Replacing the hard drive in a Nextstation

Posted on June 11, 2004 by Chris Lumens in NeXTSTEP.

Eventually, that 420 meg hard drive in the slab is going to get filled up and you’ll want more disk space. That’s especially true as you start to download lots of stuff and maybe even do some development work.

If you want to replace the drive, what you’re going to need is a narrow SCSI disk, with a 50-pin connector on the back. The original drive is half-height. Newer drives will most likely be shorter, but you definately don’t want to exceed half-height. I haven’t found the proper drive yet, but I’ll post some guidelines when I do.

In the meantime, here’s some documentation on how to go about replacing the hard drive. It’s an easy procedure. You’ll need a phillips head screwdriver and something for gripping. I used a small pair of Robo-Grip pilers, available at Sears.

  1. Unhook everything and haul the slab out to a well-lit area, with a good bit of free space.

  2. Remove the one screw in the back center of the case. That’s all that hold the top of the case to the rest of the machine.

  3. Now, you can remove the top of the case. It’s hinged in the front, so grab the sides at the back of the case, and lift straight up. You may also need to slide the top forward just a litle bit first.

  4. You can see all the guts of the machine now. We just want to play with the hard drive, so leave everything else alone. Looking at the back of the case, the hard drive sits on the left side, near the back. You can’t miss it.

  5. Unhook the power cable from the motherboard. It may be on there really tight, which is why I recommend having some pilers or something. Be firm, but don’t break anything.

  6. Unhook the SCSI cable from the motherboard. This is significantly easier. Just pull up on the little handle on the cable. It will also require some force, but shouldn’t be too bad.

  7. Looking at the right side of the hard drive, you will see one large screw that holds the hard drive down to the motherboard. Unscrew that. You’ll notice that the drive starts to raise up a little bit as you unscrew it. That’s why you unhooked everything first.

  8. The drive sits on a metal plate that is hinged into the case. Lift up the right side of the drive until it’s perpendicular with the case. Then you can lift it up out of the case.

  9. Finally, just remove the four screws that attach the metal plate to the hard drive. Then unhook the power and SCSI cables and you’re done.

The installation of a new drive is simply the reverse of the above directions. Just be careful to seat the drive-hinge assembly in the case properly before swinging it down. Also, make sure not to crunch the cables when you start to screw the metal plate back down to the board.