Please help! Computer case is stuck! (Yes, I know how the mechanism is SUPPOSED to work!) - General Hardware - Desktop - Dell Community

Please help! Computer case is stuck! (Yes, I know how the mechanism is SUPPOSED to work!)


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Please help! Computer case is stuck! (Yes, I know how the mechanism is SUPPOSED to work!)

  • I like Dell - I like their computers, and especially the price.  However, I am having a huge problem getting the case of my computer to open.  The computer is a Dell Precision 340 (my business computer), but the latching mechanism is the same as my personal computer (Dell Dimension 8400)
    I have read about 50 threads regarding this issue, I have read the official manual from Dell, and I have tried to open the case about 3.2 million times, to no avail.
    I am very computer and technical-savvy, and I was able to get the case on my personal computer open with no problem, but the Precision 340 case simply will not open!
    The bottom latch is fine, but the top latch is extremely troublesome, and brute strength simply will not get it open.  I've tried wedging things in there, looking inside, even following a very detailed thread from someone who was having the same problem and eventually got it open, but aside from breaking the top of the computer off, I honestly don't see it coming open.
    I need to get inside to replace a hard drive, but I'm afraid that if my frustration continues I may cause physical harm to the computer case, the components inside, and maybe my wall.
    I am hoping that maybe someone could help me solve this problem, and if I still can't get the case open, then hopefully someone from Dell will see this, and after looking at the numerous other threads regarding the same issue, will do something about it.  The latch works fine when you first get the computer, sure, but after it's been sitting there for a year it's a bi...well, you get the idea. 
    Dell: I would have GLADLY paid an additional $5 or $10 to get a latching system that actually worked well, but the parts just don't cut it very well.  Sorry if this message is a bit long and slightly sarcastic, but I have spent the last several hours trying to get inside my computer to change a hard drive, something that I've done 50 times before with ease.  I miss the screws...

    Message Edited by WinGenAdv on 08-07-200601:42 AM

  • WinGenAdv: First of all, let me say thank you for replying with a suggestion - I appreciate it very much, and any of the following frustration / sarcasm is not intended for you.

    Unfortunately, I have already seen Dell's wonderful "opening cases for dummies" diagrams and they don't seem to help.  Maybe I am interpreting the instructions wrong - it seems to me that there are 2 critical steps in getting the case open:

    1.  Push in buttons on both sides
    2.  Lift up

    Trust me, I tried to visualise a much more complex procedure, but it's just that simple.  As I said, my personal computer case works exactly the same and I've been able to get it open.

    When you push in the plastic buttons on the top and bottom of the computer, those plastic pieces hit a little metal "button" that pushes in and releases the other half of the computer so that it can be lifted up and separated from the motherboard half of the computer.

    However, I assume that my top latch (the metal part inside the plastic case) is messed up, as I actually peeled off a bit of the plastic to see to the metal, and the little metal "button" that pushes in to release the other half of the computer is pushing in and moving, but not releasing for some reason - only problem is I can't see the other side of the latch because the power supply is in the way so I can't diagnose the real mechanism problem.

    Any other suggestions?


  • Message Edited by WinGenAdv on 08-07-200601:42 AM

  • Thank you for the advice.  Fortunately I have someone here who has been helping me, and we will try that to see if it works.

    I will let you know how it goes :)



  • Yeah....

    Sooo...I tried doing all that in every which way I could imagine, but that top latch is just being extremely stubborn - it's not even coming close to opening or moving up any - I would almost swear that the metal is fused together and won't budge, but I suppose that's not the case, hehe.

    After trying that for a while and after several skin indentations and inappropriate verbage, we decided to move on...

    I was able to pull away the large piece of plastic on the side a little, as well as some of the plastic on top, so that I could see the metal case interior, and there is clearly a little metal lever that pushes in and out.  I tried pushing the metal lever myself up and down, left and right, and in and out, and it doesn't seem like anything I do to that lever is even remotely releasing the second half of the computer case.  Clearly this magical little lever is supposed to open up the computer case, but now I worry this is a message from above warning me not to open Pandora's box - I don't know.

    Either way, I shall take a break and check back later...

  • Ah, Case closed!, heh.


    After hours of struggling, I FINALLY managed to get the case open.  My friend (Case victim #2) eventually forced the top latch open after lifting up the bottom half and twisting and turning the case up to the top half.  Thank you very much for your suggestions



  • Message Edited by WinGenAdv on 08-07-200601:41 AM