Alienware M17-R1 Full Restoration

Discussion in 'Alienware Area-51/Aurora and Legacy Systems' started by halofanman, Feb 24, 2013.

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  1. halofanman

    halofanman Notebook Guru

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    M17-R1 (PRE DELL) I've Decided to post my restoration here, and hopefully help out others with the same laptop. I'd like to see more people bringing their M17's back to life! My Budget Is $500

    [​IMG]

    ____________________________________
    Original Specs of The M17:
    Processor:P8400 Dual Core 2.26GHz
    Memory: 4GB Dual Channel DDR3 1066MHz
    Hard Drive: 160GB 7,200RPM
    Video/Graphics Card: 3870x2

    ____________________________________

    Upgrades, The Restoration:
    Work So Far:
    _______________________________________________________
    Cosmetic restoration: ($140.90) *COMPLETED
    Processor: Q9000 Quad Core 2.00Ghz ($94.85 *COMPLETED
    Memory: 8GB Crucial DDR3 1066 Dual Channel Kit ($56.99 *COMPLETED)
    Hard Drive 1: Crucial M4 64GB SSD ($0 from desktop *COMPLETED)
    Hard Drive 2: Spinpoint M8 1TB 5400rpm HD ($89.93 *COMPLETED)
    Solder Tip, Flux Pen, New USB port $31.62 (In Progress)
    GPU's: Possible 4850x2, waiting for used parts to sell
    ______________________________________________________
    Cost So Far: $414.29
    ______________________________________________________

    Selling Old Parts, Getting Ready For New GPU's
    3870m Slave Card $89.99
    Intel Core 2 Duo p8400 Mobile $24.99
    4GB DDR3 1066 PC3-8500S $18.99
    Seagate Momentus 160GB 7200RPM 2.5' Sata II $19.99 -Sold
    Western Digital Scorpio 250GB, 2.5" 5400 RPM $25.99 - Sold
    USB/ Audio Board 79.99 - RMA/Refund
    If I get the asking price for all of the above, that is $179.95
    $414.29 - 179.95 = $234.34. still leaves $265.66 in my budget :D
    ________________________________________________________

    Damage Report:

    Near the fingerprint sensor there are some noticeable burns (cigarettes while DJing, bad habit)
    [​IMG]

    Again there are more burns, and some broken keys.
    [​IMG]

    Corner Damage on the lower case piece.
    [​IMG]

    Ordered ALL NEW casing panels for a little bit over $100, ZTRONICS.COM Specializes in These parts, What I could not get on Ztronics I found on Ebay.


    PARTS I Ordered:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    PARTS Continued:
    [​IMG]
    ________________________________
    Breaking Down The Laptop To Install New Panels:

    First Remove The Power Plug, Battery, Hard Drives, Lastly The Back Panel
    [​IMG]

    Remove All The Screws Holding Together The Upper Panel And Screen
    [​IMG]

    Flip The Laptop Over, And Remove The Screen:
    [​IMG]

    Remove All The Top Screws, Upper Panel Pops Off Revealing The Motherboard.
    [​IMG]

    Complete Breakdown *Anti-Static Matt Do Not Forget This!
    [​IMG]

    Hours later, After Re-Assembling with the New Panels, HDD's and RAM. HOUSTON WE HAVE A POST!:
    [​IMG]

    The Autopsy of The Live Alien Specimen Proved To Be Successful
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    I did not make a video, as I have found a video of this laptop breaking down for reference.



    It took me a long time to gather all of this information, lots of google-ing and hunting for hours. so I will save you all the time and work, and here Is what I have come up with.

    LINKS AREA:

    PDF Service Manual:
    OCZ/M17/W840DI Manual

    M17 Modded Bios:
    029 zfactor VT MOD R2 (please use at your own risk)

    Links to the parts I have purchased, along with the prices:
    For those of you that need a replacement screen, or would like to upgrade to a 1920x1200 glossy/matte you can find them relatively cheap at laptopscreen.com
    Alienware M17R1 17-inch WideScreen WUXGA (1920x1200) $84.99

    Crucial 8GB (2 x 4GB) 204-Pin DDR3 $54.99 (Newegg)

    SAMSUNG Spinpoint M8 1TB HD 5400RPM $89.99 (Newegg)

    M17-R1 Screw Set $4.99

    Alienware M17-R1 Panel C $11.95 (Ztronics)

    Alienware M17-R1 Panel A Ripley $12.95 (Ztronics)

    Power Button Panel - M17-R1 $24.95 (Ebay)

    M17-R1 Bottom Base Assembly PANEL D $24.95 (Ebay)

    M17 UK LED Backlit Keyboard $49.95 (Ebay)
     

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    Last edited by a moderator: May 12, 2015
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  2. Strick

    Strick Newbie

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    Good work. My M17r1 has the two usb ports on the right side broken. Is this what your in the process of repairing or something else? Don't y love how the M17 looks like a stealth fighter?
     
  3. halofanman

    halofanman Notebook Guru

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    yes for that it is a bit tough to find, and expensive. the part with the usb ports is called the "M17-R1 USB Audio Board" the part number is 40GAB0432-C100 I ordered a replacement from MCC Computers but they sent me an engineering sample. the Usb ports worked but the sound did not. I am in the process of returning it, and I will find the part from another vendor. you could pick them up on ebay but they are quite expensive (over $100)
    just for reference so you know what the part looks like: [​IMG]

    Here is an Ebay Link, which is pretty much all I can find at the moment.
    M17-R1 USB Audio Board
     

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  4. Strick

    Strick Newbie

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    This is good for me. I thought the USB's were on the motherboard. I could actualy remove the board and replace just the USBs at my work with a tech buddy. Cool. Not sure if it helps you at all but I have problems with my audio if I use any driver except with what came with the M17. I dont have the cash now for any GPU improvement. These forums have a heck of a lot of info:)
     
  5. halofanman

    halofanman Notebook Guru

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    lol you just ended up in the right place at the right time... I've been doing research for like 2 months on this rebuild, after endless googling I have the part numbers for everything. keep in mind the audio board isn't exactly easy to replace, you'll have to take your laptop screen off, and remove the upper panel. if you have someone helping you that is great. take pictures of everything and save the screw layouts, don't be afraid to also print out the service manual for reference. working with laptops is real temperamental

    The Q9000 CPU is on its way...Then I will be getting into the GPU Upgrades. I will sell my 3870x2, Old Ram, Cpu, & Hard Drives in order to get a sort of "trade in" money for 4850x2 which is a $500 upgrade. The HD 4850M Master Card is about $300, and the 4850M Slave Card is about $200. I Hope I Can get the GPU's upgraded for less than $200 out of pocket after everything is said and done. which will leave the total cost of this build around $700.
     
  6. Strick

    Strick Newbie

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    Your specs say Q9000 and you said your Q9000 is on the way. Is this a typo? Im using the QX9300 2.5 intel extreme wich gets overclocked to 3.0 ghz when I run my Arma2 game. The only probelm I have is the occasional stuttering but I think its more related to my setup. Goodluck. I'm not tking this thing apart unless I have a back up computer. I got the information you gave me for later and this forum rocks.
     
  7. halofanman

    halofanman Notebook Guru

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    I'm still waiting on the q9000, no typo, just updated my sig specs early! I heard of stutter issues with the QX9300, so I decided to go with the q9000 just to be safe, lower clocks, lower voltages. I don't want to run into any lag. they say the zfactor bios can reduce the stuttering If you lower the voltages. your overclock could be sucking up too much power.
     
  8. halofanman

    halofanman Notebook Guru

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    anxiously awaiting my q9000, it arrives tomorrow :eek:

    Switched Out The Skullcap design to a Ripley panel :)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

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  9. mferris85

    mferris85 Newbie

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    Im still using my Alienware M17-r1 I still prefer it even over my Razer Blade. I just had a key jam and i tried taking it off and doing so I broke he attachment where can I get the arrow keys and their little latches? Or shoudl I just get a whole keyboard? Mine is the non backlight version. Thanks for your help
     
  10. halofanman

    halofanman Notebook Guru

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    my keyboard had 2 broken keys and I ended up just replacing it. if you can re-atttach the keys then more power to you but I have no Idea how to do that. your best bet is to get a new keyboard from ebay. the non-backlit ones are around $30-$35. you could also upgrade to a backlit keyboard for $50.
    you could go with the cheaper OCZ Whitebook keyboard.
    OCZ Whitebook Keyboard 17" Backlit | eBay

    but this is the one I purchased.
    New Dell Alienware Area 51 M17 UK LED Backlit Keyboard MOBL W84017ILLUMUKKB | eBay

    alright, so I got the q9000 today and popped it in, no issues!

    [​IMG]


    Selling Old Parts on Ebay, Getting Ready For New GPU's
    ________________________________________
    3870m Slave Card $89.99
    Intel Core 2 Duo p8400 Mobile $24.99
    4GB DDR3 1066 PC3-8500S $18.99
    Seagate Momentus 160GB 7200RPM 2.5' Sata II $19.99 -Sold
    Western Digital Scorpio 250GB, 2.5" 5400 RPM $25.99 - Sold
    USB/ Audio Board 79.99 - RMA'ed/Refunded
    If I get the asking price for all of the above, that is $259.94
     

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