Today I will dismantle a Dell XPS 15z laptop.
According to Dell website XPS 15z laptop also has another name XPS L511z.
My goal is replacing the keyboard. This model allows you to replace the keyboard only after you take apart the whole laptop.
Here’s a short description of all major steps I’ll be going through while dismantling the laptop:
STEP 1-5: Removing laptop bottom cover. Accessing memory modules.
STEP 6-10: Disconnecting and removing laptop battery and hard drive.
STEP 11-15: Disconnecting and removing the CMOS battery, DVD drive and DC power jack.
STEP 16-21: Disconnecting and removing the cooling fan, heatsink, power button board and wireless card.
STEP 22-26: Removing laptop motherboazd.
STEP 27-30: Removing and replacing the keyboard.
STEP 30-33: Disconnecting and removing touchpad assembly.
Remove all screws securing the bottom cover.
Insert a piece of soft plastic (I’m using the guitar pick) between the expansion ports cover and bottom case and pry it out.
Remove the expansion ports cover.
Remove two screws located under the cover.
Now you can start separating the bottom cover from the laptop.
Remove the bottom cover.
When the bottom cover removed you can get access to the following key internal components:
- main laptop battery
- hard drive
- optical DVD drive
- both memory modules
also the DC power jack, CMOS battery, cooling fan and wireless card.
Let’s remove all above mentioned laptop components one by one.
Remove six screws securing the battery.
Disconnect the battery cable from the motherboard.
Lift up and remove the battery.
Remove four screw securing the hard drive mounting bracket to the laptop case.
Lift up the hard drive assembly from the laptop and disconnect it from the cable.
My Dell XPS 15z laptop had a regular 2.5″ SATA hard drive installed.
Disconnect the CMOS battery cable from the laptop.
Remove the CMOS battery.
Remove four screws securing the optical DVD drive.
Disconnect the DVD drive from the motherboard and remove it.
In Dell XPS 15z the DC power jack attached to a cable (not soldered to the motherboard).
Disconnect the DC jack cable from the motherboard.
Remove one screw securing the DC jack to the laptop case.
Lift up and remove the DC jack harness.
Remove two screws securing the laptop cooling fan.
Unplug fan cable from the connector on the motherboard.
Lift up and remove the cooling fan.
Loosen seven screws securing the heat sink.
Lift up and remove the heatsink from the motherboard.
NOTE: in my Dell XPS 15z laptop the CPU was SOLDERED to the motherboard. You cannot remove, replace or upgrade the CPU if it’s soldered to the motherboard.
I’m not sure if all XPS 15z laptop motherboards come with the CPU permanently attached to it.
Remove two screws securing the power button board.
Disconnect the power button board cable from the motherboard.
In the following two steps I explain how to unlock the connector and release the cable.
Carefully lift up the left side of the locking tab with your fingernail.
The locking tab will open up at a 90 degree angle.
Now you can pull the power button board cable from the connector.
Remove the power button board.
Disconnect two antenna cables from the wireless card.
Remove one screw securing the wireless card.
Pull the wireless card from the slot and remove it.
Disconnect the following cables from the motherboard:
1. Camera cable.
2. Audio board cable.
3. Keyboard cable.
4. Touchpad cable.
5. Keyboard backlight cable.
6. Video cable.
You disconnect cables 2,3,4 and 5 using same technique as shown in the step 20.
Here’s how to unplug the camera cable.
Here’s how to unplug the video cable connector.
Disconnect all screws securing the motherboard (I hope I didn’t miss any).
Start removing the motherboard from the laptop.
Be careful. There are two more cables connected to the bottom side of the motherboard (pointed with two arrows).
Turn the motherboard over and disconnect the hard drive cable (left arrow) and the battery status-light-board cable (right arrow).
Remove the motherboard from the laptop.
Here’s the other side of the motherboard.
As you see, I didn’t remove memory modules because it wasn’t necessary for the purpose of my disassembly.
Remove all screws securing the keyboard cover.
I would mark all holes with a marker so you know where to install screws when reassembling the laptop.
Remove the keyboard cover.
Now remove all screws securing the keyboard.
Remove the keyboard.
Now the keyboard is ready for the replacement.
Just in case I’ll show how to remove the touchpad assembly.
Disconnect the touchpad cable using same technique as shown in the step 20.
Remove the touchpad cable.
Remove six screws securing the touchpad mounting bracket.
Remove the entire touchpad assembly from the laptop.