How to replace the Hard disk in a Zoostorm Freedom 10-270 netbook

My netbook is out of warranty and the hard drive has died, or just not working very well. My first hints should have been the noise coming from the netbook – it wasn’t quiet anymore but I’d just got used to it.

I contacted ZooStorm (manufacturer) via email at “” to see what they’d suggest. They got back to me quite quickly – well within 24 hours which is good I think. They suggested a hard drive failure after my explanation of chkdsk freezing, and the amount of error messages. I assumed they would but couldn’t find where to change the drive. No info online, and nothing in the manual/papers I could find.

They told me I could replace the hard drive myself but it does involve a complete strip down of the unit. They say they do not have guides on how to do this and I’ve not found any online either so I share a basic overview:

1. Remove all screws from the bottom and remove the wireless card.
2. Remove the keyboard
3. Undo all screws under keyboard
4. Disconnect the screen and take the top c plate off
5. You should see the hard drive.
6. Replace the hard drive

You will also require:

  • a small cross headed/philips screwdriver
  • a flat edged blade
  • Lots of Patience
  • Somewhere to store all the screws and bits
  • Optional: A camera

It sounds simple enough, and I found out that you need a 2.5″ SATA Drive before starting. I had an old one from another laptop, I re-Imaged the Netbook image onto the old drive on another PC before attempting the task of netbook di-section.

The Process as I did it (following the guide above)

I have some pictures to go with this lot but have not been able to transfer them off my phone yet, so will update this when I do.

I would recommend you take pictures as you go along, it will help you when putting it back together as you can do everything in reverse.

1) Remove all screws from the bottom and remove the wireless card.

I found there to be 8 screws on the bottom of the netbook, 2 for case compartments and only 2 for the wireless card which when removed springs outwards but is still attached to the board. There is a delicate connection wire to the wireless card that needs to be removed.

2) Remove the keyboard

This sounds easy but doesn’t seem to be loose to be removed easily. The front of the case opens up but not the whole thing. I’ve removed every screw I can find but so far, not there.

After about an hour or so of searching for a way to remove this, I decided to re-contact zooStorm Support as without bending back the plastic and watching it snap, I was not getting any further.

I got these instructions the next day:

To remove the keyboard you need to push up the 3 clips along the top, one just off of the ESC and F1 keys, one about halfway along, and one towards the other end. While doing this carefully raise up the keyboard and it will then come away, the keyboard is attached to the motherboard via a cable which will need to be unclipped.

Under the keyboard you will see more screws that will be required to be removed. Additionally you will need to remove the screen, this will have 2 screws holding it in place located under the hinge caps. You can remove these by placing a small flat blade between the back of the hinge and the metal plate and twisting slightly which will then lift it up.

Once these screws are removed the top and bottom panels will start to separate, please note that there are 3 plastic clips within the battery bay holding the top on, you will need to use a flat bladed screw driver or knife to release these.

So I’m back attacking the system again.

2 screws for screen
6 screw under keyboard

To unclip the keyboard you need to raise the black strip up and the cable just falls out easily.

Drive has a caddy, its held in with 4 screws around it, the caddy holding the drive also has 4 screws. Remove the screws and the drive slides out. It took me ages to find the fourth screw holding the caddy in place as its down the side and is black, the same colour as the surrounding.

I used the pictures I’d taken in reverse to put back together. When attaching the keyboard and other things with the light flat ribbon cables you need to raise the black part up and then put cable in and lower the black down clipping it in place. It does make quite a strong hold.

Once everything was put back together it was the moment of truth, I switched it on and the boot screen came on followed by the windows logo and then everything loaded up. It was just as though it was new again (well new to last backup) – works fine and well now and proved to me that taking backups was worth it. Everything re-synced and windows wanted to update itself but otherwise the PC was back up and working.

so.. Result!