Opening the Atari ST Book

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This information is from skeezix<at>, should you need clarification on any points.

Opening the ST Book and getting at the internal 2.5" hard drive

(Information courteous Thomas/utc71 at the Atari Forums. No guarantee of course, just off his memory.)

A word from Jeff I used the following method successfully -- the first time it was a heart pounding experience as I worried about killing the machine somehow. After doing it a half dozen times, I can now nearly do it eyes closed, and can open the machine and get the drive out in under 2 minutes, now that it is obvious how to do it. See after utc's instructions for some notes from me.//

This is the order when I open my STBook:

  1. Remove the main battery.
  2. Remove the three screws from the bottom.
  3. Remove the two screws from the back.
  4. Try to remove the cover on the back that covers the connectors (parallel, serial, ...). Mine is broken in the middle where it is connected to the case. So for it is quite easy to remove it. If yours is still ok you may not remove it. But you should at least open it.
  5. Slide the cover on the right to the back. It can be taken off completely. I think it's a cover for the phone connector when the optional modem is installed.
  6. Now you can lift up the VectorPad on the right a little bit, slide it to the right a little bit and then lift it up completely (but not too much!). But be careful: It's connection foil to the board is not so long so don't pull up the VectorPad much!
  7. Remove the connection foil of the VectorPad from the board and put the VectorPad aside.
  8. Remove the three screws from the main board which hold the back part of the top case.
  9. Lift up the keyboard in the front, slide it a little bit to you (to the front) and lift it up completely and carefully! Flip it to the front of the STBook.
  10. You may remove the two connection foils of the keyboard or not. This is not important.
  11. Right in the area where the main battery was, the top case is hooked into the bottom case. So pull it up carefully. This might need some force but not too much because one can damage the display connection cables easily.
  12. Then you should be able to flip the top case with the display to the back. Watch out for the connection cables of the display and do not break them! Also watch out that you don't damage the back cover if it is still connected.
  13. Under the connection foils in the back you should see the hard drive so you need to remove all connection foils! Be careful!
  14. After this the hard drive can be pulled out of the case.
  15. Put everything together in reverse order.

Notes from Jeff:

  • Careful with flipping your ST Book over; if its missing screws, parts might fall or flip around unexpectedly, which could kill it. ie: Once the vector pad is off, your keyboard can flip out, and the monitor part can flip back! The monitor part should be secured by 3 screws, but if someone has been meddling, they could be missing!
  • Definately, don't bother removing the foil-ribbons for the keyboard; flip it over and lie it in front of the machine and you're clear.
  • After the keyboard is flipped up, undo the 3 silver screws at the top edge of it; careful, as they secure the monitor part down. Once the screws are up, the monitor might fall back, which could damage it.. so be sure to hold onto things. Once the 3 screws are out, lie the monitor portion back gently, making sure not to damage those orange wires on the top-left.. or you're done for. I just lifted the monitor up, and rested it back on the mainboard part of the case, so as to not stress those wires.
  • You don't need to undo all the foil-ribbons above the hard drive, or at least on your second and further attempts; for my first shot, the actual IDE ribbons were taped to the drive, making things harder to work with. I undid that real fast. Now I can attach the IDE part to the drive (which has a right-turn to leave 2 ribbons off the drive) and slip it under the other ribbons without detaching them, and just hook up the drives two ribbons.
  • All told, that means **only 3 ribbons** need to be fiddled with to get the drive out -- the vector pad, and the two IDE ribbons; the rest, leave them on since they're annoying to put back in :)
  • The foil-ribbons all latch in the same way, but there are a couple different kinds of latches; you slide the 'wedge' part of the latch out (using a tiny screwdriver, say), going towards the monitor in most cases. Just slide at the left and right edge of the wedge and it'll slide out northwards. Some of them also go out, and then up away from the mainboard (so you can put the ribbon under it.)
  • There are two main kinds of ribbon latches -- the white ones and the brown ones. For the white small ones, you slide the latch out and the ribbon pops out. When you put it in, you might be unsure if the ribbon goes below or above and hence my post here -- you slide the ribbon on top of the latch wedge part, and when its good and snug inside, slide the latch back in. For the brown ones, the wedge comes out and then up away from the mainboard, so the ribbon goes _under_ the wedge part. Then you press the wedge down, and then slide it in to secure it.

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