Replacing Hard Drive in a Dell Vostro A860 Laptop

If you found this page because you are needing to replace your HDD in a Vostro A860 laptop…. I’m sorry.

Dell didn’t think logically when creating this laptop and that includes using a western digital drive. I can not stand western digital drives. The reason is they will die. Mark my words. They are cheap in price because they are cheaply made. This week alone I have replaced 3 laptop drives and all of them western digital. I also had to replace 2 desktop HDDs which were western digital.

Enough about the faulty drives that led you to this page. If you are looking for information on how to replace your hard drive then I will shed a little light on the subject.

First take out every GD screw you can find. This includes the 2 behind the laptop just under the screen. Once you have all the screws out take the CDROM out and remove 3 more screws. Then  take off the front panel above the keyboard and remove more screws including the monitor mount screws. Then pop the keyboard out and remove dang near every screw you can find including removing the FAN. You will also have to pop the laptop frame (top and bottom) apart, be careful not to break the plastic, make sure you have ALL the screws out from the bottom of the laptop. Unplug the cable that leads from the monitor to the mother board (the video ribbon cable). The 2 power wires I left plugged up because there was no good way to unplug them. By now you have probably realized that a 2nd person would come in handy. There are a couple more ribbons to unplug but they are easy to get to. If you do not know how to unplug a ribbon cable, most of the time there is a little black bar across the top that folds back.

Once you have that done remove any other screws left, did I forget to tell you there are a LOT of screws, you will have to pull the board out at an angle so that the video adapter comes out first followed by the front sound inputs.

IF you manage to get all that done the hard drive is held on to the bottom of the mother board by yet another 2 screws. Once you remove them then you can pull out the dead WESTERN DIGITAL drive and replace it.

Good luck with remembering where the screws go! This is ONLY some information on what I just went through removing my a HDD in a Vostros A860 Laptop. Use caution and use this advice at your own risk.

About Tommy White 166 Articles
Tommy White is a Graphic Designer, Web Designer / Developer, IT Director and more, including Foodie Fanatic. "I enjoy helping others in times of need and live steadfast to the motto of paying it forward".


  1. Thank you very much for this post! It helped me big time! I really can’t believe who managed or designed this Vostro A860 on that stupid way.

    Thanks again and all the best!!

  2. Thanks, Tommy. I had read that the Vostro A860 had to be taken apart to replace the HDD, but I had no idea it would involve that much disassembling. I’m really not up for that and won’t worry about upgrading either the HDD or the CPU — I’ll just keep backing up and use it until the HDD dies.

    I bought the A860 on sale real cheap when I needed a new laptop NOW and didn’t have much money. It’s served me well, I guess, but clearly it’s poorly designed and cheaply made. But thanks for taking teh time to share!

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