases I’m still working on, 2-3 years later.. It hurts to lose data (special photographs and memories and porn) but it hurts more to know a simple backup on DVD would render all reconstruction efforts moot..!

    It takes you 10 minutes to burn a DVD. Some data you’ll never get back.

  2. By the way, with regards to these hard disk drive enclosures; of the 10-15 cases I’ve had only 1 was actual hard disk damage. All of them had problems or errors caused by faulty PSU..

  3. The reason you broke pieces of the case is, you have no idea how to take it apart. Even after destroying your case, you still haven’t figured it out. There is no need to destroy anything in the process. The hardest part is simply pulling the sides off of the case. The rest of the job is as easy as taking candy from a baby.

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