Sony Vaio VGC-V3S: How to Open to Change CMOS Battery
How to Open The Sony VGC-V3S
Note, photos to come. Just wrote this up from memory after unit was reasembled, so beware with these instructions, they are not completely accurate at this point and there are a load of spellign errors.
If something is described as being on the rear, left. It means when looking at the rear of the unit, we are interested in something on the left hand side.
If you are not aware of static electricity issues, then don't go opening up computers if you have just dragged your feet across the carpet or are wearing a nylon tracksuit or synthetic fleece. Touch an earthing point and don't poke anything inside the computer unecessarily.
The Sony VGC-V3S looks like an LCD TV.
To open the unit, remove all the screws on the rear.
Locate the hole on the rear that would be the rear, bottom of the optical drive and insert a small blunt tool to push the optical drive out of the housing. If all the rear screws have been removed already, then the only thing holding in the optical drive is the edge connector. So, not much force is needed to push the drive out. Remove it completely.
On the side panel that the optical drive has been removed from, locate the Wireless LAN on/off switch and slide it to the lower position (so that when the panel is put back, gravity automatically lines up the slider with the mechanical switch position. Now locate the clips on rear left top and bottom that hold the side panel in. Release the clips and flap the panel out and remove it (no force necessary after the panel is flapped out fully). Don't loose the clear plastic wi-fi light guide.
Remove the 2 screws at the bottom side near the front of the main block plinth (that sits on the turntable). Slide the cover away.
The Key to Opening the VGC-V3S
Even though all the screws have been removed from the rear of the unit and it seems like the rear moulding should be free, it is still firmly fixed in place. To remove it, you need to use 2 small flat bladed screwdrivers to slowly start to wedge apart the front angled suround from the coupling rear angled plastic. The front will stay in place, but the rear will loosen away. The join is clear where these two parts meet. Start at one lower edge and work upwards to a top corner and around the corner, along the top and down the other side. At some point, you'll be able to use your fingers to keep the parts opening up. The key is to use first a forward motion with the screwdriver followed by a backwards motion. Like pushing a lever forwards and backwards. Not much force is necessary and you should get a feel that things are parting internally. Use the level of force that would be necessary to pop open a plastic lunch box lid.
The rear moulding should now be free and can be worked away from the unit. When the rear panel is replaced, it will almost re-seat itself like a magnet when it is pushed towards the front part. It will just engage and snap in place. Run your hand around the perimiter both very close to the apex and also a few inches away from it to ensure the rear panel fully engages again.
Now disconnect all the cables running between the plinth and the main screen unit. The cables are the standard ATX power supply connector and supplimentary power connectors and the hard drive ribbon cable (which is located at the rear of the plinth).
Remove the 4 hard drive screws and carefully slide the hard upward and out of the plinth (being very careful not to scrape the hard drive circuit board against anything)
Remove the 4 screws on the side of the PSU with the mains socket and slide the PSU out.
Now we have access to all the screws holding in the left-hand-side shielding.
First remove the black plastic bottom covers that suround the peripheral ports (usb ports, etc). These covers pull downwards. They are held in place by standoffs that don't need much force at all to remove. The perforated shielding will come off too. Make sure that any shielded fabric tape is peeled back so that it is not holding parts down.
Remove all the screws holding the left-hand-side shielding. Some cables also need to be removed to allow the shielding to become free.
The CMOS battery should now be evident at the top of the circuit board.
Reverse the process after fitting your new battery. The correct battery is a CR2032.
I only had 1 screw left over after reasembling the unit. How about you?
How to Open The Sony PCV-E31M
The Sony VGC-V3S has the model number PCV-E31M on the rear of the plinth.