Yep, it's old, but it's good!
How do you take the side cover off that surrounds the optical drive.
In the service manual I found online, there are no instructions for this.
The cover you are talking about is usually a part of the chassis. On almost all the desktops only one side cover can be removed.
But it does come off somehow. We have one at work with the cover off, and no one currently working there knows how it was done. And it looks like there is a piece missing from the removed cover.
I stumbled on the instructions for removing the optical drive from another model that utilizes the same case. We have a couple of systems with the cover still on, and it may be the removal of the drive is the key. Just have not had the time to get back to it.
The optical drive in the USFF is a D Series module. You press the button on the front and remove the optical drive by pulling it out.
SFF is Not the same as USFF.
Removing the side panel on the USFF is straightforward.
Got it!!! And, what a chintzy, cheezy design.
Pull the optical drive, and that side cover falls off in your hand!
The only thing that keeps the side cover from coming off is having the optical drive installed, and the tab for removing the drive locked in with that very small screw.