I am trying to remove the hard drive from a Sony Vaio laptop, which now fails to power on. I am having difficulty removing two of the four Phillips head screws, and I am beginning to strip the screw heads with a Phillips head screwdriver.

Although I see there are solutions for removing screws with no heads, I imagine it should be easier to remove these somehow if the heads are still present.

What steps can I take to remove the stubborn screws, aside from applying more force?

Stubborn screws.

  • 1
    If you are starting to strip the screws, it might be too late already so using techniques/tools for removing stripped screws might be the only way to go. The only other suggestion is while you might technically be using a Phillips head screwdriver, you might be using the wrong size or even a low quality screwdriver. Might be worth it to invest a few dollars in a decent quality screwdriver and see if that helps. A good Phillips head screwdriver needs to be sharp on it’s point and many cheap screwdrivers are just dull or only work once or twice before becoming dull. Best of luck to you! – JakeGould Dec 14 '15 at 4:48
  • 1
    Once the heads have been stripped out, you can try cutting a slot in the head with a Dremel tool and use a flathead screwdriver. If the head is still mostly intact, try putting a wide rubber band over the tip of the screwdriver and try again. Also, there are special screwdrivers for removing screws with stripped heads. They are hardened and have special cutting edges. You tap it into place with a small hammer and it cuts a new matching indent in the head. – fixer1234 Dec 14 '15 at 4:56
  • See superuser.com/questions/602671/… – sawdust Dec 14 '15 at 6:16

If you're stripping the heads you're most likely using the wrong size screw driver. You also may not have enough torque, which you can fix by using a longer screwdriver.

  • 1
    use a screwdriver with a bigger diameter – Keltari Dec 14 '15 at 5:48
  • 1
    I have a bit holder that's shaped like an L. Does an awesome job at stuck screws. – Journeyman Geek Dec 14 '15 at 5:59

Your Answer


By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.