Introduction

Here you can fix common problems like keyboard replacement, dirty vents, and thermal paste replacement.

I am not responsible for damages that may be caused. This is for informational purposes only. Follow at your own risk.

This is my first guide so please be kind.

Welcome to the Alienware M11xR3 disassembly. Below, I will describe the necessary tools and steps to disassemble the Alienware M11xR3. This disassembly applies to all M11x, including the R1, R2, and R3.
  • Welcome to the Alienware M11xR3 disassembly. Below, I will describe the necessary tools and steps to disassemble the Alienware M11xR3. This disassembly applies to all M11x, including the R1, R2, and R3.

  • Required tools:

    • 1x Phillips #1 and #00 Screwdriver

    • 1x Flathead Screwdriver

    • 1x Small Needle Nose Pliers or Tweezers

    • 1x Thermal Paste and Finger Stalls Optional: Small water balloons (to spread thermal paste without getting dirty)

    • 1x Anti-Static Mat

    • I highly recommended reading about static electricity and how it can damage electronic components.

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1. Gently flip over the laptop so that the bottom side is facing up. Use a Phillips #1 screwdriver to remove the 8 screws securing the base-plate.
  • 1. Gently flip over the laptop so that the bottom side is facing up.

  • Use a Phillips #1 screwdriver to remove the 8 screws securing the base-plate.

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Lift the bottom cover and remove it, as shown.
  • Lift the bottom cover and remove it, as shown.

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First, remove the battery cable on the plate by pulling vertically. Unscrew screws shown. Unscrew screws shown.
  • First, remove the battery cable on the plate by pulling vertically.

  • Unscrew screws shown.

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Remove the battery.
  • Remove the battery.

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Remove the hard drive mounting bracket by removing the three screws with the Phillips #1 screwdriver. Pull out the hard drive by lifting up on the black tab, as shown.
  • Remove the hard drive mounting bracket by removing the three screws with the Phillips #1 screwdriver.

  • Pull out the hard drive by lifting up on the black tab, as shown.

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In order to remove the hard drive from the mounting bracket, remove the four screws at each corner with the Phillips #1 screwdriver, as shown. When installing a new hard drive, never forget to remove the SATA adapter before installation. When installing a new hard drive, never forget to remove the SATA adapter before installation.
  • In order to remove the hard drive from the mounting bracket, remove the four screws at each corner with the Phillips #1 screwdriver, as shown.

  • When installing a new hard drive, never forget to remove the SATA adapter before installation.

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Pull the tabs away from RAM, as shown. Carefully pull the RAM module to remove. Depending of the configuration that you have on your Alienware, there may be another RAM module.
  • Pull the tabs away from RAM, as shown.

  • Carefully pull the RAM module to remove.

  • Depending of the configuration that you have on your Alienware, there may be another RAM module.

  • NOTE: if you want to upgrade RAM memory please read the manual about which modules are compatible. Here are some specs:

    • Number of Sockets: 2

    • Max memory: 16384 MB (16GB)

    • Memory Comments: PC3-10600 1333Mhz DDR3 SDRAM SO DIMM 204-pin

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Depending on your Alienware configuration, it can have up to 3 aerial cables. Remove the aerial cables vertically with Tweezers or Small Needle Nose Pliers. Once the aerial cables are removed, extract the screws.
  • Depending on your Alienware configuration, it can have up to 3 aerial cables.

  • Remove the aerial cables vertically with Tweezers or Small Needle Nose Pliers.

  • Once the aerial cables are removed, extract the screws.

  • Remove the WLAN card.

  • On USA models, a WWAN card may be located near the WLAN card. Use the same process to remove it.

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Chassis screws are marked with yellow circles. Keyboard screws are marked with red circles. Both the Chassis and Keyboard screws can be removed with a Phillips #1 screwdriver.
  • Chassis screws are marked with yellow circles.

  • Keyboard screws are marked with red circles.

  • Both the Chassis and Keyboard screws can be removed with a Phillips #1 screwdriver.

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Remove chassis screws. Remove chassis screws. Remove chassis screws.
  • Remove chassis screws.

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Remove the bottom chassis screws. Remove the bottom chassis screws.
  • Remove the bottom chassis screws.

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Black Friday
Broken doesn't stand a chance.
The screw marked with a yellow circle is near the hard drive bay. The screw marked with a yellow circle is near the hard drive bay.
  • The screw marked with a yellow circle is near the hard drive bay.

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Remove screws from keyboard. Remove screws from keyboard.
  • Remove screws from keyboard.

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Use a small flat screwdriver to carefully pry the cover from the chassis. Next, use your finger as a lever to extract the cover. The cover has tabs that attach it to the chassis. In the next step, I'll show you tab locations.
  • Use a small flat screwdriver to carefully pry the cover from the chassis.

  • Next, use your finger as a lever to extract the cover. The cover has tabs that attach it to the chassis.

    • In the next step, I'll show you tab locations.

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Clamping tabs Clamping tabs Clamping tabs
  • Clamping tabs

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Remove 2 screws to release the keyboard. Wait for the next step to remove the keyboard; there are bus data cables underneath the keyboard that must be removed first.
  • Remove 2 screws to release the keyboard.

  • Wait for the next step to remove the keyboard; there are bus data cables underneath the keyboard that must be removed first.

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There are 2 bus data cables. The thin orange cable is the RGB led keyboard retro illumination. Lift the tab to a vertical position to free the bus cable as shown.
  • There are 2 bus data cables.

  • The thin orange cable is the RGB led keyboard retro illumination.

  • Lift the tab to a vertical position to free the bus cable as shown.

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Free the keyboard bus data cable the same as you did for the RGB bus data cable. Remove the keyboard to replace it; it has pressure points like the previous cover. If the keyboard fails, the best option is to replace it for a new one.
  • Free the keyboard bus data cable the same as you did for the RGB bus data cable.

  • Remove the keyboard to replace it; it has pressure points like the previous cover.

  • If the keyboard fails, the best option is to replace it for a new one.

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Continue taking out the chassis by unscrewing the 3 shown screws. First one to the left of the RGB bus data cable. Second one at bottom near the touchpad.
  • Continue taking out the chassis by unscrewing the 3 shown screws.

    • First one to the left of the RGB bus data cable.

    • Second one at bottom near the touchpad.

    • Third one on the right edge of the laptop.

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Lift the tab  to disconnect the touchpad data bus cable. Lift the tab  to disconnect the touchpad data bus cable. Lift the tab  to disconnect the touchpad data bus cable.
  • Lift the tab to disconnect the touchpad data bus cable.

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Extract the bus cable with needle nose pliers by lifting the tab and pulling it away. If your computer doesn't power on, then check to make sure this cable is plugged in. Always lift tabs vertically to free cables.
  • Extract the bus cable with needle nose pliers by lifting the tab and pulling it away.

  • If your computer doesn't power on, then check to make sure this cable is plugged in.

  • Always lift tabs vertically to free cables.

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Lift the case with your fingers, as shown in the pictures. Don't remove the case yet. There is another cable on the upper left corner that must be removed to fully extract. Don't remove the case yet. There is another cable on the upper left corner that must be removed to fully extract.
  • Lift the case with your fingers, as shown in the pictures.

  • Don't remove the case yet. There is another cable on the upper left corner that must be removed to fully extract.

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This is the cable that I mentioned in the previous step. Pull the cable to the right.
  • This is the cable that I mentioned in the previous step.

  • Pull the cable to the right.

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Top and a bottom view of the board with power on switch and LED status. Top and a bottom view of the board with power on switch and LED status.
  • Top and a bottom view of the board with power on switch and LED status.

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Bottom view of the touchpad.
  • Bottom view of the touchpad.

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Remove the screw. Pull the cable off.
  • Remove the screw.

  • Pull the cable off.

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This is the BIOS battery for internal configuration and clock. If you have problems with it, remove it by disconnecting it from the motherboard.
  • This is the BIOS battery for internal configuration and clock. If you have problems with it, remove it by disconnecting it from the motherboard.

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Pull the speakers connector towards you and away from the I/O board, marked by a yellow square. Remove the 3 screws and lift as you see in the picture Pull the board a little to the left while lifting to prevent damaging the two attached USB 3.0 ports.
  • Pull the speakers connector towards you and away from the I/O board, marked by a yellow square.

  • Remove the 3 screws and lift as you see in the picture

  • Pull the board a little to the left while lifting to prevent damaging the two attached USB 3.0 ports.

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Remove the display connector by pulling vertically. Lift using the plastic tab, see the image. Lift using the plastic tab, see the image.
  • Remove the display connector by pulling vertically.

  • Lift using the plastic tab, see the image.

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Unscrew the screws in the correct order by using the numbers near the holes. Make sure you are holding the monitor while unscrewing to prevent dropping and damaging the screen. After that, you must see the next step to extract the WLAN aerials.
  • Unscrew the screws in the correct order by using the numbers near the holes.

  • Make sure you are holding the monitor while unscrewing to prevent dropping and damaging the screen.

  • After that, you must see the next step to extract the WLAN aerials.

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The WLAN cable is the same as in step 9. Pass the cable from the bottom of the laptop through the hole carefully.
  • The WLAN cable is the same as in step 9.

  • Pass the cable from the bottom of the laptop through the hole carefully.

  • Remember, depending on your Alienware configuration you may have 2 or 3 aerials. USA customers may also have the WWAN aerials

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Remove the four screws, marked by red circles, to remove the motherboard. Now lift the motherboard slowly up while moving it to the right. Removing it this way prevents damage to your ports. As you see in the picture, the I/O board and screen connector wasn't here. They must be removed before extracting the motherboard, not like the bluetooth board or coin-cell battery.
  • Remove the four screws, marked by red circles, to remove the motherboard.

  • Now lift the motherboard slowly up while moving it to the right. Removing it this way prevents damage to your ports.

  • As you see in the picture, the I/O board and screen connector wasn't here. They must be removed before extracting the motherboard, not like the bluetooth board or coin-cell battery.

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Remove the vent connector. You must extract it to remove the heatsink.
  • Remove the vent connector.

  • You must extract it to remove the heatsink.

  • To replace the vent, it is not neccesary remove the heatsink. You must do this step and in the next step I have marked in green the 3 screws that you need to remove.

  • To maintain good ventilation, please clean with compressed air.

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If this is your first time applying thermal paste, I recommend using a quality thermal paste brand like Arctic Silver and reading a guide here on iFixit. With the motherboard out, turn it upside down on a static free surface. To remove the heatsink and replace thermal paste, remove the screws in the correct order (marked with a number on the heatsink).
  • If this is your first time applying thermal paste, I recommend using a quality thermal paste brand like Arctic Silver and reading a guide here on iFixit.

  • With the motherboard out, turn it upside down on a static free surface.

  • To remove the heatsink and replace thermal paste, remove the screws in the correct order (marked with a number on the heatsink).

  • Clean old thermal paste with isopropyl-alcohol. Ensure that after applying thermal paste it doesn't leak onto the motherboard (if it's on the green square, it's fine).

  • When putting the heat sink back on, try to have the screw holes align on your first try. This is to maintain an even spread of the thermal paste.

  • Rescrew in the correct order (refer to the numbers on the heat sink).

  • Tighten each screw one at a time to end up with good heat dissipation.

On the topic of thermal paste, just put a line from one end of the cpu to the other, and it will be good

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AdrianP

Member since: 09/05/2013

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