Monday, December 24, 2012

Acer 5253 disk upgrade

 I'll start with the usual warnings: I'm not a PC repair expert; this is what I did, I'm reporting it in case it turns out to be useful for others. It might work for you or it might destroy your PC, wreck your marriage, or give you acne. Proceed at your own risk.

pc with disk drive bay cover removed.
Acer 5353 drive/memory bay. The holes for the locking tabs are clearly visible.

A locking tab looks like this if you pry too hard.

Found a good price on a new hard drive so I decided to upgrade my Acer 5253 notebook PC. The back of the PC has a cover with disk and memory symbols that's held on with 2 screws, so it looks obvious: remove the screws and replace the drive. Nope: take out the screws and pry, and the cover doesn't move. A Google search shows that lots of other folks have had the same problem: there's a series of small molded tabs that have to be pried loose. I used some cheap miniature screwdrivers to pry the tabs back. Only one of the tabs broke, which I think is a decent record.

Next step is to get the old drive out: it's mounted in a metal frame that's held in by one screw at the lower right and one small tab at the upper left. I took out the screw and slid the drive to the right. I found that it took a really hard push to get the drive to move: it seemed to hang up on the silvery tape under the top right frame end. After getting it out the first time, the drive slid in and out quite easily. For reassembly, I just reversed the steps: put the metal frame on the new drive (4 screws), engage the tab on the frame with the slot at the upper left edge of the mounting bay, slide into position, put the mounting screw back in, and finally put the plastic cover back on.
This tab at the upper left helps hold the drive in.
I found this YouTube video showing the whole process; it's a different model but the process looks about the same. Removing the cover and the old drive looks a lot easier for him than it was for me, though.
The tab slides down into this slot and then right.
The new drive is a white label unit from, who I found via the website. Just a one-time purchase from them, but shipping was prompt and the drive has been working fine so far.