A working laptop, from many parts…


During the summer I have been scouring the internet (Well eBay) for Dell Laptop parts, to make an M70 come back to life.

  • It started out with a 1024 screen then went to 1600, and now has a 1920*1200 panel
  • It needed the Video card replacing and testing; Turned out it wasn’t that but some water / liquid ingress that was under the card fittings !!
  • Replaced the Video and CPU fans, (And gave the thing a vacuum out).
  • Upgraded the CPU from 1.7 to 2.13 GHz
  • Upgrade the memory from 1 to 2GB (The max it will take Sad smile)
  • Put on some silver compound on both the CPU and GPU chips to aid cooling (And prevent fan noise)
  • Next the hard drive, Starting with a  40GB @5400rpm then to 60GB @7200, next via a replacement DVD-rom bay, a Sata 500GB drive brought the speed up to 70MB/s write !
  • Find out how to install windows 7 from a USB HDD (Not a stick, as there a lot’s of sites that give some information for that !), and then get the Bay module drive to boot.
  • during the HDD phase I purchased a PCMCIA to SDHC adapter to use that as the ReadyBoost area, but now that the PATA drive bay is empty and the BIOS complains on boot, I am awaiting delivery of a 44pin IDE to SDHC module.
  • Also there is a docking station, and it has been installed with Win 7 and with a little persuasion, a driver recognised my MS has been installed to drive the LCD panel at full resolution.
  • Bought a Laptop knee tray – this turned out to be the right size, and even space for an external mouse, but:
    • It’s way too slippy to hold the mouse while typing
    • Too thin when using the mouse, as the thing bends
    • A bit fragile, when wanting to move the whole thing including heavish Laptop and mouse to the side, to allow you to stand.

What’s left:

  • Remove the Bluetooth adapter, as the silly flashing status light is driving me bonkers.
  • Get a faster / bigger SDHC (Sandisk have just released a 95MB/s write device, but that’s way too expensive, when the drive bay could take a 600x CF card and adapter for less!)
  • Get a power adapter that works correctly for the slim USB DVD rom bay that I have.
  • Investigate a new battery that does not cost loads, and can last ages
  • Investigate a new table with legs that can actually take a laptop of this size and weight.

The total cost so far, has been less than buying the starting Laptop spec, in working condition, from eBay (Apart from the SATA drive as I already had that !)

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