First things first. You'll need a small Phillips head screwdriver and a small jeweler's screwdriver. You'll also need a 5mm hex socket or wrench. The Phillips is for removing the gazillion screws that hold the freaking thing together. The jeweler's screwdriver is mainly for very carefully disconnecting the various connectors that you will come across. The 5mm is for removing the nuts on the serial port and the parallel port. Also get yourself a half dozen ziplock baggies and a sharpie. The baggies will be for organizing groups of screws as they come out of the machine. The sharpie is to label the baggies - so you'll remember which group is which. You should also get a roll of scotch tape. This is to tape certain screws to the parts that hold together. OK - Ready to start?
Step 1 - Remove the hinge cover. There are two screws that hold this in place from the back of the machine as indicated in the photo below:
Now open the display and from the right hand side (see arrow below) use the jeweler's screwdriver to pry up the cover. Carefully.
Tape the two screws to the bezel and set that unit aside. Beneath the cover you will find a small circuit board held on by two screws (see arrows). Remove those two screws and place in a baggy. On the bottom of the circuit board is a ribbon cable. Carefully turn the circuit board away from you so that you can see the connector for the ribbon. Use the jeweler's screw driver to loosen the connector. Be careful! The connector has a lock which you must slide down (toward the cable) to free the cable. Once you have removed the circuit board, place it in a baggy with the two screws and set those aside.
Now remove the 4 screws (marked below) that hold the keyboard in place. Place these screws in a baggy marked "Keyboard". There is a ribbon cable on the bottom of the keyboard. Lift the keyboard from the top. Carefully disconnect the keyboard cable from the motherboard. Set the keyboard aside. (Bonus points: what's wrong with the picture below??)
Now you should be ready to remove the display. There are eight screws, so get a baggy and mark it "Display". First remove the two screws that hold the video cable to the motherboard and place them in your baggy. Carefully free the cable. Now remove the two screws that anchor the top of the display on the right. And then remove the two screws that anchor the display on the left. Place those four screws in the baggy.
The remaining two screws for the display are on the back of the unit: one on the right, one on the left. Remove those two screws and place them in your "Display" baggy. Now carefully lift the display from the unit and set aside.
Next remove the right hand shroud. There are three screws marked in the photo below. These are LONG screws; you don't want to loose them! So tape them to the shroud as shown. Lift the shroud out of the way and set it aside.
You are done working on the top of the unit for now, so flip that sucker over and let's attack the bottom. First remove the floppy. Remove the two screws (marked below) and place them in a baggy marked "Floppy". Slowly slide the floppy drive out of the chassis. Remove the ribbon cable. This is the same type of connector as we saw earlier. I have marked the points on the connector which should allow you to unlock the cable. Slide the marked portion toward the cable - (ie in the same direction that you are moving the floppy drive. ) Once the cable is freed, then carefully pull out the floppy drive and set it aside with its screws.
Now remove the single screw at the front center. This holds the hard drive. Once the screw is free, you'll need to slide the bezel on the front of the unit up (toward the bottom of the chassis, which I assume you have facing upward right about now). Got That? Then you can pull the drive out of the chassis. Screw your screw back into the door for safekeeping.
Remove the two screws that holds the graphics processor fan. Place them in a baggy along with the cover. Carefully unplug the power cable for the fan. Now lift the fan out of the chassis and place it in the baggy and set it aside.
Remove the single screw that holds the memory door in place. Slide the door away, and replace the screw in its hole.
Remove the battery and set that aside.
Inside the memory bay, is a screw that secures the optical drive (CD-ROM, DVD, whatever...). Remove that screw (marked below) and press on the handle (marked) to push the drive out of the chassis. While you are at it, remove the cable for the modem (marked). Use your jeweler's screwdriver to gently pry it away from the unit.
Get a baggy and mark it "bottom". Unscrew 12, yeah 12 screws (marked) and seal them up in the baggy and set them aside.
Flip the computer back over. There are two screws on the top of the case (marked). Remove these and place in a baggy marked "Top" and set them aside. Remove the cable bundle marked on the bottom of the photo. Remove the screw (marked below) which holds the graphics card in place. Place that in an unmarked baggy. You'll need to pop the graphics adapter out; gently wiggle it until it comes out. Then place it in the baggy with its screw and set it aside. Now the top bezel should come right off.
Remove the speaker cable (marked at the top of the image). Now its time to remove the floppy cage. Remove the two marked screws and tape them to the cage. Remove the cage and set it aside.
Same song, different verse; remove the two marked screws that hold the Hard Drive Cage to the motherboard. Tape the screws to the cage. Both speaker wires are wrapped under the chassis and then they are run along the Hard Drive Cage. Carefully remove the speakers and free the wire off of the chassis on both sides. Then lift the cage and the speakers off of the mother board and set aside.
Remove the four marked screws that hold the CPU fan in place. Lift the fan and set it aside.
Home stretch! There are five screws that hold the motherboard to the bottom bezel. I don't have a photo without the CPU Fan - but one of the five screws lives just under the CPU fan. Remove these screws and place in a baggy marked "MB". From the back remove the four bolts - two on the parallel port, two on the serial port. Place these bolts in the "MB" Baggy. On the left side, there are two ports for audio. There is small plastic doohicky that you can lift out of place and stick that in the MB bag. There is another plastic doohicky that lives on the upper left corner of the battery bay. Stick that one in the "MB" baggy too. You'll need to work the flashing over the audio connectors. Congrats, you should now be able to lift the Motherboard off of the bottom bezel!
At this point you should treat yourself to a fine Malted Beverage of your choice. I recommend a Big Ed's Triple Threat Munich Style Ale. Assembly is the reverse procedure, of course!
Update Dec 10 06 - Moved some images to Flickr
Update Apr 28 07 - Moved the rest of the images to Flickr
Very glad that this helped you and congrats on getting the Graphics Card working once more!
I suspect that upgrading the card is possible - but I have no firsthand knowledge about the requirements. I encourage you to forge ahead and please report back on your findings!
I wonder if Dell know of any compatible components from later models? But I'm sure they won't tell because they'd want me to buy a new computer. Haha.
Here is a better option! I am pretty certain that the original graphics card is from NVdia. They can probably tell you if there is another model that will work. I'd bet that they have one! :-)
Quick question - I get a continuous beeping on firing up the computer. One of the beep error code pages I've found says this is b/c the battery that maintains the BIOS RAM has died (though I can't find this error code list anymore - frustrating how info isn't always easily available). I took apart the computer hoping to find it but no luck. Any suggestions?
Regardless - thanks again. This has made the thought of doing upgrades by myself entirely possible.
"Use the jeweler's screw driver to loosen the connector. Be careful! The connector has a lock which you must slide down (toward the cable) to free the cable. "
This should be similar to what you need to do to free your keyboard cable!
Many thanks for any feedback you can give.
btw - your pics are excellent, and a real help.
Yes the cable shown in the picture labeled Step 3 and Step 5 is the right one - the cable with the red wires shown in the photo. In the Step 5 photo you can see where it connects to the Motherboard. The ribbon cable connectors have a small release and lock mechanism. Dont force them! I think you are the right track!
Thanks for the great step-by-step!
As to hard drive specificity - most IDE drives should work just fine. There is no cable to the drive - its a soldered connector on the Mobo. If its been sitting for a while, I would try to either flash the bios or do a reset settings on the bios.
Any help would be apprecated.
Follow all the instructions down to where it says "Now the top bezel should come right off." Look at that picture - see the memory sitting there? Replace that one and zip it back up. No sweat!
If the 128MB under the keyboard is not soldered on the motherboard then it can probably by upgraded to 512.
A friend of mine just received msg 0271 - Check date and time settings
Warning System CMOS Checksum bad - Default configuration used. F1 to resume - F2 to settings. This laptop has not been used in 6 months. The battery doesn't hold a charge. Does he have to try to replace the cmos battery. I'm not sure what you mean by the statement - it's a specialty battery with tabs spotted on it so it can be soldered in.. (is the battery soldered in? Any help you can provide is appreciated
Heh, heh! Yeah this is exactly why I ripped this sucker apart.
Certainly it depends on whats wrong with the current power jack. The best repair is to get a replacement and then soldier that sucker in place of the broken one!
With confidence gained fter I replaced the keyboard on my Eee PC 901 thanks to a youtube video, I set to work reviving my other two injured laptops.
Thanks for documenting your 2650 dis-assembly...only one on the net as far as I can tell.
Try a SN Torpedo Extra IPA on me!!! Thanks again.
I unsoldered my (dead) CMOS battery on my Inspiron 2650, and by peeling back the tabs on it I could read the number: ML1220 3V rechargeable. If you google ML1220 there are plenty of places to buy. Note they come with different solder tab configurations. Ours is actualy the "vertical" type even though the battery is mounted horizontally.
Some websites say you can use the more advanced VL1220 in substitute. That's what I did and it's working fine for now.
Price varies a lot. I got mine from in the UK from Farnell, part number 1514218, £2.37.
NB. my old battery was reading 2.62V before I unsoldered it. That was enough for the CMOS clock to stop, though the other settings were still OK. If you've soldered electronics before it's not too tricky, but if you haven't then I'd recommend you find someone to do it for you.
Make sure to get the polarity right. There is a little + sign next to one contact on the motherboard. For me, my new battery went writing-side-up, yet the old one was the other way round. (I just used a voltmeter on the new battery to find which side was which.) The new solder tabs needed trimming to length and the top one bending down slightly to meet the board. They're just soldered to surface pads.
I am getting ready to replace the top plastic lid cover on my Inspiron 2650. Any suggestion how to go at it?
Wonderful site buddy, keep up the good work
do i have to:
a) just pull it very very very hard until it comes off? or
b) push or squeez some mechanism at the base (in the middle or both sides?) to release the lock?
I have been trying to figure this out for many days but couldn't get it done. if i pull the cable too hard and rip the thing off, i am very sure the damage will be irreverseble. if that happened, i would probably have to throw the laptop away coz not worth the money to sent it for repair. been looking at the dell manual but it doesn't explain in detail on how to go about pulling the keyboard cable off the base.
anyway, thanks for keeping this thread alive - the info really help.
rusman (from Malaysia)
I can't say I remember if there was a mechanism on the keyboard connector with 100% accuracy, but I don't remember the keyboard being difficult to remove, so I think it just a matter of pulling it out. The two most difficult connectors are the Disk Drive, and the connector where the power button is on.
You mentioned to Steve Row that:
'If the 128MB under the keyboard is not soldered on the motherboard then it can probably by upgraded to 512.'
This is a bit puzzling as other comments indicate that the memory should clip out the same as the one on the other side. Are there two different types of mounting, and is there really any limit on the memory that could be added. If Crucial got it wrong, how do we tell what we can add? (Is Steve Row out there to update us?)
The memory under keyboard can be seen right there on the picture that says "step 14". The mounting is exactly the same as on the other side. The BIOS and chipsets will dictate how much RAM can be stuffed into there. If Steve got a 512 chip working in one slot, I suspect that 512 would work in both slots.
Let us know how you get on!
Readers should note that I have had a further reply to querying Steve Row's experience with Dell.
They say that Steve must have been refering to a 2650, rather than the 2600 he stated. They say that the 2650 has a 'Pentium 4' (presumably meaning a Celeron version of one) processor, and has been known to take a gigabyte; but the 2600's processor is a 'Pentium 3' type, and can indeed only handle the stated 512.
Unless anyone here knows better...
(Crucial, by the way, despite me giving them a link to this page, still say only an approved dealer can change the hidden module.)
Got Battery here:
Please download them if you want to use them as I won't leave them up forever on my site. Your Blog here is awesome! Rich.
Thanks. From the looks of your pictures, you have relocated the battery as well so that changing it out in the future would not require a full disassembly. Smart!
Thanks for the photos!
Was so glad I found this.
So happens, I took it (my 2650) apart one time before when I added RAM. Dell's website says it can only use 512 Mb, though now some on this blog are saying 1Gb. That would be a nice improvement.
My issue is the display. While plugging in an external mouse and a regular monitor (instead of my HDTV), I (due to dry conditions in my apartment) static sparked the mouse port. After that, the computer no longer could project to an external monitor.
I don't know how to check what part got damaged. I'm thinking it's possibly the video card, but more likely the VGA port on the motherboard. What do you think about this?
Also, Dell's instructions for replacing the 2650's motherboard includes this:
HINT: After replacing the system board, enter the computer service tag sequence into the BIOS of the replacement system board.
"11. Turn on the computer.
12. Insert the floppy disk or CD that accompanied the replacement system board into the appropriate drive, and turn on the computer. Follow the instructions on the screen."
Could you explain the "HINT" and step 12?
There should be a service tag number on the bottom of the computer. I guess that on boot you can update that into the BIOS. There is no good reason to do that however.
I don't know that entering that number into the BIOS would matter now, as this computer has been out of warranty for about 8 years!
Other than that, is this CD they talk about (on Dell's website) that "accompanies the replacement board" really a necessary part of the motherboard installation process? If so, what is the CD and where would I get it?
I dont know. That seems unlikely.
A big thank you for your blog on the Dell 2650 Laptop.
I could easily replace the screen of my 2650 American by the screen of my 2650 French and everything seems to work well.
Best regards from France
A big thank you for your blog on the Dell 2650 laptop.
I could easily replace the screen of my 2650 American by the screen of my 2650 French and everything seems to work well.
Best regards from France
I replaced my hard drive on my dell inspiron 2650 from 40gb to 6gb (6gb is 16 years old) and I don't want to buy a new one because it cost too much and when i booted it up everything was properly inserted but it said i didn't have a hard drive installed. can you tell me what i'm doing wrong?
All views expressed in this post and on this blog are my own. None of my comments should be construed to represent the views of others including and not limited to: BMC Software Inc., Corel Corporation, Dun and Bradstreet and AC Nielsen. Copyright Chris Hughes 2004-2012