I thought I'd share a project I think is simple but pretty awesome none the less. Several years ago I picked up an external USB 2.5" hard drive enclosure to use with a laptop hard drive I picked up while dumpster diving. The hard drive was a bit too tall for the enclosure that came with the controller so I had to improvise. I had several other 3.5" drives pulled from various systems I had stripped hanging around, and it looked like the controller and 2.5" hard drive would fit inside one if I found the right drive.
After some searching and disassembling some drives, I found an old 2GB Seagate ST32122A drive that looked like it would work for my enclosure. After removing all the platters and other internal components, I removed the drive lid and carefully cut two slits in it with tin snips. I folded the flap I created back carefully by hand, trying not to bend the top of the lid as I did so. I cut a small square of PETG out of a blister back to protect the PCB on the back of the 2.5" hard drive and taped the drive in place with
When I was building this originally, I wanted the top and bottom of the enclosure to nest perfectly, so I milled down the bottom section with a Dremel. I eventually decided that it wasn't worth the effort and that no one will notice that the front of the enclosure is a little under 1/16" taller than the back.
After getting the hard drive and controller in place, I put the top and bottom back together and sealed them with a 1/4"-3/8" strip of aluminum tape and the enclosure was complete.
The original drive was a 6GB and I've since upgraded it to an 80GB drive and will probably upgrade it again if I run across a cheap PATA 2.5" in the future.