:-O This is all a dream! It is nearly the same dream like in the FAQ, so you see: this is not real! I have never opened up my Aero, a fairy godmother has changed my hard disk to 1,4GB. All you can read here is nonsense. If you do what is written here, you will damage your Aero. You will kill your notebook although I have told you not to do those things! </disclaimer>
So let's start: :-)
What you can find out for us when you open your Aero:
sorry, I do not know anything to find out at the moment.
What you can do for your Aero when you have it open
When the screen cover is not on the screen, this is a good moment for cleaning it. You will so have good access even to its edges.
How to open the Aero:
If you want to sell your hard disk after updating to a new one, do not forget to format the old one (FORMAT C: /U) - you do not want someone else to read all of your letters etc., do you?
Remove the battery and unplug everything from the Aero.
Take off the two tabs from the screws of the screen with the neadle
Unscreew the two screews from the screen, take off the screen cover then.
Remove the four screews from the bottom of the Aero and the the LOWER screew at the back on the right hand side.
Now remove the cover from the keyboard. Start at the front in the left hand corner. There is a clip that can be easily accessed through the battery compatment. All of the clips work the same, so use this one for seeing how it works. The most problematic one is the clip on the right hand side between the trackball-buttons and the screen. You will have to use the credit card to pull the lower part of the cover and push against the upper part of the cover - this clip was no problem if you had 4 hands...
if you do not manage to open the cover then put the Aero away and do something different. Do not force the clips to break. You have lots of time to do this all. Try again later.
Now remove the keyboard. There is one screw at the front and three smaller ones at the back of the keyboard. Flip over the keyboard to the battery compartment, there are two cables pluged to the motherboard.
The connectors are zero-force ones, look at the diagrams to see how you can open them. Then you can put the keyboard aside, too.
To get better access to the Aero you can unplug the screen cable, unscrew the upper screew holding the screen and put the screen aside. I think this part is not neccessary if you only want to change the hard disk.
Like the person in the FAQ I was not able to unplug the cable of the trackball assembly, so I suggest to unscreew it (two screews). Then it can easily be put aside while it is still plugged in. But again: be careful.
The hard disk can be disconnected by pulling it away from the motherboard to the right side. Be careful not to damage the motherboard.
Take the drive out of the cover, remove it from its carrier (3 screews).
Only if you want to go further than changing the hard disk:
Remove the screws (6) from the ports at the back of the Aero
The power assembly with the purple button can be detached by removing one screw.
There are three screews holding the motherboard, remove them and the two small screews holding the PCMCIA slot assembly.
Now you can take the motherboard out of the case
and there you are: at the other side of the moon.
Attach the new drive to the carrier and do everything from above all the same way back.
I suggest not to attach the cover before you have tested your Aero. Make sure you have not forgotten anything (all cables connected? all screews at their place?).
I tested my Aero with the battery inserted.
But I think it is much better to use the AC-adaptor for
testing (at short circuit the battery will generate a current
of some amperes, the AC-adaptor will switch off (I hope so)
or at least only generate 2A)
If all works fine (the BIOS should complain that the hard disk is changed), the cover can be attached and the two tabs from the screen (I did not even need glue for them).
Boot from Compaq's setup disk, allow the changes to be saved.
I don't know why, but the BIOS always steels two cylinders from the original values...
Let the diagnostics partition be built.
Now install DOS or whatever you want. Do not forget to make partitions, if you do not want to waste disk space.