Directive: Prying the top panel from the bottom panel

How to put an SSD harddrive in Asus U36SG Ultrabook

This article will show you how to upgrade the harddrive in an Asus U36SG ultrabook with an SSD harddrive. Benefits include better throughput performance on your system, longer battery life, a lighter laptop, and a cooler & quieter environment.

Getting to the harddrive requires a bit of work with this model. It’s at the top rather than the bottom of the laptop and has no convenient side-tray to pull it out; you must remove the top panel of the laptop to access it. I’m pretty sure that this will void your warranty so do not continue unless warranty is not an issue.

To clarify for those wondering, a standard 2.5″ harddrive (~9mm height) will fit; you do not need one of the super slim 7mm harddrives. I swapped in a Corsair Force Series 3 120gb drive.

Step 1: Removing RAM & disconnecting the cables

First, turn the laptop off and remove the battery pack. Flip it upside down, unscrew and open the central panel, and pop out the RAM. We must then carefully disconnect the keyboard and track-pad cables. Follow the directives in the image below for working the black clasps and the cables should slip right out.

Directive: Removing ram & cables

Below is an image showing the cables disconnected correctly. Do not use force; the clasps should easily move and the cables should slip out effortlessly.

Directive: Ram & cables removed successfully

Step 2: Unscrewing the bottom panel

Next, we must unscrew all 10 screws from the bottom panel so that you can lift the top panel afterwards. Unfortunately, 4 of the screws are underneath the rubber feet so you will need to peel those off. No worries, a bit of gluegun or epoxy will stick them back on good as new.

Directive: Unscrewing the bottom panel

Step 3: Prying the top panel off

Now that the cables are disconnected and the screws are out, we have to lift the top panel off from the bottom panel. The top panel is held into place by hooks. You will need to insert a small lever and work your way around the seam, prying the top panel free. This requires mostly patience and dexterity. I used two flathead micro screwdrivers but I’ve read that it can be accomplished with a lockpick or a credit card. Put the laptop on its bottom and go at it.

Directive: Prying the top panel from the bottom panel

Once the panel is loosened all the way around it should easily lift off, exposing the guts of the machine. We’re almost done!

Directive: Top panel pried off successfully

Step 4: Replacing the harddrive

Out with the old, in with the new! Now it’s simply a matter of carefully unscrewing the harddrive chasis (mind those cables), sliding it out, swapping harddrives, and putting it back in. Along with putting the cables, ram, and screws back of course. Then boot the laptop and congratulate yourself on a job well done!

Directive: Swapping harddrives

14 thoughts on “How to put an SSD harddrive in Asus U36SG Ultrabook

  1. Hi, after finishing the hardware replacement, do we need to install any driver if we change the wireless card, hdd?

    thanks for the reply.

    • You will need to do a complete Operating System installation on the hard drive, with all necessary drivers, if it is brand new. Even if the hard drive already has an OS installation on it, I’d still recommend a clean format & installation.

  2. Awesome! Looking to replace my beloved UL30VT-X1 and hoping to make use of its recent SSD upgrade into a new ultra type laptop. This week had my hands on Samsung Series 5, HP Envy 6 (both from big box stores), both 7mm SSD upgrades. Then miraculously found a brand new U36SG locally pc shop, and was like “I want this but dammit this looks 7mm” too. Found your video, saw the 9mm comment–and paid the bill. Cheers m8!

    • Done, exactly as you prescribe! 9mm fits no problem :)

      Attached photo with SSD installed (Kingston HyperX).

      And ya, once you are able to start a split with the upper casing, it’s pretty easy gliding a credit card all around.

      Love this machine even more now!

      Thanks for the excellent guideline!

  3. Hi,

    Thanks for the guide. I am waiting for a u36sg in the post at the moment and am hoping to put an SSD drive into it. I was wondering if there were any warranty voiding stickers etc on there?

    For example, in the event of a situation whereby the warranty is required, could I not just switch the 5400 mechanical drive back in?

    Thanks!

    Ben

    • To be honest I really don’t remember if there was a safety seal sticker. If there is not one, then you’re good to go if you need to swap back in your old drive for warranty purposes.

  4. One year later it is time for me to upgrade my U36SG. Thank you for the guide. IOne question remains: were you able to access the recovery partition (and perform a clean install)?

  5. Thanks for this guide!! I installed a 256GB Sandisk SSD today in 20 minutes. I used the 4 Asus Restore DVDs to reinstall Windows 7. Now I’m going to dual boot with Linux Mint 17.

  6. Thank you. My wife’s laptop is this model and your post allowed me to put an ssd in. For splitting it in half I used a bike tool set’s wheel seperators.

    That being said, what a crappy laptop design, why wouldn’t the hard drive be readily accessible like in most? Is this normal for Acer?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*