Well Dell, there you go again
By Rick Smith
"There you go again" was a phrase spoken during the 1980 United States presidential election debate by Republican presidential candidate Gov. Ronald Reagan to his Democratic opponent, incumbent President Jimmy Carter. Reagan would use the line in a few debates over the years, always in a condescending way intended to disarm his opponent.
"There you go again" emerged as a single defining phrase of the 1980 presidential election. The phrase has endured in the political lexicon in news headlines, as a way to quickly refer to various presidential candidates' bringing certain issues up repeatedly during debates, or to Reagan himself.
Reagan would sometimes use the phrase during his presidential press conferences. During the 2006 Connecticut Democratic Senate Primary Debate, incumbent Sen. Joe Lieberman used the line a number of times against his primary challenger, Ned Lamont. During the 2008 vice-presidential debate, Republican vice-presidential nominee, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, used the line on Democratic opponent Joe Biden. Wikipedia deserves some credit for making it easy to cut and paste text for my rants and helping me get the facts straight. There's a picture of me wearing one of my favorite T-shirts in this article, which explains how I get my inspiration.
Let's face it, folks, Dell has completely lost its mind in the consumer market. I mean, how many times can we watch the Lollipop, Lollipop, commercials and not get ill looking at all the candy-colored PCs rolling down the line. There used to be a time when a colored PC was special. I remember when I had my ACER Ferrari notebook. That was a real charmer. Beautiful Ferrari Red in color and it came with a matching Ferrari Red mouse. I whipped that thing out during jury duty oh those many years ago to hear a collective gasp from the crowd as they stared in wonder at the magnificence of my Italian Styled Sports Notebook. They say all great sports cars are designed after a woman's body with sleek flowing beautiful lines. So was this notebook. A sexy and majestic beauty if there ever was one. Only to be stolen by some criminal low-life breaking into our office to get some stuff to sell for his next fix. She was special that one. I just got myself all worked up just thinking about her. But now, no big deal! You can order almost any color in an M&M bag to suit your tastes, and you may not be the only one on your block to have one.
Let's get back to the point. Dell has repeatedly made some loopy decisions regarding PC design in the last few years. Remember the Dell dimension XPS series, which means Xtreme Performance System. It came out with white PCs with what could be called a handle on the front. It also had some blue and silver things that looked like some sort of Robot face. This was when Dell decided to change to a proprietary motherboard and power supply design. Dell decided to reverse its motherboards and create a whole new footprint, which means if you had a failure you just couldn't put in a competitor's replacement part. Oh, no, you had to purchase a custom part only from Dell or one of its lackeys at a higher price than what could be obtained on the street. I've had over five customers who had had to basically throw their PCs away and buy new ones because of the cost to upgrade. Something to think about when you buy a new PC.
But "here they go again." We had a customer bring in a Dell Inspiron N4010 requiring some hard drive maintenance. As a precaution, before we attempt drive repair we copy our customers' data. To accomplish this we need to remove the drive from the notebook and copy the drive's entire contents to another drive. We call this "cloning" the drive. Normally, this is accomplished by removing one or two screws from the side or bottom of the notebook with a small screwdriver. Almost anyone can accomplish removing their own hard drive from a notebook if the need arises. Except if you're a Dell customer. Dell and some other manufactures have now hidden the drive under the keyboards, which is great news for us because no longer will the average users be able to replace their own notebook drives as the degree of difficulty has gone up. But Dell has taken this a step further and with the particular model that came in you not only have to remove the keyboard but the entire motherboard to extract the hard drive. Take out the motherboard? Are they crazy? Why would you want to have simply one or two screws when you can design it to require the disassembly of almost the entire unit? Incredible. I didn't believe Michael until he gave me this.
Here's the "OLD" way to remove the hard drive.
- Place laptop upside down on anti-static mat.
- Turn the computer over and remove the two 3-mm screws.
Here's the "NEW" way (to satisfy the requirements of Dell's copyright notice on its help pages, I have rewritten/reworded the instructions, keeping the numbers intact, and removed Dell's graphics):
Removing the Hard Drive
- Remove the battery -- Shut down the computer and turn it over. Slide the battery lock latch until it clicks into place. Slide the battery release latch to the unlock position. Slide and lift the battery out of the battery bay.
- Remove the optical drive -- Remove the screw that secures the optical-drive assembly to the computer base. Slide the optical-drive assembly out of the optical-drive compartment. Remove the two screws that secure the optical-drive bracket to the optical drive. Pull the opticaldrive bezel to detach it from the optical drive.
- Remove the module cover -- Loosen the captive screw that secures the module cover to the computer base. Lift and slide the module cover out of the computer base.
- Remove the memory module(s) -- Use your fingertips to carefully spread apart the securing clips on each end of the memory-module connector until the module pops up. Remove the memory module from the memory-module connector.
- Remove the keyboard -- Remove the two screws that secure the keyboard to the computer base. Turn the computer over and open the display as far as possible. Slide the keyboard downwards to release the tabs on the palm rest that secure the keyboard. Slide a plastic scribe between the keyboard and palm rest. Pry and lift the keyboard to disengage it from the tabs on the palm rest. Ease the keyboard up until it clears off the palm rest. Without pulling hard on the keyboard, hold it towards the display. Lift the connector latch that secures the keyboard cable to the connector on the system board and remove the keyboard cable. Lift the keyboard off the computer.
- Remove the palm rest -- Remove the fourteen screws that secure the palm rest to the computer base. Disconnect the touch pad cable and the power button cable from the connectors on the system board. Carefully separate the palm rest from the computer base to avoid damage to the palm rest. Slide a plastic scribe between the computer base and the palm rest. Pry and lift the palm rest off the computer base.
- Remove the coin-cell battery -- Use a plastic scribe to pry up the coin-cell battery from the slot on the system board.
- Remove the thermal fan -- Disconnect the I/O board cable and the thermal fan cable from the connectors on the system board. Remove the two screws that secure the thermal fan to the computer base. Lift the thermal fan along with the cable, off the computer base.
- Remove the Bluetooth card -- Remove the screw that secures the Bluetooth card to the system board. Lift the Bluetooth card to disconnect it from the connector on the system board.
- Disconnect the display cable from the connector on the system board, and remove the display cable grounding screw.
- Remove the nine screws that secure the system board assembly to the computer base.
- Lift the system board assembly to disconnect the connector on the system board from the connector on the daughter board. Remove the Hard Drive -- Remove the two screws that secure the hard-drive assembly to the system board. Slide the hard-drive assembly to disconnect it from the connector on the system board. Lift the hard-drive assembly away from the system board. Remove the four screws that secure the hard-drive bracket to the hard drive. Lift the hard-drive bracket off the hard drive.
Follow the steps 5 through 20 for replacing the system board.
5. Replacing the hard drive -- Open new drive. Screw in the four screws after aligning with bracket. Slide and push the hard-drive and bracket to connect it to the system board. Screw in the two screws that secure the hard-drive and bracket to the system board. Follow the steps 5 through 20 for replacing the system board.
Oh, I almost forgot. Here are steps 5 to 20.
Replacing the System Board
- Turn the system board over.
- Align the system board with the computer base.
- Gently press the system board to connect it to the daughter board.
- Screw in the nine screws that secure the system board to the computer base.
- Connect the display cable to the system board, and replace the display cable grounding screw.
- Connect the AC adapter cable and the speakers cable to the system board.
- Replace the Bluetooth card.
- Replace the thermal fan.
- Replace the coin-cell battery.
- Replace the palm rest.
- Replace the keyboard.
- Replace the memory modules.
- Replace the module cover.
- Replace the optical drive
- Replace the battery.
- Replace any cards or blanks in the media card reader.
Now I'm no Einstein, but as you can see there's quite a bit of difference between the "old" way to replace your drive and the "new" way. When I saw this. all I could say was "There you go again."