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Replacing a Sony Vaio Hard Drive

I replaced a failing hard drive in Sony Vaio Z1VA [B0000D8ZDL]. In retrospect, it was pretty straightforward, but here are some tips that tripped me up:

Opening the Z1VA:

  • There are about 13 screws on the bottom of the laptop that need to be removed. 3 are covered by stickers.
  • Before you can remove the plastic top (with the trackpad), you must remove the keyboard first. Pry the keyboard up from the top side above the function keys, then gently slide it up and out. There is a thin plastic connector attached - be careful not to bend or break it when you disconnect it.
  • After removing the keyboard, there are two additional screws under the keyboard that need to be removed.
  • As you pry off the plastic top, carefully disconnect 3 plastic ribbon cables.
  • The hard drive itself is secured by three screws, one of which is under a black sticker.

Imaging the Drive:

  • If the original drive still works well enough to get an image, use some imaging tools to copy it. Note that there is a hidden Sony recovery partition on the original drive.
  • A second computer plus a USB-to-IDE cable is super useful. I removed the original drive, then did the image recovery work on a second computer.
  • Rather than use the original Sony partition layout, I opted to make one big partition. I copied all of the D drive files to a network share, then used the excellent Image for Windows software from Terabyte Unlimited to copy an image of the C drive to a new drive.
  • The new drive may not be bootable after imaging. I had to do two things: 1) Use the Disk Management tool (found in the Computer Management tool in WinXP) to set the new drive partition to "Active", 2) Edit the hidden boot.ini file to tell WinXP to boot from the first partition. Looks like this:

[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Home" 
  /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptIn

Other Notes:

  • I first used a new Samsung 60GB laptop drive, but unlike my other very quiet Samsung drives, this one was much noisier than I expected. I replaced it with a much quieter Seagate 60GB drive.
  • While I was under the hood, I also added another 512MB of RAM. I used a Kingston KVR266X64SC25/512 module.

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Just replaced the HD in my Z1VA yesterday. It went smoothly thanks to reading this post beforehand.

Thanks!

posted by: robert | URL:

Just replaced the HD in my Z1VA yesterday. It went smoothly thanks to reading this post beforehand.

Thanks!

posted by: robert | URL:

Glad my experiences were useful to someone else!

posted by: MikeyP | URL: www.mikeyp.com