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Acer Aspire One RAM or Hard Drive Upgrade

Aspire One Upgrade Options

The Acer Aspire One comes with 1GB of RAM and a 160GB SATA Hard Drive.  For an idea of its performance, please check out this video.  RAM can be upgraded to 1.5GB by replacing a 512MB stick with 1GB. We recommend the Kingston PC2 4200 1GB Laptop Memory.  The hard drive can be upgraded with another 2.5 inch SATA hard drive such as the Western Digital 320GB 5400 RPM Scorpio.

Performing these upgrades are not a simple matter as you have to completely take the netbook apart.  Do this at your own risk.  It is also a lengthy process so be sure you set aside a good hour of time.


Once you’ve picked out your new RAM or hard drive, you’ll be ready to begin the upgrade.  In addition to a screwdriver, you will need a credit card.  You may also want some bowls to organize screws that get removed and enough space to place removed components.  It is also a good idea to use a towel to cover the screen during the process.  If you are upgrading the hard drive, you will be losing all the data on the included drive.  If you are installing from scratch, then you have nothing else to do.  If you want to duplicate the included OS on the original drive, you will need to run the dd linux command to copy it to your new drive.  To do this, you will need a 2.5 inch external USB SATA enclosure to put the new drive in to copy to.  If you are unfamiliar with this, it is a very similar process to duplicating the drive in a Tivo.

Step 1 – Remove bottom screws 

Flip over the Aspire One so that the bottom is accessible. There are 6 obvious screws to remove on the bottom of the Aspire One.  In addition to that, there are two hidden screws under the back rubber feet.

You will need to peel off the back rubber feet to get to those screws.  I used pliers to slowly peel up the rubber feet.  Try to not touch the sticky side so that they can be reapplied after.  When done, they reapply rather easily.  The 3 screws from the back and front are different sizes to be sure to organize them correctly.

Step 2 – Lift up keyboard 

Flip the Aspire One over so the keyboard is facing up.  There are three clips holding the keyboard down by the F2, F8, and Pause keys.  You need to push these clips back and down with a credit card so they are no longer visible.  After doing this, the clips may pop back up and need to be redone.  Once they are all back, you can slide the credit card under the keyboard to pry it up.  Do not put the credit card under the keys but under the keyboard.  You can then slide the credit card around the sides prying the entire keyboard up.

Step 3 – Unplug keyboard and remove more screws 

Lean the keyboard forward to expose where it is plugged in towards the center.  This cable is held down with a clamp that is on top of it.  You can flip this up to release the connector.  The keyboard should now be loose and can be put aside.  Right below the keyboard connection is a smaller similar connector for the trackpad.  In the same manner, flip up the clamp which will release the trackpad cable.

Step 4 – Remove top panel surrounding keyboard 

Towards the back left above the AC plug is the best place to start prying open this panel.  Push the credit card between the panel and the base to begin prying it open.  Then slide the card completely around the panel which will free it so it can be removed.

Step 5 – Unplug, unscrew, and remove motherboard 

The video cable is towards the upper left. It is held down with tape so first pull up the tape and then pull out the connector.  Towards the bottom middle is another cable held down with black tape.  Lift up the black tape and then slide out the connector leaving the cable dangling.  Towards the bottom right is the Wi-Fi card.  To the right of the card are 2 cables plugged into it.  Unplug these by pulling them directly up then leave them dangling.  The Wi-Fi card is held in with one screw.  Unscrew it and the card will be easy to remove so you can set it aside.  There is a main board to the left and a daughter board to the right.  The main board has just one screw towards the bottom and the daughter board has three screws.  All of these screws need to be removed.

Step 6 – Replace RAM and/or Hard Drive 

You can now flip up the boards to expose the underside where the RAM and hard drive are.  The RAM is on the left and is held down in the typical way with prongs on the sides.  Remove the 512MB card and insert your 1GB card.  It is in properly if the prongs fit into the notches on the card.  The hard drive is to the right and can be separately unscrewed to replace.

Step 7 – Put it all back together 

By this point, hopefully you’ve kept all the components and screws well organized because you just have to do everything in reverse.  When putting the boards down, be sure you have everything flush and tightened so there is enough room for the keyboard to go back in on top of it.  Don’t forget to plug all connectors back in so review the above steps to be sure you do.  The panel around the keyboard will snap in as will the keyboard itself by applying a little pressure.  Before screwing in the bottom screws, you might want to boot up to make sure everything is working.

73 comments to Acer Aspire One RAM or Hard Drive Upgrade

  • Mark Burton

    Is shutdown 30 sec during powerup a common failure? I hate to replace the hard drive if that’s not the problem.

  • Frakeer

    I am about to attempt to pack this (OCZ Vertex Series OCZSSD2-1VTX120G 2.5″ 120GB SATA II) into my little guy. Anyone tried this and succeeded. Any advice on upgrading to SSD’s is appreciated.

  • tjbearfoot

    So what is the biggest hdd you can put in to an Acer Aspireone. in Gig’s and Cash. Running slow and what i have read other then battery life, the 7200 16 mag 320 gig is the way to go, but what will the bio’s alow?

  • A big THANK YOU for your instructions ! – Very detailed – and needed – as things like the keyboard cables I was so worried pulling it out of the motherboard !

  • Richard

    -Mark Burton wrote on May 7th, 2010 at 8:51 am
    -Is shutdown 30 sec during powerup a common failure? I hate to replace the hard drive if that’s not the problem.

    This is a cmos problem and if you call acer, they can walk you through it over the phone. This was a problem for my wife’s computer when we first bought it. It is not difficult to fix, but it requires flashing the cmos. Call them for official help. It’s free.

  • Gatman

    Everything went perfect.I’m now running a 300GB hard drive and 1GB RAM.

  • M@XX

    Got the same problem on the clips that Hold the Keyboard in place. Any Help?

  • JB

    Thank you very much. Awesome instructions!

  • Shakoor

    please tell me which type of hard disk and ram is supported by Aspire One AOA101 netbook

    thanks …

  • Roland

    Thank you very much for this comprehensive guide. I was able to recover my AA1 (dropped when my 3 year old tripped over the power cord) by simply replacing the hard drive. Once I knew that was the only issue, I then upgraded the RAM.

    I would have liked a slightly more detailed description for releasing the clips for the keyboard, as only 1 out of 3 clips is working now, causing the keyboard to lift slightly to the upper left.

    The idea for using a credit card to undo all the plastic is pretty nifty too. Always wondered how one undid plastic clips without breaking them…. now I know! Thanks again!

  • Acer Aspire One. HD may be dead. I had XP. If I get a new HD, can I get it loaded w/ W7?

  • Beejay

    Hi, my A150 has 512Mb (soldered) and 512Mb in the memory slot. Anyone tried to fit a 2Gb dimm in the memory slot for a total of 2,5Gb? Will the bios support it?

  • Bob

    Nope, It will not support it. The system will not boot up if you put more than a 1gig stick in. (the other 512mb is internal on the mobo). 1gb stick is best you can do.

  • raymundo dionicio

    Installed an Intel x25-v sata and the new Linux Mint Debian Edition.

    This hot, slow and noisy dove have become a cool, silent and blasting falcon.

    Thanks a lot for the great help.

    :) :) :)

    This is a task to do with plenty of time, low caffeine and silk fingers.

    A good lamp with a great lens could be of great help, too.

  • raymundo dionicio

    Video cable is very tricky,
    needed to insert from the left corner first.
    It has no click, so its has to go all the way.
    Be carefull to leave it full inserted and aligned.

  • george

    I am very happy with my new mini and it works a lot better than all my older ones. I’m in the querie of ‘revamping’ old systems and I saw a friend of mine acquire one and I just had to have it. I talked with him and he finally relented, 100 bucks wasn’t too bad. I put her through several batteries of tests and she came out with flying colors except one. SHES not big enough to handle to much though, I will attempt to upgrade her in the ram and hard drive department and I logged on to you guys, thanks for the info. wish me luck back at ya

  • greg klee

    What is the original speed of the hard drive in the system? I want to know if it is worth the effort to buy a 7200 rpm or solid state hard drive.

  • Ian Kerr

    Hi, just to say thanks for your excellent instructions and photographs; managed to successfully replaced failed HD on a machine that was just shy of 2 years old. Not happy about that but maybe I just expect too much. In any event I now have a WD Scorpio drive installed which I couldn’t have done without your help so thanks again for providing these things online.

  • I needed a small computer to use in my car to communicate with my engine management controller. I use it to load tuning data as well as an mp3 jukebox.

    I wanted an SSD for it’s shock and vibration resistance as well as it’s speed. The tiny Acer logs realtime data and processes it on the fly faster than any other laptop I have.

    I used an Intel X25-M 160gb SSD, the memory upgrade, and Windows 7 Ultimate and turned this Chihuahua into a Pit Bull. The SSD is running in native trim under the O/S, battery time increased dramatically, and it operates flawlessly.

  • chris nijares

    is ACER A110 is SATA?

  • Let me try this again, thanks for posting the photos, it helped me tear down and put my daughter’s computer back together. Regarding the shut down every 30 seconds; my daughter’s computer was doing the same thing. (At first I thought it was the hard drive but I have an external drive reader and it tested out just fine.) So, I followed the above instructions and noticed the left hinge was loose near where the power supply plugs in. I also noted that the hinge comes up and makes a 90 degree angle which is supposed to come in contact with the motherboard but didn’t. My daughter mentioned she’d heard something rattling around inside, I found the rattling was a missing screw from said hinge that had lodged itself in the fan. After retrieving the screw and putting the Acer back together, lo and behold everything works now – no shutdown and the hinge is nice and tight.

  • Chris Y

    Great instructions, thanks. Any recommendations on the hard drive imaging/cloning software to use to migrate old drive contents to new? Instructions worked like a charm, but my cloning procedure didn’t. New drive wouldn’t boot. Any gotchas to be aware of?

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