Opening a laptop to install stuff

Laptops, PDAs, Cell Phones, and all other tech that you carry with you.

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Opening a laptop to install stuff

Postposted on Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:45 pm

Please excuse my hesitation: I have never opened a new laptop before, only old ones. I have an Asus UX32VD-DB71 that I am going to put new ram into (getting the ram tomorrow). I got the Torx screwdrivers to open the case. If I turn the laptop on its back there are 12 screws, do I remove all of them?

If all goes well I will replace the hard drive with this: Samsung Electronics 840 Pro Series 2.5-Inch 256 GB SATA 6GB/s Solid State Drive MZ-7PD256BW. That's going to be a little tougher what with migrating the os, but I think I can handle that part of it. Does anyone know of anything a newbie at this (namely me) might want to be prepared for?

Thank you for all of your help, you guys are always the best!
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Re: Opening a laptop to install stuff

Postposted on Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:54 pm

Pretty hard to tell, since all laptops are built uniquely. It could require tearing the whole thing apart, or it could require a single screw to be removed. Have you tried checking Asus' website to see if they might have a repair manual or something similar?
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Re: Opening a laptop to install stuff

Postposted on Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:29 pm

Wind, Sand and Stars.
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Re: Opening a laptop to install stuff

Postposted on Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:41 pm

For a newbie I'd say: Be prepared for tiny screws. Also, try and make sure that you are not charged with static electricity, if you zap something you could kill it! I find that being barefoot and wearing a simple cotton t-shirt helps.
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Re: Opening a laptop to install stuff

Postposted on Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:56 pm

Firestarter wrote:I find that being barefoot and wearing a simple cotton t-shirt helps.

Better be more safe and also remove that t-shirt and go full bare, just in case... :wink:
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Re: Opening a laptop to install stuff

Postposted on Sun Feb 03, 2013 7:49 pm

Voldenuit wrote:This video should help.


Perfect! Now I have a bit of confidance. thank you!
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Re: Opening a laptop to install stuff

Postposted on Sun Feb 03, 2013 8:56 pm

Don't worry about whole thing - it's just like dealing with regular PC, only with smaller parts. So... Don't apply too much force (especially when tightening up the screws for the rear cover) and try to not lose any of small parts (especially screws), that's all you should be aware of. :wink:
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Re: Opening a laptop to install stuff

Postposted on Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:00 pm

linda wrote:
Voldenuit wrote:This video should help.


Perfect! Now I have a bit of confidance. thank you!



Glad to help. It's a damn sight simpler than what I had to go through to install a 128 GB mSATA SSD in my wife's X230T! ;)
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Re: Opening a laptop to install stuff

Postposted on Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:52 pm

Voldenuit wrote:Glad to help. It's a damn sight simpler than what I had to go through to install a 128 GB mSATA SSD in my wife's X230T! ;)


That is ugly. You have my condolences.
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Re: Opening a laptop to install stuff

Postposted on Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:00 pm

Wow, everything seems to be on youtube now:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJ7jlG3yf_c
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqe1-X_klr4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xw-2wdZ0MdU 7:00 mark

Tips I have summarized:
1. Since your drive is 7mm, so no need to take out the SSD PCB already.
2. Remember to keep track of all the screws
3. Like anything else, do not tighten one screw all the way in, do it evenly.
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Re: Opening a laptop to install stuff

Postposted on Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:11 am

Be patient with those Torx T5 screws. They're quite small.
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Re: Opening a laptop to install stuff

Postposted on Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:08 am

Wait. Are most SSD's 9mm? I will be doing a swap soon on a new pseudo ultrabook when I get paid. If it doesn't fit I can remove it from the case and install it?
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Re: Opening a laptop to install stuff

Postposted on Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:13 am

My Johnson wrote:Wait. Are most SSD's 9mm? I will be doing a swap soon on a new pseudo ultrabook when I get paid. If it doesn't fit I can remove it from the case and install it?

The Samsung's are 7mm. You should watch that 3rd link then. But remember, once you remove the casing, you void the warranty. If you have not bought an SSD yet, this will be one attribute to look out for.
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Re: Opening a laptop to install stuff

Postposted on Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:53 am

I followed the youtube videos to install ram and ssd into my UX32VD as well.

The screws are really tiny. I usually have a small plastic container for me to drop screws in while taking things apart.

Another thing I do that has helped me in the past is get a camera ready and take pictures as you take the laptop apart. That way you will have a visual reference when you put things back together.

Installing the ram is very straight forward. Make sure to peel the laminated foil from the original ram and stick it onto your new ram. From the looks of it, it seems to be used for shielding EMI and prevent shorts.

When installing the SSD, you'll need to move the battery and speakers slightly away to allow you enough room to access the screws for the HDD. Just be very very careful when moving the speakers as the wires that connect them to the main board is EXTREMELY THIN. The HDD also has the foil taped around it. I didn't bother putting this onto my SSD.

Also make note of the orientation of your SSD and the brackets.

And finally, after opening up the laptop, first thing to do is unplug the battery from the main board and wait a few minutes before going further. (10 min should be enough)
This should allow any components (caps) from the laptop to drain all their power.

Have fun!
Last edited by vandy on Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:00 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Opening a laptop to install stuff

Postposted on Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:55 am

Flying Fox wrote:
My Johnson wrote:Wait. Are most SSD's 9mm? I will be doing a swap soon on a new pseudo ultrabook when I get paid. If it doesn't fit I can remove it from the case and install it?

The Samsung's are 7mm. You should watch that 3rd link then. But remember, once you remove the casing, you void the warranty. If you have not bought an SSD yet, this will be one attribute to look out for.


Crucial sells their SSD in both 7mm and 9mm aswell. This is indicated via the last 4 characters in the model number. SSD2 = 9mm, SSD1 = 7mm
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Re: Opening a laptop to install stuff

Postposted on Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:22 am

Flying Fox wrote:
My Johnson wrote:Wait. Are most SSD's 9mm? I will be doing a swap soon on a new pseudo ultrabook when I get paid. If it doesn't fit I can remove it from the case and install it?

The Samsung's are 7mm. You should watch that 3rd link then. But remember, once you remove the casing, you void the warranty. If you have not bought an SSD yet, this will be one attribute to look out for.

Are you sure? IIRC, when you remove part of the casing to replace user serviceable parts, this should not void the warranty. I know that the inside of my Asus laptop has little stickers that say 'warranty void if removed', on things like the GPU/CPU cooler. But, replacing the RAM or HDD should be no problem at all and would not be grounds to void the warranty.
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Re: Opening a laptop to install stuff

Postposted on Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:19 am

Firestarter wrote:
Flying Fox wrote:
My Johnson wrote:Wait. Are most SSD's 9mm? I will be doing a swap soon on a new pseudo ultrabook when I get paid. If it doesn't fit I can remove it from the case and install it?

The Samsung's are 7mm. You should watch that 3rd link then. But remember, once you remove the casing, you void the warranty. If you have not bought an SSD yet, this will be one attribute to look out for.

Are you sure? IIRC, when you remove part of the casing to replace user serviceable parts, this should not void the warranty. I know that the inside of my Asus laptop has little stickers that say 'warranty void if removed', on things like the GPU/CPU cooler. But, replacing the RAM or HDD should be no problem at all and would not be grounds to void the warranty.

I was referring to the removal of the casing of the 9mm SSD to extract the PCB to reduce the thickness so it can fit into the ultrabook.
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Re: Opening a laptop to install stuff

Postposted on Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:49 am

Flying Fox wrote:I was referring to the removal of the casing of the 9mm SSD to extract the PCB to reduce the thickness so it can fit into the ultrabook.

oh right of course :)
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Re: Opening a laptop to install stuff

Postposted on Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:26 pm

Wow, I am so glad I asked. Lots of great tips and the videos will help. I don't think I'll be having a glass of wine while I do this, that's for sure. Like the one guy on the video said, it's like surgery. I'll let you all know how it goes... And if I mess up, does anyone live near South Jersey, US?
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Re: Opening a laptop to install stuff

Postposted on Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:44 pm

linda wrote:And if I mess up, does anyone live near South Jersey, US?

Not in teh Jersey right now... But don't worry, you won't mess up. We all have faith in you! :wink:
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Re: Opening a laptop to install stuff

Postposted on Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:09 pm

Keep a log and write up your experience.

Upgrading the memory was not challenging. I do advise finishing the glass of wine before the upgrade or waiting to pour it after completion because I'd be afraid that I might knock it over into the guts of the laptop.
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Re: Opening a laptop to install stuff

Postposted on Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:23 pm

Yep, the memory was easy. The hard part was getting the back case off because there was a strip of glue holding it snugly, and I didn't want to bend too hard for fear of putting a permanent bend in the back. But it's fine. The tip of angling the torx thingy and adjusting all the screws after they were all in place were good tips. Everything looks exactly like it did before I started, except of course my specs.

Now I'm just waiting for the SSD. I didn't think I got too bad a price: $235 with free shipping and no tax. I'm too impatient anyhow. Once I make up my mind I can afford something, I just jump in. And the laptop is actually a refurbished one, (the glue tells me it was never opened I think) so I think I saved some bucks there. And I am loving the laptop.

I created my Windows Repair Disk and my 7 image disks before the memory upgrade. I don't have to do that again now that I did the ram, do I? And they will do the trick with getting Win7 back in place, correct?
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Re: Opening a laptop to install stuff

Postposted on Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:56 pm

Voldenuit wrote:
linda wrote:
Voldenuit wrote:This video should help.


Perfect! Now I have a bit of confidance. thank you!



Glad to help. It's a damn sight simpler than what I had to go through to install a 128 GB mSATA SSD in my wife's X230T! ;)


Whiner. I've done all the work on my X220 myself. Full sized SSD, mSATA SSD, replaced wireless a couple times, reseated CPU HSF, the list goes on and on.
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Re: Opening a laptop to install stuff

Postposted on Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:58 pm

linda wrote:Wow, I am so glad I asked. Lots of great tips and the videos will help. I don't think I'll be having a glass of wine while I do this, that's for sure. Like the one guy on the video said, it's like surgery. I'll let you all know how it goes... And if I mess up, does anyone live near South Jersey, US?


I'm in SouthEastern PA, not too far away from King of Prussia. If you're ever in a jam, you can find me.
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Re: Opening a laptop to install stuff

Postposted on Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:59 pm

I mighy have missed that, but... You're replacing your original HDD with an SSD and will be restoring your OS onto SSD using backup image you made from HDD? If yes - you should probably do a fresh OS install instead, so Win7 can properly detect SSD and do a proper partition alignment as well as other things like enabling TRIM and disabling defragmentation, etc.
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Re: Opening a laptop to install stuff

Postposted on Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:42 pm

JohnC wrote:I mighy have missed that, but... You're replacing your original HDD with an SSD and will be restoring your OS onto SSD using backup image you made from HDD? If yes - you should probably do a fresh OS install instead, so Win7 can properly detect SSD and do a proper partition alignment as well as other things like enabling TRIM and disabling defragmentation, etc.


Echoed for emphasis. I've done exactly this, moved my Windows 7 install from the stock 7mm 320GB in my X220 to a Samsung 830 256GB, and ended up reformatting and installing clean a few weeks later.

Also, when you copy your partitions or reinstall, leave the last 5GB or so unpartitioned. It helps the garbage collection/TRIM keep the drive fast.
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Re: Opening a laptop to install stuff

Postposted on Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:19 am

Forge wrote:
JohnC wrote:I mighy have missed that, but... You're replacing your original HDD with an SSD and will be restoring your OS onto SSD using backup image you made from HDD? If yes - you should probably do a fresh OS install instead, so Win7 can properly detect SSD and do a proper partition alignment as well as other things like enabling TRIM and disabling defragmentation, etc.


Echoed for emphasis. I've done exactly this, moved my Windows 7 install from the stock 7mm 320GB in my X220 to a Samsung 830 256GB, and ended up reformatting and installing clean a few weeks later.

Also, when you copy your partitions or reinstall, leave the last 5GB or so unpartitioned. It helps the garbage collection/TRIM keep the drive fast.

I would love to do a fresh install of Win 7, but my laptop didn't come with any disks. i figured my only option was to reinstall my image, and then use either gparted or something similar to realign the partition if necessary.
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Re: Opening a laptop to install stuff

Postposted on Wed Feb 06, 2013 4:50 am

Well, you should be able to at least get a key for your currently installed Win7, and you can still download full .iso of every Win7 version which are freely and openly hosted on DigitalRiver's servers (if they are still available), so I suggest at least trying it - this way you won't have to deal with potentially hidden OEM partitions on your existing HDD or some OEM "crapware" which came pre-installed on laptop or waste time on screwing with gpart or similar tools :wink:
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Re: Opening a laptop to install stuff

Postposted on Wed Feb 06, 2013 5:59 am

Some of the Asus software is useful and necessary. You'll want to download it from the Asus website if you lose the originals.
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Re: Opening a laptop to install stuff

Postposted on Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:33 pm

You have the most important part of any OEM Windows license, and that's the BIOS signature. You can use the same offline auto-activated method that HP/Dell/etc use. It's actually pretty trivial, use the DigitalRiver links and Microsoft's USB tool to make a Win7 USB stick, then it's really easy to add the OEM bits.
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