Replacing the Hard Drive in an XPS 16 with an SSD

Within an hour of accepting my laptop this morning I had already taken it apart. Why…? to install this little beasty:

hdtune g.skill take 2

As soon as I turned the machine over though, I already knew this would be a little harder than usual. Unlike most laptops, the XPS 16 doesn’t have a simple slot on the side to remove the hard drive.

After turning the machine over and removing the battery, you need to undo all the screws in the base plate. The screws do not come out of the holes though, so don’t keep turning hoping they will. After you’ve undone them, push the plate slightly left and lift it off the unit.


Now there are three screws holding the hard drive bracket in. These need to be removed, keeping in mind that there is no screw in the bottom right hole, as the screw in the base plate goes here.

Pull the blue tab to unplug the hard drive and lift the drive out. Then take the SATA plug off the drive and take the four screws out that are holding it into the bracket.

Put the drive somewhere safe and reverse the process replacing the rust with your lovely SSD.

  1. Plug the SATA plug into the drive.
  2. Hold the drive in the bracket and make sure you have the bracket facing the right way so that it will slot in to the laptop and the plug will be facing the right direction.
  3. Put the four screws in to support it.
  4. Place the drive in the laptop (again ensuring the SATA plug is facing the right direction).
  5. Put the three screws in the bracket to hold it to the unit (leaving the bottom right hole empty).
  6. Replace the base plate and fasten all the screws.
  7. Plug in the battery and away you go!

Posted on 8 January, 2010, in Hardware and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Great stuff, I plan to do this with to my 4 month old XPS soon. What are the specs on the SSD you chose?

  2. Hopefully this doesn’t void warranty by removing entire back casing.

  3. Great simple and straightforward instructions. Thanks again

  4. Thanks, that was helpful, just put a Crucial m4 512GB SSD in there. Feels better now 🙂

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