I’ve done this upgrade twice now, and I think the iFixit Opening Tool (along with the spudger) makes this job easier. Besides releasing latches for the palm rest and the memory door, it was very helpful to pry up the System Board from the Input/Output Panel.
This required a fair bit of force, and I wasn’t able to do it just using my fingers. I used an iFixit Opening Tool as a lever, alternating between the two ends of the connector until it released.
This picture shows 6 screws to be removed, but I couldn’t find 2 of them. The holes for the 4 I found were labelled B1, B2, B3, and B4.
I found this a good time to clean out dust that had accumulated around the fan.
If you decided to leave the display in place, you can just loosen the screw on the VGA board, and leave the board itself where it is. The board blocks access to a screw securing the system fan, but once you’ve removed the screw from the VGA board you can just push the VGA board out of the way and remove the system fan screw. Of course, this means the VGA board can move around while you’re working on the rest of the computer, but I didn’t find that was a big problem. You could temporarily reinstall the VGA board screw after you’ve removed the system fan.
Indeed, pull straight up using the integrated handle on the connector. It required more force than I expected, and popped off suddenly once I pulled hard enough.
There are a couple of latches on the front of the palm rest which should be released before you move on to the sides. I think one of those latches is released in the picture above. The iFixit opening tool was helpful here, and I used some of the iFixit opening picks to stop the corner latches from closing while I worked on others.
You can skip this step when replacing the HDD, it isn’t necessary at all.
These (and Dell’s) instructions don’t mention that you have to disconnect a second keyboard cable. It’s a 4 pin ZIF connector, you can see it in the picture above, already disconnected.