DIY Guide for Creating a Clear Window in any 5.25 Optical Drive

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Note: This tutorial is used with permission from the original author

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DIY Guide for Creating a Window in your 5.25 CDROM, DVD or BLU-RAY Optical Drive!

Tools & Supplies. – From Left to Right
  1. SAFETY GLASSES! (Safety First)
  2. Small Allen key or Paper Clip
  3. Phillips head screw driver
  4. Low Tack Masking or Painters tape
  5. Dremel or Rotary Tool with 1.5″ Cutting Wheel
  6. Half Round Hand File Metal Tin Snips or Shear
  7. Marker Pen or Pencil
  8. Scissors
  9. 1/8″ thick Clear Acrylic Sheet
  10. 3M 4010 Clear Mounting Tape
  11. Xacto or Modellers Knife
  12. Tweezers for peeling back 4010 tape
  13. 12″ Ruler or Tape Measure
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Items Needed for Mod, but not pictured above.
3M Scotch Clear Mounting Tape #4010 Posted Image
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1. First step is Manually Opening the drive, to remove the Tray cover and drive faceplate. Poke a small rod or wire into the tiny access hole and push until the tray releases. Posted Image
2. The tray faceplate is snapped on and off with tabs along the edges of backside. Posted Image
3. Use Flat head screw driver to push in the release tabs on the bottom and sides of the Optical drive housing… Posted Image
4. Use Phillips head screw driver to remove the four screws that fasten together the Optical drive housing. The location and amount of screws may differ on Your Optical drive. Posted Image
5. Use a heat gun to remove the adhesive label on the drive housing. You can also try peeling off the label by hand, but it may leave behind sticky residue. Posted Image
6. The Optical drive housing is ready for applying Masking or Painters tape. Posted Image
7. Use Ruler or Measuring Square to Draw out location for the window. Leave at least 1/4″ or 1/2″ of material of the factory housing for your frame. You need this remaining material to attach the acrylic window to the drive later. Posted Image
8. Use your Rotary Tool or Dremel with 1.5″ Cutting Wheel to cut out the window opening. Posted Image
9. Use small hand file to clean the jagged edges after cutting. Posted Image
10. Use the Tin Snip or Metal Shearer to cut out the Disc’s rotating stabilizer from the piece you removed from the Optical drive housing. Posted Image
11. Use hand file to clean up the edges after cutting out the disc’s rotating stabilizer. Posted Image
12. Use a Scissors to cut a small piece of the 3M 4010 Mounting tape then apply it to the top of the Disc stabilizer. Posted Image
13. Remove Red backing from the small piece of the 3M 4010 Mounting tape Posted Image
14. Apply the 3M 4010 Mounting tape onto the top of the drive housing, around the perimeter of the window cut-out you made. Posted Image
15. Place a disc into the drive. Posted Image
16. Position and center the disc stabilizer onto the disc. Posted Image
17. Cut your DVD or Blu-Ray drive window into a small piece that measures 5.5″ x 6.5″ . You can use Jigsaw, Table saw or Vertical saw to the cut the sheet of acrylic. Posted Image
18. Position and apply your new window onto the drive housing and the disc stabilizer. Posted Image
19. Use a cloth to apply pressure to the window and adhesive tape, then clean off any finger prints from your new window. The next step is Optional. Only if you wish to add LEDs. Posted Image
20. Use a 3/16″ drill bit, it’s slightly too small, Just work the drill bit around one swipe for each LED hole. You will need to remove the debris caused by drilling the holes! I suggest using a Can of Compressed Air to blow out the tiny debris. Posted Image
21. Use a strong Clear epoxy or Krazy Glue to hold in the 5mm LEDs. Posted Image
22. Purchase pre-wired LEDs from Performance-PCs or Mod Zoo Affiliate Phenoptix! Posted Image
23. LEDs attached and Powered-On! Posted Image
24. The disc player has been powered on. Posted Image
25. It finished, and turned out great! Next step is covering up the disc stabilizer and piece of Clear 4010 Tape with something. Posted Image
26. You can cut your own custom design like this fireball, cut from a aluminum sheet material. Posted Image
27. Another idea, How about matching the Silver aluminum on your Lian Li or Silverstone Case with Brushed Aluminum Vinyl Film or some type of decal?. Posted Image
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You can apply the steps in making the window to creating a window in top of your PC case, so you can see your Optical drive mod in action! Thank you for checking out this Mod Guide, Please share it with your friends! Now go and experiment with new ideas and mod your PC!

Source: Bill Owen from MnPCTech

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