How to Open a Dell Laptop Case

By Billy Kirk

  • Overview

    While no one may relish cracking open the case of an expensive piece of equipment, sometimes it is necessary to get at and swap out key components of your computer. With the right tools and some safeguards, a laptop case can be slowly and successfully opened. Patience is key to ensure your computer and its individual components are not damaged.
    • Step 1

      Completely remove all power from your Dell laptop. Save all your work before proceeding. Then, shut down the computer and unplug the power adapter from the wall or your surge protector.
    • Step 2

      Move the laptop off of a carpeted area. This can result in removing harmful static electricity. Touch something to get rid of any current electricity. An anti-static wrist strap is heavily recommended, as this can help dispose of static electricity as well.


    • Step 3

      Isolate and remove the battery of the laptop. Flip the laptop over and point the front of the computer toward you. Open the battery latch and remove the battery.
    • Step 4

      Utilize a screwdriver to remove the four main corner screws of the laptop case. A particularly good screwdriver to use is a magnetic screwdriver as it will aid in removing extremely small screws from small spaces they may fall into. Additionally, it may be necessary to have an exacto knife on hand. Some screws may have plastic covers stuck to the top of the screws, and the exacto knife can take care of this problem. Be sure to put your screws in a safe place, like a plastic bag, for the time being, as you will need to use them again eventually.
    • Step 5

      Unhook the latches around the perimeter of the case. Once the main screws are removed, the laptop will have several latches all around that must be disengaged. Use a small tool, or even a paperclip, and work it around the perimeter of the case to disengage these latches. Your small screwdriver may also help in this endeavor.
    • Step 6

      Pull aside and remove the case. Store it in a safe place.
    • Step 7

      Use your Dell laptop manual to decide what individual components you may want to remove or swap out. The manual will indicate the portion of the case these components lie in. Irrespective of whether you are looking to remove a hard drive, video card or something else, keep your screwdriver on hand as you may have more screws to remove.
    • Skill: Moderate
    • Ingredients:
    • Anti-static wrist strap
    • Screwdriver
    • Paper clip
    • Plastic bag
    • Warning:
    • Work slowly. Take a specific time slot of of the day to accomplish case removal. A rushed job can lead to a defunct Dell laptop.

    © High Speed Ventures 2011