Let us use specific model names:
SE-506BB: The external model, connected via USB, featuring "AV Mode". (This is likely replaced by the SE-506CB, with newer ï¼ but not necessarily better ï¼ hardware).
SN-506BB: The internal model, connected natively via SATA. This model, due to it being designed for use in a computer, does not have AV mode to emulate a USB-attached HDD.
Now, let us tackle the two questions:
(1) I am unaware if you can extract the drive in the SE-506_B from the case. Recently, due to the desire to make drives smaller, the USB port has been put on the drive itself. I would expect the drive to not have an SATA port on it.
(2) As mentioned, the SN-506BB does not have the feature.
LG's external drives also seem to have an AV mode. But I would bet that the slim drives also have the USB port on the drive itself due to the small dimensions.
Any reason you want to disassemble the SE-506, only to sometimes use it as an external drive?
Oh, and (3): slim drives have a reputation for shorter lives because they have smaller components that can take less wear & tear, and are in a smaller area that doesn't allow the heat to escape quite as easily (less air circulation within the drive). Dirt & contamination directly on the tray (for tray loading types) doesn't help. For slot-loading types, the loading mechanism is an additional component to wear out or jam up. â€¦ But slim drives don't necessarily fail that much more often with moderate use.