In this guide I’ll explain how to take apart an Acer Aspire 5100 laptop. I’ll show how to remove and replace major laptop components such as CD/DVD drive, memory, hard drive, wireless card, cooling fan and keyboard.
In the next article I’ll explain how to remove LCD screen and replace inverter board.
First of all, make sure the laptop is turned off, the power adapter is disconnected and the battery is removed.
Both memory modules, wireless card, cooling and and hard drive can be accessed from the bottom. Remove four screws marked with red circles and loosen two screws marked with green circles. Remove both covers.
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Removing DVD drive:
1. Remove one screw (red circle) securing the drive.
2. Push the drive from the laptop with a flathead screwdriver.
3. Pull the drive form the laptop.
Removing hard drive:
1. Pull the hard drive to the right side until it’s disconnected from the motherboard.
2. Lift up the hard drive.
If you are replacing the hard drive with a new one, you’ll have to transfer the mounting bracket to a new drive.
My laptop had a 80GB 5400RPM SATA hard drive installed. You can upgrade it to a larger and faster SATA drive.
100GB, 120GB, 160GB and 250GB SATA drives should work just fine in this laptop.
Removing laptop memory:
1. Carefully spread latches on both sides of the memory module until it pops up at a 30 degree angle.
2. Pull the memory module by the edges.
Acer Aspire 5100 has two memory slots. You can install up to 4GB RAM total. Up to 2GB memory module into each slot. You should use PC2-533 DDR2-667MHz 200pin SODIMM RAM modules.
Removing wireless card:
1. Disconnect both antenna cables. Grab the antenna cable connector with your fingers and unsnap it from the connector on the wireless card.
2. Spread latches on both sides of the wireless card same way as you did with RAM modules.
3. When the wireless card pops up at a 30 degree angle, pull it from the slot by the edges. Remove wireless card.
Removing cooling fan:
1. Remove two screws securing the fan.
2. Carefully disconnect fan cable from the motherboard.
3. Lift up and remove the fan.
My laptop had a lot of dust trapped between the fan and heatsink. This dust buildup kills normal airflow inside the cooling module and causes laptop overheating. You can blow off dust using canned air.
Here’s how you can replace thermal paste between the heatsink and CPU.
Removing laptop keyboard.
In the following steps I’ll explain how to disconnect and remove the keyboard.
1. Lift up the keyboard bezel with a flathead screwdriver as it shown on the picture below.
2. Remove keyboard bezel.
3. Remove two screws securing the keyboard.
4. Carefully lift up the keyboard, it’s still attached to the motherboard.
5. The keyboard is connected to the motherboard via a flat ribbon cable. Before you can remove the keyboard, you’ll have to unlock the connector and release the cable.
6. Carefully move the black tab about 1-2 millimeters up with your fingernails as it shown on the picture below.
DO NOT SEPARATE THIS TAB FROM THE CONNECTOR, IT HAS TO STAY ATTACHED TO THE CONNECTOR.
If you break the keyboard connector, you’ll have to replace the whole motherboard. Be careful.
7. Now you can release the cable and remove the keyboard.