Guest article- How to put a 60 GB hard drive into the Sony UX50!

Owners of ultra-portable devices are often willing to push the envelope a bit when it comes to upgrading the hardware components to get more power/ performance/ speed/ storage space.  It was no surprise to me when Kevin gutted his Samsung Q1 to bring the memory up to 1 GB and it didn’t surprise me when a long-time reader of jkOnTheRun contacted me to let me know he had upgraded the hard drive in his Sony UX50 to 60 GB.

Fernando Miralles has probably owned every ultra-portable device that has ever been produced and his latest productivity tool (toy) is the Sony UX50.  Fernando is a power user so the 30 GB hard drive the Sony ships with was just not enough so he quickly decided to upgrade to a 60 GB drive and he has been kind enough to share the instructions for changing the stock drive for a double capacity drive.  After the jump you will find the guest article by Fernando (thanks for sharing!).  Full specs on the Toshiba MK6008GAH drive that Fernando put into the Sony UX can be found here.  NOTE– any upgrade like the one described here should only be undertaken at your own risk and if you know what you are doing, like Fernando!

Sony Vaio UX50 60 GB HDD Upgrade
By: Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm

I wrote this simple and brief set of instructions to upgrade the Sony VAIO UX50’s hard drive from 30 GB to 60 GB. It is a pretty simple operation (believe me, I am not an expert), and the end result is a whole lot of more storage capacity. The only tool you will need is a Phillips screwdriver (small) that is suitable to the screws in the UX50. I found a screwdriver in my laptop tool set that was good for both the inside screws (which are a bit smaller) and the outside ones.

Step 1: Starting from the outside
Well, of course, this will be the toughest step of all, because it is when you decide to open this baby up. There are four visible screws in the back of the UX50 (Figure 1).  These are very easy to get out.

Fernando Figure 1

There are two more screws that are “hidden”. The first (long silver screw) hides inside the battery compartment, so take out the battery and you will see it. The other hidden screws (short screw) lies below the stylus. To get to this one, you will need to remove the small cap that guards the stylus compartment. See Figure 2 for the location of both of these hidden screws. The screws themselves are shown in Figure 3. 

Fernando figure 2

Fernando Figure 3

After these six screws have been removed, the back cover of the UX will loosen up and un-attach fairly easily. Now you have the insides of the UX exposed (see Figure 4). 

Fernando Figure 4

Step 2: Removing the bezel that houses the hard drive
You will notice that the hard drive is housed and covered by a bezel that has five small silver screws holding it in place. You will need to get out these five screws to get to the hard drive. Once you do this, the bezel can be set loose and you will be able to physically access the hard drive. You may find it more comfortable to unlatch a gray cable (see Figure 5) that is somewhat in the way if you want to access the hard drive. Not a big deal, as the little cable snaps right back in place. 

Fernando Figure 5

Step 3: Removing the hard drive
Once the five bezel screws are removed, you can raise the bezel (for example, with your finger as shown in Figure 6). From here, you can un-latch the hard drive by gently rotating the black latch that sets the hard drive loose. To get the hard drive out, you will also need to remove a black piece of tape that holds an orange electronics strip over the hard drive. Voila, the hard drive is out (see Figure 7). 

Fernando Figure 6

Fernando Figure 7

Step 4: Replacing the hard drive
Well, from here on it is pretty much in reverse. You will need to insert your new hard drive (see Figure 8), snap it on, secure it in place by rotating the black latch to its “locked” position, lower the bezel and put back the five little screws in place, snap the gray cable back in case you had removed it, put back the back cover and get those six infamous screws back in place. You are done now !!!

Fernando Figure 8

A couple of other (common sense) pieces of advice:

  • Because you will need to reinstall all the drivers, I suggest you back up your old hard drive before you initiate this process; you will need them to get your upgraded computer up and running again !!!
  • You will need to install the OS from scratch. There are several guides online on how to do this. This one, http://www.micropctalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=35, for example, will get you through.

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