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The Disk Drive Bays

As mentioned, this case has four external 5.25” bays and six 3.5” bays for hard disk drives. Since this case comes with two 5.25”-to-3.5” adapters, you can install up to eight hard disk drives if no floppy disk drive is used.

Even though this case doesn’t have a screwless design mechanism for fastening 5.25” devices, the 5.25” bays use thumbscrews, so you won’t need tools for installing your optical drives.

Zalman GS1000 caseFigure 14: Bays, seen from inside the case.

The hard disk drive bays, however, use screwless mechanisms. Each bay is in fact a small drawer where each hard disk drive can be installed. As we already explained, on this case the hard disk drive bays are accessed from outside the case (see Figure 4). The screwless mechanism includes small shock absorbers to reduce the noise produced by the hard disk drives. The two 5.25”-to-3.5” adapters also include rubber rings for the same purpose.

Zalman GS1000 caseFigure 15: Hard disk drive drawer.

The three lower bays use a hot swap mechanism. Hot swap is a technology that allows you to replace hard disk drives with your computer turned on. It is important to know, however, that both your motherboard and hard disk drive must support this feature and also to use it you need to “eject” the drive first in Windows by right clicking it and choosing “eject;” another way to do this is to use the “Safely Remove Hardware” wizard that appears next to the Windows clock.

Even if you won’t use this feature the connectors present on the lower bays will allow you to install your hard disk drives without the need of attaching any cable to them – if your hard disk drives are SATA units, of course. You will need to install the SATA cables from the motherboard and peripheral power plugs from the power supply to the circuit (see Figure 16). On Figures 16 and 17 we show a close-up on the printed circuit board available on the three lower bays allowing this feature.

Zalman GS1000 caseFigure 16: Connectors inside the case.

Zalman GS1000 caseFigure 17: Connectors inside the bays.

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Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.