What you need before you start:
- USB drive >16GB for widows recovery, if you plan to install windows on the new SSD
- small Phillips screwdriver
- a jimmy or something similar like a butter knife
- 1 stick of RAM (DDR3 L)– FYI, the E15 only accepts a single stick of RAM; so, if you want 4GB you need one 4GB stick not two 2GBs.
- 1 SSD
- lint free cloth like a couple coffee filters
Read everything here and watch the videos before you start.
I picked this ES1-512-C12D up at Fry's for $170. That's a great deal. Even the salesman said that in his 15 years at Fry's he's never seen a laptop for less. So, I bought it understanding that it was going to be slow. It was slow. I set it up to dual boot Fedora (I'll link to a howto later), which did run a little faster, but was still frustratingly slow. I knew I'd need to upgrade the RAM (to 4GB) and might as well upgrade the HDD to a SSD since I had a tremendous performance boost on another computer when I switched to SSD.
After doing these upgrades it is a capable laptop for browsing and general office work. It has a good battery life of around 10 hours. It does what I need it to do. Anything more powerful would have been a waste.
I prefer Fedora – or any Linux, for that matter – but I still run it as dual boot, as there are a few Windows only programs I use FAVORITE WINDOWS PROGRAM LINK.
If planning on using Windows, before you replace your hard drive make a backup of Windows to restore it to the new drive. Use Acer's Recovery Disk Wizard. See video. I did try to use a Windows 8 DVD, that I had laying around, but I couldn't get past the screen that asked for a Windows key; the laptop does not come with a Windows installation key that you manually enter, when you run the recovery disk it pulls it from somewhere.
Video at bottom of page
Acer did not design the ES1-512 to have east access to the hard drive or the RAM chip. You will need to open the case.
By the way, I am not to be held responsible if your computer does not work, as expected, after following this procedure. If you follow my advice it is understood that you are doing so at your own risk. I wish you luck.
Keep in mind the battery is not detached during this operation, do not short out connections.
- Turn off the computer wipe if clean with a dry cloth
- remove the 18 screws on the bottom
- open the lid, slip jimmy into the seam, on the side, and lift the cover/keyboard slightly to give you access to the ribbon cables
- detach the two ribbon cables from ZIF connectors (see pics) and set keyboard aside
- detach other cables, as show in the video.
- Remove the screw holding the hard drive and gently slide out the hard drive minding the SATA interface/connection. Sliding and lifting, if you bend it up 90 degrees you may break something
- remove the other screws and WIFI modules on the top right
- gently lift the mobo to reveal the RAM.
- Push the two arms, holding in the RAM, outward and the RAM should pop up. Remove RAM
- Wipe the terminals of the new RAM with your lint free cloth. Do no touch the terminals with you fingers
- Slide the new RAM into the slot at approximately 45 degrees and push down until it snaps into place
- remove bracket from old hard drive and reinstall on new SSD
- reassemble opposite as disassembly (wait to replace the screws until you are sure the computer will boot since you may need to reopen it)
- attach your USB drive with the Windows backup
- boot computer and press F12 at Acer splash screen for boot device options, choose the backup drive
- follow dialog boxes for reinstalling Windows
That should do it. If you have any questions ask in the comment section.
If the computer does not boot. Don't panic.
It's mostly likely an poorly attached cable. This happened to me both times I disassembled the computer.
Check the RAM module for proper placement and cleanliness