Opening/Servicing a Dell Inspiron 6000? My blackbook desires. A long story inside.

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by blairh, Mar 17, 2008.

  1. blairh macrumors 68040


    Dec 11, 2007
    I'm posting here because a google search of "how to open inspiron 6000" actually led me to a macrumors forum post. Also the official Dell forum is an absolute joke.

    So here is my story: I've been flirting with the idea of purchasing a macbook for some time now. Specifically, a blackbook. I'm currently eyeing the previous model that can be found discounted online if you look hard enough.

    I currently own a Dell Inspiron 6000 for 2 years now. With the exception of a small dead pixel in the lower right hand corner of my screen, I have to admit it has worked almost flawlessly. Until......

    The fan began making noise a month back. The noise comes and goes, and doesn't start up every time I use my laptop. Another forum suggested I open up my laptop and clean the insides using compressed air, because that could be causing the fan to act up. Do you suggest this? I feel a little apprehensive opening up my laptop, but if it's easy, I may do it.

    I also tried finding a company that would go ahead and do this for me, to my disbelief, I can't locate one legit looking computer service center in my area (Boston). Any suggestions on that front?

    And lastly, back to the blackbook. I had a nightmare situation the past 6 months with my Linksys router (the one with speedbooster, what a piece of junk. inconsistent connections galore). Anyways, I just purchased a D Link Extreme N router. I was told it's a fantastic router and should even help my G network connection in the Dell. But I'm curious to test out an N network connection laptop, especially with my new router, so that would be one reason to get the blackbook. Also, I find the 15.4" 7lbs. inspiron to be a bit too heavy to carry around my home, hence another point for the blackbook. The only silver lining is that I'm not really in a financial situation to purchase a new laptop, unless my inspiron dies entirely/I can't fix it. I also don't want to sell my inspiron with hopes I can use it for m.word, as a backup laptop, and final draft, a screenwriting software.

    So that's my situation. Any words of advice would be appreciated. (Whether I should open and clean the inside of my Dell, where I could have it serviced in the Boston area, my thoughts about a blackbook).

  2. iMpathetic macrumors 68030


    Oct 7, 2007
    To touch on various things......

    Opening the laptop and blowing it out with compressed air is not incredibly hard at all. You'll have a ton of space to work with because those old Dells are very thick.

    I am the owner of a Blackbook, the model you are thinking of getting. All I can say is, you'll love it. Assuming you don't spend your days editing video or something, it'll be all the machine you'll need for quite a long time.

    It certainly feels light in the hand; plenty so to carry around all day at school. Going from seven pounds to five will be a huge improvement for sure. :)
  3. blairh thread starter macrumors 68040


    Dec 11, 2007
    thanks for your reply.

    is there anything i should be aware of before opening the inspiron laptop? perhaps i need to touch a metal non painted surface at intervals? stuff like that.
  4. MartyMoe macrumors regular

    Yes, several things;

    Always remove the battery (and AC power) before working inside a laptop.

    I assume it is out of warranty if you are trying this? You can go to and enter in the Service Tag (serial number) and find out whether it is still under warranty. If it isn't, and you don't mind opening it, cleaning it our with air is not too hard. You shouldn't have to take it all apart, just enough to get the keyboard off and then you can probably blow it out from there. I don't remember what the 6000 looks like, you will have to see as you go.

    Try not to move around in the middle of the project and gather a static charge, try to stay put.

    I do usually touch a metal non-painted surface to ground myself, yes...

    I also keep a piece of paper (or egg carton, or small dimpled foam tray) to keep track of what screws came from where, because they use different ones, the tricksters. K for keyboard, P for palmrest, etc., etc., etc.

    Good luck!

    And yes, the blackbooks I have seen were nice. You get used to the keyboard very fast.
  5. MartyMoe macrumors regular

    Online Link

    Found a take-apart link here-- looks like a little more than the keyboard, but here is the guide.

    Again, I would only try this if it is out of warranty, because opening it voids the warranty... but if it has expired, and you just want to blow it out, then you can see that info on their website.
  6. blairh thread starter macrumors 68040


    Dec 11, 2007
    Having second thoughts........

    Look at what Dell says in regards to changing the fan:

    Removing the Fan
    CAUTION: Before you perform the following procedures, see the safety instructions in the Product Information Guide.
    NOTICE: To avoid electrostatic discharge, ground yourself by using a wrist grounding strap or by periodically touching an unpainted metal surface (such as the back panel) on the computer.
    NOTICE: To avoid damaging the system board, you must remove the main battery before you begin working inside the computer.

    1. Follow the instructions in "Preparing to Work Inside the Computer."

    2. Remove the Mini PCI card (if applicable) and the optical drive.

    3. Remove the hard drive.

    4. Remove the hinge cover.

    5. Remove the keyboard.

    6. Remove the display assembly.

    7. Remove the palm rest.

    8. Remove the two M2.5 x 5-mm screws, and disconnect the connector that connects the fan to the system board.

    9. Lift the fan out of the computer.

    That is a crazy amount of disassembling just to get to the fan. Can't I just remove the bottom casing from the laptop? Won't that grant me access to the fan so I can blow out some dust? Yes, my dell is out of warranty.
  7. MartyMoe macrumors regular

    Doesn't look like you have to go to that length

    Couple of suggestions:

    (1) Make sure you have your documents, pictures, and other files backed up first; good advice anyway, but especially before doing things like this. ("Always Make Backups!!")

    (2) I am not sure about repair places in the Boston area... Geek Squad is probably trustworthy, but that can run into some money.

    (3) You might want to try to update your BIOS... that often deals with power and temperature-regulating stuff...

    (4) This is a lot of info, but the summary is: I don't think you have to take it all they way apart, just get it partially open, with the keyboard lifted up and pulled to the side, so it is just enough to see the fan.

    I don't think you actually have to change the fan.... just get it open enough to blow it out. However, if you are nervous, there is nothing wrong getting someone to blow it out for you. No sense doing it if you are not comfortable-- do what you think is right.

    Yes, that is your basic safety advice... unplug, remove battery, always ground yourself, and be very careful when working inside. This is where you can damage it if you are not grounded, so... they strongly warn you ahead of time to cut off all power... including static electricity. If you have a grounding strap, you can use that too. Being out of warranty means at least you won't endanger your warranty if you try it yourself, but only if you are comfortable.

    Having you pull all of these out just makes it easier to get the machine open- they have you carefully remove the "user-servicable" type parts like hard drive, optical drive, etc. You can probably leave them all in, as you are not going to change anything, you just want to get the machine open.

    Just don't drop the computer while working on it. Hard drives really don't like to be jarred.

    Removing the hinge cover is necessary to get to the keyboard screws; the hinge cover hides those screws. You can do it with a small plastic scribe or lever.

    You may actually be at the point here, with the keyboard unscrewed and pulled to the side (you don't have to actually unplug it) where you can just blow the fan out without removing the assembly-- see what just removing the keyboard gives you access to.

    Probably not needed. The display looks like it holds down the palm rest- i.e. it sits on top of it and is fastened to it, so doing a real, full take-apart would require removing it. However, note that their guide is aimed towards removing and changing out major parts completely, so they do the full deal with how to take it all apart. I don't think you have to go that far; I think you can stop before Step #6 there.

    Again, probably no need to actually remove the fan, just blow it out, probably from the top of the computer down out through the bottom.

    The bottom casing is often attached to the palmrest, i.e. the top of the casing, with the LCD screwed in on top of that, so there is no way to really remove only the bottom case. This is because there are at least two things screwed into the top of it.

    Besides, if you blew upwards through the fan up into the casing, you are going to just push the dust into the computer, so I would suggest going the other way.

    It should not be a problem getting to the keyboard steps if you are careful, but see how you feel. Remember I can't take responsibility for it (sorry) since I am not there myself, but getting the keyboard unscrewed and off to the side should at least give you room to blow it out.

    Good luck--

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