Changing the hard drive of an Asus Eee PC netbook

The netbooks are handy little laptops but they usually come with a simple Hard disk at 5400 turns that we can replace with a more efficient model (7200 turns) or by a SSD even faster.

If access to the hard disk of netbooks is not facilitated, it will also be necessary to take care to find a compatible replacement: the original hard drive is only 7mm thick against 9.5mm in general. This precision is important not to buy a hard drive or SSD of standard size and not be able to install it, takes up space.

The format of the disc is 2.5 inch, or the standard of netbooks and laptops (we therefore escape the tiny and non-performing 1.8 inch).

The models concerned are at least: X101CH-BLK023S (black), X101CH-WHI024S (white), X101CH-PIK021S (pink), 1011PX-BLK108S (black), 1011PX-WHI072S (white). Overall all Asus Eee PC X101CH and 1011PX and certainly other equivalent models.

While the original hard drive can be suitable for most of the users, one may demand better than a simple Hitachi 320GB in SATA 3.0Gb / s 5400RPM (model HTS543232A7A384): we will prefer a 7200 rpm hard drive per minute or downright one SSD disk for much better performance. No need to choose a very high-end product, the simplest SSD will be more than enough for this small netbook and the difference will be obvious. Our choice fell on a Kingston SSDNow V300 of 60GB because the capacity does not matter on this back-up computer. Note that this SSD comes with an adapter to “increase” its thickness to 9.5mm and is guaranteed for 3 years by the manufacturer. Other brands are interesting, such as Samsung, Crucial or Intel SSDs.

Access to hard drive on Asus Eee PC netbook

1. First take out the 7 screws under the netbook with a small Phillips screwdriver.

2. Remove the battery and the 4 screws.

netbook asus screw battery

3. Remove the upper part (keyboard side) to access the hard drive slot: use a small flat screwdriver to remove the shell on either side of the battery slot, under the eeePC screen.

open Asus netbook disassemble screw screwdriver

Be careful not to break the shell when removing it and not to pull too hard because connectors are fixed between the motherboard and the plastic.

4. We therefore access the innards of the computer: it is advisable not to separate the keyboard part from the rest of the computer to avoid any improper handling of the cables (connectors).

tutorial photo guide to disassemble the Asus netbook

5. Locate the original hard drive (gray rectangle, Hitachi brand for example). Unscrew the 4 black screws, slide the drive down to disconnect it from the SATA port. Remove the 2 rails on each side of the hard drive and fix them on the new one.

6. Put the new disk in its slot, slide it upwards to connect it and secure it with the 4 black screws.

Asus netbook SSD hard drive

7. Close the netbook shell by first pressing down on the front of the computer (touchpad side) and finishing at the top (screen side). Replace the 4 screws behind the battery and the 7 screws under the computer.

8. Reconnect the battery.

9. To check that the new disc has been taken into account, press the key. F2 when starting the netbook to enter the Bios and look at the properties of the hard drive.

Asus SSD Bios netbook

10. You will have to install a new operating system: plug in the installation USB key or the external DVD drive, start the computer and press the Esc key to choose on which device to start (here, the Kingston DataTraveler is the Windows 8 installation USB key).

boot USB key Kingston netbook Asus

What about RAM?

You might also want to change the RAM to increase the RAM from 1 to 2GB, or more. But no, this will not be possible on the Asus X101CH and 1011PX netbooks because the memory modules are soldered to the motherboard.

Asus netbook RAM

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