Mon Feb 26th 2007 22:26:22: Dismantling a Sony NW-A1000 MP3 Player

I seem to have developed a reputation for fixing MP3 players, and the latest one I've had to play with is a Sony NW-A1000. The first challenge was getting it apart, as I couldn't find a nice handy guide on the web. Therefore here is a guide to taking a Sony NW-A1000 apart:

1. Remove the back cover. I don't actually know how to do this for sure as someone had already taken the back off (using force) before I got the player, however from the looks of it, the round silver bit on the back acts as a kind of "seal". To remove it you need to get a small screwdriver and insert it underneath the bottom of the round silver bit. Leaver the silver bit and it should lift at the bottom edge. It should then come out.

The back should now slide off easily. If this works, please send me an email or leave a comment below!

2. Undo the two screws that hold the battery in place. Using a pair of tweezers disconnect the battery. The battery can now be removed:

3. Remove the two screws that hold the hard drive cover in place. Remove the cover very carefully so as not to move the hard drive. Now CAREFULLY disconnect the connector from the hard drive. IMPORTANT - the hard drive flexi cable is only connected to the PCB by a flexi connector - if you pull on the flexi in anyway you may disconnect it from the PCB which will mean you have to dismantle the player entirely (trust me... you don't want to do that if you don't have to!). Now you should be able to take the hard drive out:

Unless you have good reason, you probably want to stop dismantling at this point. The only reason I went further is that the owner of the player managed to disconnect the hard drive flexi, leaving me with no choice!

4. The front plastic facia is attached with 4 plastic clips:

As you can see I managed to damage them slightly in the process of getting it apart, however hopefully you'll have more luck now I've put some photos up showing the clip locations ;-)

In the following photo the screw drivers point to where the clips are located on the body of the player:

5. Once the front is off, the clear plastic cover comes off easily (or it will have come off with the main front facia).

6. Now remove the EMC shield which is just a thin piece of metalised plastic. This is held in place by a bit of "stick" in the middle of each edge. Again the screw drivers point to the sticky bits:

7. Now remove the 4 small pieces of copper foil tape (located where the hands point to in the following photo) and you can remove the buttons:

8. This will reveal another 2 screws. Now remove the 4 screws:

9. With care lift the plastic bit and disconnect the 2 flexi's which connect the buttons and the screen to the main PCB

10. You are done! It doesn't really come apart any further:

See the hard drive flexi connector on the right of the PCB? The only reason I took it apart was to reconnect it!!

UPDATE 2/3/07: God you lot are demanding! OK, so I've flipped some of the photos round (flipped ones are marked with a red blob in the bottom left corner) so that the hard drive end is always on the right.

Also as I mentioned above, this player had the hard drive removed before I saw it and now we're not quite sure which way it goes back in! The way that "looks" right doesn't work (the player switches off after showing it's splash screen) and the other way gives more life, however it never boots (it shows the spinning disk forever). Therefore I'm currently trying to work out if the hdd is completely dead, or if there is some other problem. I will post another update here if/when I work out the correct way round for the Hard drive. Alternatively if you know, then please leave a comment or email me!


You should flip round some of the photos so that they are all the same way round...

Comment by Andy Allan at 16:59 on Tue 27 February 2007

I was thinking exactly the same as Andy, could otherwise be confusing.

Also to get it reading like a proper instruction manual run it through a translation website via 3 random languages and back into english, then publish it ;)

Comment by ant at 0:20 on Fri 2 March 2007

How do you disconnect the two wires attached to the battery without damaging them?

Comment by Chad17 at 11:35 on Sun 8 April 2007


With care!! I used a pair of fine tweasers to gradually lever the connector out, one side after the other.


Comment by Gary at 11:20 on Sun 15 April 2007

The flipped images need to be flipped again vertically, because right now they are mirrored. the HDD goes in HITACHI down.

The back cover seems to be stuck on? hard to get off :(

Comment by Vkotek at 11:38 on Sat 30 June 2007

I just dismantled a couple of A1200s (to make one working one from one with a broken screen and one with a broken HDD). Identical to the A1000 but with a seagate 8GB drive which is mounted upside down with the front of the drive at the front of the device.

Firstly, when removing the 'round silver bit' be careful - it is plastic not metal and therefore easy to damage. I found it best to gently depress one side (with something that will not scratch plastic) so I could get a screwdiver under the other side and prise off gently. The back cover then slides downwards and comes off.

I can also tell you that the bottom front cover clips are wedged by transparent plastic blocks which makes them very difficult to remove without breaking. I had to snap one of my clips and was not brave enough to remove the front of the one I was keeping, shame as I was going to make a black one with coloured buttons.

This is a bit worrying as I have an A1000 with a screen that is almost entirely obscured by internal dust.

The battery is quite tricky - I used my fingers to firmly hold the wires as close to the connector as I could and gently wiggled it whilst gently pulling until it came out. Scary, but it worked well.

Comment by Mane at 18:06 on Wed 11 July 2007

Meant to say;

Thanks for the guide - I would have dismantled these anyway, but step one is not obvious so may have had to use the brute force removal method.

Good work!

Comment by Mane at 18:09 on Wed 11 July 2007

do you have to remove to back to get the front off?

or is there an easier way to get dust out?

Comment by nick at 14:58 on Mon 4 February 2008

Yes - you have to take the back off to get at the front. Personally I would definately not try and dismantle the front for the sake of a bit of dust - the risk of damaging it is far too great for me!

Comment by Gary at 15:01 on Mon 4 February 2008

Just few minutes ago dismantled my nwa1000 because it had some nasty liquid marks behind the front screen and I wanted to clean it. Some liquid had gone inside the player from the buttons area and it was really ugly. But I did dismantled and reassembled it without any damaging nor problems.

I can also tell you that the bottom front cover clips are wedged by transparent plastic blocks which makes them very difficult to remove without breaking. I had to snap one of my clips and was not brave enough to remove the front of the one I was keeping, shame as I was going to make a black one with coloured buttons.

comment by Mane

It is easy to remove the front panel actually! You just have to be very gentle and easygoing. Hardest part was to take off these transparent plastic blocks which wedged the front panel's bottom clips.

anyways I succeeded dismantling my player without any signs of damage and it's totally clean now without any dust and dirt. I am glad!!! Thanks for tutorial!!

Comment by Crimson's at 10:10 on Wed 6 February 2008

I recently broke my mp3 by accident at a friends party.the volume controller was missing for a while so I just used toothpicks or hair clips 2 change the volume...I'm sure other people do it too. But while doing so on sunday....i heard something click inside and fall apart.........I KILLED MY MP3 PLAYER!

It's the same sony one...When you shake the mp3, you can hear something is inside it.So i have got a friend to try and save it and he has been following this log. Looking through the pictures, my heart is sinking. The mp3 shut off and it doesn't even turn on. I dont know if it can be fixed. What shops would fix it?any ideas?HELP! :-S

Comment by tina at 21:26 on Mon 10 March 2008

the screen for my nwa1000 has gone really blurry and I can hardly see any of the words,i bought a battery hoping this would solve the problem but it hasnt! is there a bulb i have to change or is it on its way to dying?any ideas would be appreciated! thanks.

Comment by Ashley at 23:31 on Thu 27 March 2008

I hate dust so much ><

Comment by Allen at 12:52 on Wed 9 April 2008

Hi is it possible to replace the hard drive with a CF card like with the ipod mini?

Comment by Joey Muchacho at 15:42 on Thu 14 August 2008

I got some water on my nwa1000 and since then it acts as if the 'down button' is jammed. ie. it just runs down to the bottom of each menu/list. The 'back' and 'option' buttons don't seem to work either. Do you know what I can do? Any ideas would be much appreciated.

Comment by jimmy at 0:03 on Thu 18 September 2008

Great Help. thanks for the tips.

Comment by Anil at 0:30 on Tue 7 October 2008


I've got a nw-a3000 which is stuck at the spinning disc stage when I turn it on.

Is it possible to initialize the machine without going through the menu screen (it never gets that far)?

Do you think its the hard drive that needs replacing, if so any idea where to get one from?


Comment by kevin at 14:22 on Wed 5 November 2008

hi there, please help me, okae i accidently disconnected the hard drive flexi before i even read this page.. please help me, tell me how to reconnet it!!

Comment by Michelle at 20:10 on Sun 22 February 2009

Hi Michelle,

The instructions you need are above surely??


Comment by Gary at 22:02 on Sun 22 February 2009

Thank you very much for the Info...Just to say I bought a new battery from Ebay and it came with a plastic tool to lever the circle part off to start..No scratches made

and the battery connector came out by pulling gently on the wires with a small screwdriver helping too..

Cheers ... Graham...

Comment by Graham at 21:04 on Sun 8 March 2009

Hi there,

I just got an A1000 but without the cable, which renders this thing really useless.

Has anyone ever checked the pinout for this adapter?

any help or hint would be so much appreciated!

thanks for anything!



Comment by vHt at 14:47 on Sat 21 March 2009

I can't see any reason why one couldn't replace the hard drive with a CompactFlash card to increase the capacity of their unit, unless there's a firmware limitation that just can't be worked around without being an elite hacker or having the source code on hand! I have the A3000 myself but I've bought two more through eBay because I no longer use my MZ-NH1 and RH1 units for field recordings and as far as players go, a dedicated player like the A3000 is almost perfect for me when travelling overseas. I say almost perfect though because I think I'll end up needing to use a 32GB CompactFlash card. As soon as I receive the two units I've recently purchased, I plan to plug in a 2GB Sandisk Extreme III card I have spare and see how the unit operates with that. If it's successful, I might bite the bullet and get a 32GB card to see how it performs.

If it works, not only will I have an extra 12GB to use but theoretically, the speed increase should be quite significant.

Comment by Tony Antoniou at 19:14 on Thu 16 April 2009

Well you can put a cf in it, the player will recognize it, after init from player menu it'll work but.. forget about connecting it to the pc. (tried with 2gb kingston cf), even hotswapping won't work.

I don;t have a cf reader, maybe backuping the old partition (from mocrodrive) and putting it into a player-formatted cf would work.

But, searching more info, i fund this:

LifeDrive users had the same problem, so it looks like, buying a 8gb sandisk cf(i think there are no 6gb models), reformatting it to much microdrive formats and putting it in shoul do the trick.

Anyone willing to try? ;D Maybe 8gb will work, assuming it's like nw a-1200..

Comment by 6thsurvivor _at_ at 17:13 on Sat 2 May 2009

does any one no how to get all my songs of my hard drive on my nw a3000 player as i havent got a back up made

Comment by Rob k at 20:59 on Mon 27 July 2009

I have a broken nw-a3000 - i think the screen is cracked but cannot tell without completely stripping it down. I have about 17gb of music loaded onto it. I have just bought a second hand nw-a3000 off ebay and was wondering about transferring the music off the hard drive onto the new one. I dont keep my library on my laptop as it is too large and hence I cannot simply upload the newer nw-a3000.

Can the hard drive be transferred between units?

Any help appreicated.


Comment by Mark at 12:53 on Mon 19 October 2009

thanks gary!! my nw-a1000 battery is dead after using it for four years driving to work every day. i want to kill the battery and then recharge it. i've done this with mobile phone batteries and it works, but you have to access the battery itself, as the phone or player has anti-short circuit stuff to protect it. with your help i can do this.

Comment by mike at 20:48 on Fri 26 February 2010


i've dismantled my SONY NW-A1000 and put it back together.

but i still can't turn it on.

any good advice?

Comment by lynn at 15:29 on Sun 28 February 2010

thanks dude! Very useful!

Comment by Mike at 17:49 on Thu 22 July 2010

brilliant & thanks

Comment by ash uppal at 13:14 on Sun 7 November 2010

hey dude thnx, gr8 help i just oped up my mp3 coz the right side clamps of the EMC shield broke so i opened it just till the second plastic cover, cleaned it up and removed some super glue which i had used earlier to stick it together now im just wondering how to put it back together. and ya i broke all the clamps so thats a problem plz help me out...

Comment by Soahil at 13:30 on Sun 7 November 2010

Brilliant walk-thru - thanks.

My A1000 is usable but it seems the diodes on the motherboard that illuminate the screen have stopped working. You can just make out what is happening if the unit is viewed in near darkness (the buttons light up just fine). Not sure what to do next. Any ideas?

Comment by Mark C at 8:59 on Thu 10 March 2011

Nice tip, have just got a nw-a3000 from online auction site, hdd appears to have been remove and battery housing screws missing any idea where to get spairs and how to repair


Comment by Hogwart Hamster at 18:32 on Fri 2 September 2011

Hola, muchas gracias por las imágenes, muy didacticas. Yo solo quiero cambiar la bateria, que me aconsejas.

Comment by Juan at 15:12 on Fri 30 December 2011

Thanks for the guide. Had a problem mine wouldent charge. when pluged in got message "low battery please charge" with batery sign and turned its self straight back off. took it apart could see some corrosion on the contacts of the flexi to the keypad, took photos with macro to enlarge solders see if there was a problem. reassembled and same problem.

SOLUTION. I accidentally knocked the cable and it fell off the desk onto the laminate floor. WORKS FINE NOW.

The expression "If in doubt give it a clout" really works for this :-)

Comment by foxy at 21:53 on Tue 21 February 2012

Great guide. I have 2 players, one with a duff HDD but otherwise fine, and one that is fine except it has lost the volume slider.

I wanted to get the volume slider off the bad one and put it in the good one, so I've taken the bad one apart and got the slider out, but now I'm stuck at the stage of getting the flexis from stage 9 back in, particularly the big one. Can anyone give me any advice on how to do this?

Comment by Alistair at 0:34 on Sun 9 December 2012

whats the battery spec as regards the NW A1000? s'pose most of these are redundant with todays phones, but I like this oldie piece of kit. Anyone got a link to a seller of these batteries? My own wont hold a charge for long but the charging light goes out after an hour.

Comment by Stu at 15:06 on Tue 14 May 2013

I was able to take out the battery thank you, where would you find a battery like this ?

Comment by Lacie at 3:26 on Wed 10 September 2014

Battery replacement instructions were perfect, many thanks! No damage and working normally. Got battery via Amazon for just £6.44 delivered from Sheeyan International Ltd in 3 days.

Comment by Andrew at 20:43 on Wed 14 January 2015

Thank you very much! I got alot of dust in it, and i removed pieces untill the front cover came off. Cleaned it from all the dust and put it back together! I was done within 30mins! ps. the battery cable comes really easily off if you just yank it on the cables, with caution ofcourse ;)

Comment by Harry at 17:59 on Wed 29 April 2015

Brilliant! Thank you so much, I had read on another forum to remove/disconnect the battery for 30 seconds to rectify Error No. 032 which came up when I plugged it into my Mac - not sure I want to try that again! Anyway even a girl can do this with your diagrams, two pairs of glasses and the little screw driver I nicked from a BT engineer over 30 years ago. Thanks again.

Comment by Haze at 14:21 on Mon 29 August 2016

never mind flipping pics, basic principal is all anyone should need. just whipped 2 apart to build one good one. excellent info here. cheers for help

Comment by harry at 16:57 on Sun 23 June 2019

After so many years, still no solution on how to repair the display being very dim? I've been searching everywhere but no solution found at all :(

Comment by aims at 12:46 on Tue 15 March 2022

@aims, looking all over the internet to find how to fix the screen. If anyone ever finds, please write me at my username in twitter

Comment by spacem3n at 21:03 on Tue 15 March 2022

I was able to replace the HDD with an SD to CF Compact Flash Adapter with a 32GB MicroSD. But there are some problems. This only works with the player. For this to work, I formatted the microSD inside the player, then removed the microSD, returned the HDD, moved the files from the player to the MicroSD by simple copying. Now, when you connect the player to your computer, you will not be able to copy files, an error occurs in the device manager. To download music, you need to return the old HDD and copy the library to the MicroSD manually. Such problems could be avoided if SonicStage would work with the library on any storage device, not just the player.

PS. together with MicroSD the player works as slowly as with HDD!!!! Only 6 GB out of 32 GB is available. I will look for a way to expand the available memory

Comment by Nikolay at 13:34 on Thu 10 November 2022

I seem to be able to do this, I used a MicroSDXC Type 1 UDMA Exttreme CF Adapter.

1) Formatted MicroSD to FAT32 sector 32kb

2) Copied music to MicroSD using JSymphonic 0.3.0(Thanks to Wikipedia for the Sonic Stage alternatives)

3) Inserted MicroSD into Type 1 UDMA Exttreme CF Adapter

4) Connected to the player, connected the battery.

5) Turn on the player. If it tries to turn on, then it turns off. Remove the SD card, turn on the player with the adapter connected without a card. The player will report that the library is corrupted. Turn off the player using the menu. Insert the SD card without disconnecting the battery.

6) Turn on the player and started using 32gb library.

Comment by Nikolay at 17:01 on Thu 10 November 2022

found the service manual ..

i have a a3000 will have to try updating to CF at some point.

Comment by roger at 7:58 on Tue 3 January 2023

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