How To Disassemble Laptop (Dell XPS M1530)

March 2nd, 2009 by | This article was viewed 175,884 times.

How To Disassemble Laptop (Dell XPS M1530)

I can’t describe how lucky and thankful I was during my last trip to KL before my flight back to Australia. A friend of mine, Cxlim who previously said “no” to my cleaning offer asked me to disassemble and clean his laptop. I replied casually, “What choice do I have?” deep in my heart, the drum was beating and all I could say to myself is “hell yeah!” because it’s the popular XPS series, The Dell XPS M1530.

This guide will explain detailed step by step sequence on how to dismantle a Dell XPS M1530 laptop.


Advices taken here are taken at your own risk. will be held no responsibility if you break any of the hardware and lose your warranty.

NOTE: Even though Dell said disassembling yourself would lose your warranty, but I haven’t void anybody’s warranty in any possible way yet.

Tools You Need For Dismantling and Cleaning

  1. Philips Screwdriver (around 2.5 mm will do)
  2. Flat Blade Screwdriver (usually a test pen)
  3. A brush (about 1 inch would do it)

I usually have 2 Philips screwdrivers, one for disassembling (big), one for reassembling (small), paired with a test pen and a brush for cleaning.

Before You Start

Here are a few things you’ll need to do before you start disassembling your Dell XPS M1530.

  1. Clear your Table
    Ensure that you have plenty of space (1 meter square would be great) to put all the components so they won’t go missing or dropping off the table.
  2. Disconnect all the Cables & Components
    It’s wise to disconnect all usb cables, pendrives, power cables and HDMI cable.
  3. Put Some Cloth or Thin Sponge Under the Laptop
    To make sure that the rough table surface would not scratch your laptop.
  4. Remove the Battery
    To remove the battery from your Dell XPS M1530, slide the battery latch until it clicks. Then lift it up from its battery bay.
  5. Ground the Motherboard
    When the battery is removed, simply ground the motherboard by pressing on the power button for a few seconds.
  6. Ground your Hands
    Ground your hands by wearing a wrist grounding strap or touching an unpainted metal surface from time to time.

Now you’re good to go. The Dell XPS M1530 is very cleaning-friendly laptop akin to the its smaller version, the Dell XPS M1330.

Cleaning Step 1: Remove The Harddisk

Even though disassembling to clean the XPS M1530 is just one cover away from the most crucial area, the fan. However I still suggest removing the harddisk for data protection.

  1. At the base of the laptop, note the container label.
  2. Unscrew four M3 x 3-mm screws.
  3. Just ease the harddisk out from it’s compartment.


Cleaning Step 2: Remove The Heatsink & Fan

  1. At the base of the laptop, note the “Reversed L” shaped cover labeled “M” in the middle.
  2. Unscrew the M2.5 x 5-mm “M” labeled screw and four other captive screws.
  3. Lift the weirdly designed cover up. Man I hate how they design the cover.
  4. You’ll be able to see the fan, RAM, heatsink and lots of chips (including the processor) underneath.
  5. There are 6 captive screws and one M2.5 x 5-mm to unscrew as shown below. Don’t forget to unplug the fan cable.
  6. Lift the heatsink slightly and remove it from the air vent. Illustrations below.


90% of the laptop dust will collect in between the air vent and the fan. All you need to do is clean them and your laptop will be dust free for another year (or two). You’re done!

However, if you’re a bit more adventurous or if there’s a big ant lying under the palm rest … dead, then you’ll need to continue reading.

Disassembling Step 1: Remove WLAN Card and RAM

Some components not necessary to be removed but it makes life easier if these little things are removed.

How to remove WLAN Card

  1. Right beside the harddisk (left side), there’s a cover as big as a women’s palm.
  2. Loosen the captive screws and lift the cover up.
  3. Unplug the antennas connected to the WLAN card.
  4. Unscrew a M2 x 3-mm screw.
  5. The WLAN card will automatically pop up ready to be removed.


How to remove RAMs

  1. Right beside the heatsink we talked about earlier is where all the RAMs are located.
  2. Simply push the securing tabs sideways.
  3. The RAM will pop up ready to be removed.


There are only 2 RAM slots and they both located at the same place.

Disassembling Step 2: Remove The Hinge Cover

This part is the toughest part. After disassembling laptops for more than 10 times, I even broke a very minor thing here. Maybe it’s my friend that’s giving me all the pressure that’s why I broke it *laughes*.

Back to reality, just be extremely careful when you remove the hinge cover.

  1. Unscrew three M2 x 2-mm screws that is located under the battery bay that looks very different.
  2. Open the LCD screen as far as possible.
  3. Remove the hinge cover caps from each side of the hinge cover.
  4. Lift the hinge cover from the front. Hopefully you don’t damage the plastic.
    This step is the hardest, I’d actually sweat while trying to open the hinge cover.
  5. Take extreme caution here because there’s a very fragile cable located under the hinge cover. Rest the hinge cover on the LCD screen.


Disassembling Step 3: Remove The Keyboard

  1. Unscrew the two M2.5 x 5-mm screws located at the top of the keyboard.
  2. Instead of pushing it up, try to pry up the sides.
  3. Then lift it up starting from the top part slowly.
  4. There is the keyboard cable located right beneath the keyboard. Reach your hands over to disconnect it.


After this you’ll see the connector to the hinge cover. Disconnect the cable and put aside the hinge cover.

Disassembling Step 4: Remove The Bluetooth Card

  1. Note the small Bluetooth card located upper left hand side (below the speaker) of the palm rest.
  2. Remove the card from the black plastic cover.
  3. Disconnect the cable.

Disassembling Step 5: Remove The LCD Screen

  1. Remember the antenna cables you unplug when you were removing the WLAN Card?
  2. Dislodge them from the routing guides and through the hole.
    Tips #1: Take a picture so you can remember how to place them back when you reassemble the laptop.
  3. Disconnect the Display Cable and Webcam Cable.
  4. Follow tips #1 and dislodge them all from the routing guides.
  5. Unscrew two M2.5 x 5-mm screws labeled “D” located at the computer base.
  6. Unscrew two M2.5 x 8-mm screws that supports the LCD screen to the laptop.
  7. Lift the LCD screen up and put it somewhere it wouldn’t drop.

Disassembling Step 6: Remove The Palm Rest

This part is surprisingly easy compared to other notebooks. I don’t know why …

  1. At the base of the laptop, unscrew eleven M2.5 x 5-mm screws (ten if you have already taken out the processor heatsink).
  2. On the palm rest, remove only 1 screw and three cables (Bluetooth cable, Touch Pad cable and Biometric cable)
  3. Ease up the palm rest starting from the back of the laptop (very carefully).
  4. There’s a hidden cable right beneath the palm rest. Just lift the palm rest until you see the cable, then disconnect it.


That’s all for disassembling your Dell XPS M1530. I wouldn’t recommend going any further unless your motherboard failed or something. Because you might spoil the motherboard by taking it out. Happy disassembling and good luck.

More laptop disassembly guides at the Laptop Disassembly Archive.

Please forward any questions or comments regarding Laptop Disassembly to the Forum at Real Time Gamer (RTG) website. RTG is a website we have long-term partnership with.

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138 Responses to “How To Disassemble Laptop (Dell XPS M1530)”

  1. Josh Says:

    This is great!, i have been searching for something like this, is it possible to just remove the palm rest ?? or i have to do the 6 steps ?

  2. James Wee Says:

    Quote(Josh on March 3rd, 2009 at 3:58 am):
    This is great!, i have been searching for something like this, is it possible to just remove the palm rest ?? or i have to do the 6 steps ?

    Yes you need to do all the steps except for removing the heatsink.
    So … All the steps, except for “Cleaning Step 2: Remove The Heatsink & Fan”

  3. Tiaso Says:

    shit,you should have help me clean,diu~~~

  4. James Wee Says:

    Haha XD What laptop you using? XPS M1530?

  5. Paul Perez Says:

    Thank you for this helpful web info. I had a loose hinge and thought my dell was falling apart. It was just a loose screw. Its fixed now. I love the internet all over again. I sent it to dell to fix and was returned the same way. Thx to your easy to understand instructions I did it myself. That hinge cover is so fragile. Thnks again.

  6. James Wee Says:

    Actually Paul, instead of sending it to Dell, you can actually call them in to fix it right on the spot for you, in your house.
    Well that’s what I usually do back in Malaysia.

  7. Tiaso Says:

    ya i using XPS M1530..Jamesssssssss,i feeling lag playing COD4 recently,last time no,haizzzzzz

  8. James Says:

    Haha, I give you 2 ways to sort this out.
    1. Wait until I return
    2. You can find my friend, his name is Ahkuang. You ask cxlim to introduce him to you. I think he’ll be glad to clean your laptop.

  9. Tiaso Says:

    lol…why would ppl glad to clean other ppl’s laptop?dun cheat me lae…

  10. James Says:

    I even gave you the name of the friend already. What is there to cheat you?

  11. Andy Says:

    Thank you so much~ I fixed a problem in which the monitor stays on when the lid is closed. The technician forgot to the reconnect the magnetic switch cable (the hidden cable underneath the palm rest) last service.

  12. James Ooi Says:

    I should try this on mine, soon~ xD

  13. PaulGreece Says:

    Man you are very good… i have a question… can i replace the lcd screen(mama broked it) without disassembling the display assembly?

  14. James Says:

    No you can’t do that. You have to do it step by step until you disassemble the LCD screen.

  15. Jacob Says:

    How do you get to the cd/dvd drive? I am trying to replace it.

  16. James Says:

    Follow all the instructions (Yes, until step 6, disassembling the palm rest). Then there’s 2 screws securing the optical drive. You can remove it from there.

  17. Brittney Says:

    I have a disc stuck in the disc drive. It was one of the really small ones, I thought I could fit it in there lol. It went in, but of course never played because it’s just in the drive somewhere. I need to know how to get to the disc drive so I can take it out. Is it possible to get to it without having to take EVERYTHING apart?

  18. James Says:

    I haven’t really experienced this kind of problem before. I asked a few regular Dell XPS M1530 users as well and nobody provided an answer. Sorry Britney

  19. Jalepino Says:

    Brittney, unfortuantely you do have te remove almost everything to get to the dvd drive, you need to remove the top plate which includes the mouse pad, to do this the screen has to be removed:(, the only thing you probably dont have to remove is the h/s and fan. Although it sounds quite bad it’s actually quite well designed and is probably easier to put back together than it is to take apart:)

  20. James Says:

    Hi there, that’s a really detailed explanation there. Thanks for clarifying the problem for Brittney.

  21. Amanda Says:

    Hi there, first off…thank you very much for this step by step instruction. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to figure out which screw you forgot or break a piece off thinking that it is a snap together part. I have a really stupid question though…on the cable connections, what is the best way to pull them off? I feel like I am going to pull the cable out of the socket itself instead of disconnect. Am I being overly cautious or is there a trick or something to keep in mind? Thank you!!!

  22. James Says:

    Hi Amanda,
    Welcome to …
    First thing first, which cable are you talking about? There are really at least 5 methods to pull out cables from this computer. But they are all easy, I am sure that you can manage it alright.

    Well, to give you some peace of mind when disassembling, a lot of cable can be disconnected by pulling them off. However, for those that you can’t pull it off, you can clearly see some latches/locks that secures the cable.

    Until you tell me which cable you want to disconnect, I really have no idea how to illustrate it for you.

  23. Pete Says:

    I really can not thank you enough! I think you have just saved me from total hardware failure!!! Problem started with the spill of a sugary drink, worsened with the application of circuit cleaner, nearly finished with laptop hurled at the wall but solved with your perfect step by step guide, thank you!

  24. Amanda Says:

    I am looking at the touchpad (mouse) cable. I ended up pulling it out (by mistake) when removing the palmrest. I am actually replacing the palmrest since one of the buttons on the mouse broke. Anyway, it pulled out, but now I am not understanding how to insert the new one. I think it pulled out correctly since it looks just like the new one, but I cant seem to slide it back into the same spot. Feel like I am missing a step or something :-( Again…thank you so much!!

    Quote(James on May 8th, 2009 at 9:29 am):
    Hi Amanda,
    Welcome to …
    First thing first, which cable are you talking about? There are really at least 5 methods to pull out cables from this computer. But they are all easy, I am sure that you can manage it alright.

    Well, to give you some peace of mind when disassembling, a lot of cable can be disconnected by pulling them off. However, for those that you can’t pull it off, you can clearly see some latches/locks that secures the cable.

    Until you tell me which cable you want to disconnect, I really have no idea how to illustrate it for you.

  25. James Says:

    Yes I think I know what you’re talking about. It should be the cable that is hidden in the last picture (that I enlarged) right?

    As you can see, there are this 2 latches at each side of the port. Those must be unclipped. It’s similar to this.

    The reason that you can’t slide it back to the same spot is maybe the latch is still clipped. That’s why the new cable can’t fit in properly.

    Try it out and see what happens.

  26. Steve Says:

    Hi James,
    I wish to take off my palmrest to have a look at the touchpad buttons from underneath (the left one does not ‘click’ anymore, i think it is either broken, or perhaps a spring or tab is out of place).

    Removing the palmrest is the last step in your guide, does that mean I need to take everything else off first?

  27. James Says:

    You can ditch “Cleaning Step 2″ and the RAMs alone. But the rest you have to follow.

  28. Kurt Says:


    My friend has the same problem with her laptop. The key sticks. I was wondering if you had taken yours apart or had figured out what was the problem so I know whether it is worth taking the entire thing apart or not.

    Were you able to fix your problem? And if so, how?

  29. Keifere Says:

    I am an old school desktop support guy and most of my friends know it, so they always come to me for workstation and laptop assistance.
    I haven’t taken apart a laptop in about 12 years, your guide for the Dell M1530 was a huge help! I had to go further and replace the motherboard, but all worked out for the good…forgot a couple ribbon cables on the bad motherboard and remembered them after it wouldn’t power on…that power switch one is muy importante!
    Anyway, all is good…thank you very much…do you have a PayPal link?
    I’m doing this for a starving student so it might not be much…peace!
    Old School

  30. Efrain Says:

    Hello, and sorry for my poor english.
    I have an XPS M1710 since 2006. Recently I istalled Win 7. After that I noticed that the fans located at both sides under the laptop don´t start at any time. The temperature increase abnornally (I think) and the screen displays an array of dashes and (or) squares. Frecuently it shuts down. Do you think the problem is casused by Win 7? Is it normal that the fans don´t start at boot? How can I check the fans?
    Thanks a lot.

  31. James Says:

    Well, it might be Win 7 for all we know that Win 7 is still not fully developed yet.

    Fans turns on and off depending on the need. It has to turn on when the laptop becomes too hot.

    But it seems that your fans do not turn on at all! Causing the laptop to overheat and turns itself off when overheating.

    I don’t know how you can control your fans but I’ve found a link online. Hopefully it works for you.

  32. Jason Says:


    I wish I had your tutorial a few days ago. I flooded my laptop in an offroad accident where my jeep got almost completely submerged.

    I disassembled everything, including breaking down the DVD drive and screen (don’t touch the white tape? – I did). I dried everything but the HD in the oven at a regulated temperature of 90-100 degrees F for around 20 minutes.

    All signs of moisture are gone.

    I left to dry for 2 days and re-assembled last night. I should say that the battery was already bad, based on my observation of the charge indicator light. When I re-installed the battery, the low battery light on the front was blinking red. Also, when I pushed the power button, it lit up in blue for around 8 seconds, but then went black again. Repeating the procedure led to the same result.

    I am wiriting to ask you a few questions; I failed to make a note of which way the thin ribbon cables are plugged up. I am not sure if the blue strip faces the board or not. Do you remember or have any pictures?

    I would like to try to isolate which component failed so I can just order that part. I was initially worried about the small board which controls AC/DC power and the single USB port, because the CMOS battery is there, but I saw no signs of corrosion. Do you have any experience with component troubleshooting? I was planning on unplugging everything I could and re-booting.

    THank you in advance,


  33. James Says:

    I am sorry to hear about your accident. The blue strip, I’m not sure which one you are looking but if you look at the pictures above. The blue strip are facing upwards, not the board.

    The only way I use to troubleshoot my laptop or desktop is to disassemble the component I am using, and plug it into another laptop or desktop of the same model and test to see if they work.

  34. Desmond Tan Says:

    Hi James, already send you a message pertaining to my request to you. Hope to hear from you soon.

    By the way, nice step by step for the XPS M1530 but hopefully we would be able to work out Step 7 and onwards for my case

  35. Cello Says:

    Hi James,
    Can you help me please?, I’d like to remove or reset the CMOS battery. I do not know if this laptop has it!

  36. James Says:

    Yes there is a CMOS battery. But you will have to disassemble the motherboard in order to reach into the battery.

  37. Mike Says:

    The left mouse button on my M1530 has recently become somewhat loose to the touch. It does not respond as it used to. Can I fix this? Do I need to go through all the steps above?

  38. James Says:

    Well, I wouldn’t know as well if it’s fixable unless I’m personally there to see it.

    But yes, you’ll need to remove the palm rest and see what exactly is the problem from there.

  39. Chris Says:

    @Steve and Kurt

    NOTE: Doing the following could permanently damage you laptop and I take no responsibility for it!

    I have the same problem with my mouse button on my M1530. You do not have to remove the palm rest to see what the problem is. Unfortunately you probably will not be able to fix it as it appears to be a design flaw. To see the problem do the following. Take a very small flathead screwdriver, exacto knife, or razorblade. Using Two may be helpful. Gently wedge the blade between the button and the side of the palmrest closes to you and push it towards the touchpad. You will see the inner lip if the button which you can sneak up past the palmrest. This button is clipped onto a metal wire and small plastic X hinge similar to laptop keys. Gently pry it up and it will unsnap form the plastic hinge leaving the metal guide wire attached to the key. You can then wedge it out. In the center of the hinge you will see the culprit. the “spring” in this case is nothing more then a protective rubber nipple that covers the actual mouse button. While it is similar to the one under the keys on this keyboard it is much less rigid and with moderate use has lost its ability to hold shape. In fact with a VERY gentile prod

  40. Chris Says:

    Continued (hit submit by accident)
    with a VERY gentile prod the top started to separate from the rest of the rubber. Hope this helps. If you do find a solution for replacing this let me know. I have 2 m1530s in this situation but they are still under warranty so I’ll probably just get Dell to fix it.

  41. James Says:

    Yeap my guess is that Dell would just change the whole palm rest for you.

  42. nel Says:

    I cannot turn on laptop after disassemble…
    what happened was, I removed the battery and the power cable…
    actually I didn’t take apart my whole laptop.. i just unscrewed it,tried to open it a bit but did not open the whole thing because i was just trying to remove the hard drive (coz I need to backup my stuff since my windows is screwed up big time), but then i found out there is a small compartment just for the hard drive, so I screwed everything back together to test it first, but cannot even switch it on… i tried with just the power cable or just the battery or both and didn’t work…. please help…. what did i do wrong?? help help help

  43. James Says:

    Is there any LED lighting up when you pressed the power button?

  44. nel Says:

    Hi James, no.. nothing happen at all

  45. James Says:

    Did you short circuit something? Because it seems like there is no power going into the motherboard. As I am not physically in front of the laptop, there is no way I could diagnose this problem.

    Try phoning up Dell technical support and see how they can help

  46. nel Says:

    Thx James… the problem is solved… one of those power cable was loose, now is working just fine. Thanks anyways.

  47. chris Says:

    problem they told me is the procesor, i see just code on my screen, can we replace procesor with intel procesor instead of dell since dell dont produce procesor just put label

  48. James Says:

    If your laptop still has warranty, it is possible to get Dell to replace it for you.

    And to answer your question, the processor the M1530 use is from Intel, so you can purchase the same processor online and replace it by yourself.

  49. Simon Says:

    Quote(Chris on September 10th, 2009 at 12:30 pm):
    Continued (hit submit by accident)

    with a VERY gentile prod the top started to separate from the rest of the rubber. Hope this helps. If you do find a solution for replacing this let me know. I have 2 m1530s in this situation but they are still under warranty so I’ll probably just get Dell to fix it.

    I had the same issue with the plastic nub splitting. The fix was simple, I had an old laptop that I don’t really use so I pulled off the the Context menu key and removed the plastic nub from that key. I then placed that nub into the laptop and replaced the mouse key. To test I didn’t even remove the dell plastic nub, the new ones just sitting on top (might remove original later if needed but didn’t want to immediately in case it didn’t work and I had to call Dell out to fix it)

    The mouse is now working almost perfectly, I suspect it would work even better if I did remove the Dell one.

    If you don’t have an old laptop available I’m sure you could probably pick up a laptop keyboard cheaply off ebay

  50. Martin Says:

    Does taking apart your laptop like this invalidate your warranty? I still have two years to go on the warranty, but just had to have the motherboard replaced in my XPS 1530 and the tech said it was because of dust accumulation that it got fried.

    I would like to be able to keep that from happening again, and use your cleaning instructions, but I certainly don’t want to invalidate my warranty.


  51. James Says:

    Of so many laptops I have disassembled (from Dell), I have never need to tear any paper with the word “warranty void if broken”.

    So I assume it’s safe. As long as you remain careful and not to break your own stuff.

  52. mica Says:

    i have that laptop dell but i am afraid to disassemble it

  53. John Says:

    Is the video on these integrated? Ours has the NVIDIA 8400 and I am pretty sure it is bad. No video to the LCD or external monitor but I can hear the sounds as the laptop boots. Started with periodic video going out and now will not come on at all. I would like to replace / upgrade the video adapter if possible.

  54. James Says:

    I think it is integrated. I haven’t disassembled a Dell laptop with a separate video card (I know there are some laptops with a separate video card from the motherboard).

    Consult your local Dell technical support to have your motherboard replaced.

  55. Steven Says:

    Quote(mica on November 8th, 2009 at 12:24 am):
    i have that laptop dell but i am afraid to disassemble it

    I was hesitant at first as well but it ended up being very simple, and the improvement on the fan was well worth it.

    Thanks for the great guide!!

  56. tomm Says:

    one of my dimm slots has stopped working so only half my memory works..
    it is the top one as u look once u have the cover off i have tried both the ram sticks in the other slot and they both work but wen i put one in the top slot it jus doesnt wrk.. any ideas wot to do

  57. James Says:

    Well, if it is not working, then you must accept the fact that it is not working anymore.

    But to confirm that, I would clean the DIMM slot as thoroughly as possible to ensure that it is really dead.

  58. Denise Says:

    Thanks for the instructions, they were very detailed and right on! (The illustrations are great too) Thank you for helping me to “do it yourself”.

  59. Patrick Says:

    Hi, I wish to replace my Warranty Expired Dell XPS M1530’s Motherboard. The service tag is 5VRYT1S please show me how to further dissemble the notebook to take out the motherboard. I also need help to identify the part number of the motherboard please help. Thank you.

  60. amanda Says:

    do you have any sites that would tell me how to disaembel the mother board? i need to get to my CMOS battery and change it.

  61. Billie Says:

    Can any of you who have or are in the process of dissembling M1530 give me the part number for the touchpad, please? I would like to buy it off ebay or somewhere else first and then dissemble my XPS in order to replace it. I have the same problem as many of you – broken left mouse button, and was wondering if I need to replace the whole palmrest or just the touchpad? If changing the palmrest is the easier way, can you give me the part number for it, please?

  62. Katherine Says:

    Hi, James. Will I need to use a thermal compound to remove the heat sink? My fan is a bit on the fritz and I hope that cleaning it will solve the problem.

  63. James Says:

    Well, it is better to use a thermal compound when you remove the heatsink.
    But from my experiences, even if you do not replace the compound, the heat still flows from the chipset and processors to the heatsink (though not as perfect).

  64. tyler Says:

    i have a question, i found the lid plastic on ebay for this laptop, but i need to know if that would be all i need, i can take pictures and send them if needed but i really need help i dont feel like paying dell 199 dollars if i can fix it for 30!! please help!

  65. cedric Says:

    hi where can i found a slot in BD RE drive for my xps1530 and how to replace it. its 1.5 years old and just died..


  66. JP Says:

    Hi James,
    My XPS M1330 left muse button will not click any more. I found palmrest off ebay. If I replace the whole palmrest will my mouse button worked again?

    Please help.


  67. James Says:

    It is great that you have found the palmrest at ebay. But to ensure that the mouse button would work again, you should confirm it with the seller online.

  68. Crodley Says:

    My wife’s 1530 is overheating badly when she plays WoW, speedfan reads it going up to 89 degrees Celsius, yikes.
    I’m about to take it apart and try to clean it, is there anyway to test to see if the fan is working at all? Any software or way to see if it’s running with the power on?

    Thanks in advance, and wish me luck going into it. :)

  69. Ashlyn Says:

    I have a dell xps m1530. Your step by step has been so helpful. I had a 3year warranty with dell and they did not inform me that it was up so it lapsed and I have had to do much of the work on my on. Your photos and explanations are excellent. Now, on to my problem. My blueray DVD drive has been working on and off. It shows up under My Computer about 1/2 the time. I can restart and it will sometimes recognize it. I have updated drivers, but now at a loss. Most recently, I put a DVD in and it wont come out. I have tried everything. The only thing I can think of is I need to take it out but your tutorial does not go into depth about that drive. I assume that is because it is not a good idea to remove it. Please advise what my best options are.

  70. James Says:

    The reason I did not disassemble more than the palm rest was because it isn’t necessary to do so.

    It seems like your DVD drive is spoilt. Follow my guide to disassemble the whole thing, after disassembling the palm rest, you can see a few screws securing the DVD drive. Just go from there and take the DVD drive out for inspection.

  71. David Rowell Says:

    Hi, Excellent article just what I was looking for as have to change top cover. Like yourselves I do not like removing hinge covers etc. One thing am having difficulty with though which you do not explain and before I cause damage, how do you remove end caps on hinge cover, mine do not appear to want to move very easily

  72. James Says:

    @David Rowell,
    Well, what I did was I pry it out with my finger nails. It is a bit hard though, try to be very careful not to break the little clips.

  73. David Rowell Says:

    Hi James, Thanks but am still struggling, can loosen at back but they still do not want to come off, presume they only clip on with no hidden screw anywhere? As my nails do not seem to be as strong as yours have also very carefully tried knife blade to no avail. There must be an easy way somewhere?

  74. David Raymond Says:

    I have just been given a task to replace a motherboard. In a 1530.
    Not my computer it is a Friends,
    Dell says, or told him that when you lose the bios password, replacing the motherboard ” IS ” the only answer.

    After following your guide to a Perfect T with all of the i’s dotted.
    I find that someoneelse has cross threaded the right LCD screw before i got there.
    My question I have a refurbished mother board to install.
    First I would like to try to short out the bios or remove the clock battery and see if that will work.
    I guess I have to find a way to remove the cross threaded screw unless there is another way to short out the bios to remove the password.
    Just where is the appropriate location.
    Any help would be appreciated before I forget where all of the screws go.
    This has turned from a 2 hour headache, into a nighmare.
    Probably not unsolvable, used to be a Dental tech for 25 years, think I am going back to do that somemore

  75. Zeeman Says:

    I have a cd stuck in the M1530. is there a way to get it out without taking the laptop apart? If it was a tray drive it would be easy, but this slot drive…I can’t figure it out. Thanks for help!

  76. patricia Mccormick Says:


    I’m a novelist – I spend a lot of my time at the keyboard – and have noticed an uncomfortable sensation in my left palm. Particularly in the ‘heel’ bone. Sort of a sore, tingling feeling – like a low level burning sensation. It helps if I cool off my hand or even the actual palm rest with an ice cube.

    Is it possible that my laptop Sony Vaio PCG 7k1l is overheating and that’s what’s causing this feeling? Am I slowly ‘burning’ myself?


  77. James Says:

    @Patricia Mccormick,
    I am not sure about where Sony position their processor and harddisk (these 2 poses the most heat). But in Dell, these 2 are nowhere near the left palm.

    However, there are studies that relate body pain to the posture of using a computer/laptop.

    My bet is on your Sony Vaio overheating though.

  78. John Says:

    My USB ports (on the left side near the AC plug) have been wearing out and will now disconnect if I bump them slightly. I don’t see from your instructions how you would access this part. Is it easy? Also in your experience can you usually solder a loose contact, or do I have to replace the dual usb ports part?
    Thanks a lot in advance,

  79. Borish Says:

    Can this Void my Warranty?
    Because my laptop turn on for 3seconds and went back off , and the screen wont show up at all -.- and i didnt know so i open the back off my laptop!-.-
    before i find out im still in warranty so my question is does it Void my warranty by open the back off my laptop !?

  80. James Says:

    If you still have warranty in your laptop, you should always get the technicians to fix it for you.

    However, I still do not see how you can void your warranty if you have bought Dell’s “Full Cover” warranty.

  81. Borish Says:

    thank u so much for your info.
    anyways today my uncle called the dell company and 3-4 more days the technician guy is coming over to replace a new Mother Board and the Fan.
    and once again thank u so much for reply. Take care

  82. jun Says:

    nice job on cleaning those and the assembly! any upcoming on disassembling studio xps 16? :P

  83. rjh Says:

    Do you have any advice on how to get the heat sink off of the chip? The chip in step 2 right below the point OR better put this way, right below the big arrow in the image in step 2.

  84. rjh Says:

    ahh…..never mind….Dell tech is coming out with new MB and processor

  85. Help me Says:

    Im trying to remove the fan, but the damn power cable wouldnt let go. I dont dare to pull harder than i do because the board is giving in. Is their a special way your suppose to do it

  86. Help me Says:

    also im having alot of trouble finding something to open the small screws that keep the fan together.

  87. David Rowell Says:

    Hi James, Update to my asking for assistance on 7th Jan removing hinge cover and end caps. Success at last but feel I must point out your instructions were wrong. To remove these two items you must first remove the hinge cover. Take out the three screws at back and then carefully ease up the cover from the back starting in the centre and working towards each end. This will then easily pop out and release the two end caps which are held in place by the hinge cover. With the hinge cover raised the end caps will both slide off. Fortunately I did no damage when trying but thought you may like to know for future reference.
    Best Regards

  88. Chen Avnery Says:


    very nice guide! thanks a lot for your help.
    one question though.
    can you please tell me where can I find the speakers connector?
    my two speakers went dead and I would like to replace them.
    I’ve found a replacement for 15$ but cannot find the connector to plug them out.

    (my warranty expired already so no point going to dell)


  89. DebV Says:

    Thanks for this information. It was spectacular. My daughter got 2 DVDs stuck in the player at the same time, and Dell (of course) wanted to charge $49 just to talk about the problem. Then they were going to charge me for a new DVD player. Thanks to this site, Dell has captured $0 from me this time, and I was able to fix it up good as new — I even salvaged both DVDs!

  90. Michelle R Says:

    So…a glass of margarita was knocked over on my Dell XPS M1530. I flipped it over n thought OK got out the liquid (as most of it ended up on the table). Then the next day voila…sticky keys. I tried cleaning it but its hard to get under the keys. I decided to try n take my laptop apart to get to the keyboard. That’s when I noticed in some parts there were sticky residue from the margarita. I used alcohol to clean it up. BUT I could not get three screws in the back loose and I think in my attempt in doing so I have stripped a screw. Oo

    I have the extended warranty but I do not strongly think I opted for the spills and breakage coverage. I have a technician coming out…but what should I expect? I’m screwd aren’t I?

  91. Michelle R Says:

    oops I meant rubbing alcohol to clean up the sticky residue…

  92. Viny Says:


    I have a pink Dell M1530. The pink part has oil marks on them :( How do I get rid of those? I think it could be stains from my hand cream or something. They are only by the sides but I really want to get rid of them. I see this forum is kinda more technical… But this is right on the surface.. Is there any special type of cleaner that I should use? Please help.


  93. James Says:

    Hm, it will depends on what sort of stains.

    I have stains on my Inspiron 6400 as well but it is the sort of stain that occurs after the paint was removed by my sweat (LOL). That is impossible to clean.

    However, if yours is just oil that dried up on the pink part. I think you can clean it with some alcohol (99% alcohol, not your liquor), though I’m not sure if you can get alcohol from any shops. So thinner might be your next choice.

  94. Vaibhav Says:

    @Steve, Chris, Kurt, Billy …
    I too have been facing with the same problem with my left mouse (touchpad) button. The silly thing is stuck and the slightest of the touch acts as a “click”.
    I tried looking underneath but in vain.
    I am planning to follow James instructions and disassemble my m1530. But before that, I would like to know if this whole thing is fixable?
    I read Chris’ post but am still not clear about the solution to fix left-click button.
    My laptop is almost 2 years old and unfortunately I didn’t opt for extended warranty!
    But if I fix this thing, I would be glad I didn’t fill Dell’s coffers for nothing!
    @James – Do you think, I will be able to reach underneath the touchpad once I disassemble the laptop? I mean, are there any screws on the other side of the palmrest (which will be visible only when I disassemble my laptop), from where I will be able to access the bottom of my touchpad buttons.
    Many thanks!

  95. Dennis Says:

    James– I followed your excellent description regarding how to disasemble my Dell M1330. Got everything back together– but now the touchj pad and buttons do not work. I checked the cable connection for the touch pad– seems correct. Any ideas reagrding what I might be forgetting or need to recheck? All else is working perfectly.

  96. James Says:

    If you have plugged in everything correctly, your laptop should work fine.

    Have you disassemble your laptop again to check if the cable is plugged in?
    If yes, I think you have a situation there. Call Dell and get it replaced.

  97. Tom Says:

    Text alone cannot express my gratitude. You sir, have saved my from buying a new laptop. Mine would not even power on; I thought it had overheated or something, and the idiots at Geek Squad and Dell Support could swear to me that my motherboard had fried. Well, I know a bit about the beeping errors from POST and I was also able to hear the the disc drive was spinning; I actually remembered that there was a CD in, however, because of the 1530’s awesome design, it has a slot instead of a tray, so, I could not take out the CD manually (which I believed from the start to be the cause of the whole problem). So, thanks to you sir, I was able to disect my machine and access the DVD drive; I popped out the world’s smallest screws and was then able to access the CD, which came out easily. Upon the grueling task or putting everything back together, I reluctantly tried powering on and VOILA!!! everything worked perfectly!! Again, thank you so much for your help; I was almost ready to buy another one.


  98. Andres Says:


    7 months ago I accidently got A LOT of banana residue into my CD drive and USB drive. I know it sounds crazy; it happened when I put my laptop inside my bookbag which had a banana in it, and the laptop crushed the banana which caused it to smear all over and inside the computer.

    At the time, I was in a rush (needed to be at the airport in two hours). So I unscrewed the side which contained the CD drive and cleaned it with damp/wet paper towels. I was able to remove almost all the banana residue out from the CD drive but I never really removed the residue on the surface of the USB or s-video drive because I had to leave.

    Thinking back, I handled the situation horribly and my laptop should be dead by now. The damages that this incident caused include: 1) a really big and bright spot on the LCD 2) a non-functioning CD-drive 3) a sensitive USB drive (it works sometimes). Nonetheless, the computer’s performance thankfully still remains unharmed.

    Now 7 months later, I worry that the laptop is perhaps oxidizing in the inside, mainly because some banana residue might still be there (the banana’s potassium might be oxidizing the hardware inside) and because the insides were exposed to water.

    I tell you all this background information basically because I would like to know four things:

    1) If I disassemble my laptop, what can I use to clean the inside and outside of the cd drive as well as the inside of the USB drive?? is there a special cleaning solution?

    2) If I find oxidation, is there a cleaning solution you recommend to remove or reduce oxidation?

    3) Can the LCD screen problem (the bright spot) be fixed or is it something that always has to be replaced? (I believe this bright spot was a result of the high pressure caused by the banana that smeared on top of the keyboard and on the screen)

    4) If the bright spot can’t be fixed I wouldn’t want to replace the LCD screen because the bright spot doesn’t bother me, however, will not fixing this issue accentuate the problem?

    Sorry for the long post. Hope you can help me out, as the people in Geek Squad didn’t really give me a helpful response


    p.s. My XPS M1530, is two years old and refurbished. I don’t know if this changes things

  99. James Says:

    1. What you can use to clean those electronic parts is 99% alcohol. I’m not too sure if you can buy that off the shelves. If you can’t thinner is your next best choice.

    2. I don’t think there’s a method to reduce oxidation. Oxidation prevention is done prior to the manufacturing of the product. However, you can try to clean the copper part of the connectors using a towel with alcohol (or thinner).

    3. Can’t be fixed, must be replaced.

    4. It will not accentuate the problem. Don’t worry about it. But overtime, dead pixels will of course appear due to wear and tear.

  100. Andres Says:

    Awesome. Thank you very much for your speedy response. I’m going to get the 99% alcohol, open up the laptop, and clean the electronics on the inside. I’m also going to remove and clean the CD drive to see if I can “bring it back to life” before I decide to buy a new one.

    Again thank you for your response, and for this awesome disassembling article.


  101. C Prakash Says:

    For the Dell XPS M1530, I have a CD drive that is not working. I accidently have inserted a CD twice into it. Pressing eject makes noise. Also, at boot time it makes noise but the drive does not read the CD or eject it. My brother seems to have found a reasonably reliable but risky solution. He uses a small swiss army set’s thin blade and sticks it in about half inch (maximum). When you move this sideways in the CD slot without inserting it more than 1/2 in., you will feel a little raise portion (button ?) in the middle. Press that button while pressing the eject button and it works. Definitely risky and not a recommended solution but one that may be tried if really needed.

  102. SKK Says:

    This has been very useful tutorial to open up the Dell XPS M1530.
    However, in my case the charger pin is broken and stuck inside the DC jack (when a use a new adapter, it doesn’t fully go in, but charges the battery on half contact), so my guess is that I’ve to replace the DC Jack.
    Would you please provide me instructions on how to replace the DC jack or point me to some tutorial on that.

    Thanks for your help.

  103. Dan Says:

    I recently had some issues with my DVD drive, sounding like it was a bit loose i decided to follow your extremely usefu guide to help solve this issue, however I have somehow managed to stop the mouse pad and its buttons working completely. It seems the connector to the strip wire from the mouse pad itself is a bit loose and has now ceased to work at all since opening it up, I’m not under any form of warranty anymore and believe I will just have to use a mouse from now on, does anyone know of any possible solution?

  104. Brandon Says:

    I am looking to replace the graphics card myself in the same model laptop as shown in the tutorial, beforehand I just want to know if there are any other hidden screws to take out the current graphics card once I have the palm rest off. Do I even need to remove the RAM from the computer, seems unnecessary. Same goes for WLAN card, I understand that the cables need to be disconnected, but does the card itelf need to come out. Maybe an extra step to remove the graphics card would do nicely. I saw a video on doing it for the XPS 1730 on youtube by dell tech support, but still not the same computer.

  105. James Says:

    Quote(Brandon on August 12th, 2010 at 1:20 am):
    I am looking to replace the graphics card myself in the same model laptop as shown in the tutorial, beforehand I just want to know if there are any other hidden screws to take out the current graphics card once I have the palm rest off. Do I even need to remove the RAM from the computer, seems unnecessary. Same goes for WLAN card, I understand that the cables need to be disconnected, but does the card itelf need to come out. Maybe an extra step to remove the graphics card would do nicely. I saw a video on doing it for the XPS 1730 on youtube by dell tech support, but still not the same computer.

    If you are talking about replacing the video card on XPS M1530, you will have to replace the entire motherboard because the video card is integrated 8( . I am actually trying to do this myself because I had the faulty nVidia 8400M GS, which coincidentally decided to blow out a month after my warranty expired XD. The problem I am having now is finding one for sale that was manufactured after nVidia decided to fix the problem because Dell wants almost $700 for a replacement (refurbished mind you!…which will probably have the same defective GPU!!), which is rediculous since I only paid $1100 for the entire laptop a tad over 2 years ago. Then the Dell ass. tried to sell me a new laptop!!! I love this model, but I am really tired of Dell as a company. This is the 2nd piece of harware that I have purchased that has had company admittance to problems, but they will not do anything to help (the first being a 32″ monitor that they replaced 5 times with refurbished monitors that all had the same exact problem before my warranty ran out on, which imo should have been upgraded for free).

  106. Rahul Says:

    Hiya I was wondering whether I could change the graphic card of my Dell M1530 Laptop.
    If there is a way to do it. Please kindly guide me.
    My old one has conked out. I am looking forward to install a new one myself rather than get it done by the company.
    Thanks a million.

  107. sjarmi Says:

    Hey, is it possible to replace the network connector on M1530. I had the cable in the socket and someone tripped over it and broke the socket so the cable is loose and if i move my computer, i loose data. Is the network connector attached to the motherboard or is it replacable?

  108. Michelle Says:

    My Dell XPS 1530 today has done something strange. The display is split with the top half being the bottom of the screen with the Windows comand icon, and the bottom half being the top to the middle of the desktop. In the Windows mainenance it says it cannot load my Nvidia card, error code 43. The screen seems to be in a basic Windows driver as I cannot chang the size or resolution. I have tried updating, removing/reloading the Nvidia drivers, cleaning the area per the instructions with no luck. One other interesting thing, when I boot up there are fine lines on the screen and if I load the bootup menu I have a screen full of a^ will the exception of a few letters on the menu. Any help or ideas appreciated.

  109. Baggins Says:


    Dell XPS M1530
    my left mouse although it still works, sits lower than the right one and is not as springy.

    Do I have to replace the whole palm-rest (touch-pad and mouse buttons) once it fails or just the mouse buttons?

    Cheers…and great guide.

  110. James Says:

    That is what I believe to be the case.

    I do not recall palm rests coming separate with the touchpad. But I could be wrong.nn1nn1

  111. Sudbeck Says:

    Very Thanx Admin Nice shared
    nice site man =)

    FL Studio Team =)

  112. jay Says:

    Great site and very helpful. I need some help. When I open my XPS m1530 partially I can see the images on the screen, but it goes off after I reach a certain point while opening the laptop. Closing it back to that point the image comes back on. it has become worse today. Now I can barely open the laptop before the image is gone. I need to know what is causing the problem. I’m not shy about opening up the laptop and replacing any damaged part. I just need guidance. Thanks in advance.

  113. James Says:

    Images shouldn’t be popping out of the screen when the battery is taken out (especially after you have ground the laptop).

    I personally have never encountered such a problem before.

  114. jay Says:

    @james you misunderstood. I never said anything about removing the battery. when I open the laptop to view the screen the display goes off at a certain point, say about 1/3 of the way. if I close the lid back to that point I can see what is on the screen again. I just opened the laptop to check the display cable, it looks fine. Not sure where to check next.

  115. James Says:

    Oh my bad, I thought you were disassembling your laptop and the screen goes on. I apologize.

    So what happens is that you switch your laptop on and after awhile the screen goes black.

    To be honest there are too many variables that can cause that to happen. Did you even manage to get into Windows?

  116. jay Says:

    1st I want to say thank you for taking the time to try to help me. The screen does not go blank after a while. Let me approach this from another angle. The computer is already on, I’m looking at the screen and I can see everything on the screen perfectly well. I open the screen a little more and it goes blank. That is what happened in the beginning. Now, each time that I opened the laptop (and I’m not talking about taking it apart) the screen goes blank. The problem has gotten so bad that when I barely lift the lid to open the laptop the screen goes blank. After I spoke to you earlier I looked around the web and someone said it was the display cable. I took the computer apart and made sure the cable was seated properly to the board. Still no change. I need to know what else could be causing this problem. I hope this was a better explanation. Thanks again

  117. James Says:

    Yeah like I said earlier that could be any problem. From software bug, trojan, virus (you name it) to hardware malfunction. There is no way I can diagnose it for you.

    The best way however, is to give Dell a call and have them solve it for you. But if your warranty has expired, your best bet is to get a new screen, test it and see if it’s a hardware problem or a software problem.

    If it’s a hardware problem, just change the screen.
    If it’s a software problem, try a reformat. If that does not help, it could be the time to change a new laptop already.

  118. jay Says:


  119. Elliot Says:

    to all with graphics problems there is a lawsuit on the NVIDIA card used in the M1530 not all cards qualify but just Google M1530 graphics lawsuit and find out about it. I card a letter informing me last month Sept 2010 My unit has not had a problem as yet

  120. KristianAce Says:


    I was wondering something snitt my XPS m1530. It recently fell om the floke from my desk, and now isn’t functioning.
    I get to turn my computer on, and log into Windows (vista). Bit then it after about one minute, windows stops responding. I can still use the mouse, but that is the only thing responding. You got any idea what I could be looking for if I choose to dissemble my laptop?

  121. Andrew Says:

    The dell support person forgot to reconnect the panel where the power button is. I cant use the volume control, or eject cd’s from just using the touch buttons. Do I have to go all the way down to step 3, or is there an easier way? I feel like all I need to do is pop it up and plug the cable in, but i need to know which cable it is.

  122. James Says:


    Yes you have to disassemble all the way to Step 2 or 3 only.

    No further.

  123. paul sheriff Says:

    hi need you help after getting as far as the keyboard and the 2 back pannals i put it all back together as i planed to change the palm rest as the mouse pad stops and starts the problem i have now is my microphone now does not work
    i have tried uni stalling wed cam driver as i take it the cable that come from the web cam is the same 1 for the mike can you confirm that and also the sound driver but nothing and i dont think i touched the cable for the web cam and for the life of me cant find where to buy a new 1 if it broken and it not under warranty ..and the web cam works fine so if the cable was not in right you would think not only would i have no mike but no picture can you advise if you can thank you as i see you are very busy

  124. James Says:

    @Paul Sheriff,
    From my experience of disassembling laptop, I think you have forgotten to plug in the cable.

    Disassemble your laptop again and check it.

  125. Sandy Says:

    Sounds crazy but I accidentally inserted 2 discs in the cd drive. Not able to eject em.what is the easiest way i remove the cd s

  126. Patrick Says:

    I am thinking about dismantling my laptop because recently, whilst playing games on it (Starcraft 2 and World of Warcraft) it randomly shuts down, frequently. I suspect its related to something overheating, or a power supply issue, so I’d like to investigate.

    Any ideas on what specifically I should be looking for in there?

  127. James Says:

    It should be overheating. Did you feel immense heat at the heatsink part of your laptop?

    If yes, you should disassemble to check the fans. I think it is much easier to reach to the fan in this model.

  128. sandy Says:

    @James, Any solution to my problem ?

    Sounds crazy but I accidentally inserted 2 discs in the cd drive. Not able to eject em.what is the easiest way i remove the cd s

  129. Atis Says:

    hi ya, my dell xps battery isnt good so mainly emphasizing on power charger,mistakenly i unplug it twice and it shut’s off automatically, but third time my screen goes black and i still can hear the sound from my system,even there is a noise of CD as well,but i cd’nt get it out and nothing else has happened. Do i need to check it myself or u think unfortunately my system has motherboard failure :'( .

  130. Andres Says:

    I try to turn on my laptop and the screen doesnt show up. Also, the blue button that shows the computer is on turns off, although the computer fan sounds like its running. Any suggestiions on how I can fix this?

  131. william Says:

    my laptop xps m1530 is getting the blue screen.
    how to get dell to look at it under limited warrenty is 2 years old.

    could it be the motherboard and how to check.


  132. Satsky Says:

    That is most likely the best article that ever cross my reference. I do not see why anybody ought to disagree. It could be too simple #for them# to comprehend…anyway good work i am coming back right here for Extra Great Stuff!!

  133. Rpfn Says:

    Hi. Any instructions on how to change the motherboard? I guess I have to do it on my xps m1530

  134. Jeff Says:

    I have a Dell XPS m1530 and the GPU overheats to temperatures of 110 degrees C when i try to play games like WoW. The support at dell told me I need to clean the fan on my GPU; however, I do not know how to access this fan or where the hell the GPU is. Can someone please help me? I’ve been researching and no luck to this day.


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