Opening a Dell Inspiron 6400/E1505

It’s been about a month since my last post, and a lot of things happened. I’ve been working on my work term report, finishing things up for the work term, playing Street Fighter 4… yeah. Now that my work term is over, one of the things I’ve been stalling on is changing my laptop fan.

I bought my Dell Inspiron 6400/E1505 just before going into university (Summer 2006). But once I got to university, the laptop was everywhere. I think this laptop is probably the most popular laptop of my generation, so I thought that this post might help someone with their computer problems.

Dell Inspiron 6400/E1505
Dell Inspiron 6400/E1505

I’ve been generally happy with my laptop though, had a few minor problems: a blue screen every now and then, and my CD drive doesn’t work at the moment. But from my experience, it seems like the fan is the first thing that breaks down after about 2 years of collecting dust. My fan died last summer in the middle of a LAN party. After, the fan was loud all the time; it was a little embarrassing in the library. But I never realized that the fan was the problem until I opened my computer, cleaned the dust, and checked the fan last January.

So I’ve opened my computer before. And that’s the main problem; the laptop’s annoying to open. I pried open some plastic, fooled around with some wires, and removed the palm rest, keyboard and monitor. Seems like a lot more work than needed. I don’t have much experience with technician work, but thanks to Dell’s service manual, it wasn’t that bad. You just need to be careful and follow instructions. It was good bonding time with my dad.

Innards of a Dell Inspiron 6400/E1505. Didn’t know the heat was transferred through those metal bars.
Innards of a Dell Inspiron 6400/E1505. Didn’t know the heat was transferred through those metal bars.

Replacing the fan was simple. Testing the fan turned out to be simple too. While opening the computer, I was sort of scared because I was too lazy to backup my stuff, but it turns out that the computer is still fully functional without the parts I took out. I used the palm rest to turn the computer on, and external monitor, keyboard and mouse for input/output. I used WarCraft III to trigger the fan. After, I cleaned the computer with some compressed air and put the computer back together.

Running my computer without the internal input/output components
Running my computer without the internal input/output components

Other than that, I ordered my fan off eBay. It’s the first thing I’ve ordered on eBay and I got it in about three weeks. Best of all, it was only four dollars American with shipping. Pretty good deal.

Next up, my CD drive. (You take out one screw and pull it out.)

The field of screws
The field of screws
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2 Comments on “Opening a Dell Inspiron 6400/E1505”


  1. Very great read! Truely..

    • Steven Chung Says:

      thanks! but this post is my last blog post. it takes a bit too long to blog. oh well.

      anyway, thanks again and take care!


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