Dell Laptop Repair

Dell Precision 3530 Disassembly (RAM, SSD, HDD upgrade options)

After Intel launched the 8th generation Core processor in April this year, Dell updated its Precision mobile workstation product line quickly, and in late May officially launched a new generation of mobile workstation products – the Precision 3530. The workstation has not changed much from the previous generation Precision 3520. The machine uses a 15.6-inch full HD high color gamut screen, equipped with the 8th generation Core Coffee Lake-H processor and NVIDIA Quadro P600 professional graphics card. With a relatively rich ports design, and officially launched the M. 2 2230 SSD solution.

In this guide, I will remove the Precision 3530 bottom case to access the battery, M.2 SSD, RAM, CMOS battery, cooling fan, heatsink, hard drive, Wi-Fi card, and motherboard.

This laptop comes with a 2230 SSD. Currently, there are fewer SSDs in this market. It is recommended that you choose a large-capacity SSD when purchasing a laptop.

1. Remove the bottom case

The bottom of the laptop has a large area dust-proof mesh opening and some dedicated cooling holes for the M.2 2280 SSD. The E-Port has been canceled since the previous generation products to make more room for the motherboard and other components.

The bottom case can be removed by loosening the eight fixing screws. Because there is no snap in the bottom case, you can easily remove it.

2. RAM and HDD upgrade options

Its bottom case is made of plastic material. As a high-end mobile workstation, the plastic body is too low-end.

This is the internal structure after the removal of the back cover. The notebook is equipped with a solid-state hard disk and a mechanical hard disk. The battery can only choose 4-core 68Wh. The M.2230 SSD is installed in the WWAN slot, but the WWAN antenna is still reserved. If you choose a large capacity battery, a 2280 SSD can be installed at the hard drive bay.

The laptop has two RAM slots and comes with an 8GB RAM. I have installed an 8GB RAM on the free RAM slot.

It uses a single fan, dual copper tube heat sink, and two copper tubes cover both the Intel i7-8750H processor and the QUADRO P600 graphics card.

3. Remove the M.2 SSD

Now, let us unveil the M.2 2230 SSD step by step. Remove two screws and take out the SSD heatsink. The bottom of the picture is the M.2-2280 slot since the laptop has a mechanical hard disk occupying M.2 2280 slot, it is impossible to install another SSD here.

After removing the heatsink, it was found to be a 2230 SSD. Since the WWAN slot is 2242, Dell made a special bracket for it. The laptop comes with a 256GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD from Samsung. The model is PM971.


David Tian

David is the editor @ MyFixGuide. He loves technology, especially good at laptops and mobile phones. In his free time, he loves to take apart the latest mobile phones and laptops.

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  1. I got my precision 3530 last month.
    After opened back cover, I have 256GB M2 2280 here. My question is how to install my internal HDD SATA 2.5″?
    I think space not possible to install the M2 2280 and HDD SATA 2.5 at the same space.

    Please advice me

    Thank you

      1. Dear David,
        First of all, kudos for the great article!
        My brand new Dell Precision 3530 came with an M.2 256GB PCIe NVMe SED SSD Class 40 HDD and a 6-cell battery. I had hoped to add an 850 EVO 1TB 2.5″ SATA III Samsung SSD as the second HDD but alas the battery does not allow for sufficient space.
        Will downgrading the battery to 4-cell provide enough space for the disc? Or is the only solution one big main SSD HDD?
        thanks so much for any advice
        John in Rome

  2. So I just bought my Precision 3530 but I did not include the 2230 SSD, where could I buy one because I didn’t realize until I opened it that I couldn’t have the 2280 and hard drive installed concurrently. Where could I find one, because I’ve searched everywhere and it seems there’s aren’t any in production for consumer purchase.

    1. You only need to buy the same brand and model as the original memory of your laptop, or other brands but the same specifications as your original memory.

  3. Hi David,
    Thanks for your great guide for Dell Precision 3530. My unit came with 2.5″HDD only. The WWAN is empty. Is it good to try to put M.2 2242 instead of 2230? Does your unit boot on the M.2 2230 or the HDD? The Samsung M.2 2230 is not available and that special bracket might not be available also.

    1. I am wondering the same exact thing. did you get an answer or were you able to successfully install an M.2.2242 SSD into the WWAN port? thank you.

      1. hi, I have the same issue here. Have you guys solve the problem? I want to put another SSD into my 3530 . It just has and HDD only.

  4. Hi,
    In my Dell Precision 3530 I have the PCIe NVMe M.2 – 512 GB, class 40 for the first HD, is it possible to install an SSD 1TB as a second HD?

  5. Sorry for such a late reply, but I have a Dell Precision 3520 with 256GB M.2 2280 SSD and I’d like to add a 2nd SSD.

    Between the M.2 SSD and Battery (4-Cell 68Wh GJKNX) it looks like I could fit a 2.5″ SSD. However, it would be a tight fit and I’m not sure what I would connect it to (I see a JSATA1 port, but not sure if that would work). As an alternative, it seems like there may be a kit to mount another M.2 SSD in this location. I also have a WWAN port available.

    Basically it seems like I have a few potential options for a 2nd SSD, but before I purchase hardware can you give me any advice?

    Thanks in advance for any help!

  6. Hi David,
    I bought my Dell Precision 3530 with an HD 1366 x 768 display. Now I am kinda bored with the low resolution so I want to upgrade to an FHD (1920 x 1080) display. As far as I know, both the displays use a 30-pin video connector. Would there be any compatibility issues if I want to upgrade?


  7. You never mention where or how to get this bracket, part number, brand how can I fit this 2230 drive into the 2242 slot space….

  8. Hi David
    What is the part number of the “special bracket” in order to fit a 2230 to 2242 slot, I’ve searched for a while on the internet but I didn’t find yet

  9. Have the Dell Precision 3530 featuring the Xeon CPU. Basically it’s a tossed out laptop I found. I plugged a compatible Dell charger into the regular DC in port, heard 3 beeps either from the laptop or charger. What do the 3 beeps mean? Also can the laptop be powered via the USB – C port? Thank you

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