My Seagate external HDD got invaded by ants yesterday, so I decided to disassemble it to ensure that all the ants are out.
From the outside the HDD looks like it was designed to never be opened, which is partly true I guess, so I did a quick Google search but only turned up results for the older Black/Orange (Seagate Free Agent Desktop, if you are wanting to take one of these apart, click here) version, but none for my White/Silver version. Thus it was up to me to figure out how to open it.
The basis of the casing is that it all clips together. In the following picture you can see the “lid” removed with all its clips, and the top of the case without the lid. I started on a front corner, and then wedged a blunt flat head screwdriver in, and slowly worked my way along the edge unclipping the “lid”.
After that you must remove the 4 small philips screws, one in each corner. You can then remove the white plastic frame/side panel, by unclipping it from the base.
The metal casing then just slides vertically off the plastic “base”. There are 4 rubber stoppers, two on each side of the HDD, which prevent some shock from damaging the HDD. Beneath each stopper is a screw, holding the HDD in place. As you remove the stoppers, remove the screws as well.
Three of these you can pull off. For the fourth one, you must first remove the 3 screws visible in the next picture.
The metal panel on top of the HDD can then be lifted off. The HDD is now plain to see. It is a standard Seagate Barracuda 1TB SATA HDD. The HDD is connected to the little circuit board via the SATA, and power connectors. You can simply lift the rear of the HDD, and pull it towards you, thus unplugging it.
You will now have the removed the HDD from the casing and should be able to access any part you are interested in.
This should all be possible without breaking anything. I did however unfortunately break a small join on the side/rim panel thing. It’s not visible however, and will only reveal itself on close inspection.
Doing what I did may void the warranty, but there were no stickers or anything, so they probably can’t figure out that I opened the case.