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Sony Vaio laptop - where in damnation is the HDD ??

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Jakamoko, Jun 19, 2007.

  1. Jakamoko
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    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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    Help me save my sanity, Guys !!! :blink

    I'm working on a job for a client, the primary objective of which is to replace the HDD in a Sony Vaio PCG-FX800 / Sony PCG-9G3M (I've included both model numbers, as FX800 seems to be the general model for the machine, but the machine actually has PCG-9G3M on it - Googling one brings up both, I found)

    The question is - where the hell is the HDD located ? There is categorically no slot on any of the edges (but oooh, please prove me wrong), so the only option then is that it's within the case somewhere. By listening to it boot, it appears that it's very close, if not under, the RAM, ie in the centre of the chassis, but again I may be wrong.

    Before I add any more waffle, does anyone have experience of working on this model, or can recommend what to try from here ? If any of you post a one-link wonder with the answer straight away, I will both love and hate you, as I've spent most of this evening on this, and am banging my head off the desk (the notebook is now safely out of harms way!! )

    Thanks in advance, Guys :D
     
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  2. Bluerinse
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    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    So, it's not like this then..

    http://www.cgmsystems.com/Resources/Tips/SonyvaioHD/sony_vaio_pcggrt390zp_hard_driv.htm
     
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  3. Bluerinse
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    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Hmm i also found this..

    Here..

    http://discussions.hardwarecentral.com/showthread.php?t=169278
     
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  4. Bluerinse
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    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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  5. Jakamoko
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    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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    Firstly, thanks a million for those, Pete :)

    I'm going to have to re-assess this job now, in light of what may potentially be involved. The phrase "fortune favours the brave" is fine by me when it's my own kit I'm working on, but for a client, and where I do not carry any insurance at this stage (this is still a sideline), then one has to make a calculated decision about how much risk to take.

    Please don't mistake this for "he's scared" - I'd love to try the above .. but if I drop one of those dodgy screws, or damage an internal ribbon cable, then I'm liable, and that's not where I want to be.

    I'll have a look tomorrow and see how far I get, but this job may end up getting referred back to the client (he still owes me for other work anyway). And he may still prefer to risk my work rather than pay Sony. Either way, it's his call.8)

    Thanks again, Pete :D
     
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  6. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Ah, I see that this is another "wonderful" technology decision by Sony. Be sure to note this "innovation" right next to CD rootkits, laptop batteries, and the PS3.
     
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  7. Jakamoko
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    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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    Well, it sure isn't a move to combine sleek design with easy maintenance, that's for sure, Michael :rolleyes:
     
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  8. AJ

    AJ Administrator Administrator

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  9. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Yep. Pure craziness. Sure fire way to run a successful business: Find out whatever Sony's doing, and do the opposite.
     
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  10. Bluerinse
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    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Good luck Gav.. if it's any consolation, i tend to body swerve laptop hardware jobs too, because of this very reason :biggrin
     
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  11. Jakamoko
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    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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    Already linked to above, m8 - thanks anyway :)

    Cheers Guys - will see where the client wants to go with this tomorrow. Thanks :thumbleft
     
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  12. Stoney

    Stoney Megabyte Poster

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    I had to do this with a vaio at work where the users hard disk had died. I basically had to strip the laptop down to get anywhere near the hard drive (just like Pete's post).

    Getting access to the hard drive isn't too bad, but it can be quite tricky reconnecting the ribbon cables to the hard disk. They are quite flimsy and need a good amount of force to make the connection. You can very easily fold or crease or cables when trying to insert them into the hard disk.

    I was lucky in the fact that I wasn't to concerned if I ballsed the job up because it was a last ditch attempt to try and get the guy a working machine at short notice. I would think twice about doing it for a paying customer in a repair capacity though.

    Laptop repairs isn't my thing, but if you feel confident enough to take on the challenge then I think you should explain the risks to the customer first. Let them know how wonderful Sony's designs are and the potential problems that could occur. :biggrin
     
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  13. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Dell laptops are pretty easy to get into. A lot of screws, but that's to be expected. Replaced a keyboard, upgraded a hard drive, even fixed a couple of LCD screens... one had a bad inverter (danger!! be careful!!!) and the other merely had the ribbon cable come off the back of the screen.
     
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  14. Jakamoko
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    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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    Well Guys, thanks to all of you for your input once again.

    I've just spoken with the client and made him fully aware of the facts and risks of the situation, and made sure he realises I'm not covered for liability. We've agreed that he's happy for me to go ahead, and if anything goes wrong, he's happy to accept liability and take appropriate actions (no weapons !!)

    So here goes. I'm confident in my abilities (and with the excellent links and advice above :) ) that this job should hopefully become another string to the bow :)
     
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  15. Jakamoko
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    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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    Just to update you all:

    New HDD is now installed and detected (will leave formatting / OS till tomorrow). :D

    Sony have clearly moved things on since the design documented above. For a start, there was no need to remove the base on the model I asked about initially. Simply removing the long panel along the top of the keyboard (housing the speakers and fan) allows access to remove the keyboard.

    Things are then similar to the rest of the guide, but the actual HDD is right in the middle of the case, and comes out in one single module, making removal of the ribbon cable really simple.

    On another positive, I noticed Sony make it really clear where all screws are, by placing an inscribed "=>" symbol next to it. That way, you can tell that a "=>" on the component in question means there is a screw nearby that needs removed (this is a lot more useful than it sounds !!).

    All good - I was nervous as hell in parts (esp. when the very last HDD screw decided to lock, then chew up :dry), but I'd say as long as you have the confidence of working within the confines of a machine, and obey the key rules of patience, observation, and common sense (and anti-static), then you'd be fine doing a job like this.

    ...but if you're really not sure ... leave well alone 8)


    Thanks Guys :thumbleft
     
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  16. Bluerinse
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    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Good luck squire.. i admire your spunk!
     
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  17. wizard

    wizard Petabyte Poster

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    what ever you do don't sneeze or knock the table, you don't want those important screws to go missing on the floor :D
     
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