How To Disassemble Laptop (Dell XPS M1530)

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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.

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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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