Advice sought re: desoldering netbook hard drive. {solved - it just unscrewed!)

Jedipadawan

Commendable
Aug 16, 2016
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OK, I have come into possession of a 2008 atom n270 netbook in near mint condition.

It’s exactly the kind of machine that interests me! (Don’t ask.)

However, the hard drive is soldered onto the motherboard! An 80GB HD is useless to me. I need at least 320GB. I have such a HD and am looking to see how I would go about soldering it in replacement.

I would approach a professional on this but, living as I do in Indonesia… it’s not really possible. Such is the culture of dishonesty here it is well know that if you take your laptop in for repair it is deliberately sabotaged so it break a week later and you take it back where it is sabotaged again. Buying laptop second hand is unheard of for that reason. In the old country old could be regarded as class but here it is just seen as junk.

So it is 90% certain I have to do this myself. I have wielded a soldering iron before but not a lot and a long time ago. I can get a fine time soldering iron nearby but I am unsure about de-soldering and how I can prevent heat damage to the MB.

If I can get this job done, though, I may have a useful side business as I have had to set up my own personal tuition business as it is impossible to get work permits now. A white face is instantly trusted more here! So I could end up with a laptop repair side line. I am already introducing people to Mint Linux!

Anyway, advice needed. Would love to have this minimal machine flying and doing the impossible! It’s what I do…!

Many thanks in advance.
 

Eximo

Distinguished
Herald
Hmm, no USB ports to add storage that way?

De-soldering is pretty simple, if you can get to all the connection points. Installing a new drive is going to be tricky. Normally these types of devices are put together with hot air (solder paste) or wave soldering, not direct hand soldering with an iron. Lead free solder also sucks, which is pretty much what they use these days and you really don't want to mix any new metals in there.

Pictures would help. But if it is the direct PCB mounted type, I would leave it alone.
 

Jedipadawan

Commendable
Aug 16, 2016
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Thanks I will try and get pictures.

This is Indonesia so I suspect lead based solder is still used.

USB will NOT cut it for my purposes.

not hand soldered tho... ouch.
 
With today micro surface mounting, chances of damage is high, those things are just wave-soldered all pins at once. If you are able to cut the individual pins with a micro cutter, then carefully remove each tap, re-solder shouldn't be that hard. Is this a 2.5 or 1.8" drive?
 

Jedipadawan

Commendable
Aug 16, 2016
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Thanks for the data. The machine is quite useless o me with only 80GB's. CPU speed is not such an issue for me but storage is.

I will be receiving the '13th' month on Friday whereby I will be buying my wife a new laptop making this machine disposable. So if I destroy, such is life. I swear, 80GB's is no good to me. I deal in large amounts of data.

As I say, I will post up pics a bit later, probably the evening here. My work requires strange hours and so I am best sleeping in the morning!
 

USAFRet

Splendid
Moderator


Large amounts of data, on a 9 year old Atom powered tablet, would seem to be a problem.
No matter what the drive size is.

Have that large data set live elsewhere and connect via WiFi.
The CPU performance would be the main drawback with that little tablet.
 

Jedipadawan

Commendable
Aug 16, 2016
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Thanks. But if I was being rational I would not be attempting to use this little machine at all!
My reasons are my own and I know what I am doing. I will explain after if/when the hard drive gets replaced. I am taking it apart now to take pictures.
Body clock is all screwed up from to much work and visa handling so I am abandoning sleep and getting out the screwdriver.

Let's go with the replacing hard drive as an experiment and accept the risk if it fries. If I am to use a laptop at all it must have a decent sized HD. CPU is not such a concern. I swear.

 

Jedipadawan

Commendable
Aug 16, 2016
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????!!

It was just screwed in!!! I didn’t take the laptop fully apart before and assumed it was soldered in… the machine is weird, unknown make with no documentation of any kind.

So… I had to remove the entire MB but… I now have a 500GB HD. I intended to replace with a 320 but picked up the wrong HD and only discovered after t was screwed in.
Ah, what the heck?


But now a new problem. The connectors to the MB simply cannot be put back into place. Th ecables are too short for fingers! This is what I was afraid of. We are in the process of moving furnature as we refit the house as a school so now tie for any more work.

Can anyone advise – how to I plug the machine back?!!!

When this is re-assembled and running I will explain what I intend to use this machine for.

Jaws will drop… :)

Image:
https://postimg.org/image/3vrx8j0fz/

The cables will not go back!!!
 

Jedipadawan

Commendable
Aug 16, 2016
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OK, the essential problem here is solved and I will mark as such and raise a new thread.

Many thanks guys. More news later.

Trouble is that I am so busy setting up my own business, I have to ask questions!
 
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