Thursday, January 03, 2008

Installing Dell Wireless 355 Bluetooth module in Inspiron Laptop

430-2341I wanted to try and connect to the Wii's remote and use it as a input interface on my windows laptop. The Wii's remote uses Bluetooth to connect to the console. So I needed to add a blue tooth module to my laptop.

My laptop is a Dell Inspiron 1520. The Dell wireless 355 Bluetooth module is made for this laptop. (The 355 module also works for many other Inspiron models, though the installation instructions might be a little different based on the model).


Here are the step by step instructables to get the 355 module into your Inspiron.

Tools needed:

A plastic scribe. (If you cant find a plastic scribe you can use a flat head screw-driver (but be careful as it is very easy to leave dents, scratches and nicks in the plastic areas that you will be working around).


  1. Disconnect the power and remove the battery from your laptop.
  2. Turn over the laptop and open the LCD screen all the way - so that it lays almost flat.
  3. The Bluetooth module goes in a slot located under the hinge cover. To remove the hinge cover you need to use the flat scribe or screw-driver to gently lift the cover up from the front of the laptop.
  4. The hinge cover has a small notch/slot located on the right hand side corner towards the LCD screen. This notch will help you get started in releasing the hinge cover.
  5. The hinge cover is held in place by tabs that lock into the laptop body.
  6. You will want to start by inserting the scribe into the notch and then gently pushing down the scribe to release the tabs holding the hinge cover in place.
  7. As you release the hinge cover (first at the notch) move down towards the keyboard and then work yourself from the right side to the left. You shouldn't have to apply to much force. As you slowly lift the hinge cover from the right side and move towards the left side - the tabs will release and the hinge cover will open up.
  8. Notice that on the left hand side - there are two flat tabs that go flat into the laptop's body. When you arrive at this spot - you should just be able to slide out the hinge cover (if you keep trying to lift up the hinge cover - you risk breaking these tabs).
  9. Once you have removed the hinge cover you will see the slot into which the blue tooth module will sit.
    (Large pink circle area). This area has 3 slots/tab (blue) into which the module will seat. And finally the connector cable will connect the module to your laptop.
  10. Insert the blue tooth module so that it sits under the slots.
    To do this - hold the blue tooth module by its connector end and then slide it into and under the slots.
  11. Finally insert the connector into the Bluetooth module. (The connector will go in only one way - so don't force it too hard).
  12. Now re-attach the hinge cover.
    Start on the left side by sliding the 2 tabs into the laptop body.
    Working from left to right gently press down on the hinge cover so that the tabs engage and lock into the laptop body.
  13. Re-attach the battery and power cable and start-up your laptop.
  14. In my case the laptop came with the drivers required for the blue-tooth module and Vista started installing them as soon as it started up. In case you need to download the drivers - you can find them here: Dell Support


Things to remember:

  • The hardest part of the installation is the removal of the hinge cover - as its made of plastic and very easy to break the tabs that hold it in place. So be gentle and become familiar with the picture in step 5 which shows the locations of the tabs. Move from right to left while removing the hinge cover - lifting the cover a little as you move along. When replacing the cover - move from left to right - pushing down gently - so as to lock the tabs in place.
    (I am not sure if it will be easy to purchase a replacement hinge cover - so be very very careful with it).
  • It might be easier to slide the Bluetooth module a little bit into its slot - then attach the cable and then push the model all the way in.
  • Remember static discharge is your worst enemy. As you have disconnected the laptop from the power adapter - the discharge can easily find its way to one of the many electronic components and kill your system. So discharge your self by touching some huge metal piece that is grounded - or in my case go find someone to touch and give them a fun jolt of electricity!! :)
  • Also remember the disclaimer: I am not responsible for any issues/losses you may encounter by following the above instructions. You are following them at your own risk.


Anonymous said...

Very helpful, thanks.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your experience!

Anonymous said...

Nice and thorough walkthrough. Very helpful indeed.

Anonymous said...

thank you very much for the info as i have just followed the instrutions and installed a hardware first time ever thanks keep it up

Anonymous said...

Your instructions were awesome. I'm glad I found this before I started just taking the back off of my laptop for no good reason. :-)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this. Took the cover off the underside and was loking for ages before I found your site!

Anonymous said...

Awesome instructions! I noticed for the 1720 model, the wire for the bluetooth connector is a bit long, so you can't snap it back into the tabs it sits in natively - but there's a little metal tab right above the keyboard that you can stuff a corner of the wire under to keep it flat while you reattach the plastic cover. Works like a charm - thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, this was very helpfull. ;-)

Anonymous said...

That was very helpful for me and I saved money.Thanks a lot

Anonymous said...

thanks very much, I could find nothing like this on Dell website.

Anonymous said...

Here's a link for instructions on how to install on a vostro 1520:

Anonymous said...

If you do this on a inspiron 1525 like i just did, its VERY IMPORTANT to remove the two screws under the battery before removing the front panel. also, the connector will be on the far left, right under where the panel says 'inspiron'.

KJ said...

Thank you!!! Couldn't have done it without these instructions.

Blue Creation said...

Its a good tutorial to fix bluetooth module. It was almost impossible for me without these tips.

Unknown said...

can anyone please , plrease list the pinout or phone the plug wires in deatail. thank you very much