Dell laptops are colourful and stylish, with many artistic lid designs available. In the case of Studio models especially, eBay lists a large number of new lid covers in a variety of colours and designs to buy and install on your laptop. When selling a used laptop, refurbishing it with a brand new lid cover may increase its value, too. However, this is a challenging project with a high degree of risk of damage to your screen. Proceed with patience and caution.
- Skill level:
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Turn over your laptop and look for the Dell manufacturer sticker on the bottom. Take note of the model number. Go to either Dell's website or eBay to search for and buy a new lid cover, using that model number as a search term. For example, to search for a lid cover for a Studio 1537 laptop, search for "Studio 1537 lid."
Go to the Dell website and click on the "Technical Support" link located at the top. Choose the product type for your laptop and click on the appropriate green button. Go to "Manuals" and click on "Select a Model." Follow the prompts to select your model based on the model number you wrote down in Step 1. Choose your language and click "View" next to "Service Manual." Once at the service manual, choose "Display" to view instructions on display disassembly.
Turn off your laptop, unplug the power adaptor and remove the battery. Set your laptop up on a clean, flat surface such as your desk or kitchen table. Because Dell models vary in disassembly procedures, use this as a general guide for removing the lid cover. Turn the laptop over and remove the back access panel using a small Phillips-head screwdriver. Locate the two antenna wires (the only ones visible at this point) and unplug them. Remove screws located near the hinges. Remove the screws located in the battery bay as well.
Turn the laptop over and remove the bezel part located above the keyboard. Remove the bezel part from around the keyboard, using a small flathead screwdriver, if necessary. Unscrew the keyboard and lift it up gently, then move it to the side. Remove the cable attaching the keyboard to the motherboard, being careful not to rip it out. A flat data cable connects the screen to the motherboard; remove it as well. If the laptop uses a built-in webcam, there is one more cable to remove.
Check that no cables are connecting the screen to the motherboard. Gently pull the two antenna out of the laptop case. Lift the entire display assembly up and away from the laptop's base. Remove the front bezel from the screen by carefully pulling it off, loosening it on all four sides. Remove the screws holding the screen in place and remove the screen, so now the lid cover is separate from all other parts.
Take your new lid cover and begin reassembling the laptop in reverse order of the disassembly. Because the lid only protects the laptop and does nothing mechanically, there is no need to test anything before finishing reassembly. Before replacing each part, however, check that everything is plugged in and that screws are replaced so that you will not need to take anything apart again. Replace all screws before attempting to power on and check that everything is tight.
Tips and warnings
- Dell's service manuals are very detailed and include specific instructions and images for each model. It is highly recommended that you make use of them.
- Users with little computer hardware experience should either practice first on an old, inexpensive laptop or take the computer to a technician. Mistakes may lead to a broken screen, broken bezel pieces, ripped cables or simply forgetting to reattach cables.
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