Upgrading Crucial SSD hard drive on Dell Vostro 3450 - DIY

So, I finally figured it out. I have to warn you that first, I don't have any video of the process. And second, this is not for the inexperienced.

Rule of thumb, if you see a screw, you will need to remove it.

*Before you start this FYI and is use at your own risk and makes sure you make a back up copy of your PC before proceeding.

1. Take out the battery
2. Remove the bottom panel to RAM Memory
3. Remove the screws under the bottom panel Mark M2 (tHE 2 Micro screws at the end of where the battery was doesn't have to be removed, this only holds the rear plastic trim behind the screen hinge)
4. Slide out the DVD drive where there are 2 Micro screws at the edge (This holds the top plastic)
5. Carefully remove the keyboard (There are 3 push tabs that hold it on the top of the keyboard) *Can use a hard plastic to lift keyboard and precision flat head 3.0 to push tab)
6. Remove the 1 thin and 1 thick ribbon cables for the keyboard
7. Remove the 4 ribbon cables that are connected to top plastic cover.
8. Remove the 5 screws under the keyboard
9. Gently pry apart the top and bottom. I used the big hole by the DVD bay to pull the top apart.
10. Remove VGA ribbon cable covering the heat sink fan
11. Remove the heat sink fan held by the one screw at the top left under ribbon cable.
12. Remove the monitor cables and ground screw.
13. Remove monitor by remove the four screws and antenna plugs.
14. Remove any screws holding the motherboard and daughter board.
15. Unplug the speaker adapter
16. Remove 1 screw that holds the hard bracket to the mother board.

Now take a breather, and reverse the steps to put it back together.

All in all, it took over an hour to swap the drive.

This is very similar to changing the RAM on a ACER Aspire One . You can watch that video to get an idea on the complexity of changing hard drives on the Dell Vostros 3450 and how to remove the keyboard.

Good Luck

Pictures will be add later on
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  1. OMG this is the hardest SSD upgrade I have ever done on a netbook / laptop, you practically have to dismantle the whole laptop in order to get to the HDD, thats really stupid!!! Thank goodness I did it, and after putting it back together all the hardware works. I followed the online Dell technical manual (nice picture guide), took me about an hour to take it apart and only 10 min to put it back together - those damn plastic parts are real suckers to pry open, but they are a breeze to snap back together.

    I cloned the HDD to the SSD but for some reason it could not boot. Luckily I have Win7 Home Prem 64bit disk and I reinstalled Win7 (and thank god it accepts the Dell activation key). Nothing lost because I have not started using the laptop before swapping out the HDD.
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