Questions about upgrades to old notebooks

Discussion in 'Hardware Components and Aftermarket Upgrades' started by jruschme, Mar 23, 2021.

  1. jruschme

    jruschme Notebook Enthusiast

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    I've been playing around recently with some older B, specifically late Latitude D-series and early E-series. Besides a slot for a mini PCI-E wifi adapter, most have slots for some combo of WWAN, WPAN, and FCM cards.

    I'm not particularly interested in WWAN, assuming I could even install a card that would give me LTE or newer. As for WPAN, the same notebooks have a Bluetooth adapter (or provision for one), so I'm not sure of an advantage there and, AFAIK, a Flex Cache Module is useless outside of older versions of Windows.

    That said, is there anything interesting that *could* be installed in one of these slots? A micro-SATA SSD, maybe? I seem to recall seeing an adapter one time that looked like it plugged into a mini PCI-E slot and provided a USB connector; what about one of those?

    Thanks...
     
  2. jeffreyC

    jeffreyC Notebook Enthusiast

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    If those are more than about 4 or 5 years old there is a whitelist of WiFi cards that the BIOS will allow it to boot if installed, and it is a very short list.

    It is planned obsolescence, if you want a newer WiFi card buy a new laptop is their idea.

    Doing a new search on this I see new posts on troubleshooting that seems they are still doing this as recently at 1-2 years ago.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2021
  3. jruschme

    jruschme Notebook Enthusiast

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    Actually, upgrading the WiFi cards is not a problem as I'm talking about older Dell notebooks (some as much as 10 yrs old) which did not have whitelists. I have had no problems upgrading such laptops with 802.11ac cards, such as ones based on the Intel 7260.

    My question was about the capabilities and limitations of the other slots and whether I could use them for other purposes.
     
  4. StormJumper

    StormJumper Notebook Virtuoso

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    Your better off using the Dell Service Tag to find out more of what is inside and expansion you get if they still use that feature at Dell site. And Dell latitude is so old I put it in a heap. They can't no longer do what you would like them to do. I got a Dell 1525 with T8100 and 4gig Ram and works decently fine with Windows 10 on it. So there are limitations to how far you can go back.
     
  5. jeffreyC

    jeffreyC Notebook Enthusiast

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    I have tried to upgrade some that are now over 10 years old that did have whitelists, as usual YMMV.
     
  6. Jdpurvis

    Jdpurvis Notebook Evangelist

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    Whitelists seem to be brand and model-specific. HP has been well known to use whitelists, but many other manufacturers do not. It is worth looking at the manufacturer's web site to see what cards have been used - and the user forums here can often help. My wife's ancient Dell survived a long time with the addition of ram, new wifi card, ssd, and keyboard... It's quad core i7 helped. :) But eventually, it was too slow and unreliable. Although all her files were copied, we still wake it up every once in a while to dig up an old document. I have no experience with the other slots - the hardware that used them seems to have become almost extinct.
     
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