I dont usually do hardware but every now and then I’m feeling generous and/or brave and will give it a go. The task in question was replacing a combo drive on an Acer laptop that couldnt read DVDs, which is odd as most of the research I did indicated that combo drives would stop reading CDs but continue to read DVDs. Anyway after fiddling with zones, deleting and readding to the device manager and cleaning the lens, I forked out for a new combo drive. The charge for installing it was to be $60 but I thought ‘how hard can it be?’
In most cases Google is my friend and we find the info we need to do the job – this applies to just about any task – but it was pretty bleak, I wasnt getting a lot of useful data about taking apart laptops fullstop. To cut a long story short I ended up getting there using a combination of websites and just following my nose, which involved removing every screw I could find (unfortunately one stripped in the process, will need to drill it out, dang!) and prying the case (gently!).
Turns out it wasÂ a lot easier than I thought … to replace a combo drive on an Acer Travelmate 2403Wxci try the following (keep the screws somewhere safe and remove the battery first):
- Pry the cover by the monitor hinges, above the keyboard to expose a couple of screws holding the keyboard down.
- Remove all screws on the bottom of the laptop.
- Unscrew the keyboard, raise up and unscrew all the screws – particularly those around the combo drive.
- You should now by able to pry the combo drive out of its bay – dont force it, if its not coming unscrew a few more screws
- I swapped over the face plates on the combo drives so the new one would match – just pry them gently off.
- Slide in the new drive and restart the machine. Theres every chance the laptop will freeze when you first try to use the new drive – just force a shutdown and restart – it should be fine now.
- Screw everything back into place.