How to Open Your VAIO Z1 Laptop

The following process will void your warranty (if any). It may also damage the components in your computer when done without care. Be sure to ground yourself by touching metal or wearing an anti-shock device before fiddling with the inner workings of your notebook. and any sources referenced in this article cannot be held responsible for damage to any computer caused by the user. User assumes all responsibility.

Welcome! This is my attempt at compiling my knowledge, photos I’ve taken, and pieces of a now-offline tutorial into a simplified, English version of how to open your VAIO Z1.


Important: The most crucial part of this process is to KEEP YOUR SCREWS ORGANIZED. I used baggies and labeled them, using the same codes as seen in the instructions below. No baggies? You can also write the letters on a sheet of notebook paper and group them on the paper.

Screw covers: An exacto knife or thin part of a cheap hair barrette is good for removing the delicate sticky covers that hide some of the screws on the unit.

Screw driver: I used a simple stick-flat-head screw driver, I believe 2mm in size, from a basic toolkit to remove all of the screws. A Philips works equally as well, as long as it is the correct size.

excl Wait! Are you adding or changing MEMORY (RAM) only? If so, ONLY remove the screws labeled “D” in the diagram below. These are the only screws holding the keyboard in place.


1. Remove the battery

2. Remove the screws: The pictures below indicate which screws are the same and may be grouped. (Fig 1)
Screw “C” photo is cut off, but it is the only missing screw type, so group accordingly.

Fig. 1

Screws “E” are hidden by sticker panels. Use a thin object to remove the covers first. (Fig 2)

Fig. 2

3. Carefully turn the unit right side up. Open the display and slowly remove the keyboard.
You can pull the keyboard upward, holding on the top row of “F-keys” – there are no latches or anything holding the keyboard down in this region.

When the keyboard is lifted, you will have to pull the keyboard out toward the screen – there are metal flaps at the bottom of the keyboard holding it into the unit.

Remove the cable from the brown connector to free the keyboard (Fig 3 & 4). Lift the brown flap on the connector to make the cable release easier.

Fig. 3

4. Detach other cables that connect the palm rest to the main board. (Shown in Fig 4 & 5)
These are white cables, some with blue ends. Grasp firmly and pull up to detach.

Fig. 4

Fig. 5

5. Remove palm rest bezel screws. (Circled in Fig 6)

Fig. 6

Don’t forget to keep those screws safe and organized as well!

6. Begin attempt to lift up the palm rest bezel.
It may require a bit of work, and you may experience some resistance around the USB port area.

Careful! There’s another cable attached from the touchpad to the main board under here. (Fig 7)

Fig. 7

Congratulations! Your Z1 is officially “open.” The rest of this tutorial gives you details for removing your hard drive. If you are going for something OTHER than the HD, this concludes the tutorial.I hope that this will have helped you – no matter what your situation is.


7. Remove screws from the hard drive assembly. (Fig 8)
One screw is underneath a black tape.

Fig. 8

8. Remove the hard drive. (Fig 9)
You may unscrew and remove the brackets to fit another hard drive into the computer.

Fig. 9

That’s all folks! I hope this will help some of you get into your Z1s in an organized fashion.

Be patient when re-assembling your unit. There are some pieces (like the loose bracket over the CD drive, and the plastic port cover if removed) which may make aligning and closing the unit tedious.

Lose your screws? Need parts? Check out for help.

Credits to: (Non-active) Written by Tama: For the original international tutorial and the black/white photos (recovered via scanner from laser printer print outs)  for the color photos of “roadkill” Z1 (the unit spent awhile in the street one day), and my translated/elaborated instructions.


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