Help removing hard drive from Sony Vaio Desktop



New Member
I have an older model Sony Vaio desktop that appears to have an OS problem that won't allow it to boot up. It gets to a screen that prompts to use safe mode, normal, last working, etc. None of the options work. I took it back to Best Buy where I bought it. They confirmed that it is an OS problem and that the HD is ok. So, my data is there.

I want to remove the hard drive and put it in an external enclosure to recover the data. But, it looks like the desktop metal case is riveted instead of screwed together. So, it looks like I'll need to either pop the rivets or cut the case open (if I do it myself). Thoughts?

There are apparently a couple of Sony Authorized Service Centers in the area. Perhaps they can help.

I confirmed with Sony that they said it was an OS problem. They referred me to some Data recovery service that wanted $500 to $1000 to recover my data. :eek: The data recovery service said that I would void the warranty on my Sony if I took out the HD. I told them that the machine was pretty old and out of warranty. So, voiding the warranty wasn't a concern at this point.

I could probably take it to Best Buy and have them remove the drive and/or extract the data.

Obviously, if I don't ruin the case, I could reformat the HD after getting the data.




I have not worked on a Sony Vaio for years but
Suggest that you double check method to access system's interior.
I think there was a latch/button on the back and that permitted the side to be removed...


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Sony is so propriatory with their design and hardware, it is difficult to find a common solution.

The Vaio is the one with the computer guts built into the display. I would guess it is finding the hidden catches , covers and screws to dismantle the display and get to the inner workings.

UK Vaio support site Here.

Some interesting links at this site which may lead to the necessary diagrams.

Let me correct myself. From this Sony site;
Solution 31549


Is it possible to replace or remove the hard drive of my PCG-GRX series VAIO?


The hard drive bay is not designed for this purpose. Removal and reinsertion of the hard drive may damage the hard drive connector. SONY VAIO Link does not recommend this operation, cannot offer any support on a non standard hardware configuration and any physical damage is considered out of warranty. Please contact VAIO Link for further information concerning out of warranty repairs.
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Procrastinating Member
The hard drive bay is not designed for this purpose. Removal and reinsertion of the hard drive may damage the hard drive connector.
Translation: We built something with a part that is known to fail and require replacement, that cannot be replaced.

We don't care. We don't have to. We're Sony!


New Member
I got it out. Turns out the side panels aren't the same. One side panel gives you no access to the internals. The other side panel gives you access to the HD. I took it out, put it in an enclosure and connected it to my laptop. I can see one partitioned drive. But, the partition with the OS is not visible in Windows Explorer. So, I can access most of my data. But, emails were on the partitioned drive I can't see. Argh!


Procrastinating Member
Boot up the computer with a live linux disk. Ubuntu has Gnome Partition Manager (also called Gparted in some versions) on the desktop in Adminstrative Tools (or whatever -- not hard to find). It should be able to see all the partitions.
It should also be able to copy from them. Ubuntu can see NTFS files.