how to fix m1210 flexing / bulging keyboard!!!
UPDATE 3/21/08 — found the pictures thanks for www.archive.org! (though, only the thumbnails)
due to an issue caused by me not thinking when switching webhosts, I have lost all the pictures of this guide :( — I will continue to look for them, and re-upload if found!!
aight, so I just got my brand new dell xps m1210 and was so excited as I opened the box. I read some reviews (mainly from notebookreview.com, GREAT site!!) and they mentioned that there was some pretty significant keyboard flex, mainly on the bottom right. Well turns out, that’s VERY true! I opened the laptop and instantly noticed a bulge in the keyboard, as if there was a bubble under the right hand side of the keyboard! this really bothered me as I spent like $1200 on this thing and I wanted it to be
like it *should* be perfect (at least in my mind, haha)
So I decided to see if I could figure out why it was bulging and I found why and fixed it (or at least made it MUCH better)!! I assume it’ll be the same reason for other m1210’s?….
So here’s the general view of the chassis under the keyboard, and from here, you can’t really tell what’s causing it.
Here, you can see where the chassis is protruding a bit, which causes the keyboard to bulge, and most likely is also why there’s such flex in the keyboard
this is another view of what’s causing the chassis to rise up like it is — seems that it was a bad design / flaw as it seems that the plastic part shouldn’t be as thick as it is..or there’s something pushing up on it… perhaps this can be shaved down, cut out,etc?
yet another view from the otherside showing the chassis sticking up
so….is this a design flaw? are all the m1210’s like this and this bad? I was thinking about cutting that section of the plastic part with my dremmel but was worried that it would throw plastic shavings all over the place and that would suck….so then, before I called dell for a return (!!!) I tried to see if I could figure out what the problem was…..
turns out, the cable from the touch pad was wedged between the a plastic part of the chassis and the bottom!
this takes patience, some long flat-head screw drivers, and a flashlight helps. What you basically have to do is pry the top part of the chassis up so you can move the cable free and up to where it seems like it was supposed to go…..
you gotta start out by pulling out the cable from the motherboard — be gentle, and kinda wiggle the cable left and right while pulling out slowly and carefully until it comes out.
when done, the cable will actually run though this little…’path way’ in between these (where arrow points) plastic things and come out at the other side (green circle)
so this is where I put the screwdriver to pry that part of the chassis up (it seemed a safe place) — just be VERY careful not to let the screw driver slide into the memory!!! — you can just kinda shove the screw driver in there, with the screen all the way back, and leave it there — (and of course if it’s not lifting the chassis up enough later, you’ll just have to hold the screw driver down to hold the chassis up more, it may help to have someone else hold it)
after removing the dvd drive — using a 2nd screwdriver in the bay, kinda push the cable to the left (while having the chassis lifted up by the first screwdriver with someone else helping if the wire is still wedged too tight) while pulling the end of the cable from the keyboard area and try to get it in that ‘path’ pictured above (arrow/dotted lines/green circle..) — it may take a while cause you don’t want to pull/push to hard because you don’t want the screw driver to slip and then scrape the motherboard or something else important!
once you get the cable up and around/behind that vertical plastic piece that was squishing the cable, it’ll probably look like this in the keyboard area..
just simply push the cable under/behind the plastic thing and then out at the end, plug it back in, put the keyboard back on, and the dvd drive, and you’re done! No more horrible bulge/keyboard flex!!