How to Replace Hard Drive in the Acer Extensa 4420

by John Machay Images

Boasting a compact, lightweight design and a price to match, the Extensa 4420 proved to be a big success for Acer in the mid-2000s, attracting many small business owners who wanted a notebook light enough to be easily transported between the office and home, while sturdy enough to handle their company's basic computing needs. While the time that’s passed hasn’t made the Extensa any less portable, the increased capacity requirements of many of today’s programs and files may have put a dent in how much it can handle. However, this problem can be easily remedied by replacing the factory-installed 160GB hard drive with one with much greater capacity.

Back up any data you want transferred to the new hard drive to an external hard drive, a CD- or DVD-ROM or a flash drive.

Shut down your operating system, turn off the power and disconnect all cords and devices from your Extensa.

Close the screen and place the computer upside-down on a clean, flat surface.

Discharge built-up static electricity from your body by touching an unpainted metal object.

Depress the locking tab of the battery compartment cover and lift the battery assembly from its chamber.

Remove the screws from the device’s lower panel using a Phillips screwdriver, and then pry the panel free of its locking tabs with a flat head screwdriver.

Remove the foam padding from the hard drive compartment to reveal the hard drive.

Grasp the black tab on one end of the hard drive and gently pull the device back to free it from its data and power connections. Lift it up and out of the compartment.

Remove the rubber shock absorber that surrounds the hard drive.

Remove the new hard drive from its anti-static packaging. Place the rubber shock absorber over one end of the hard drive and stretch it back and over the other end to secure it.

Set the new hard drive in the compartment, making sure its data and power connectors are properly lined up with those in the computer. Gently push forward and down until the drive is securely seated in the compartment.

Return the foam padding to the compartment, then replace the lower panel and secure it with the screws you removed earlier.

Place the battery assembly back into its compartment, lining up the locking tabs with the slots on the computer. Push down until the tabs lock into place.

Turn your Extensa back over, reattach its external devices and power cord and press the power button. Your new hard drive is ready to be prepared for use.

Items you will need

  • Phillips screwdriver

  • Flat head screwdriver


To prevent the top of your Extensa 4420 from being scratched, place a towel or soft cloth on your work area before turning your notebook upside-down.

The sizes of notebook hard drives are not universal. When purchasing a new one, make sure it’s compatible with your Acer Extensa 4420.

Compare prices before deciding on which hard drive to purchase. If you perform an online search, you’ll likely find the cost varies greatly from vendor to vendor.

Because there isn’t enough room inside your Extensa to connect two hard drives, retrieving data from your old hard drive after it’s been removed could prove to be very inconvenient. Before removing it, take the time to make sure you’ve backed up every file you need – or, better yet, make a disk image of the drive.


Removing your Extensa’s battery while its power is on could result in serious system damage. So before doing so, make sure it’s truly powered down and not just in hibernation mode.

Don’t take the threat of static electricity lightly. A simple touch of a fingertip can discharge as much as 10,000 volts from your body – more than enough to render your Extensa permanently inoperable.


Photo Credits

  • Images

About the Author

John Machay began writing professionally in 1984. Since then, his work has surfaced in the "West Valley View," "The Sean Hannity Show," "Scam Dunk" and in his own book, "Knuckleheads In the News." His efforts have earned him the Ottoway News Award and Billboard magazine honors for five straight years. Machay studied creative writing at Columbia College in Chicago.

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