In this guide I show how to disassemble a Sony Vaio VGN-FW170J laptop.
Most likely this guide will work for the entire Sony Vaio VGN-FW line.
Before you start, make sure the computer is turned off and battery removed.
I start the disassembly process with removing two service covers from the bottom.
Remove three screws securing the hard drive caddy to the base.
Slide the hard drive to the left and disconnect it from the motherboard.
Lift up and remove the hard drive.
This laptop uses a regular 2.5″ SATA HDD.
Both memory modules can be accessed on the bottom.
In order to remove the memory module you’ll have to spread latches located on both sides of the memory slot.
The memory module will pop up at a 30 degree angle. After that you can pull the memory module from the slot.
Sony Vaio VGN-FW170J can handle up to 4GB RAM max.
You can install up to 2GB RAM module into one slot. Use DDR2 PC2-640 memory modules.
Remove two screws securing the DVD drive.
Pull the DVD drive to the left and remove it.
I remove all screws because I’m going to remove the top cover assembly.
If you only removing/replacing the keyboard, you should remove four (green) screws securing the speaker cover and one (yellow) screw securing the keyboard.
Carefully lift up one side of the speaker cover with a sharp object.
Continue removing the cover with your fingers.
Lift up the side of the keyboard and place it upside down on the palm rest.
Now you can access the keyboard cable connector.
Before you remove the keyboard, the connector has to be unlocked and cable released.
On the following picture the connector is shown in the locked position.
In order to unlock the connector, move the brown locking tab about 2 millimeters towards the LCD screen.
WARNING! The brown locking tab must remain attached to the connector base.
On the following picture the connector is shown in the unlocked position. As you see, the brown tab still attached to the base but the cable is release now.
Pull the keyboard cable from the connector.
Remove the keyboard. Now you can replace it with a new one if needed.
The keyboard color depends on the laptop model.
Remove four screws securing laptop speakers.
Disconnect the cable from the motherboard and remove the speakers.
Remove four screws securing the media button board.
Disconnect the media button board cable from the motherboard.
In order to unlock the connector you lift up the right side of the locking tab at a 90 degree angle.
After that you can pull the cable from the connector.
Lift up the media button board.
You’ll have to disconnect the power button cable on the bottom of the board.
Remove the media button board.
Disconnect display cables from the motherboard.
Disconnect two wireless card antenna cables from the wireless card (grab the gold connector with your fingers and lift it up).
Remove four screws securing display hinges.
Lift up and remove the display assembly.
Separate the bottom cover from the top cover.
In this Sony model the motherboard is mounted to the top cover.
Continue removing the bottom cover.
The bottom cover removed.
NOTE: You can skip steps 7-19 if you only want to remove the bottom cover.
Warning: When installing the bottom cover back on the laptop pay attention to the wireless switch on the motherboard. The wireless switch located on the motherboard and it’s very small and weak. Make sure the wireless switch positioned correctly. The knob on the switch (located on the motherboard) has to match opening on the ON/OFF slider (located on the bottom cover) and fit into it. If the knob on the wireless switch positioned incorrectly, you can break it while installing the bottom cover back in place.
On the following picture it’s hard to see ON/OFF slider but it’s located on the right side of the case.
When the bottom cover removed, you can access the cooling fan, CMOS battery and DC jack.
Also, you can access the processor (CPU) after you remove the heat sink.
Remove three screws securing the cooling fan.
Disconnect fan cable from the motherboard.
NOTE: In my case a piece of metal frame (where DC jack mounted) broke off of the main frame. That’s why the DC jack looks dislocated.
Lift up and remove the cooling fan.