How to Replace a Dell Laptop Keyboard

By Techwalla Contributor

Laptop keys are fragile and flimsy and if you use the laptop keys a lot, chances are, at least one will pop-off. If this happens, you can probably end up replacing it. Even if you have warranty coverage, Dell Computers will insist that you change the keyboard and will not pay a technician to replace the laptop keyboard for you. This article will tell you how to replace the keyboard on an Inspiron 1501 laptop.

Things You'll Need

  • Damaged laptop keyboard
  • New laptop keyboard
  • Philip screwdriver
  • Plastice scribe

Step 1

Order item number J617 from Dell computers. It will arrive with everything you need except the small Philip screwdriver. The package will contain the instruction manual, plastic scribe and of course the new keyboard.

Step 2

First, turn the laptop off, disconnect power source and remove the battery. Then, lay the laptop flat (180º) on the table or desk where you plan to change the keyboard.

Step 3

Using the plastic scribe, gently insert under the hinge cover's corner and lift the hinge cover off of the laptop. Be gentle. May require a little wiggling to ensure the little connectors pop out of their location.

Step 4

Once the hinge cover is removed, lay it to the side.

Step 5

Locate the two small M2.5 x 5mm screws that attach the keyboard to the laptop and use the small Phillips screwdriver to remove them. There is at least one on each side of the laptop. They were hidden by the hinge cover and should be visible once that cover is removed.

Step 6

Use the plastic scribe, insert under keyboard and gently lift. Little nodules on the end of the key board and a keyboard cable in the center secure the keyboard to the laptop. Gently wiggle the keyboard until it is loose.

Step 7

Pull up on the keyboard cable until it pops loose. Set the bad keyboard to the side.

Step 8

Take the new keyboard and insert the cable into the cable slot on the laptop. Press the cable lift down on top of the cable and secure it. (It is imperative that you get this part right otherwise, the keyboard will not work when you put it back together!).

Step 9

Insert the nodules on the end of the keyboard in their respective slots and replace the two M2.5 x 5mm screws.

Step 10

Replace the Hinge Cover.

Step 11

Turn the laptop on and - VOILA! You are back in business.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use this opportunity to clean the dust from the area under the keyboard once it is removed.
  • In my opinion, the instructions from Dell Computers were not the best, especially since they expect novices such as I to do the work myself.
  • To avoid electrostatic discharge, ground yourself by using a wrist grounding strap or periodically touching the connector on the back of the laptop (or any unpainted metal).