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Elderly Dell Dimension 2100 - drive rails - shot in the dark!

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June 28, 2010 12:32:44 AM

I am trying to simply add a second hdd to a Dell Dimension 2100 for a local family in need. I do this kind of work for our local charity by cobbling together various donated parts and junker assemblies into PC systems that a family can use who just can't afford to buy even used. So we fix 'em up and give them away.

OK, I have this perfectly fine, great working donated Dell Dimension 2100 prepped and ready to give to this family. Now their old IDE hdd (from their otherwise completely broken HP) needs to be "slaved" to the orig hdd supplied with the Dimension so they'll have their files intact. The files on the HP drive exceed the orig hdd in the Dell by quite a bit (60gB vs 20gB total cap). Ordinarily, I wouldn't have a problem slaving the second hdd - most of us have done this a thousand times, but.... The Dell case has just one empty hdd bay that takes a very special (I've never seen these before) kind of black plastic drive rail. I was surprised to find two spare drive rails and metal wire clips that were attached by brackets to the metal frame. OK, how nice I thought! In trying to use those, I find they are for a floppy drive install and do not reach far enough to accomdate a hdd. In my research on this, I find that at the Dell assembly point years ago the wrong drive rails were supposedly clipped in and a whole slew of these Dimensions got by QC.

The labeled holes in the black pastic rails match up to the holes in the drive body. But there's a silver colored wire clip that extends the length of the rail (3") and "pins" through the rail and through to the drive body, It needs to be 4" long - enough to reach the appropriate holes in the rails/drive body. You might say, "Make your own wire". Nice to say, but really hard to do since the clips are bent/shaped especially to meet the mounting requirements, and give some resistance to the side of the case. The holes in the rails are so small and configured such that they forbid the use of any kind of screw. The protruding screw heads (even flat heads) would make the whole width too wide to slide in. If I drill a hole in the drive body to match the rail holes, I'm afraid I'll drill too far and puncture the platter cavity or get into the embedded electronics.

I've called Dell Parts - no luck. I've contacted computer sales and computer repair/junk stores locally hoping to find a spare case or drive with these rails - no luck. I've looked in my own parts bin - no luck. I've searched Google until my eyes are sore. Note: these rails are not the lovely green colored versions seen in the more modern day Dells - besides the green ones are completely the wrong profile for this ancient case.

A picture of the rails, the wire clip and the drive body are at: http://yfrog.com/16driverailsjune26004j


So, what I need is for someone - anyone - to go into their respective parts bins and see if you can help me locate a set of these drive rails or maybe locate these 4" long wire clips. Please - if you can: Email me if you find a set and need shipping and/or reimbursement instructions. Or if anyone has a favorite website you use for these one-of-a-kind & hard-to-find components/pieces, let me know here.

Thank you and I'll be standing by...

H
July 1, 2010 10:32:59 PM

Hot glue gun! Very thin line of glue applied to drive body. Line up holes. Squish! Hold. Done.
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July 10, 2010 7:25:26 PM

I was thinking of the 427th. use of duct tape!
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