Tuesday, May 12, 2015

How to replace common components in a Dell Latitude CPi laptop

If you still have a Dell Latitude CPi, chances are some of the components will start to go bad soon, if they haven't already.  If you plan on replacing components rather than replacing the laptop, this article will walk you through removing and installing some of the more commonly replaced components of the Latitude CPi.  (Power the laptop off before removing any of these components.)

- Battery

To take the battery out, first turn the laptop over so you're looking at the bottom.  You'll see two slide locks, one to either side of the service tag sticker.  Each slide lock is marked with a lock icon.  The lock further to the right (with the service tag and Dell logo facing right side up) is for the battery.

To remove the battery, slide the lock to the right with one hand and slide the battery out with the other hand.  There is a contoured grip below the slide lock -- grasp that grip and slide the battery out, away from the computer.  When you slide the new battery in, it will automatically lock in place.

- Optical drive

The CD drive, DVD drive, or CD/DVD drive (depending on which one your laptop has installed) is located just to the left of the battery and comes out the same way.  Slide the other lock to the left and pull the optical drive out using the recessed grip.  (If you're going to dispose of the drive, make sure you didn't leave a disk in it.)  To install a new drive, slide it all the way in until it locks.

- Hard drive

As you're looking at the bottom of the laptop with the Dell logo facing right side up, the hard drive will be located to the right.  You'll see a thin rectangle on the right edge with two screws -- remove these screws with a small Phillips screwdriver and slide the hard drive out using the contoured grip.  When installing a new drive, slide it into place and then secure it with the screws.


If you need to remove one or both memory sticks from the CPi, first remove the RAM cover.  This cover is located just above the Dell logo, and it has a triangular arrow pointing to the right.  Slide the left side of this cover to the right, while at the same time lifting up on the right side of the cover to release it.  With the cover off you'll see the two RAM cards.

To remove the RAM, release each of the side clips holding it in place by pushing them to the side, away from the memory card.  Push the clip on the left farther to the left, and the clip on the right farther to the right.  (A small flathead screwdriver with a thin blade is ideal for doing this.)  Once each clip has been released, the RAM stick will pop up and you can pull it out.  Follow the same procedure to remove the other RAM stick.  It doesn't matter which order you remove or install the RAM.

When you install new RAM, gently slide the memory card into its slot at about a 45-degree angle, until it's sitting straight and you can't see its gold contacts.  Each card is keyed so you can only put it in one way.  Then gently push the card down until it is horizontal and the two clips snap into place.  To reattach the cover, slide it on from the right side and push it left until it slides all the way on.

(Originally published on Helium.com, April 2012)

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