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Minor Versionm

by Nirav Patel

Introduction

How exciting, you finally got your hands on the Framework Laptop 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.

After finishing the Quick Start Guide, if you’re installing Windows 10, check out our guide for that and don’t forget to install the Framework Laptop Driver Bundle.

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

Tools

Parts

No parts specified.

  1. Unbox your Framework Laptop.  Don't power it on just yet, since you'll need to install some modules first.
    • Unbox your Framework Laptop. Don't power it on just yet, since you'll need to install some modules first.

  2. Locate the Framework Screwdriver in the package underneath the Framework Laptop and keep it handy - it's the only tool you'll need to assemble the Framework Laptop DIY Edition.
    • Locate the Framework Screwdriver in the package underneath the Framework Laptop and keep it handy - it's the only tool you'll need to assemble the Framework Laptop DIY Edition.

  3. Depending on how you customized the configuration, your package may include a combination of memory, storage, a WiFi card, and a mix of Expansion Cards. You can find all of your modules in the accessory box or bag in your shipment.
    • Depending on how you customized the configuration, your package may include a combination of memory, storage, a WiFi card, and a mix of Expansion Cards. You can find all of your modules in the accessory box or bag in your shipment.

    • Unpack all of these modules so that you are ready for your install!

  4. Using the T5 bit in the Framework Screwdriver, unscrew the 5 fasteners on the Bottom Cover.  These fasteners will remain attached in the Bottom Cover so that you do not lose them. The fastener on the bottom left (circled in orange) will not unscrew as far as the others, as it is acting as a lifter for the cover.  You'll hear it start clicking as you rotate when it is unscrewed far enough. Turn the Framework Laptop over and open it to 120 degrees
    • Using the T5 bit in the Framework Screwdriver, unscrew the 5 fasteners on the Bottom Cover. These fasteners will remain attached in the Bottom Cover so that you do not lose them.

    • The fastener on the bottom left (circled in orange) will not unscrew as far as the others, as it is acting as a lifter for the cover. You'll hear it start clicking as you rotate when it is unscrewed far enough.

    • Turn the Framework Laptop over and open it to 120 degrees

    • Important: Do not pull the Input Cover fast or with too much force as it is still attached to the Mainboard via the Touchpad Cable.

    • You don't need to disconnect this cable to do most repairs. You can just flip the Input Cover over. If you do want to disconnect it though, make sure to disconnect the Mainboard side using the finger loop over the orange label, while keeping the Touchpad side connected.

    • The bottom right corner of the Input Cover lifts up when the five fasteners are properly unscrewed from the previous step. You should not have to use any excessive force to remove the Input Cover.

    • Carefully lift the cover up from the bottom right corner. If you need to, you can use the spudger end of the Framework Screwdriver to lift it as well. Lift the Input Cover off the Mainboard and flip it over (keyboard side down) and place it about halfway on the Bottom Cover.

    • You should keep the Battery connector plugged in unless you need to replace the Battery, Mainboard, or Speakers. This connector is easy to accidentally damage, so it's better to not handle it.

    Note: the battery might be disconnected for transport. The first step should probably be to plug in the battery into the laptop. See Battery Replacement Guide

    Kelly Fennig - Reply

    Hi Kelly, we ship with the battery connected, but in a safe “shipping mode”. Plugging in a power cable near the end of this guide takes the battery out of shipping mode.

    Nirav Patel -

    My DIY i5 was shipped with the battery physically disconnected. Wasn’t easy to find the solution since the status light lit up and the power button lit up briefly, but it wouldn’t boot.

    Richard - Reply

    That’s because you have to use AC power for the first boot.

    Amirhosain Noorzadeh -

  5. Get ready to install the Storage module by removing the fastener for it from the Mainboard using the T5 bit in your Framework Screwdriver. Align the notch on the Storage module with the notch on the socket and slide the module into the Mainboard 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.
    • Get ready to install the Storage module by removing the fastener for it from the Mainboard using the T5 bit in your Framework Screwdriver.

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

    • Be sure to not over-tighten the fastener.

    Clarifying for those like myself that have never installed storage before.

    You do slide the storage in at a 20 degree angle, but the storage *stays* at that angle when fully inserted. I assumed it become parallel when inserted, but it only becomes flat in step three as you press it down with your finger.

    This video (at timestamp) cleared things up. https://youtu.be/eBO8r2CgnxQ?t=106

    Michael Ward - Reply

  6. Insert the Memory module into the Mainboard by aligning the notch on the Memory module with the notch on the socket. Once the module is fully inserted, it will rise up at a 20-degree angle. Gently press it down towards the Mainboard until the clips located at the top and bottom of the receptacle snap into place (see the red arrows in the second image).
    • Insert the Memory module into the Mainboard by aligning the notch on the Memory module with the notch on the socket.

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

    • If you are using one Memory module, place it in the right socket that is labelled “Channel 0."

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

    second image, not the third image. (there are only two images.)

    Jim Garrison - Reply

    Note: If you are using two Memory modules, place one

    upside down in the left socket, labelled “Channel 1,” so that the notch

    on it aligns with the notch on the socket.

    Steve Kleiman - Reply

  7. Unscrew the fastener using the T5 bit in your Framework Screwdriver, and remove and save the silver-colored WiFi Bracket that is holding down the cables. Remove the clear plastic covers from the antenna cables, and carefully connect the black and white WiFi antenna cables into their respective sockets on the module.  Make sure to align them well before applying force to click them into place, as the connectors are small and fragile. If you need a video overview on this, check this out.
    • Unscrew the fastener using the T5 bit in your Framework Screwdriver, and remove and save the silver-colored WiFi Bracket that is holding down the cables.

    • Remove the clear plastic covers from the antenna cables, and carefully connect the black and white WiFi antenna cables into their respective sockets on the module. Make sure to align them well before applying force to click them into place, as the connectors are small and fragile.

    • If you need a video overview on this, check this out.

    • Once both the black and white WiFi Antenna cables are connected to the module, make sure they are rotated downwards as indicated in the second picture with the blue arrows.

    • While keeping a finger on top of the antennas to hold them in place, insert the WiFi module into the socket on the Mainboard.

    The video is pretty essential. Otherwise I would not have known what to do with the bracket and screw.

    Jim Garrison - Reply

    Good luck, unable to get one ant wire to stay clipped on long enough to get installed and do not think it would stay on later, anyway. May have to use glue to keep it in place.

    Ed Quartemont - Reply

    Hi Ed, just clarifying, the WiFi Bracket that is placed on top of the card and antennas will keep the antennas securely attached.

    Nirav Patel -

    WiFi module did not have the cable guide shown in the second image near the index finger. However, it does not appear to be required.

    Robert Chatters - Reply

    Is there a way to repair or replace one of the connectors if they come loose from the wire? They look like microscopic co-ax, so I’m thinking that’s probably a “no” on repair.

    Mark - Reply

    I was connecting the cables without removing the plastic covers wrongly, and maybe I broke the white cable. Perhaps the instruction video from the beginning of removing the plastic covers are useful.

    Jun Aruga - Reply

    Took me about 40 minutes to install just the wi-fi module. Don’t feel bad and don’t give up if you’re the same.

    Cameron Salomone - Reply

  8. Once the module is properly inserted into the Mainboard, carefully route both the black and white WiFi Antenna cables into the black rubber holders as indicated in the first image. Route both of the cables through the channel located near the top right of the WiFi module as well. It's ok for the metal parts of the antenna cables to touch each other and touch the WiFi Bracket.  These are all part of a common ground path. The antenna cables should not touch the Speaker located below.  Use the spudger end of the Framework Screwdriver to carefully push the white cable away from the Speaker if it is touching it.
    • Once the module is properly inserted into the Mainboard, carefully route both the black and white WiFi Antenna cables into the black rubber holders as indicated in the first image. Route both of the cables through the channel located near the top right of the WiFi module as well.

    • It's ok for the metal parts of the antenna cables to touch each other and touch the WiFi Bracket. These are all part of a common ground path.

    • The antenna cables should not touch the Speaker located below. Use the spudger end of the Framework Screwdriver to carefully push the white cable away from the Speaker if it is touching it.

    • Place the WiFi Bracket over the WiFi module, matching the orientation that is shown in the image, and place the fastener in the hole. Using the T5 bit in the Framework Screwdriver, screw the fastener into place.

    • Be sure to not over-tighten the fastener.

    • Don't forget to install the Framework Laptop Driver Bundle at the end if you're using Windows! WiFi may not work until you do that.

    The cables were slightly too long to make this easy. I found the use of non-metal tipped tweezers made it significantly easier.

    ben@lee-cohen.com - Reply

    Note: The connectors have two parts, a loop and a solid

    part; make sure that the loop is positioned below the solid part.

    Steve Kleiman - Reply

  9. Before closing up the laptop, make sure that the Touchpad end of the Touchpad Cable is fully seated in the receptacle on the underside of the Touchpad. If your Framework Laptop came with an envelope with instructions around adding tape to the Touchpad Cable, you can follow the Touchpad Cable Fix Guide now to add the tape to keep the cable in place.
    • Before closing up the laptop, make sure that the Touchpad end of the Touchpad Cable is fully seated in the receptacle on the underside of the Touchpad.

    • If your Framework Laptop came with an envelope with instructions around adding tape to the Touchpad Cable, you can follow the Touchpad Cable Fix Guide now to add the tape to keep the cable in place.

    • If your Touchpad Cable already has double sided tape holding it in place on the Touchpad, you're all set!

    • The cable should be inserted far enough that the white line almost touches the receptacle.

    • If it is not inserted far enough, you'll need to flip up the black latch on the other side of the connector, slide the cable in further, and then close the black latch again.

    Note: If your Touchpad comes taped onto the frame and

    your Laptop package includes a sealed envelope containing a sticker with

    information about a Touchpad Cable Fix Kit, your Touchpad has already

    been fixed and there's no need to take further action to secure it.

    Steve Kleiman - Reply

  10. Flip the Input Cover over the Bottom Cover so that the keyboard is facing up and attach it to the Bottom Cover by aligning the top and bottom edges of both covers. The covers are magnetic and should fit into one another easily. If you feel any resistance simply lift the Input Cover up and try again.
    • Flip the Input Cover over the Bottom Cover so that the keyboard is facing up and attach it to the Bottom Cover by aligning the top and bottom edges of both covers.

    • The covers are magnetic and should fit into one another easily. If you feel any resistance simply lift the Input Cover up and try again.

  11. Close the Framework Laptop and turn it upside down to reveal the empty Expansion Card bays and fasteners on the Bottom Cover. Using the T5 bit in the Framework Screwdriver, screw all 5 fasteners back into the Bottom Cover.
    • Close the Framework Laptop and turn it upside down to reveal the empty Expansion Card bays and fasteners on the Bottom Cover.

    • Using the T5 bit in the Framework Screwdriver, screw all 5 fasteners back into the Bottom Cover.

    • Be sure to not over-tighten the fasteners

  12. Insert the Expansion Cards of your choice into any of the empty bays. The text, logo, and QR code on the Expansion Card must be facing down (facing the laptop). Slide the Expansion card into the bay. Using two or more fingers push the card until into the bay until it clicks. You will have to use a slight amount of force to ensure proper installation of the Expansion Cards.
    • Insert the Expansion Cards of your choice into any of the empty bays.

    • The text, logo, and QR code on the Expansion Card must be facing down (facing the laptop). Slide the Expansion card into the bay. Using two or more fingers push the card until into the bay until it clicks.

    • You will have to use a slight amount of force to ensure proper installation of the Expansion Cards.

    • Plug your power cable into the USB-C Expansion Card.

    • Open the lid on your Framework Laptop and press the power button.

    • Note that your first boot will take a while before the logo comes up on screen as the system does memory training. The more memory you've installed, the longer this could take (on the order of a minute or two with 64GB!)

  13. Find the instructions for installing Windows 10 here

    I can help with the linux guide? like linux mint (What i love and its user-frienly)

    Alejandro Alzate - Reply

    Hi Alejandro, for now the best place to provide Linux guidance is in the Community subforum: https://community.frame.work/c/diy-editi...

    We’ll start to grab some of the information from there for creating new guides.

    Nirav Patel -

Conclusion
  • To purchase a Framework Laptop visit the Framework website
  • Want to learn more about the Framework Laptop? Take a look at our blog
  • If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to Framework Support

15 other people completed this guide.

Nirav Patel

Member since: 03/24/2021

750 Reputation

9 Guides authored

4 Comments

Beautiful instructions. Clear, concise and relatively unambiguous. Bravo! P.S. Tried to “give the author 30 points” but it didn’t accept my frame.work credentials.

Craig Olofson - Reply

Never messed with any laptop internals before, but that was wonderfully simple and fun! Powering up now! (so excited!)

The only thing I found ambiguous is the touch pad check - in assuming the white line is that box thing it's supposed to be over? And I'm not sure what the black latch is - since mine looks like it's properly installed I didn't have to find out but a link to a more specific article for the TouchPad might be useful!

Shanza Nahsyt - Reply

Yes, that’s true.

Amirhosain Noorzadeh -

Using slight force, connect the Touchpad Cable by aligning it to the socket on Mainboard. You should hear it click into place once properly connected.

Hope this helps!

Amirhosain Noorzadeh -

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