Game Boy HDD Update: The Guts


Last week we showed you the ingenious hard drive enclosure made from a broken Game Boy. We caught up with [_n3o_], the person responsible for this mod, and he was nice enough to share some pictures of the inside of the project. Let’s get down to business and take a look.


[_n3o_] opened this project back up and took these pictures by popular request. Here’s the overview of the guts. You can see the 2.5″ drive on the right. The circuit board on the top is the SATA to USB converter. The two gray cables are to relocate the LED and USB ports. He did mention that before taking these pictures he swapped the 80GB drive out for a 20GB one in order to use it for another project.


Here we see the inside of the rear half of the Game Boy. The board all the way to the right is the original headphone connector from the Game Boy. At the top the volume control dial can be seen hot-glued in place.


Here is a closeup of the original headphone connector and volume dial of the Game Boy. The dial has been cut in half and glued in place. Both were left in the hand-held for a realistic look.


This is a closeup of the SATA to USB adapter that [_n3o_] salvaged from a generic 2.5″ external USB hard drive enclosure. A second USB socket was connected to the board using some ribbon cable in order to locate the USB connector in the same place the Game Link Cable is normally found. The LED was removed from the circuit board and relocated to the front of the case using the gray cable on the right.


Here is the front case of the Game Boy. Cardboard is used to keep the control buttons in place. The electrical tape to the left covers the back of the screen. You will remember from our original post that [_n3o_] simulated an image on the screen by removing the reflective backing from the LCD screen and put a paper printout in its place. The LED from the hard drive enclosure is located in the battery indicator window of the gaming unit. The gray cable seen here connects that indicator to the circuit board in the back half of the unit.


Voilà, the finished product. A peek inside makes this project even more delightful. Thanks for sharing those extra pictures with us [_n3o_]!

Hi Res:

[photo1, photo2, photo3, photo4, photo5, photo6]

13 thoughts on “Game Boy HDD Update: The Guts

  1. @mig

    The HDDs in Sky+ boxes are 3.5″ IDE drives, perfectly reusable but cetainly won’t fit in a Gameboy. The one in my parents’ old box was 160GB, although I think other sizes exist aswell. I stuck it in my PS2 and it works just dandy. :)

    Love this mod, pretty straight-forward, but looks good and is functional. Looks like it would be right at home sitting beside a Wii being used with the USB Loader. :D

  2. “If you want something oldskool for a 3.5″ drive why don’t you gut an old walkman?”

    Bah, if you want to _really_ get oldskool, gut a record player. Bonus points if it will actually play music off the hard drive(s) or copy vinyl onto them. And I say drive(s) because you could probably fit a small RAID array into one of those suckers – the ones I’ve cracked open have been mostly empty space.

    Ohhh…ok, so put in a hard drive connected to an arduino or pogoplug or hacked iPod. Connect the record player’s audio output to the audio input of whatever device. Set it to automatically start recording when it detects sound and stop after x seconds of silence. Add a switch that will disengage the motor and allow the record platter to be used as a giant clickwheel to navigate through your music collection. Add a screen in there somewhere (possibly a TV out?)

    Ok, now someone build it.

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