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IBM Thinkpad maintenance - how to access hard drive?

Posted on 2002-03-18
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Last Modified: 2013-11-17
I'm trying to upgrade the hard drive on an IBM Thinkpad i-series model 1451.  I have a new hard drive and the details but I've run into problems trying to open the case.  I've undone all the screws and the case still doesn't seem to want to come off.  I'm afraid to pull too hard for fear of breaking something.  Does anyone have any experience with replacing the hard drive in a Thinkpad and know if there is some special tool or trick to removing the case to access the hard drive?  And am I going to run into problems upgrading a 2.1G to a 30G IBM drive?
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Question by:wisdom042597
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by:slink9
ID: 6879640
Thinkpad.  Laptop, right?  These are generally not user-maintainable.  This is for a good reason.  The components are small and easily breakable.  The hard drive is also a special type.  You can't just throw any hard drive in there.
As far as going up to a 30G goes, what OS do you have and how do you plan to copy over the OS and programs.  This generally isn't as easy as slaving the drive and copying everything over.
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by:m-coon
ID: 6879684
Thinkpad cases do utilize "snap catches" in various places to assist the screws in holding it all together tightly. You can find these by running a fingernail or such along the seam - when you come to one, you will have to apply a little bit of pressure to open the snap. I would be cautious as you can break something (usually the catches) if you do this improperly.
Concerning the compatibility - I would recommend you go to the IBM website which will give you all the details about your particular model to determine if the drive will work or not.
Good luck.
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by:wisdom042597
ID: 6880577
The hard drive is compatible with the laptop.  I made sure - it's an IBM model, just higher capacity.  Someone told me the keyboard may have to be removed?  I'm not sure - I just want to be careful about removing the case.  I even found details on IBM's web site about the drive settings and installation, but nothing on any "trick" to removing the case - it sure looks like it is "stuck" and I'm not sure what to do.

As far as copying everything from the old hard drive, that's not an issue.  If I can get the drive installed and recognized by BIOS, then I'll fdisk it and re-set all the software back on it.  My biggest concern is just physically replacing the drive.
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by:slink9
ID: 6880627
I watched the guy replace my keyboard an a Dell that I had.  It was quite easy.  Remove the case screws, remove the keyboard screws, unplug the keyboard and reverse the procedure to put everything back in.
Have you taken out the battery and any removable peripherals to verify that there are no hidden screws?
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by:m-coon
ID: 6880630
The older Thinkpads did have the hard drive underneith the keyboard. The newer models are not constructed like this. You may have to literally split the case in half. Tell me if yours is the type that looks like it opens at the keyboard?
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by:wisdom042597
ID: 6880677
My Thinkpad model is: 2611-450.  It's an i-series and the hard drive is underneath the keyboard with no access through any cover on the bottom.  There are two removeable covers underneath the laptop: one for memory and one for the built-in modem card.  The keyboard does appear to be a key aspect of this... and I was wondering about that.
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by:slink9
ID: 6880698
Have you checked those covers for hidden screws?
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Eufracia earned 50 total points
ID: 6880755
Just in case nobody knows the answer to this one, you can order the Hardware Maintenance manual from IBM at the following website:

http://www.elink.ibmlink.ibm.com

Click on the Publications link, pick your country from the drop-down list, then click Search for Publications at the top. You'll want to enter S10L-9952-02 in the Publication Number field to bring up the following:

ThinkPad i Series 1400 Type Hardware Maintenance Manual (S10L-9952-02)

It costs $8.50.

--Eufracia
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by:m-coon
ID: 6880793
Although I beleive you are going to have to split the case and not just raise the keyboard - I do not know for sure on your model. I would go for the manual if nobady else can say for sure.
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by:wisdom042597
ID: 6881048
My Thinkpad model is: 2611-450.  It's an i-series and the hard drive is underneath the keyboard with no access through any cover on the bottom.  There are two removeable covers underneath the laptop: one for memory and one for the built-in modem card.  The keyboard does appear to be a key aspect of this... and I was wondering about that.
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by:wisdom042597
ID: 6881054
Oops - re-post - ignore that... they should do a redirect to avoid that.  I just hit reload.

I'm not sure what to do - I feel really stupid ordering a manual just because I can't seem to get the case open... this is frustrating...
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by:akboss
ID: 8954506
============================
No comment has been added lately, so it's time to clean up this TA.
I will leave a recommendation in the Cleanup topic area that this question is:
Accept Eufracia 's comment as answer
Please leave any comments here within the next seven days.
 
PLEASE DO NOT ACCEPT THIS COMMENT AS AN ANSWER!
 
akboss
EE Cleanup Volunteer
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by:theglue
ID: 21774819
WISDOM - Did you ever figure out how to open that laptop?  I am trying to change a hard drive out for a friend who has this same laptop and can't seem to get it open.  I have changed every part on plenty of other laptops and all have been much easier than this...
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