How to open Dell Precision M4600 back panel

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How to open Dell Precision M4600 back panel

This question has been answered by eduncan911

I want to open the back panel of the Dell Precision M4600 so that I can upgrade the RAM and also put in a secondary hard disk. There is no documentation or tutorial for this. Anyone can provide and guide on how to do this? I can only remove the battery but from there I'm lost. I can see 2 screws covering the back back panel but I'm not sure if it's the right screw to remove.

Any help is appreciated.

Verified Answer
  • EDIT: Found the manual!

    http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/wsM4600/en/SM/index.html

     

    To add to urlnotfound's post:

    Remove the two screws under hte battery that hold the cover.

    Slide, sometimes with a little force, the cover backwards towards the rear of the laptop.  It only moves about 1/4", and is completely free to lift off at that point.

    Note that there is only one 2.5" HDD place, and it's the hot-swapable one you see on the side (still have yet to figure out how to remove it, the level doesn't seem to do anything - yet).  The "2nd HDD" is actually a dedicated "mSATA" slot, which stands for Minicard SATA.  It's a tiny PCI-express slot, just like the three you see when you remove the cover.  They are very rare to buy though.  I really wish I bought the one Dell was offering, cause aftermarket they are next to non-existant.  I found only 2 manufacturers, which are the same brands under the hood.  But they are only the 50mm size.  I want a 70mm site to slot into the WWLAN PCI-Express slot, cause those are available up to 240 GB.

    And FYI, mSATA devices with SATA II interfaces can get up to 240 to 250 MB/s read/write!  No, there are no SATA III mSATA that I could find.  Been searching for a month for them...

    Also note that only the two top RAM sticks are accessible here.  I'm about to call Dell support to find out where the othe two DIMM slots are (most likely have to remove the bottom board).

    ___

    Eric Duncan

     

All Replies
  • I got mine open easily. Close the lid. Flip it over. Keep the opening side with the button towards you. Remove the battery by moving the lever to the right. It had to be pushed harder than I expected. The battery will 'pop' up. There are three black screws inside this compartment. One is on an 'L' shaped piece of plastic to release the hard drive. Leave that one alone. Remove the two screws that are on the tabs that hold the bottom panel on. Once they are out, gently push the bottom of the laptop away. It should just come off. You can then see the "A" and "B" memory slots. Install your RAM.

    Reverse the directions to reassemble.  

  • EDIT: Found the manual!

    http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/wsM4600/en/SM/index.html

     

    To add to urlnotfound's post:

    Remove the two screws under hte battery that hold the cover.

    Slide, sometimes with a little force, the cover backwards towards the rear of the laptop.  It only moves about 1/4", and is completely free to lift off at that point.

    Note that there is only one 2.5" HDD place, and it's the hot-swapable one you see on the side (still have yet to figure out how to remove it, the level doesn't seem to do anything - yet).  The "2nd HDD" is actually a dedicated "mSATA" slot, which stands for Minicard SATA.  It's a tiny PCI-express slot, just like the three you see when you remove the cover.  They are very rare to buy though.  I really wish I bought the one Dell was offering, cause aftermarket they are next to non-existant.  I found only 2 manufacturers, which are the same brands under the hood.  But they are only the 50mm size.  I want a 70mm site to slot into the WWLAN PCI-Express slot, cause those are available up to 240 GB.

    And FYI, mSATA devices with SATA II interfaces can get up to 240 to 250 MB/s read/write!  No, there are no SATA III mSATA that I could find.  Been searching for a month for them...

    Also note that only the two top RAM sticks are accessible here.  I'm about to call Dell support to find out where the othe two DIMM slots are (most likely have to remove the bottom board).

    ___

    Eric Duncan

     

  • Thanks. I've been looking for this. I wonder
  • Thanks. I've been looking for this. I wonder if they have a PDF file for this so I can print it out and keep a hard copy.

  • Now, but they do have the HTML files to download, extract, and have locally:

    support.dell.com/.../index.htm

    ___

    Eric Duncan

     

  • If you haven't found it already, here it is:

    http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/wsM4600/en/SM/index.html

  • Just an update to anyone still using their M4600's. I'm still using mine and am upgrading my boot disk (the mSATA mini card) from 128GB to 512GB. I use hibernate all the time and the hiberfil.sys and pagefile.sys files can get pretty big.

    The catch is that nowhere in the above mentioned manual manual is the mSATA mini card mentioned. In fact, before I opened the back and realized this, I was thinking I needed a 2.5" SSD to replace the one I had. But I have since realized this was was not the cas and that my boot drive was on this little 2" mSATA mini card as opposed to the other 2.5" drive in the drive bay. In the "upgrades and accessories" section of the Dell Support for the M4600, they don't really make it clear that when they are referring to an SSD drive they are actually referring to the 2" mini card. I wish they had because I ended buying the wrong one and didn't realize it until I had torn the notebook down looking for the second 2.5" SSD. I finally realized what that chip was (I thought it was the WWAN chip, but that's underneath the SSD). Fortunately I got the entire notebook reassembled without any issues and she's working fine. I am waiting on my new bigger mSATA card to install this weekend.

    So the description in this thread above is the best thing you will find because none of the videos or manuals explain this. (They do in the manual for the new M3800, which is nice. But that doesn't help us who have older notebooks.)

    The good news is that now you can buy mSATA (6 Gbps) up to 1TB on Amamzon. I bought a Crucial 512GB for around $200. This should breath new life into the old girl and give me another few years before I upgrade to my next notebook.

    One last note is that if you are going to use something like Acronis to do a disk clone of your current SSD before swapping it out, you should invent in an adapter that will allow you to connect the new card via eSATA as you cannot to a complete clone (with MBR and partition info) using a USB connection. There are a few adapters out there and well worth the money.

    Hope this helps.