Sony VAIO S Series Upgrade Guides (pics)

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Sony VAIO S Upgrade Installation Guide

This article serves as an upgrade guide for the Sony VAIO S series of notebooks, included is how to upgrade the following components:

  • Hard Drive upgrade guide
  • CPU Upgrade using Arctic Silver gel coolant guide
  • CD/DVD Drive upgrade guide

HardDrive Installation Guide

Before we start, here are some disclaimers. Read as much as you can before you attempting this. Make sure your harddrive is compatible. For the VAIO S360s and before, make sure to get ATA-100 harddrives  and SATA for latter ones. The connector plug has to be 2.5 inches as well. Do NOT read one line, do it, then go to the next without reading the entire guide first. Wash your hands, touch something metal to prevent static electricity and turn your computer off before doing this (DUH!).

Turn over the computer to its back side and take off the battery. There’s a total of 11 screws. 9 of them are long ones and the 2 holding the cover to the ram in place are short ones. Remove them all and take off the lid to expose your ram.

There’s 1 more screw within that compartment and remove it. Flip the computer to its right side and open the screen. Now, look at your F4 and F12 buttons and you will see two small latches. Use a flathead small screwdriver and push them in and the keyboard will immediately come off.

Now, unclamp the ribbon cable that connects the keyboard to the rest of your computer and remove the keyboard.

Next, there are 5 screws (all the same size) that need to be removed. Then you will see 2 ribbon cables and 2 white wire latches that need to be removed. The latches don’t come off easily, but you can use your fingernails to pry at the side of them until it comes off. BE PATIENT.

Now remove the entire top and you will be exposed to everything. Look around and you will easily see many holes without screws in them. I guess this is where Sony really got cheap!

Oh well. Moving on, locate your harddrive at the lower right hand corner. First, unplug the ribbon cable that connects it to the motherboard. Next, unscrew the 2 screws at the bottom and your harddrive will come free.

In order to put your next harddrive in, you must first disconnect the ribbon cable. Next, 4 screws at the sides hold the harddrive in place. Remove them and your harddrive will come free. Next, you will notice that at the bottom of your harddrive is a sticky black protective sheet. This thing insulates the heat produced by your harddrive from the motherboard. Remove it and place it on the bottom of your new harddrive. Put it into the case and install the 4 screws and connector ribbon.

Put it back into place and connect the connector ribbon to the motherboard and you are done! (for more pics and info, visit http://www.talkvaio.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=8)

Arctic Silver/CPU Upgrade guide-

Arctic Silver 5 is a high density gel that contains 99.9% silver. It is used on CPUs and GPUs to reduce heat.

Read http://www.arcticsilver.com/arctic_silver_instructions_small.htm before attempting anything. To open your laptop, follow the instructions laid out above.

To get to the CPU, you must first uninstall the heat sink, which is held in place by 3 screws- 1 regular, and 2 spring loaded. After you remove these, the heat sink will come off and you will see your cpu. Using a flat head screwdriver, unlock the cpu by turning the screw to the side. Take out the cpu. Using 99.9 percent isopropyl alcohol (the kind that blinds if you drink it) and a Q-tip, clean the heatsink’s mating surface. Next, you will notice yellow thermal tape on your cpu. Gently take it off with your fingernails and clean it with alcohol. DO NOT use alcohol on the silicone of the CPU, only the metal chip that comes into contact with the heatsink.

Now, using the paper bag method described by the arctic silver site (do not use bare finger since your fingers produce oil that would hinder the arctic silver’s thermal conductivity), rub a small coat of arctic silver onto the heat sink mating surface. This is only to saturate the microscopic valleys.

Now, use masking tape to tape the sides of the contact area. This is to ensure that the arctic silver does not come into contact with the silicone. Put a “rice grain” amount of arctic silver onto the mating surface and evenly coat the surface.

Now, remove the tape and put the cpu back into the socket. Lock the CPU and put back the heatsink along with the 3 screws and you are done.

Most people who use arctic silver on their CPU does so on their GPU, but if you take a closer look, the GPU’s heatsink is soldered shut and that will be another guide for another time.

CD/DVD Upgrade guide-

To open your laptop, follow the instructions laid out above.

Now to your bottom left, you will notice your CD/DVD drive.

There is first a metal protective device on top and you must remove the 1 screw and 1 ribbon cable that holds it in place.

Next, there are a total of 4 screws that hold the drive in place. Remove them and the ribbon cable and you will remove the drive. Just like the upgrading the harddrive, remove the ribbon cable and the exterior shell and replace the drive with your new DVD RW drive.

Reconnect the ribbon cable and the 4 screws and you are done.

How does it feel now that you have just beefed up your laptop and spent hundreds less? I know I sure felt great. Anyways, enjoy this review and any comment is much appreciated.

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