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The front is called the bazel, the screws are hidden behind small round rubber cups, some are dome shape and others are flat, carefully remove them with a fine flat head screwdriver in the order that they are removed. Some laptops may have screws on the side, remember to put one finger under so the screen does not get scratched.
Hi there. Remove the laptop battery and the AC power supply, open the lid as far back as you can take it. Get a small flat headed screwdriver, now, you have to take off the keyboard bezel, this is the strip of plastic above the keyboard with the power button on it, the best way to remove it is to start by the on/off button by gently prying the bezel up from the lid hinge, once you have one side out gently pull it up using your fingers, it will unclip and lift away. Next you have to remove 2 screws from the top of the keyboard, these should be visible to you, once the screws are out carefully lift the keyboard up, you will see a ribbon cable that is connected to the motherboard, gently pull the tab up on the connector that the ribbon cable sits in and it should release it and you can now remove the keyboard and replace it. To re-assemble just follow my direction in reverse. Please post back with the results and for any additional advice if needed.
The screen is impossible to repair if its cracked. Getting a new LCD isn't that expensive but only if you know how to replace it. Getting one from manufacturer is around 130. but there is an ebay link on the bottom you can get one for 70 or so with shipping.
This link shows you how to replace a LCD screen. even tho its not your model but is very close to how yours look.
I believe that the 4020 and 3620 have the same chassis. See if this helps
To the left of the battery there is an I/O cover with 2 screws, then the heat sink cover has 2 screws. There you should see the Thermal Unit (fan). It has 4 screws. Take those out and lift the unit out.
Let me know , curious to see if they are indeed the same chassis. If I could be of further assistance, let me know. If this helps or solves the issue, please rate it. Thanks, Joe
Yes PXE indicates it is trying to boot off of a network LAN and does not see a harddrive.
Yes you can replace the HDD.
Your research is correct, your HDD is most likely dead in the water.
for the Aspire 3500 series, assuming same design for most older acer's.
Step 1: remove power cord, and battery Step 2: flip computer upside down Step 3: find the hard drive bay, there might be a cylinder like icon near it, and it will be close to the front of the system. Step 4: remove the screws, likely 2 screws. Step 5: on removing the plastic lid you will see a metallic box, with a plastic strip on top of it. Step 6: on the side that has extra space there will be 1 or 2 screws, undo these Step 7: pull the plastic strip toward the side of the computer that has space open and the whole caddy should pop out. Step 8: take the 4 screws out of the side of the caddy and the hard drive will just slid out. Step 9: just put new one in the same way the old one was. and reverse the steps and put your recovery disk in to install your OS.
Pull the old one out to make sure, but it is probably a 2.5" SATA HDD, and any capacity will do according to your budget.
My instructions may not be exact, but use common sense, you can do it!!