In this guide I will show how to disassemble a Dell Inspiron 15 M5040 or Inspiron 15 N5040 laptop.
There are no service covers on the bottom of this model.
In a Dell Inspiron M5040/N5040 all major internal components (such as memory, hard drive, DVD drive, wireless card) are mounted INSIDE the case.
Also, this guide will work for Inspiron 15-N5050/3520.
In order to access them it’s necessary to remove the top cover assembly.
I will go through the following disassembly steps:
STEP1-7: Disconnecting and removing the keyboard. Accessing both RAM modules.
STEP 8-13: Removing the top cover assembly. Removing the DVD drive. Accessing other internal components.
STEP 14: Disconnecting and removing the hard drive.
Make sure the computer is turned off. Remove the battery.
The keyboard is secured by four latches on the top.
Push the latch into the case using a small flat head screwdriver.
At the same time lift up the keyboard a little bit so the latch doesn’t lock back again. Do the same with three remaining latches.
After all latches are unlocked you should be able to lift up the top side of the keyboard and turn it upside down on the palm rest.
The keyboard connected to the motherboard via a flat ribbon cable.
It’s necessary to unlock the connector and release the cable before removing the keyboard.
By the way, both memory slots are located under the keyboard.
Here’s how to unlock the keyboard connector.
Carefully lift up one side of the locking tab with your fingernail. The locking tab will open up at a 90 degree angle.
On the following picture the connector is shown in the unlocked position.
WARNING: the locking tab must stay connected to the white base.
Now you can pull the keyboard cable from the connector.
Remove the keyboard.
Remove screws from the bottom.
Remove one screw securing the DVD drive.
Push the DVD drive from the laptop case using a screwdriver.
Pull DVD drive and remove it completely.
Remove one screw securing the top cover assembly.
Disconnect the power button cable (left arrow).
Disconnect the touchpad cable (right arrow).
In the following two steps I explain how to unlock the power button and touchpad connectors.
Each connector has the locking tab (brown). Carefully slide the locking tab about 1-2 millimeters up, not more.
The locking tab must stay attached to the connector base.
On the following picture you see the connector unlocked.
Now you can pull the cable from the connector.
Start separating the top cover assembly from the bottom case.
Remove the top cover assembly.
On the bottom side of the top cover you can access the power button board with cable and the touchpad with cable.
When the top cover removed you can get access to the following internal components:
– Cooling fan.
– Wireless card.
– Hard drive.
– CMOS battery.
– USB board.
In order to remove the hard drive slide it away from the motherboard.
After the hard drive is disconnected from the motherboard you should be able to remove it.
By the way, the hard drive was secured to the bottom case by two screws we removed in the step 8.
Dell Inspiron 15 M5040/N5040 laptop has a regular 2.5″ SATA hard drive installed. You can replace it with any other large capacity 2.5″ SATA hard drive or Solid State Drive.