How To Disassemble Laptop (Dell XPS M1330)February 2nd, 2009 by James | This article was viewed 128,715 times.
Coming back to Malaysia and the anticipated Chinese New Year did not hinder me from my main quest of searching for more laptops to disassemble. Thanks to my really wonderful friends, Thomas and HQ who would let me disassemble laptops directly from his storage room. Although not new, but it’s a Dell XPS M1330 laptop, XPSes are fancy notebooks.
Alright, this “How To” guide will provide a step by step guide to Dismantle your Dell XPS M1330 Laptop.
This guide is made just to show you a step by step sequence on how to disassemble your Dell XPS M1330 Laptop for cleaning purpose. Advices taken here are taken at your own risk. AhWee.com takes no responsibility if you break any of the hardware or lose your warranty.
NOTE: Even though Dell said disassembling yourself would lose your warranty, but I have yet to see the notebooks I’ve disassembled void their warranty.
Tools You Need For Dismantling
- Philips Screwdriver
- Flat Blade Screwdriver
Before You Start
Clear your table. You’ll need an empty medium sized table to put all the laptop components when you disassemble your Dell XPS M1330. Also get a container to put all the screws so that they don’t go missing.
Also, make sure there are no power connections to your laptop. This means unplugging the power connector and removing the battery out from its bay.
How to remove battery on a Dell XPS M1330?
- Note the battery position at the back of your laptop.
- Slide the battery latch that has a “lock” sign beside it.
- Push the battery out from its compartment.
Great, no more power, now ground yourself and your Dell XPS M1330’s motherboard to avoid any electrostatic discharge. To ground yourself, simply wear a wrist grounding strap or touching an unpainted metal surface from time to time. Press the power button to ground the motherboard.
Step 1: Locate and Remove Fan
Laptop fan is the most common area where dust tends to gather. Usually clearing the air vent and the fan would solve the problem.
In this Dell XPS M1330, the fan is extremely easy to locate, unlike the previous Dell Inspiron 6400 which I disassembled before.
- Take note of the screw slot with the “M” icon. That’s where your fan and the memory are located.
- Unscrew the M2.5 x 5mm screw and 3 captive screws.
- Lift the cover up (Obviously I forgot to take out the battery first).
- You can see your RAMs and the fan connected to the heat sink.
- Loosen 5 captive screws.
- Disconnect the fan’s power cable.
- Lift it up from the laptop.
Now you’ve got your hands on the fan, clean it by using brush. Remember to clean the air vent as well so that airflow can be as resistance free as possible.
When you reassemble the heat sink, apply some thermal compound to the processor if you have some.
If cleaning the fan isn’t enough because there is too much dust in the laptop, I suggest disassembling the palm rest. If you’re eager to follow through, then continue reading.
Step 2: Remove Communication Cards
Communication cards are WLAN and WWAN cards which you have to take out in order to remove the palm rest.
- Note the captive screw with a “C” icon located at the bottom (base facing up).
- Unscrew it and lift the cover up.
- Disconnect the antenna cables from the WLAN/WWAN cards.
- Unscrew the M2 x 3mm screw.
- The card lifts up automatically so you’ll just have to pull it out.
Step 3: Remove the Harddisk
- Note the screw slots with 4 container icons located at the bottom right (base facing up) of the laptop.
- Unscrew the four M3 x 3mm screws.
- Slide the harddisk out from its bay.
Harddisks are extremely fragile components. Put it in an antistatic bag (to avoid electrostatic discharge) and make sure there are no way the harddisk would drop or hit anything.
Step 4: Remove the Hinge Cover
- Remove the two M2 x 3mm screws that was covered by the battery.
- Turn the laptop over and open the LCD screen as far as possible (don’t break it).
- Remove the hinge covers caps for both sides. They are quite loose so using your finger nails would do the trick.
- Pry the hinge cover. Hinge covers are always the hardest part to disassemble, be firm and steady when you open it. Pry the hinge cover slowly because there’s a fragile cable at the bottom of it. You’ll need to remove the keyboard in order to disconnect the cable.
- Just lay the hinge cover on top of the LCD Screen first.
Note that the hinge cover is not easy to open. The fragile cable does not help too. Take extreme cautious of the amount of strength you use to pry the hinge cover up.
Step 4: Remove the Keyboard
- Unscrew the two M2 x 2mm screws on top of the keyboard.
- Lift the keyboard up slowly and carefully so you don’t break the connector.
- Note the connector at the bottom of the keyboard.
- Pull the tab up and slide the connector out.
By now you should be able to see the hinge cover’s cable clearly. Disconnect it by pulling the 2 release tabs up and slide the connector out.
Removing the Bluetooth Device
By this time you will be able to see the Bluetooth device clearly at the left side of the laptop, if it is installed. They are around 2.5cm x 1cm long. You can see it at this picture, the little card located at the left side of the laptop. Just pull the cable out. Easy
Step 5: Remove the LCD Screen
- Unscrew the two M2.5 x 5mm screws located at the upper corner of the laptop base.
- Dislodge all the cables that are connected from the LCD screen. Lists of them are:
- WLAN/WWAN antenna cables: push them through the hole.
- Display cable: Disconnect with the pull tab.
- Camera cable: Just pull, easy.
- Unscrew the two M2.5 x 5mm screws at each side of the LCD screen’s support.
- Slowly lift the screen up and put it on a flat surface.
Step 6: Remove the Palm Rest
- Remove six M2.5 x 5mm screws at the bottom of the laptop.
- Remove 7 screws at the top of the palm rest.
- Disconnect the touch pad cable.
- Carefully separate the palm rest from the base so that you won’t break any components.
There you go, your Dell XPS M1330 laptop disassembled. Take extreme care from here onwards. Clean whatever that is necessary, don’t apply force on area you think you shouldn’t touch.
Addon Step: How to Remove the Memory Modules
The memory modules share the same entry cover with the heat sink/fan. The one with the “M” labeled cover. So, after removing the cover, the RAMs can be seen.
To remove the RAM:
- Pull the two pins outwards.
- The memory module will pop up, you might even jump out of surprise if this is your first time.
- The popping up means the memory module is ready to be taken out.
- Note the connector pattern when you replace your RAMs.
I hope this guide would help anybody who wants to disassemble their Dell XPS M1330 for cleaning or etc. Do leave some comments if I left any steps out. Happy Disassembling!
If you have difficulties disassembling your laptop, I would gladly help you out, Free. The idea is not to break your components. Contact me and we’ll discuss the details.
More laptop disassembly guides at the Laptop Disassembly Archive.