How to Upgrade the Hard Drive on a Dell Latitude D400

Written by sara williams
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The Dell Latitude D400 was a 12-in. business class laptop. Based off the more popular 14-in. D600 model, the D400 featured easily removed and upgradeable parts. While it is difficult to upgrade anything other than the memory on a laptop designed for use in the home, replacing the hard drive in a D400 is a simple matter of removing some screws and pulling the drive out. The D400 can take any 2.5-in., IDE-compatible hard drive.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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    Remove the Old Hard Drive

  1. 1

    Power down your laptop and unplug the power adaptor. Turn the laptop upside down. Locate the battery on the left side of the laptop, on the end closest to the touch pad. Push forward on the black battery latch and pull the battery out of the laptop. You must always remove all power sources from a laptop before working on its hardware.

  2. 2

    The hard drive caddie and the two screws holding it in place are located on the right side of the laptop, next to the optical disc drive. Remove the screws using a small Philips-head screwdriver. Place them in a safe spot nearby.

  3. 3

    Grasp the hard drive caddie by the thumb grip between the two screw holes and slide the caddie, along with the drive, out of the laptop. On each side of the caddie there are two small, Philips-head screws holding the drive in the caddie. Remove all of the screws.

  4. 4

    Turn the drive around so that the black plastic end faces you. Gently pull the black plastic adaptor off the back of the drive. It is very easy to bend pins by mistake while doing this. If you accidentally bend pins, use a flat, plastic stylus or similar tool to gently bend the pins back into shape.

    Install the New Hard Drive

  1. 1

    Fit the caddie over the new hard drive so the screw holes match. The plastic cover piece should not cover the pins, since those need to connect to the connectors inside the laptop. Secure the caddie onto the drive with screws. Take the black plastic adaptor and carefully push it over the pins on the back of the hard drive.

  2. 2

    Hold the drive caddie and hard drive so that the grip faces you. Gently slide the drive back into the bay. Do not force it in as doing so will bend or break the pins on the drive. Push the drive in all of the way so that its two bottom screw holes line up with the screw holes in the case.

  3. 3

    Replace the two screws that hold the caddie and drive in the laptop case. Replace the battery in the laptop and then turn it over. Power on your laptop and press "F2" before the operating system loads. Once the BIOS screen loads, check that it reports your new hard drive as present and working. If you see specifications of the new drive in BIOS, then the drive is working.

Tips and warnings

  • Never work on a laptop while it has power connected to it. Work on a flat, dry, clean surface away from static hazards such as pets or carpeting.

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