Fixing a Dell XPS M140 Palm Rest Mouse Button

Ok, so our laptop of just over one year ran into some mouse button problems. This problem has gradually been getting worse until yesterday; when the left mouse button on the laptop completely was depressed and would not raise again. The button still worked, but the nice squishy feel of the button was no longer there. So I could not stand it! I followed the instructions for removing the Palm Rest from the laptop, and dug into figuring out the problem. It turned out that there is a little rubber nipple like piece that detached from a volcano like base. When resetting the piece, I made a mistake and pointed the nipple up, when in fact it points down. I was happy with my progress. I had never disassembled my laptop this much, and thought it was kinda fun. Here are some pictures of what I did.

p5280078small.jpg p5280083small.jpg
1,2

p5280087small.jpg p5280099small.jpg
3,4

  1. Picture of all the main computer components taken off
  2. Parts to get to the Palm Rest
  3. The problem with the left mouse button
  4. What is underneath the left mouse button

Conclusion: You can fix this problem, but it does not have the same feel as the right button. The button still works, but experience changed. Thank goodness I still have the option to order the entire “Palm Rest” from Dell for $34.95 with $8.00 for shipping (3-5 days). For me, I will completely replace the “Palm Rest” part of the XPS laptop and call it good.

UPDATE:

One person who found this blog said that this information was invaluable. I am glad that I could help you all out. Here are some pictures from the person who purchased just the touch pad and installed that. Maybe these picture taken by him will help someone else out.

Please read the comments below if you are looking for a solution to just purchase the pouch pad. BEWARE of this though, these touch pads may not work. The safest things to do is purchase the entire Palm Rest from Dell.

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!

Advertisements

35 Responses

  1. Thanks for this. Do you have the Dell part number for the palm rest? Mine has the same wonky left click button and it’s driving me nuts.

  2. The part number should be HC430

    I am 99% positive of this. You can take a look at what is available online for this product on froogle.

    http://www.google.com/products?hl=en&q=HC430+palm+rest&scoring=p

    Follow the link above for “removing the Palm Rest”. These are instructions from Dell, and are easier than trying to disassemble it yourself.

    Looks like dell is out of order on this part. When I bought mine, they one had one item that was refurbished and that was it. My new one was easy to put in and works great. I payed around $38 for my part from dell.

    If you need some help, then ask me some questions.

  3. hey tidychaos thanks for posting this. i am exact same problem with my left button. and thanks to the link i finally figured out how to take my computer apart, but after lifting the palm rest up i couldn’t separate the touch pad part from the palm rest. i removed the six screws and the little bit of tape holding it but its stuck right underneath the strip of plastic between the touch pad buttons and the actual touch pad.

  4. lizzy, I will need to pull out my spare touch pad to see exactly all the steps need to completely remove the touch pad from the palm rest. I remember getting it removed, and then having to lift off (snap/pop off) the mouse button. Please let me know if you still need help, I can go into more detail this evening.

    BTW: HC430 is the correct part number (100% positive).

  5. ahhh. thanks for the help tiddychaos. i tried taking it apart agian and it turns out that there a little snap thingy holding on for dear life, but i finally got it off. and i figured out that my button was wonky because the rubber bubble thing came apart where it squished down when u push the key. i glued it back with super glue and my button works fine again but it takes a little more effort to press the button.

  6. Mine had the same problem with the rubber piece. Make sure that the nipple is pointing up when you re-attach it. I attached mine with sure glue also, but was not detailed enough in my work. It came apart again, and then the button did not work as well. I finally gave in and bought a whole new board. I did not know about this website before, and should note it here.

    What to use when GLUING the RUBBER nipple to the RUBBER BASE.

    http://www.thistothat.com/cgi-bin/glue.cgi?lang=en&this=Rubber&that=Rubber

  7. How did you go about removing the heatsink? Dell’s removal instructions just state to un screw it and then rescrew it to replace it. Does it need some thermal paste or a thermal pad? Dells instructions don’t mention it but many websites mention it.

  8. Elyoh,

    I removed the Microprocessor Thermal-Cooling Assembly without the need of thermal paste or a thermal pad. The assembly just rests over the top of the CPU. It is very easy to remove and replace. If I recall correctly, the screws have spring resistance to them as well. Don’t just remove one screw at a time. Do a few turns on each one and then keep going around until it is comes off.

    Let me know if you have more questions. I hope the post helped you out.

  9. That was very helpful, thanks. I fixed the mouse button although in a slightly different way to how you did. I had ordered a replacement touch pad and buttons (rather than the full palm rest) from a company overseas.Unfortunately it too had the same problem with this rubber nipple.

    Rather than send it back, I did manage to cobble the parts together to produce a fully functional set of buttons without needing glue (which I couldn’t get to stick incidently).

    The rubber nipples are connected to a plastic track which is detachable once you remove the buttons and the black plastic clip things. I cut the this track in half, keeping the part with the good nipple, did likewise on the one on the laptop removing the broken nipple. I then clipped the black plastic clip things back together and popped the button back on. A little bit fiddly to say the least! Reassembled the laptop and thank goodness it all worked out ok. Computer booted, no problems yet touch wood.

    The hardest part was getting the screws out. Why on Earth Dell uses Loctite or similar is completely beyond me!

    PS I can e-mail a couple of pictures if you’re interested.

  10. Same problem with my inspiron 630m (european name for M140).
    Elyoh, where did you find the touch pad replacement? I’m gonna open my laptop this week but if I could replace the whole button it’d be better than gluing the nipple back.

  11. jordi, I asked elyoh where he bought the parts, and he responded with the following email.

    “This is where I bought the part:

    http://www.pchub.com/uph/laptop/70-27065-4442/Dell-Inspiron-630m-Touchpad-Track-Point-Track-Ball.html

    Part: TM51PNE3G461 , HT54570-062

    But beware, the spare I was sent had the same problem with the nipple hence the surgery!

    I think similar parts are available at:

    http://www.parts-people.com/index.php?action=item&id=4451&prevaction=category&previd=143&prevstart=0

    but this one only sells the palm rest and touchpad/buttons integrated.

    GOOD LUCK, and please ask questions if you have any or post a solution to your problem. Thanks everyone!

  12. Thanks for the links!
    I found a shop on ebay that sells grade-A palm rest. If the buttons are ok I will just replace the touchpad part (I saw you can remove it from the palm rest on your pictures).
    In case the left button is worn out I would try elyoh’s solution. If I understood it right you have to cut the black plastic thing in two?
    I still have to check with Dell Spain in case the sell the palm rest too and order a new one.

  13. Yep I did have to cut the black plastic thing.

    OK to clarify:
    1.
    It’s good if you can get a Grade A full palm rest with functioning buttons in the 1st instance and simple replace the entire palm rest buttons included. This is the easiest way to fix.
    2.
    Second easiest way is if you just buy replacement touch pad buttons which aren’t faulty, you can just transplant the *whole* black plastic part and re attach the buttons – job done.
    3.
    In the photos above, there is just half of this black plastic thing shown. I was supplied with a bad spare, with one broken and one functioning nipple. I had to cut the good half of the black plastic thing from the spare I was supplied and swap it with the bad half off the one on the laptop. It’s not a part of the electrical wires and is only to hold the rubber nipple in place. I just cut it straight down the centre with sharp scissors minding not to cut the plastic coated wires below. You end up with 2 halves as shown in the 2nd and 3rd pictures. The black plastic part is not totally symmetrical but this wasn’t a problem.

    Hope this is clear. It’s terribly difficult to explain 😦

  14. Yep I did have to cut the black plastic thing.

    OK to clarify:
    1.
    It’s good if you can get a Grade A full palm rest with functioning buttons in the 1st instance and simple replace the entire palm rest buttons included. This is the easiest way to fix.
    2.
    Second easiest way is if you just buy replacement touch pad buttons which aren’t faulty, you can just transplant the *whole* black plastic part and re attach the buttons – job done.
    3.
    In the photos above, there is just half of this black plastic thing shown. I was supplied with a bad spare, with one broken and one functioning nipple. I had to cut the good half of the black plastic thing from the spare I was supplied and swap it with the bad half off the one on the laptop. It’s not a part of the electrical wires and is only to hold the rubber nipple in place. I just cut it straight down the centre with sharp scissors minding not to cut the plastic coated wires below. You end up with 2 halves as shown in the 2nd and 3rd pictures. The black plastic part is not totally symmetrical but this wasn’t a problem.

    Hope this is clear. It’s terribly difficult to explain 😦

  15. I ordered a new palm rest on ebay (AFAIK Dell doesn’t sell spare parts in Europe). I’ll tell you how it goes in a few days. Thanks for all the help!

  16. I finally got to replace the palm rest/touch pad. Everything when fine until I had to remove the palm rest because the head of one of the screws was worn out and I couldn’t remove it. I had to cut the plastic around but it was part of the old palm rest anyway.
    I couldn’t save the old palm rest but now the computer works great. I put some thermal paste on the processor in hope it will run cooler now.
    Thanks for all the help!

  17. I had no idea my broken mouse button was a common problem. It’s been broken so long that I had forgotten about it and I just learned to live with it.

  18. Has anyone been able to chase down a source for just the little rubber nipples? It would be a lot more economical to just replace the offending part.

    I’ve looked into the resources for the HC430 palmrest assembly, and the few places that still have one, want $60-80, PLUS outrageous shipping! That is, if they’re not out-of-stock.

  19. just found this thread –
    my left mouse button is busted!
    i am looking into buying the
    Dell XPS M140 Palmrest TouchPad
    i have never taken apart my laptop – is this fairly easy to do – any major risk i should know about?
    thanks 🙂

  20. Dustin, I have not asked about that before. I just ran into the problem (for the 2nd time) with my refurbished palm rest from Dell. I kept the old palm rest, so I will attempt to fix it like the UPDATE above shows (using the nipple from the right button). I may call Dell about this and ask for a nipple. All my stuff is packed up from my recent job move.

    joe, If you print the documentation from Dell’s website (I have all the links on this site to the proper documentation), and look at the pictures from this site to get familiar with the problem, then that will help you tremendously. It’s not very difficult, and the only tricky part is removing the ribbon from the keyboard to the motherboard.

    This was my first time doing something to this extent with my Laptop, I had to tinker with it, but it was all worth it. I now have a bond with my laptop that I never had . 🙂

    Let me know if you have any questions.

  21. hi everyone,
    i just bought a new palm rest for my xps m140 and replaced my broken one today but there was a problem. The monitor was completely in black when i turned on the laptop. And when i switched back to the old palm rest, the monitor worked fine. I have no idea. Does anyone have the same problem like me? Thank you very much.
    P.S: this website is very helpful, thank you so much tidychaos.

  22. Just an idea, but I would try to replace just the touch pad and buttons from the new palm rest and replace the broken parts from the new one. This must be possible to do. Other people who responded bought parts to replace the touch pad and buttons only, so it can be done.

    The only thing I would do is try to factor out what the problems would be. Maybe you forgot to reconnect your monitor and when you put everything back together the first time.

    Good luck with it, and please let us know if you isolated the problem and if it specifically turned out to be a problem with the palm rest hardware.

    Thanks for your post.

  23. Thanks for posting the info. Mine broke today, and fearing the results of my last attempt to crack open a Dell laptop, I’ll be calling Dell for some post-warranty service tomorrow. At least I know what I’m dealing with now. Thanks again.

  24. The left-click button on my M140 just broke today. The rubber nipple broke on mine as well – guess it can only withstand so many thousands of clicks.

    Like Dustin, I found that most places are either out of or charge waaay to much for the entire palmrest, plus shipping.

    I have seen other dell laptop touchpad assemblies for sale for much less than the m140 palmrest. If the nipples could be gutted from other models, that would make this repair much cheaper.

    Does anyone know if Dell used the same button technology (read: rubber nipples) for their various laptops? Then we could just swap the nipples over and save $$!

  25. The left click button on mine broke yesterday, second one in two years of ownership, I hate these little silicone nipples. Out of warranty now and I ran across this thread. Great info here but after deciding that I wasn’t going to spend money on another piece of junk button I used the dis-assembly info here, tore down to the buttons, placed two-three coils of an ink pen spring around the outside of the nipple and glued a small piece of a toothpick ( to make the switch contact since I lost the nipple end) into the center using adhesive silicone. Button doesn’t really click anymore but works great and maintains the height of the other button. Hopefully I wont have to do this again.–ever.

  26. Hi Turnbuck,

    I might go your route, since I have the same problem. Can you tell me, though, what is the contact with the sensor? Is it the toothpick or the nipple? Also, how did you keep the spring in place?

    Many thanks for your helpfulness.

  27. The toothpick (pointed end down) (although I blunted the end just slightly to take off the point) makes the contact and just pushes two membranes together to make the switch contact. I lost the nipple so I didn’t have a choice of re-gluing it in. Amazing stuff, adhesive silicone -black, stays flexible yet very strong adhesive. I got it at an auto parts store. ( or walmart.) (Don’t use too much around the toothpick or you might need super strength to push the button down- just apply around the side and top of the toothpick) Just a touch of silicone on each side of the spring holds it in place, but you have to let this stuff set up 24 hrs. before you can use the button. The top cover holds everything down with tension by the spring until it dries.

  28. I feel everybody here, because the same thing happened to me. The rubber/silicone nipple that serves as a spring is astonishingly cheap looking for something so vital. And it’s completely buried within the laptop.

    Trying to service mine, I inadvertently screwed something up (methinks the motherboard, because the system wont do a Power-on Self Test, or “POST”)

    Now I have to decide how much money I’m willing to sink into a computer that fits my needs but is not worth very much in general. The build quality on Dell laptops has not impressed me, but it’s probably industry standard, sad to say. Might have to try a Thinkpad next time.

  29. I had this same problem a while ago. I superglued the nipple that broke and it was good as new and has been working fine for about 6 months.

  30. This page was awesome! Only thing I’d suggest is to buy the part. My mouse button rubber spring thing was simply worn out so I had to put the computer back together and wait for the replacement part to come. Kudos for making it as easy as 1, 2, 3!
    Thx
    Rich from PA

  31. I replaced the palm rest a year ago because of the rubber nipple problem, and now the nipple has failed again after only one year of use.
    Wish I could just replace the nipple. I won’t go through the expense of replacing the entire palm rest again.

    • The same thing happened to me (and I authored this page). This is a low priority fix on my todo list at home, so I have started to use a wireless mouse, and I love it. The button on the laptop still works, but it does not work like it used too (nice and squishy).

      Others have suggested using the rubber nipple from the previous button (the old palm rest). I kept mine, so I have a spare to tinker with. If you did not keep your old part, then you are out of luck and need to buy a replacement.

      Sorry this happened to you. I would hope that Dell would fix this problem, it seems to be a big issue.

  32. Dell required me to return the old palm rest as part of the warranty agreement. Is there any way to just purchase the silicon nipple? I use this laptop in class, so a mouse really isn’t convenient.

    Thanks for the info and response.

  33. I am entering a Cartoon Challenge competition from this website: http://blog.sqlauthority.com/2011/04/05/sqlauthority-news-win-windows-phone-from-idera-in-140-characters-a-cartoon-challenge-of-sql/

    The requirements are that this must be posted to at least one more public site, so I am picking this one being mine fulfill the requirement.

    So this is my cartoon phrase
    ——————————————-

    I recommended Idera to the boss; he said, “We can create that here, we’re a development shop!” So, I proposed we recruit Idera developers.

    🙂

  34. thanks for a very helpful post, my left mouse button broke shortly after I bought my XPS M140 and have lived with it this way since 2007, just replaced keyboard the other day and decided it was now time to address the mouse button problem, it works but was very sensitive at first but eventualy got used to it, if I have no luck fixing the thing myself guess I’ll just shell out the $ for a new palm rest assembly after all even though it is a 4 yr old laptop it still does what I need it to do well enough.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: