This should apply to many similar HP Pavilion laptops of similar age.

There are a few little tricks to opening this to access the RAM slots hard drive.

  1. Start by disconnecting the power cord, then turn over and remove the battery
    • Start by disconnecting the power cord, then turn over and remove the battery

    • There are a large number of screws visible on the bottom, they are all the same size and length, remove them all.

    • There are two screws hidden under silver stickers, indicated by the orange circles, remove the stickers and the screws underneath.

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  2. Remove the optical drive, if all the screws have been removed is should slide out easily.
    • Remove the optical drive, if all the screws have been removed is should slide out easily.

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    • Use a guitar pick to release the plastic clips at the points shown on the black covers near the hinges.

    • If you just pry the black covers off a small clip will break but the clips are not important.

    • Once the covers are off, remove two more screws from underneath the covers.

    • All of the screws are the same as the ones already removed.

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    • Turn the laptop back upright and open the lid

    • Using a guitar pick, release the plastic retaining clips that hold the bottom of the case on.

    • Release the areas marked with green first, then the yellow and last the orange.

    • Close the lid and turn the unit upside down again.

    • The bottom cover should now be free, lift the front part first and push the cover toward the hinges.

    • If the cover resists make sure you have removed all the bottom screws including the two hidden under stickers.

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    • With the bottom cover removed the hard drive and RAM are easily accessible.

    • The hard drive is held in only by friction,

    • To remove the hard drive from its mount lift the drive a bit from the end near the data and power cables

    • Disconnect the power and data cables, the cable is a delicate ribbon cable so be gentle, don't pull it out or the way too far.

    • Lift the cable end a bit more and slide the drive towards the ram a bit to release the clips holding down the other end.

    • the mounting frame can just be pulled free from the drive, it is also only attached by friction.

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    • When reassembling, keep the unit upside down and slide the bottom cover back into place hinges first.

    • It is a little fiddly getting the clips near the hinges and battery compartment seated.

    • Once the hinge area is close to being tight enough to push the clips back together, run your fingers down the sides by the keyboard to clip the sides and front.

    • Turn the unit upright open the lid and slide your fingers along the edge under the display and all the way around the edge to be sure all of the clips are back in place.

    • Reinstall the optical drive.

    • Turn the unit upside down again.

    • Replace the screws that will be hidden under the black covers by the hinges.

    • Replace the black covers by the hinges and then all of the rest of the screws. Don't forget the cover stickers for the two hidden screws.

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To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

21 other people completed this guide.


Member since: 11/17/2012

868 Reputation

2 Guides authored


Very good tutorial. The cover is a pain to open but with your input, it worked great.. thanks!

Mario Levesque - Reply

Now, I must ask, how do I replace the keyboard??? Can it be done?

dgolson45 - Reply

I don't have access to one of these right now, the one used for the guide was in for an upgrade, but looking at my photos it looks like there is a metal plate under the mainboard that holds the keyboard in place and it looks like it is held in place by melted plastic.

It that is the case, the official method would be a replacement assembly that includes the keyboard the retaining plate and the cover plate that the keyboard mounts through, moving all the electronic bits over.

The MacGyver method, (if you can get a replacement keyboard alone) would be to remove all the parts that block the keyboard retaining plate, break it loose to remove the dead keyboard and use glue to reattach the retaining plate.

If you have a heat gun (SMC rework station) you may be able to use it to soften the plastic retainers during removal and smash them back down later with a soldering iron but that basically never works.

rmac - Reply

Great tutorial. I got water on my laptop and had to get inside to dry it out. Worked just like you said!! Thanks!

Susan Black - Reply

Worst tutorial ever

Clifford Taylor - Reply

Usually on a troubleshooting forum, the common sense is to EXPLAIN the situation... not just drop your frustration and leave!

Sebastien Bechard -

Thanks! The only problem I had is with the ssd, the cover would not close with both rubber spacers installed, I took one out and used tape, then it snapped back on great!

Alex McKay - Reply

Excelent tutorial. It is compatible with the 17-x121-dx model as well. Thanks.

Martin Gleria - Reply

Exactly what I needed to get the job done. Also, I hadn't thought of using a guitar pick before, but that was perfect for the job. Thanks!

jcorb2795 - Reply

Simply superb. Thank you.

draconis hluot - Reply

Outstanding. Worked as written on Pavilion Notebook 17 g077cl

The only difference was the clips by the hinges - no clips fell out, none present (made no difference).

Regarding the rubber spacers on the HD - When I replaced the HD, I must have put them backwards because I had the same issue as Alex. Once I reversed them, the cover closed fine.

Again, kudos for a well written and photographed guide.

Fix PC 205 - Reply

What type of memory does this model use?

Gary McCoy - Reply

The HP Pavilion - 17 g173ca uses DDR3. Mine has two 8gb modules totaling 16gb

Allan - Reply

Great job! Two differences with my HP: screws were under the two rubber feet near the hinges and two small screws were holding the CD to the top of the case. Those were a pain to access; the CD tray has small access holes. So open the tray and slide it till the holes line up for a very small diameter Philips screwdriver.

Buffalo Scenic Prints - Reply

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