Monday, November 4, 2013

Here are the mechanics of the NGFF SSD removal and installation


NGFF stands for "Next Generation Form Factor".  SSD is of course, "Solid State Drive".  These drives are 22x42x1mm (aka "2242").  There are also NGFF SSDs that are much longer (2260,2280...) and those will not fit in the Chromebook.  On the left is one I installed, on the right is the original HP part.

Note:  I had problems with this 128GB drive.  

ChromeOS somehow was corrupting the GPT and would not boot.  I tried Chrome recovery and now this drive will not boot at all.  I am trying to figure out how I can repair it. I think I will get an adapter so that I can connect it via USB and re-write the partition tables. I re-installed the OEM 16GB SSD and everything is working again using ChromeOS and Crouton/Saucy Salamander.

Here are the step-by-step instructions:

  1. Things you will need:
    • HP Chromebook 14 (Late 2013 model; ChromeOS version is "Falco")
    • NGFF SSD
    • #0 and #1 Phillips screwdrivers
    • Plastic prying tool (I sharpened the end of a plastic fork with a file)
    • You should wear a grounded Anti-static wrist strap
    • I recommend you take photographs as you go along for reference when you get to the re-assembly stage
  2. Backup any important files stored locally on your Chromebook.
  3. Create a ChromeOS Recovery on a USB memory stick.   Remember, your version is "Falco".
  4. Power-off Chromebook, disconnect external power, disconnect all peripherals, remove SIM card. Close the lid, turn it over and remove the 13 screws on the bottom.
    I've circled the 13 screw locations. Four of the screws are covered with small pieces of silicon rubber. You can pry them loose with a small knife. They have adhesive on them that can be re-used to attach them when you re-install the screws.
  5. Turn the unit back over and open the screen.  Power-off the machine using the software-power-off button which appears when you click in the lower right-hand corner of the screen.  Gently pry the keyboard from the edge of the case using a plastic tool.  Start on either side of the trackpad and work your way around to the rear of the case.  The most difficult area will be below the center of the screen.
  6. Hold the keyboard at an angle above the base of the unit.  First, disconnect the battery.  Next, disconnect the two ribbon cables for the keyboard and trackpad.  
    Here are the locations of the Battery, Keyboard, Trackpad and USB Ribbon cable connectors. You will be disconnecting these in that exact order.
    The flat, ribbon-like cables are removed by first flipping-up a small plastic latch.  Then pull the cable straight out of the connector.
  7. Place the Keyboard aside.  Next, disconnect the Motherboard to USB Ribbon cable, Speaker cable, Cooling Fan cable and Wifi Antenna cables.  Connector locations are shown below.
  8. Remove the 3 screws that hold down the battery and remove it.  While lifting the battery, shift it slightly to the left because the SIM Card PCB overlaps the right edge of the battery.
  9. Remove the screw that holds down the Wifi mini-PCI card and remove it.
  10. Remove the 3 screws that hold the Cooling Fan in place and remove it.
  11. Remove screw and loosen PCB board adjacent to right-hand side of the screen's hinge.
  12. Remove 3 screws, lift and slide Motherboard to the right.
    To access underside of Motherboard by lifting the lower edge up towards the Chromebook's screen. You may wish to cover the screen to prevent possible scratching.
  13. Remove the screw that holds down the NGFF SSD and remove it by pulling it straight up.
  14. Install the replacement NGFF SSD. It will only fit one way with minimal force.
  15. Reassembly is to follow the steps in reverse. You will need to make sure you angle the Motherboard down and to your left to make sure you get the external connectors inserted through the case openings.
  16. Before you close up the case, make sure you have connected all of the cables correctly and that they are routed to avoid any possible stress. When you close the case, apply pressure as shown.
  17. When the Chromebook powers up (as soon as you connect the battery) you will see this screen. Insert your ChromeOS recovery USB memory stick.
  18. Following, are the remaining screens that will walk you through the recovery process (should take about 5 minutes).


  19. Remove your USB memory stick and the system will reboot. Connect to a network, log-in and type "chrome://quota-internals" into the search bar.
  20. Now you can see your new storage capacity.

69 comments:

  1. Hi! i'm thinking of doing the same upgrade to my chromebook. How did it end up? does it work smoothly? Thanks for the feedback & nice blog!

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  2. Works good if you need more storage. I have an issue where I have to be plugged into AC Power to boot ChromeOS, but it works fine in Ubuntu. I have contacted both ChromeOS developers and the SSD supplier and my issue seems to be isolated and there are no other known cases. So go ahead and upgrade!

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    1. Finally got around to replacing my SSD again. I used Model MDM242-SBe-128 from MyDigital. Everything works great. My first upgrade must have been a bad part. Now I can run ChromeOS on battery power just fine. I am glad so many people have found this information useful.

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  3. Thank you so much for this howto!! I found a german blog post today claiming that the SSD is also soldered down to the mainboard… so I checked that information by following your guide – as expected the SSD is *not* soldered down and can be replaced as described here. Thanks again!

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  4. whew can you purchase this ssd?

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  5. I installed the same 128GB SSD and it failed the same way as yours. Like you, I'm now back to the OEM 16GB SSD. This was on an Acer C720, so the failure mode isn't specific to your hardware.

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  6. Fantastically Written! I understand this blog has gone dominant recently but it has offered a great resource to me and I wish to say Thanks! Guide worked like a charm and now enjoying extra room! Regards - Harrison (Successful upgrade to 128GB SSD in HP Chromebook.)

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    Replies
    1. Hi could you share which specific ssd model worked for you?

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    2. I just bought and installed a 128GB drive that worked exactly as described. took 20 minutes to install.

      Model MDM242-SBe-128

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    3. 128GB Transcend

      TS128GMTS400

      Appears working properly

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  7. My final screw won't turn. The one holding the ssd. Any advice?

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    Replies
    1. I have this same issue. Anyone have thoughts?

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    2. Use pressure on the screwdriver, turn slightly in the opposite direction and then try to unscrew

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  9. just completed this upgrade to 128gb and it worked fine on the first go - thanks for pointing out all the little things. this will be my keeper ubuntubook for the time being - especially with the 4g. if you're in the bay area let me know if you want a beer, be happy to buy you one.

    cheers

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  10. Wow! Thank you for writing this up in such great detail! I was able to upgrade my chromebook to 128GB without any problems. And thank you for writing it up with words and pictures - so much easier than watching a video.

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    Replies
    1. Hi could you share details on which specific ssd model worked for you?

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    2. I just bought and installed a 128GB drive that worked exactly as described. took 20 minutes to install.

      Model MDM242-SBe-128

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  11. will it support a 256gb ssd or only up to 128?

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  12. Thanks for posting it. One of the three sources of disassembly of this device. Can you post RAM upgrade? Is it possible?

    Thanks,

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  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  15. everything works: Adata Premier Pro SSD 256GB SATA3 SP900 M.2 2242 4cm (ASP900NS34-256GM-C), thank you for your help

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  16. Great guide. Used it to successfully replace the faulty hard drive in my Chromebook with a 32GB Transcend SSD (TS32GMTS400)

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    Replies
    1. I 've just tried with the same model but 64go. It crash 1 or 2 minute after the boot. Any idea why?

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    2. I put in a 32GB Transcend SSD (TS32GMTS400)and it worked (booted to main screen) then rebooted and I'm back at the damaged OS screen again. So I'd like some suggestions also. Thanks

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  17. I did this upgrade 3 months ago and I have had no problems every thing works Great and it worked the first time I did it with no problems just follow all of the steps and you will have the same results I have I am using a Hp ChromeBook 14 Snow White Intel Haswell Processor with 2 GB Ram.

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  18. Thank you so much for posting this tutorial! My chromebook konked out and after researching decided it was the hard drive. Your guide gave me the courage to replace it myself. I bought the 64G hard drive and tools on Amazon. And I am up and running after following your directions! Thank you, thank you, thank you! You saved me a lot of money.

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    Replies
    1. CAN I USE AN EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE IN PLACE OF THE SSD ?

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    2. CAN I USE AN EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE IN PLACE OF THE SSD ?

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  19. I am glad people have found this useful information. I use my Chromebook 99% of the time (except when I am flashing my Nexus phone). I encourage others to publish their tinkering experiences so others may learn. --Warren

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  20. Thank you! My 16GB SSD died. Replaced with a Mydigital 64GB and all's good again. Even have my crouton ubuntu back with a Crouton update and restore!

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  22. it works also on HP Chromebook 14-q032ef ? I think that SS's died because it do never turn on so i'm thinking to try to replace it.

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  23. Thanks for the guide. I replaced a faulty 16GB SSD with a Mydigital 64GB 42mm M.2 SSD NGFF 2242 in a HP Chromebook 14 Q002-TU (FALCO C2A-Y3A-L8F).

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  24. The Ssd prices are decreasing gradually I am going to replace my HDD with SDD.

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  26. Hello,

    I'm having a problem with my mother's Chromebook. "Chrome OS is damaged or not found". Already tried recovery but it didn't work, always get "unexpected error". I want to try to replace the SSD with another 16 gb, do you know of any? I want a 16 gb since it will be cheaper and I'm just trying to see if it'll work. Also, do you know if I can fix this one? I already posted on the Google forums but I doubt they'll know (from what I've seen in previous posts).

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  27. My model is a Falco too. q010dx.

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  28. Thank you for this tuto, I thought I managed to change my ssd. However I used a 64go ranscend TS64GMTS400, at first I thought it was ok, I managed to install the recovery, log in, and then crash, and back to "chromeos is missing or damaged".
    Do you think it can be the ssd I chose? I tried to reinstall several times and the problem is the same: it's ok at first and then crash.

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  29. I think your SSD may be defective. A similar thing happened to me on my first attempt. According to MyDigitalDiscount.com, I was the only one who received a defective one from them, but it proves that it can happen. I would try to return the SSD and get a new one.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for this post. I'm trying a new one a 32go from transcend 6Gb/s sataIII (MTS400) and same thing. Seems to work ok then crash. Do you think I have to purchase another brand? I'm french and I don't know if I can purchase from mydigitaldiscount.

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    2. did you wipe the drive before you put it in? I also had GPT corruption - put it in a USB adapter, hooked it up to my mac and repartitioned it GPT.

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    3. No I didn't! Do I absolutely have to? It wasn't said in the tuto. Do you think everybody who succeed did that? Do I have to buy an usb adapter?

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  30. This definitely sounds like some sort of hardware incompatibility. I'm not an electrical engineer and can't offer any further advice. Did you try the original SSD again just to make sure you don't have a problem with your chromebook?

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    Replies
    1. I didn't retry it but when my chromebook was "broken" I couldn't even make the entire recovery. I just assumed my ssd was dead. When I press "tab" on the screen recovery it says it's a ssd problem.

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  31. Hi,
    Thank you so much for this tutorial.
    HP Chromebook 14 upgraded.
    Next step : get rid of ChromeOS and install Debian :-)

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  32. Hi, good tutorial ! I used a 64 GB SSD model# MDM242-SBe-064 and worked fine after the recovery proces. I used the photo's also to identify the WIFI/Bluetooth-card inside my laptop (HP 14-q000ed) that was disassembled since mine 'disappeared' while waiting for the new SSD so I ended reordering also the exact card ($8, used on ebaycom), the model nr: Atheros Model:AR5B22 CCAI11LP3190T0 (pulled from a HP 14-Q020NR).Couldn't retrieve any info from HP site. FYI, my laptop is made in Germany and the SSD is not soldered on like an earlier post said, it;s just being hold with a screw. I've been testing it for 2 days.. no crash.
    Cheers, Renato (Aruba).

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  33. how do i get the back case off of a chromebook 11 g2 the one with the screen that folds all the way back?

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  34. This looks like a great tutorial. Mine has done the recovery failure and the HP Support leaves a lot to be desired.

    Can a complete amateur follow this and succeed?!

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  36. Does anyone know if the HP Chromebook 14 q010dx will support the 256gb or 512gb NGFF SSD from either Transend or MyDigitalSSD?

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  37. I just updated my HP 14" chromebook internal SSD from 16gb factory original to a 256gb. Took me 40 min. Works perfectly. Life is good!

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    Replies
    1. Would you mind letting us know which 256 gb drive you used? Thanks!

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    2. Would you mind letting us know which 256 gb drive you used? Thanks!

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  38. do you have to repartition using USB or can you just swap it in ? several of the posts don't mention if they had to repartition or not.

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  39. My chromebook 14 falco get stuck after booting. I dont know what is the cause of the problem.is it ssd?

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  40. This is the first time i am reading your post and admire that you posted article which gives users lot of information regarding particular topic thanks for this share.Ssd prices

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  41. Is this the HDD model that will fit in HP Chromebook 14 version FALCO:http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1083295-REG/transcend_ts32gmts400_32gb_mts400_sata_iii.html?
    Thank you.

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  42. Yes, make sure you get the 42mm length. M.2 Type 2242

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  43. Thanks for sharing this great article! That is very interesting I love reading and I am always searching for informative information like this. Ssd prices

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  44. Thank you for posting this excellent tutorial. Amazing what can be done with a plastic fork! I successfully changed out a dead drive for a new MyDigitalSSD 16GB Super Boot Drive 42mm SATA III (6G) M.2 2242 NGFF SSD - MDM242-SB-016 - OEM . Excellent instructions! If you don't work for Google/Chromebook, they should hire you! Thank you!

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  45. just revived my HP Q049wm chromebook with a new 64GB Super Boot Drive 42mm. Your instructions and blog were very helpful. Seems to be working well. Went with the 64 over the original 16 because the cost was almost the same. Thanks again.

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