Installing a Car Hard Drive: Mounting and Placement Options Installing a Car Hard Drive: Mounting and Placement Options
If you want to install a car hard drive in your vehicle to provide added storage of MP3s and other digital music files, you'll need to know how to properly choose an appropriate installation location and mount the hard drive. Fortunately, installing a hard drive in your car is a very easy DIY task, and this simple how-to guide will show you everything you need to know. So, let's get started.
(Note - To use this installation method, you'll need to have a stereo head unit that supports USB protocols and also has a USB port connector on the face or rear of the unit. Alternatively, if you have one of the few stereo head units that allows for a special RCA type connector to be connected to an external USB hard drive, you will need to have the specialty adapter cable from the manufacture of the head unit.)
Step 1 - Choosing a Location for the Hard Drive
Before you can mount your external hard drive in your vehicle, you'll need to first choose a suitable location to install it. Although you may be able to install a portable USB hard drive under a seat, or even in the glove box, in your vehicle; however, it is usually best to install the hard drive in the rear of the vehicle if possible. The trunk or hatchback area in a car is an excellent place to install a portable hard drive.
Step 2 - Mount Hard Drive with Tape
If you want to be able to quickly and easily take your portable hard drive in and out of your vehicle, you may want to consider installing and mounting the USB hard drive with double-sided tape. Although this is not the most secure method of mounting your hard drive, it should be okay for most installations. However, you'll need to ensure that you purchase a high-quality double-sided tape that allow uses extra strong Velcro for securing the hard drive. Look for quality brand-name double-sided tape such as that made by 3M for tape that will provide the best strength for mounting a hard drive.
Step 3 - Creating a More Permanent Connection
If you want to create a more permanent installation for your portable hard drive, you can use a metal plate and plastic zip ties to help secure it to the floor board of your vehicle. In order to do this, you simply need to drill a few holes that will be used to mount sheet metal screws into rubber grommets and attach the plate to the floorboard of your vehicle. You also need to drill holes that are large enough to feed plastic zip ties through and secure the hard drive to the piece of metal plate.
Step 4 - USB Wiring Considerations
Whatever method you choose to mount your external hard drive, you should be aware of USB wiring limitations for the length of the cable. In most cases, you need to ensure that your USB cable is 3 meters or less for the signal to be carried between the head unit and the hard drive.