In an earlier post, I described my first attempt to replace the hard drive in my late, lamented Sony Vaio VGN-SZ230P laptop. This machine was not built to be repaired, and least not in any modular way. Getting to the hard drive required removing the keyboard and plamrest, cutting some tape, unplugging the drive, removing, replacing, then carefully reconnecting the plamrest and keyboard and their fragile cables. It's done and, on the second try, I had a machine that boots and has a usable keyboard and trackpad. So many tiny screws!
Here's an important tip: When disassembling a computer full of tiny, tiny screws, lay out a very large white towel. Put the computer on the towel and do all your work there. Put the parts and screws together on the towel; they won't roll or move on their own.
I'm not going to restore the original Vista installation. One of the more annoying things about this otherwise beautifully engineered computer is that it just didn't like Vista. Blue screens were common and reboots were often required to get all the hardware working. Replacing the Sony with a MacBook Pro showed me how well hardware and an OS can be integrated.
The Fedora Project will have Fedora 15 out in a couple of months, so I'm installing Fedora 15 Alpha to see how well Fedora has advanced with all the proprietary Sony hardware on the device.