With apologies to Don (whose original post in this thread is to request suggestions for silver-colored DVD burners), I thought I'd take the idea of stealthing the drive, give it a shot, and post the results in this thread.
Again, props to "aerodynamics" at the forum-not-to-be-mentioned for the idea.
Here's a pictorial description of the process:
1. I used a sharp utility knife to trim away the tabs and ribs from the back of the coverplate.
2. Here's a close-up of the trimmed coverplate:
3. I recently bought a pack of those plastic hooks that use the 3M "command adhesive" strips - double-sided tape which is removable by pulling on the tab. They always include a bunch of extra tape strips. They're not as thick as the foam double-sided tape you can buy on a roll or in squares.
(not shown: I measured the location of the drive's LED activity light, marked it on the back of the coverplate, and drilled a small hole at that location.
4. Next, I installed the strips on the drive tray front:
5. Then, I peeled the red paper from those strips to expose the front adhesive, and carefully pressed the coverplate against the tape while ensuring it was centered over the drive opening:
6. Here's a shot with the activity light shining through (blurry because I couldn't use the flash):
7. The good news: with my Samsung SH-203B and its prominent eject button, I can simply press the coverplate near the bottom-right-side and cause the eject button to depress. The bad news: my drive causes the coverplate to protrude slightly more forward than I would like:
I had hoped I could slide the drive back in its cage a bit to align the coverplate at the proper depth. But my drive's mounting holes align with the case's optical cage mounting holes
, not its "slots." I can't think of any ways to recess it further.
If you decide to do this, I made two mistakes you can learn from.
First, after drilling the hole for the activity LED, I decided to take some 100 grit sandpaper to the back of the coverplate to smooth down some of the bumps left from the trimming. I stupidly placed the coverplate on some plywood, painted side down
, and pressed and rubbed the sandpaper on the back. I scratched up the front of my coverplate on the plywood!
Second, after mounting my coverplate on the drive tray the first time
, I realized the coverplate stuck out more than I would like, and I wanted to attempt to slide the drive a bit back in its cage. Of course, there's no easy way to get the cage out of the case with this coverplate mounted to the drive! So, I pulled the coverplate off of my drive, then pulled the drive cage, realized I couldn't adjust the depth of the drive, reinstalled the drive cage, and decided not to re-use that tape; I assumed it would have lost much of its tack. I removed the tape, and replaced it with two new command strips, and re-installed the coverplate to the drive tray.
With the way it sticks out, I'm not sure I'm going to keep it this way. I didn't think a black drive looked that bad to begin with. And I'm considering mounting a black-colored card reader below it someday.
Hope this helps anyone who is considering stealthing the drive.