Dell Inspiron 15 3000 3543, 3542, 3541 RAM & Hard Drive Upgrade Guide

Dell Inspiron 15 3000

The Dell Inspiron 15 3000 is currently one of the best selling models among Windows-based laptops. Regarding system memory and hard drive upgrades, the 15 3000, or more precisely the 3543, 3542, and 3541, is very user-friendly. To access RAM and HDD, you just need to remove the plastic cover on the bottom of the chassis. The cover is held by only one screw, so doing operations such as replacing the pre-installed RAM or replacing pre-installed HDD with a solid state drive is a breeze.

Dell Inspiron 15 3000 Upgrade Door on Bottom

Dell Inspiron 15 3000 Upgrade - RAM Hard Drive

However, the notebook has only one memory slot, so you won’t be able to have more than 8GB RAM. It is the largest capacity on the RAM modules currently available on the market. The notebook supports DDR3L PC3L-12800 (1600MHz) SODIMM memory in the 204-pin form factor. As for storage, the bay is designed for 2.5-inch hard drives and solid state drives with SATA interface supporting up to 6 Gbps speed (SATA 3).

Once you’ve removed the base cover, to replace the existing memory module you’ll just need to pry apart the securing clips on the left and right sides of the memory slot until the module pops up and then you can take it out. To insert a new module, align the notch on it with the tab on the memory slot, slide the module into the slot at an angle, and press the module down until it clicks into place.

To install a new hard drive or solid state drive, remove the screw that secures the hard-drive assembly to the laptop base. Using the pull tab, slide the HDD assembly to disconnect it from the system board and take the assembly out of the computer base. Remove the screws that secure the hard-drive bracket to the hard drive, take the drive out and peel the Mylar sheet off. Put your new HDD or SSD in the bracket, adhere the Mylar sheet to it, put back the screws, place the assembly in the laptop, connect the drive connector to the system board connector, and put back the screw that secures the assembly to the laptop base.

Before replacing the components, make sure your laptop is turned off, the battery is removed, and you’re grounded.

Have a comment, question, or user review? Share it with us in the comment section below.

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Danijel is a tech blogger who founded Laptoping in 2006. His specialty are Windows-based mobile PCs, from tablets and ultraportables to full blown gaming laptops.

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50 comments
  1. hi sir, i have dell inspiron 3558 i3-5005U 2.0GHZ with 4gb windows 10 home edition installed now i need to upgrade upto 12gb
    Does it support 4gb + 8GB ram
    will it cause any problem

  2. Everyone keeps talking about the second tab on the back. Mine doesn’t have one. I’ve unscrewed literally every screw on the back of my laptop and I still can’t open it. It says 3000 series but the only things I keep finding are for some tab in the back that mine doesn’t have so what do I do?

    • Maybe you have some other Inspiron 3000 series model like 3551 or 3552. They have different design when compared to the 3543/2/1 shown on this page.

  3. ,

    Currently I am using vostro 14 3000 series laptop with 4GB RAM,I want to upgrade RAM. What is max RAM it’s support..?

    Thanks,
    Madhava.

  4. Hi,

    I require laptop for mainly coding-development work, playing hd movies/songs, playing PC games occasionally. My top most priority is high performance (without or less hanging/freezing issue) without causing overheating.

    I heard i5-5200U/4210U is better than i3-5005U in terms of performance. But the laptop with i5 comes at much costlier than i3. Do you think paying extra bucks for 5th gen i5 really worth it in terms of performance?

    FYI, I use linux for 70% of my day2day work. Rest 30% windows 7.

    FYI, In both configurations, RAM is 4 GB DDR3L and hard disk is 1 TB 5400 RPM.

    Does upgrading RAM from 4 to 8 GB compensates the extra performance of i5 ?

    • Among these 3 processors, the i5-4210U should be avoided because of weaker graphics than on the newer i5-5200U and i3-5005U. As for CPU performance, difference between the i5 and i3 should be only slightly noticeable in most tasks, except heavy stuff like converting video files where the i5 has advantage. Getting 8GB of RAM will help a lot if you utilize more than 4GB (such as running multiple apps and browser tabs at the same time). Otherwise, the difference won’t be noticeable, no matter what CPU is used. More about RAM usage here: http://laptoping.com/laptop-pc-ram-size-and-performance-explained.html

  5. Hi Daniel! I found this info of immense use as I am thinking to upgrade RAM of my Inspiron 15 3541.However, I have a question on OS.If I replace my existing RAM of 2gb with 8gb, do I need to install/reactivate with OS.basically anything to do with software is required or not after changing RAM? Thanks.

    • No action on software end is required for RAM upgrades.But keep in mind that if you have a 32-bit OS version instead of 64-bit, you won’t be able to utilize 8GB of RAM. A 32-bit OS will recognize only ~4GB out of 8GB.

  6. hi,I have a dell inspiron 3000 series laptop and accidently I lost a hard drive screw that holds the harddrive to its base now can u tell me where I can find the screws

  7. I have a recent purchased Dell 15 3000. Where is the RAM located on this machine. It has a solid bottom except for battery. I want to install more RAM, which I have bought from Crucial and I understand there is an open bay for it. Is it accessed under the keyboard?

    • Maybe you then have some other Inspiron 3000-series model, such as 3551, 3552, or 3558. Do you know exact model of your notebook?

    • I’ve been trying to find the same thing. It seems like Dell has redesigned the machine as every blog I look at suggests that solid bottoms are not a thing for Dell (Mine is an Inspiron 15 3558)- I’m wondering if we have to take the entire bottom off. Did you ever figure this out?

      • The guide on this page is for the 3543, 3542, 3541 Inspiron 3000 models. The 3558 has different chassis design. It’s much harder to access RAM and storage for upgrades, since you have to remove the keyboard, optical drive (if present on the model) and many screws in order to remove the one-piece bottom of the chassis. You can find 3558 RAM upgrade instructions in its Service Manual on Dell.com.

  8. Hi
    I got an Inspiron 3543 with the i7-5500U CPU @ 2.40GHz CPU
    i want to upgrade the 4GB RAM whats the max that i can fit in?
    And i would love to add a 256 GB SSD (if possible, dell offers only 128GB ones) while keeping the 500GB HD already inside.
    Can i do that? or i have to choose only one module between a small SSD, a large HD and some 500GB hybrids dell offers in their support page.

    • There’s one ram slot, so you can only take out the 4GB module and insert an 8GB one. I’m not sure whether the rare 16GB modules are supported on this laptop. There’s only one storage bay so you can’t have both HDD and SSD. But you can get a DVD caddy, put an SSD in it as replace the DVD drive with it.

  9. We bought a DELL Inspiron 15 3000 series model 3543 with intel core of i3-5005U processor 4 GB memory and 1 TB hard drive. It ha Windows 10. It keeps getting kicked off the wifi. None of the other devices, laptops in the house have this problem and we even shut the other devices down to see if it was just an overload to the modem, but still gets kicked off even when we use the hotspot on my phone instead of the cable modem.

    • I had this problem when my 3543 installed Windows 10 from Windows 8.1. No problem with WiFi with Windows 8.1. Spent literally weeks with Dell Support trying to troubleshoot the WiFi. In the end, switching back to Windows 8.1 was the only thing that worked.

  10. Hi,

    Thanks for the detailed post. If I add 8GB module from outside, does it void warranty? Also after upgrading is any major improvement. I mainly use my Inspiron 3543 for browsing using chrome. I have 4GB ram. But it hangs.

    • If you don’t damage any internal part, the warranty will be still valid after adding RAM.

      If RAM usage of your opened Chrome tabs and other programs exceed 4GB, then your system will start using your hard drive for RAM purposes which will slow down the system a lot. In that case, 8GB RAM will significantly improve performance. If you’re usage is always below 4GB, you won’t notice big difference after adding more memory.

      More about that in this post: http://laptoping.com/laptop-pc-ram-size-and-performance-explained.html

      You can check your RAM usage in the Task Manager (shortcut: Ctrl+Shift+Escape).

  11. Kind of lies here.
    They say opening the service cover is easy like a breeze, ant that is blsht! There are some plastic locks that are so hard, that for me it is impossible to open the cover without damaging the chassis. I need a manual explaining a way to open it without breaking the laptop apart.

      • My cover won’t budge no matter what I try……grrrr…. It doesn’t want to slide at all and I am concerned about damaging my laptop :-(

  12. i have inspiron 3542 model my sytem is damaged .
    inspiron 3543 model parts fix in laptop working or not
    suitable or not

  13. i have dell Inspiron 15 3542 model and it’s internal hdd memory is 1 TB . and i have other 2 TB hard disk . what is the maximum Hdd suport or maxium Hdd size exchange to my laptop ????????

  14. I have dell inspiron 15 3537 series laptop. Which is the best 4gb ram module that i shud buy to upgrade the ram

  15. I have a dell inspiron 3542,it came with a windows 7 operating system and each time I try to upgrade it to windows 8 or 8.1,it always misses some drivers and graphics.what can I best do?

    • It’s best to go to on Support section on Dell’s website and find drivers for Win 8.1. They have all needed Win 8.1 drivers available there.

  16. sir,dell 3543 can support shareit? because my 3543 not supporting shareit…nd other on 3542 shareit play very well…so please solve my problem…

  17. Hello Sir. I had an Inspiron 15 3543, can I replace the single slot 8GB RAM to 16 GB RAM? Does it will not cause any problem to the overall performance? Thank you.

      • These Intelligent Memory 16GB modules (type IMM2G64D3LSOD8AG-B15E) work on all laptops with the new Intel 5th generation Broadwell CPUs, but not on any older models.

        The Dell Inspiron 15 3000 uses the 4th generation, so it does not work. But newer Dell Inspirons (released in 2015) are fine.
        Check the CPU code! It always begins with i3, i5 or i7 and is then followed by a 4-digit number and a letter. If the 4-digit number starts with a 5 (for example i5-5200U), then it is 5th generation.

        In the USA you can buy here: https://squareup.com/market/MemphisElectronicRetail/imm-g-d-lsod-ag-b-e-1

        otherwise Google the part# IMM2G64D3LSOD8AG

        They are looking for more resellers, so if anybody has a favorite dealer, ask them to contact the manufacturer at info@intelligentmemory.com to get reseller-pricing

      • I’m not too sure, i just read it from this article. “http://www.pcworld.com/article/2894509/want-32gb-of-ram-in-your-laptop-or-nuc-you-can-finally-do-it.html” . My CPU by the way is i7-5500u / 2.4GHz.

        Thanks all for the replied…

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