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I have an Aspire One (ZG5) with a spinning platters HDD that is starting to show signs of needing a reinstall. I also happened to end up with a spare 80GB SSD and I'm considering swapping it out but there are a few things I'm worried about:

  1. Physically, how hard is it to get at the drive? (I've found this that indicates it's going to be a pain, but has anyone here done it on this model?)
  2. What would it take to install windows on it?

On the first point, I've seen one partway apart and this model is NOT build for easy maintenance (it seems some of the other models are better in this regards). I have a spare copy of XP-pro as well as a Windows 7 disk but IIRC there is something about them (ir at least XP) being really hard to install via any thing USB. If that doesn't work out, I'm thinking I might make something work by copying the recovery partition over over via dd/nc or the like. Should I expect that to work?

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For the second problem, you could use a flash drive and windows 7 USB download tool. It'll setup windows installation on a USB flash drive, so you can use it to install windows on a comp0uter without dvd drive.

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That sound's like just the ticket. OTOH that's one of the worst written product descriptions I've ever seen out of MS. (I may regularly not understand why MS products do something, but most of the time I can understand what they do) – BCS Jul 13 '10 at 14:47
BTW, that link is now dead (and so is the best related link I can fond on :( – BCS Apr 10 '11 at 15:45
@BCS Yes, it seems the pulled it some time ago. From what I've heard, there is a way to get it if you got the windows from web store, but I don't know any specifics. – AndrejaKo Apr 10 '11 at 19:42


The Aspire One's hard disk is pretty easy to get at. On the bottom of the laptop you'll find several covers. The largest covers the hard disk drive. Just remove the two screws holding that panel down. Use a fingernail to push the drive towards the outside of the computer to remove the drive from the connector. Pull the drive directly out of the machine.

The drive is in a metal chassis. Use a phillips screw driver to take this chassis off the old drive and place it on the new one. Then, just drop the new one in and push it on to the connector. Replace the cover and the two screws.


If you have Windows media, it should be simple enough to use a USB optical drive to run the installers. I believe the Aspire One ships with recovery discs, though, and those would be your best bet, since activation is taken care of automatically.

If you use non-OEM media, you can still activate with the OEM license, as long as you have the OEM label on the machine and you're installing the version of Windows that the OEM license is for. You'll probably have to activate on the phone, call the phone number and work with the robot. If the robot says the activation is invalid, select to talk to a human operator and explain the situation to them. They can override.

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Re #1 That may be true for some models, but not the ZG5. -- Re #2 at least as far as XP goes, there is an issue with trying to boot from USB (IIRC the bootup resets the USB device and then stuff fails spectacularly when the device you are booting from vanishes.) To get around that, the recovery media is installed on a hidden partition. – BCS Jul 13 '10 at 14:36

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