Disassembly of a Dell Inspiron 1100

Introduction: Disassembly of a Dell Inspiron 1100

This is a detailed tutorial on how to completely disassemble a Dell Inspiron 1100. I realize this is a very old laptop model but I have one which I use the most of my two computers. But with proper maintenence, any computer will run fine for many years to come. This tutorial will also work with the Dell Inspiron 5100 and 5150 series laptops as they are almost identical.

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Step 1: What You Need

The tools to disassemble this laptop is pretty simple:
A Dell Inspiron 1100, 5100 or 5150 series laptop in need of disassembly
Thermal Grease (Not needed if you don't rip the processor off of the heatsink but it is recomended that the grease be replaced)
A Precision Screwdriver Set
A Pair of Plyers or a 3/16 Hex Adapter Thing

Step 2: Begin With the Simple Stuff

To begin you must remove the battery and disconnect the AC cord as well as remove extra devices.(Wireless cards/USB devices) If you don't your risk hurting yourself and damaging your computer. After removing the power sources, hold the power button for 20 seconds to discharge the capacitors in the computer. Also go touch a metal surface to discharge static electricity or if you have a static band that is worn on the wrist put that on. You must get all static electricity out of your body or risk damaging your computer.

Step 3: The Little Bit More Complex Stuff

Now take your precision screwdriver and select the largest Phillips bit. ALSO KEEP TRACK OF ALL THE SCREWS! THERE ARE MANY DIFFERENT SIZES! Flip the computer over and undo two screws to remove the hdd caddy. Set it aside on a towel. Look for one screw in the center and take it out. This will allow you to remove the disk drive. Next remove the two panels. Under one is the modem and maybe a built in wireless card. Under the other are the RAM chips. To remove the modem undo two screws and pull up. Remove the cable holding it to the board. Next remove the RAM chips. Bend the metal/plastic tabs to the side and the chips should pop up. Pull them up and out at an angle. Set them aside. Under the panel where the RAM chips were will be a black plastic tab. Push it and the disk drive should pop out. Then look at the back of the laptop and you will see two more screws. Remove them. Go to the external VGA connector and remove the threaded studs with plyers or the hex adapter thing.

Step 4: The Real Disassembly

Flip the computer back over and open the screen to a 180 degree angle. Switch bits to the largest flathead and pry the blue logo up starting from the right. Be gentle and don't break the tabs. Once you get it off, undo the four screws holding the keyboard down and remove the keyboard. Then undo the four holding down the screen. Unplug the screen module and set the display aside. Undo one screw and remove the EMI shield. Set that aside. Remove two screws that are unnder where the display was. Remove two screws where the display was. Flip the computer back over and remove all of the screws in the back. Also remove four small silver screws around the edges. Flip it back over again. Remove the cable holding down the touchpad. Remove that. You now have full access to the main parts of the computer.

Step 5: Removal of the "Mains"

Now we will remove the heatsink/cpu assembly and the motherboard. Begin by removing the CPU assembly. First turn the flathead screw on the cpu socket counter-clockwise a half turn. If you don't, the CPU will be damaged. After that, follow the order on the screws in reverse. Pull up and the CPU/ heatsink should pop up. If you want, GENTLY pry the CPU off the heatsink and clean off the old thermal grease with rubbing alcohol. Then when you put it back together, apply a dot in the middle of the CPU and put the CPU back into its socket and line up the heatsink and press down to bond the two. If you aren't replacing the grease skip what I just said, but still remove the CPU/heatsink assembly. In order to remove the metal slots, remove the screws as detailed in pictures 3-7.

Step 6: End

Congratulations! You have just fully disassembled a Dell Inspiron 1100. Now your probably sitting at your computer with 1100 parts everywhere around your feet. Well in order to reassemble, follow the steps completely in reverse. Don't forget to turn that flathead screw on the CPU socket or the computer won't work when you fire it up. Also don't bend any pins on the CPU itself or you'll need a new one.

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    4 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Nicely done and well detailed. With assistance from your 'ible, which I do thank you for, I just finished disassembling a friend's Dell 1150 in order to re-solder the DC jack, which broke clear off the motherboard due to the laptop falling (back first) onto a hard floor - from table height. A replacement DC jack was needed due to broken and torn pins, and the disassembly, soldering, and re-assembly were ultimately successful but not so a successful bootup of the laptop - unfortunately. The power-on light turns on, the fan turns on but the screen stays blank, and I don't believe the HDD ever starts. At this point, I think it will only work as a parts reservoir and boat anchor.
    QUESTION: Though unnecessary for the task of re-solding the DC jack, for kicks I removed the plastic frame (with the word "DELL" printed on the bottom) from around the front of the screen of the laptop, and noticed a small permanent magnet at the top (same location as the sliding latch mechanism that latches the laptop 'clamshell' together when it is closed). Do you have any idea what the magnet is used for? The clamshell latch is spring activated and is not affected at all by the magnet, so it is not there for the latch.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Glad that these instructions could help you.

    No I do not recall seeing a magnet the last time I took my 1100 apart, though that was a long time ago. I can not think of any resons as to why it would be there.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I think I had one of these awhile back, either this or the 1150.It was a great laptop, but It had a design flaw in which a tab on one of the back panels(I believe it was panel C) would press down on a chip, breaking it's solder leads, bricking the computer. it was my sister's laptop until it happened to her, then she gave it to me. after a little research I managed to fix it by first removing the tab that caused the trouble then pressing down on the chip with a small screwdriver and pressing the power button until it would work. after I managed to get it to turn on, I held the chip the way I had it and applied about two drops of super glue to it, creating an encasement that would hold the chip in place.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    That must have been the 1150 because looking under panel C on the 1100, I don't see a black plastic tab. I do believe the 1150 had some design flaws when they first came out.