How to Dismantle a Dell Latitude D520

by Ezekiel James

The Dell Latitude D520 was a multimedia laptop computer released in 2006. The laptop features a 15-inch display screen, a 1.6 GHz processor and an internal 80 GB hard disk drive (HDD). In the lifespan of your Dell Latitude laptop, you may need to perform significant hardware upgrades. Replacing any hardware device in your Dell laptop means dismantling the computer to some degree. The extent that you take apart your computer primarily depends on the type of hardware you're replacing.

Step 1

Shut down the laptop and unplug the power cable. Close the display panel. Place the laptop face-down, and position the computer with the front edge facing you. Remove the battery pack from its compartment in the lower-left corner of the laptop.

Step 2

Remove the Phillips-head screw securing the CD/DVD drive to the upper-left corner of the laptop. Locate the release latch on the face of the drive. Push down on the latch to eject it from its slot. Grasp the ejected latch, and then pull the drive out of its compartment.

Step 3

Remove the two Phillips-head screws fastening the hard drive assembly to its compartment in the lower-right corner of the laptop. Grasp the hard drive with your fingers, and pull the drive from its compartment.

Step 4

Loosen the Phillips-head screw on the memory compartment cover near the center of the laptop's bottom case. Remove the cover to reveal the memory module inside the compartment. Spread apart the retention clips on each side of the module, and then slide the memory out of its socket.

Step 5

Locate the modem and wireless cards inside the vacant memory compartment. Remove the Phillips screw from the modem card. Disconnect its motherboard cable and lift the modem out of the laptop. Disconnect the two antenna cables from the wireless card, slide the retaining metal tab away from the card and remove it from the memory compartment.

Step 6

Remove the remaining 14 Phillips-head screws from the laptop's bottom case. Flip the laptop over and open the display panel. Use a flat-head screwdriver to pry the display hinge cover from the laptop. This is the plastic piece situated between the keyboard and LCD panel.

Step 7

Unscrew the two Phillips screws from along the top edge of the keyboard assembly. Grasp the top of the keyboard, and tilt it upward slightly. Unplug the large ribbon cable extending from the keyboard's bottom side to its connector on the motherboard. The connector on the motherboard is held in place by a plastic retention latch. Rotate the latch to the left to access the connector.

Step 8

Unplug the LCD video cable extending from the left side of the display panel to the center of the motherboard. Remove the copper Phillips-head screw grounding the cable to the motherboard. Loosen the two Phillips screws on each display hinge, and then lift the LCD panel off of the laptop.

Step 9

Remove the five Phillips screws from the laptop's palm rest assembly, which is the main plastic piece covering the top side of the motherboard. Disconnect the thin blue touchpad cable from the motherboard. Lift the entire top cover off of the laptop's base to reveal the entire motherboard.

Reverse this procedure to put your laptop back together.


  • Wear an ESD wrist strap to discharge static electricity from your body as well as prevent serious electrical damage to your laptop's parts.


About the Author

Ezekiel James began as a music writer in 2003. Since then, James has served as a writer for several music, technology and design publications. His work has been published on eHow, and in print for the "The Potrero View" and "Punk Planet." James is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Portland State University.

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