Here are instructions for taking apart a Dell Inspiron 1720/1721 or Dell Vostro 1700 laptop.
You can use these guide for removing and replacing:
1. Laptop memory, hard drive, wireless card, modem.
2. CD/DVD optical drive.
3. Laptop keyboard.
4. LCD panel.
5. Heat sink, CPU, motherboard and other internal components.
First of all, turn off the laptop, unplug AC power adapter and remove the battery.
Turn the laptop upside down and remove Wi-Fi, memory and hard drive covers.
Disconnect (unsnap) two antenna cables from the wireless card. Remove the wireless card.
Spread latches on both sides of the memory module and carefully pull the RAM module from the slot.
You can access only one memory slot from the bottom of the laptop. The second memory slot is located under the keyboard.
Remove three screws securing the hard drive. In order to disconnect the hard drive from the motherboard, lift it up by the black tab attached to the hard drive caddy. Remove the hard drive.
As you see, Dell Inspiron 1720 can handle two hard drives. You can increase laptop storage space by installing a second hard drive.
The BIOS (CRT) battery is located right under the memory slot. By the way, disconnecting the battery will not clear the BIOS password, don’t even try.
Now I’m going to remove the CD/DVD optical drive. Remove one screw securing the CD/DVD drive to the laptop base and open the drive with a paper clip.
Carefully pull the CD/DVD drive from the laptop.
Remove all screws from the bottom.
Remove two screws securing display hinges.
In the following four steps I explain how to remove the laptop keyboard. If you are replacing the keyboard, you can skip all previous steps.
Lift up the keyboard bezel with a flathead screwdriver. Remove the bezel.
Remove four screws securing the keyboard.
Slide the keyboard to the direction shown by the red arrow.
Lift up and remove the keyboard. Now you can replace it with a new one if needed.
As you see on the picture below, this keyboard doesn’t have a flat ribbon cable as most laptop keyboards do. The keyboard connector is a part of the keyboard base.
Unplug two LCD cables from the motherboard and remove one screw securing the grounding cable.
Remove the LCD panel.
Remove six screws securing the top cover assembly and unplug one cable pointed with the red arrow.
As I mentioned before, the second RAM slot can be accessed when you remove the keyboard.
The internal Bluetooth module can be mounted in the top right corner. My Inspiron 1720 came without internal Bluetooth module but it had the Bluetooth cable installed.
Lift up and remove the top cover assembly.
The top cover has been removed.
Loosen four screws securing the CPU heat sink.
Remove the heat sink. Do not forget to apply new thermal grease when you install the heat sink back.
Remove four screws securing the cooling fan. Unplug the fan cable from the system board. Remove the fan.
Remove two screws (blue circles) securing the dial up modem. Remove the modem.
Remove six screws (red circles) securing the PCMCIA slot board.
Remove the PCMCIA slot board.
Remove all screws securing the system board. Unplug three cables on the bottom (three red arrows). Unplug and remove the Bluetooth cable (yellow arrow).
Start removing the system board from the left side.
The system board has been removed.
In order to remove the CPU, you’ll have to unlock the CPU socket first. Turn the screw into the “Unlocked” position. Carefully lift up the CPU from the socket.
If you are replacing the system board, you’ll have to transfer the hard drive connector board to the new system board.