How to upgrade a Dell Inspiron 1121 (11z)
Just bought a Dell Inspiron 1121 (11z / M101z) and want to know how to upgrade the memory or hard drive? Unlike a few netbooks from the Dell Mini line, it’s quite simple on the 1121 and all you need are a couple of screw drivers and about 10 minutes – keep on reading to learn how!
First off, Dell has an illustrated guide on how to access the memory and hard drive here: http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/ins1121/sm/index.htm. I’d suggest using that to supplement my guide (it’s what I used!) if you have any questions.
Upgrading the memory:
1. Remove the battery, unscrew the memory door screw, and remove the memory door itself:
2. Push the clips on either side of each of the memory sticks and the memory stick should pop up a bit. Then simply pull/wiggle them out.
To put the memory back in, simply push them back into place (you know it’s all the way in when you cannot, or barely, see the gold contacts of the memory stick), and push it down into the clips. Screw back on the memory door and you’re done upgrading the memory!
Upgrading the hard drive:
1) To gain access to the hard drive, you must first remove the keyboard. To do this, start by removing these three screws on the bottom:
2) Now we need to start pulling the keyboard out. The easiest way to start this is by using a screw driver (or any other small tipped object), and push the keyboard out through one of the screw holes you just worked with and grab it from the other side when it’s pushed out a bit:
You can probably just pull up on the keyboard to get the two top tabs (red) loose, but you may need to use a credit card to put in between the keyboard and the chassis to get the bottom two clips loose:
4) With all 4 clips overcome, slide the keyboard up towards the screen a bit (to clear the bottom 5 tabs) and flip the keyboard over the palm rest. Note, don’t pull the keyboard too far away from the computer as it is still attached via a ribbon cable:
5) At this point, you could remove the hard drive as is, but I think it’s better to remove the keyboard entirely (just so you have less chance of pulling the keyboard out and damaging the cable). All you need to do is flip up the tab holding the cable to the motherboard (the black part of the tab is hinged to the white part, so with minimal force, just pull it (rotate it) up and to the left – watch the video if you are unsure – and the cable will be free):
7) From here, just simply remove the 2 screws on either side securing the drive to the drive caddy, replace it with your new hard drive, and screw it back in:
8) Place the hard drive and caddy back in it’s place, slide to the left, put back in the two hard drive screws. Then, place the keyboard upside down on the palm wrest, flip the ribbon cable upside down so you see the white line,
9) Almost done – flip the keyboard around and start with making sure the tabs slide under the chassis, press on the keyboard around where the 4 clips are, replace the 3 screws underneath, and you’re done!
And there you have it – relatively quick and painless to upgrade the memory and hard drive. If you’re looking for some memory upgrades, here are a few options:
Any thoughts to make this easier or want to know how to dismantle or upgrade any other part of this laptop? Let me know in the comments!