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Minor Versionm

by Sandy Qualey-Dobson


How exciting, you got your hands on a Framework Laptop 16 DIY Edition! This guide will walk you through each step from unboxing to powering on your laptop so you can start using it right away. As with all of our guides, make sure you read the directions in each step and view each image first.

Please note this guide is for the Framework Laptop 16 only. If you are setting up a Framework Laptop 13, please refer to the appropriate guide here.

After finishing the Quick Start Guide, if you’re installing Windows, check out our Windows 11 Installation Guide and don’t forget to install the Framework Laptop Driver Bundle. You can also check out our Linux compatibility page for the distros that work great on the Framework Laptop.

If you have questions or run into any issues, check out the Support pages.

  1. In the box you will find your Framework Laptop 16 with the Expansion Bay Module you chose preinstalled.
    • In the box you will find your Framework Laptop 16 with the Expansion Bay Module you chose preinstalled.

    • If you selected both when configuring your Laptop, the Graphics Module will come preinstalled and the Expansion Bay will be included separately.

    • Depending on how your order was configured, you will also find the following:

    • Bezel

    • Keyboard Module and Input Modules. At least 2 Spacers, 2 LED Matrix, a Numpad, or RGB Macropad (or any combination of these)

    • Power Adapter

    • Primary Storage, Secondary Storage, Memory, and Expansion Cards

    • Framework Screwdriver, Legal documentation, and pre-order stickers/patches.

    • After unboxing it, assemble the Power Adapter. Connect the AC cable and the USB-C cable to the Power Adapter body.

    • You can plug the USB-C cable in from either end of the cable. Choose whether you want the right angle connector plugged into the adapter or into your laptop.

    • Remove the clear plastic tray covering the Input Deck and open both of the Input Deck Latches.

    • The plastic tray is made of post-consumer-recycled PET and is highly recyclable.

    • To remove the Touchpad Spacers, slide them down to release them, and then lift them out.

    • Warning: If there is resistance, make sure that the latches are open (see previous step).

    • Just like the Spacers, the Touchpad Module slides down slightly and lifts straight out.

    • Note that both latches need to be unlatched for the Touchpad Module to slide out.

    • This cable is labeled with the Number 1 to indicate that it should be disconnected before loosening the Mid Plate Fasteners.

    • It is important to disconnect this cable before removing the Mid Plate as leaving it attached could damage the cable.

    • Using the T5 bit in the Framework Screwdriver unscrew the 16 captive fasteners attaching the Mid Plate to the Bottom Cover. These are numbered from 2-17 (since the Mid Plate Cable is number 1)

    • These fasteners are captive, meaning they will remain attached to the Mid Plate when fully loosened.

    • Do not use powered tools for this step, as this risks damage to the fasteners. As with all fasteners in the Framework Laptop 16, these can be easily loosened using the included Framework Screwdriver.

    • Carefully lift the Mid Plate away from the Bottom Cover and set it aside.

    • If the Mid Plate seems stuck, check that the fasteners are all loosened, as there should be little resistance.

    • First remove the fastener for the Secondary SSD.

    • Unlike the Primary SSD, this slot is not angled. Place the SSD in flat against the slot as shown in the video, then carefully push it into the slot.

    • Make sure the notch on your M.2 2230 SSD is lined up to the notch on the SSD Slot.

    • Once securely inserted, insert and tighten the fastener.

    • Using the T5 bit in the Framework Screwdriver, unscrew the fastener that is used to secure the Primary SSD.

    • Align the notch on the Storage module with the notch on the socket and slide the module into the Mainboard.

    • Once properly inserted the module will rise up at a 20-degree angle.

    • Using one finger gently hold the Storage module down to the Mainboard and use your other hand to screw in the fastener using the T5 bit in the Framework Screwdriver.

    • Please make sure you are using DDR5 Memory as DDR4 Memory is not compatible with this Mainboard.

    • Insert each Memory module into the Mainboard by first aligning the notch on the Memory module with the notch on the socket and then sliding it in.

    • Note that for Channel 1 the Memory stick will need to be inserted "upside down" compared to Channel 0.

    • Make sure that the memory is fully inserted before proceeding.

    • Once the module is fully inserted, it will rise up at a 20-degree angle. Gently press the module down towards the Mainboard until the clips located at the top and bottom of the receptacle snap into place.

    • The first boot after installing a new Memory module will take longer than normal, as the system prepares itself for the new module.

    • Place the Mid Plate onto the system, aligning the holes in the Mid Plate with the two guide posts.

    • Using the pull tab, gently press the Mid Plate connector down to connect it to the Mainboard.

    • Using the T5 bit in the Framework Screwdriver tighten the Mid Plate fasteners.

    • These fasteners are labelled 2-17 (since the Mid Plate cable is number 1) and should be tightened in order, starting with 2 and ending with 17.

    • Do not overtighten these fasteners, and we recommend against the use of powered tools for these or any other fasteners on the Framework Laptop 16.

    • Please see our guide here on possible Input Module configurations.

    • Holding from the pull tabs at the bottom of the Keyboard module, line it up with the dashed guide lines printed on the Mid Plate. Note that you can align a Keyboard so that it is either along the left edge, the right edge, or centered. With the Keyboard held at a 20 degree angle, slide it up into place.

    • The notches along the top of the Keyboard will fit into the corresponding alignment guides under the Ventilation Plate.

    • Lower the Keyboard gently into place, it should snap in place magnetically and sit flat.

    • Ensure that the pins in the Mid Plate to the left and right of the Input Module Connector align into the corresponding holes in the Keyboard module.

    • Next install, two Spacer Modules, an LED Matrix, a Numpad, an RGB Macropad, or whichever other combination of two Small or one Medium sized Input Module you have.

    • Slide these in at an angle and lower into place, the same way the Keyboard was installed.

    • Whichever Input modules you chose to install, you should have no empty spaces in the top row before proceeding to the next step.

    • Place the Touchpad Module flat, slightly below the Keyboard as shown.

    • Like the Keyboard, you can confirm it is properly aligned by lining it up to the dashed lines on the Mid Plate.

    • Applying gentle downward pressure to keep the Touchpad module flat, slide it up into place.

    • Remember that the Input Deck Latches should still be open at this point, otherwise the Touchpad Module won't slide on.

    • The Touchpad Module can be installed either directly below the Keyboard or offset by one space to the right. For example, the Keyboard can have the Touchpad below it, or the Keyboard can be left-aligned while the Touchpad is centered.

    • Just like installing the Touchpad module, place the Touchpad Spacers flat on the Input Deck, slightly below the Keyboard or Spacers above.

    • Applying gentle pressure, slide the Touch Module Spacers into place.

    • With the Touchpad Module Spacers installed there should now be no empty spaces on the Input Deck.

    • Once all Input Modules are installed, close both Input Deck Latches to secure them in place.

    • Open the Framework Laptop 16 lid to more than 90 degrees to attach the Bezel.

    • Align the corners of the Bezel to the display and place it down. The Bezel is attached by magnets and should easily click into place.

    • Make sure that all of the corners and edges of the Bezel are fully flat to the Top Cover. If the corners are not aligned. carefully lift up the part of the Bezel and guide it into place.

    • If installing a new Bezel, remove the protective film covering the Webcam and sensor.

    • Before inserting Expansion Cards, make sure that the Expansion Card Latches are open, these will appear red/orange when open and light grey when closed.

    • Install the Expansion Cards as shown and once all are in place, close the Expansion Card Latches.

    • Note that some Expansion Cards only function in certain slots, so please make sure to reference this article when choosing which slots to use.

    • Before powering on, you will need to plug the power adapter into one of the USB-C Expansion Cards.

    • Note that the front two Expansion Card ports do not support power input. If in doubt check this guide to see which ports to use.

    • Power on the laptop by pressing the power button, and get ready to start using your Framework Laptop!

    • The first boot may take a bit longer (10-30 seconds) while the system recalibrates the installed memory.

  2. If installing Windows 11 we recommend referring to this guide, which provides steps for an offline installation.
    • If installing Windows 11 we recommend referring to this guide, which provides steps for an offline installation.

    • If installing Fedora, refer to this installation guide for Fedora 39.

    • If installing Ubuntu, refer to this installation guide for Ubuntu 22.04 LTS.

    • Once you have installed an Operating System, you should make sure to install the latest Driver Bundle and BIOS updates from here.

Finish Line

25 other people completed this guide.

Sandy Qualey-Dobson

Member since: 07/19/2022

54 Guides authored


Framework Member of Framework

7 Members

81 Guides authored

One Comment

This guide says "Suggest a time" -- not including the OS in Step 24, this guide took me 50 minutes to build my Framework 16 (coming from basically zero knowledge).

Paul Stephenson - Reply

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