Read this entire blog before beginning this process since there is an issue with SSD hard drives and Windows 7 in this particular netbook model. I will also warn you that this is one of the most difficult machines to replace the hard drive in that I’ve seen.
First, remove the battery and hold down the power button for 30 seconds.
I recommend using a precision set of screwdrivers so the computer doesn’t look like it was taken apart with a jack hammer. I use a Swiss Tools Screwdriver Set.
Rotate the keyboard so you can disconnect the cable from its ZIF socket. Press both sides of the ZIF socket toward the cable.
Remove the 8 screws from underneath the keyboard including the one underneath the warranty seal. Yes, you will be voiding your warranty by removing this seal. The warranty on my netbook has already expired. Disconnect the touchpad from its ZIF socket. This ZIF socket flips up. Do not press this socket towards the cable or you risk damaging it.
I recommend removing the SD card and start working the top off from the back right side near the RJ-45 jack. Work your way around the entire machine clockwise down the right side, across the front, up the left side, and finally across the back. Pulling forward slightly helps the back come loose easier. Remove the entire top cover portion of the machine. Do not force anything. The clips are not very difficult to work loose, but a small screwdriver may be needed. They can be worked loose without marring the plastic case.
Lift the left side of the hard drive up slightly and pull it out to the left. You can completely remove the cable that’s on top of the hard drive by disconnecting the other side of it, but that’s really unnecessary and is just something else to have to reconnect.
Reassemble all of the hardware in reverse order using the new replacement hard drive. Be sure to connect all the ZIF cables properly. You don’t won’t to have to do all of this again.
The easiest way to load Windows 7 on a netbook is to create a USB installation drive with a Windows 7 ISO image. See my blog on “The Easy Way to Create a Bootable Windows 7 USB Flash Drive“.
I decided to install Windows 7 Home Premium on my netbook considering the cost was cheaper than pro or ultimate and I wouldn’t use any of the additional features of those editions. The ISO I used included SP1. When you reach this point during the installation:
There are two options to work around this problem. You can boot a copy of Vista or Windows 2008 (non-R2) x86 and format the drive. Then cancel out of the installation. Boot the Windows 7 SP1 installation media and then the install completes without issue. This is the first method I used. I then decided to disassemble the computer again, connect the hard drive to another Windows 7 machine and format it since Windows 7 uses a newer version of the NTFS file system that may have some optimizations for SSD hard drives. This also gave me a chance to document the process and write this blog about it.