Dell XT3 Tablet – replace the hard disk

By | May 18, 2012

Here’s how to replace the hard disk on a Dell XT3 tablet computer. You will need a screwdriver, new hard disk that will fit the XT3 and at the most, twenty minutes for this tablet repair project.

I recommend using a new solid state hard disk for a replacement. They will greatly speed up your XT3 tablet and I have yet to see one fail, all though I’m sure it happens.

First, close the tablet and turn it over so the side with the battery is up. Remove the battery as shown in the picture below. You will need to slide and hold the retention button to the right while you slide the battery out.picture of xt3 tablet battery Click the picture at the right for retention button location.


After the tablet battery is removed, there are two screws that hold the back cover on the tablet.picture of tablet cover screws Take these screws out and carefully place them somewhere they will not be moved, since they are very small.


picture of tablet rear coverWith the empty battery compartment closest to you, slide the cover off the back of the tablet. It is metal and will bend, so be careful to apply even pressure along the edges while sliding it.


After the cover is off, you will see two screws on the left side that hold the hard disk in. (holes are highlighted in the next picture)

Remove these screws and slide the tablet hard disk out of the chassis. It will be slow coming out as there are two rubber shock bumpers attached to the drive with adhesive.picture of tablet hard disk

Carefully store these screws with the other screws you have removed. They are the same size as the cover screws so don’t worry about getting them mixed up.


Now that the drive is removed from the tablet, you will need to remove the screw that holds the angled caddy plate onto the drive as seen below. There is only a screw on one side of it, the other side simply has a peg in place of the screw. If your XT3 drive caddy is broken, you can find (albeit expensive) replacements here.

After removing the pictured screw, you will need to peel the rubber bumpers off the hard disk and set them aside. They are very important in preventing damage to the hard disk in the event the tablet is bumped, jarred or dropped.picture of tablet disk bracket

You’ll see the rubber bumpers in this picture as well. One of mine was squished during removal.

Pick up your new hard disk and attach the rubber bumpers so that the slot-end of the bumper is affixed to the end of the drive that doesn’t have connectors. The opposite end of the bumpers have small pegs that will fit into the holes on the side of the drive.

Be sure to get these attached securely and make sure the pegs are in the holes. Then attach the angled bracket/plate to the end without the connectors oriented as you see in the removal picture above. If it is attached correctly, the drive connectors should be slightly left of center of the slot as you re-insert it into the tablet chassis. The bumpers will catch as you slide the drive in, you may have to attempt it several times to get it in correctly.

Insert and tighten the hard disk retention screws that hold the drive in the tablet, then replace the cover. It will drop into place, then you will need to slide it back into position so the screw holes line up. Be sure to use consistent pressure on all corners of the cover as you slide it into place. Insert and tighten the screws that hold the cover on and replace the battery.

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