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Inspiron 1720 Tear Down 4gb ddr2 dual 250GB hard drive Intel Core 2 duo T7700 @ 2.4gz

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This is a 4 year old computer or more of my mothers I decided the basic compressed air into the vents would not be enough to clean out the system anymore. Here is a basic tear-down of the system.

DellInspiron171.jpg

First use the compressed air to clean the surface of the chassis of the laptop and crevices hiding dust and debris. Remove the battery and set it aside. On the upper right side of the laptop with the screen open, above the keyboard there is a panel which has the power button and caps lock led indicator etc. Above that at top right there is a groove to remove the panel. Use a flathead screwdriver to pop this tab up. Go to the other side and pry up the other edge lightly while wiggling the side of the panel that has been raised till this panel pops off. Using a small Philips head screwdriver unscrew the 4 exposed screws along top edge of the keyboard which was exposed by the removal of the upper panel. They are at top left and right edge of keyboard and a quarter of the way in from top edge and side from the outer screws as the picture shows the tabs the screws came from. Set these aside. Slide the keyboard forward and up so tabs at the bottom of the keyboard are released from the chassis. Set the keyboard aside after cleaning it and the exposed chassis with the compressed air to remove dust and debris. Now close the screen and flip the laptop over in the closed position.

DellInspiron172.jpg

Proceed to remove the SD-card or the fake one used to fill the slot. Remove the fake card or actual card from the PCI slot. With a small Philips remove all exposed screws that are located on bottom of the chassis. I like to set them in a pattern on a table next to me in the shape that they came out of bottom of chassis so I know where each came from. Remove the covers from the bottom that include a hard drive cover, a memory cover, and a wireless card cover. Set these aside after cleaning their surfaces of dust. Now remove the screws holding the hard drives in and set them both aside. They are numbered as well as the slots they came from so you don't forget which drive went where. Since all those screws are removed... you may slide out the DVD drive, it may take turning the laptop over and sliding it out because it seems to catch the inside somehow. With ease though it should still slide out. In the pictured wireless card slot located at bottom right in the photo (the wireless card is a bright white square card.) Pull the positive and negative antenna wires of the wireless card, they just pull straight up off of card. Also there is a small bundle of wire directly under that which is for extra wireless cards just remove them from the black tube like sleeve so they are loose like the wireless cards antenna wires. No flip laptop over again and open it.

DellInspiron173.jpg

There are two screws at back side of the chassis seen from the back where all the peripheral ports are located like the usb and power port. Remove these two screws and return the laptop to an open screen position. There are 4 screws holding the hinges to the screen in located at base of hinges, remove and set them aside. You see the VGA wire pictured, it was wedged in to upper keyboard area horizontally. Lightly remove the entire wire from the groove. There is a second connector pictured towards upper right of keyboard that does not connect to anything remove that one from its groove too. Flip the laptop over with laptop lid closed and push the antenna wires through the hole they come from in the wireless card slot. Flip the laptop over to normal position and carefully open screen. With wires all detached lift screen so hinges raise out of their slots and set the screen aside.

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This is what it should look like at this point.

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Flip the chassis over so bottom faces up and remove the two or three remaining screws from the hard drive bays. Then flip the chassis over again.

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Lift the top remaining chassis straight up and off of the laptop. Pictured is the piece removed and flipped upside down to see under surface. At this point I would use some compressed air on that piece to be sure it's clean too. Set aside.

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Pictured here is the same previous piece showing the thermal damage or brazing on the under surface of this motherboard cover where the cpu heat sink and fan is located.

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Here you see the motherboard exposed showing the cpu heatsink, the Intel graphics chip and even where the primary memory DIMM is located (center of photo). Scary is the fact that you will need to do all this if that primary memory chip needs replacing.

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The upper right quadrant of the motherboard.

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The upper left quadrant of the motherboard.

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The lower left quadrant of the motherboard.

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The lower right quadrant of the motherboard.

DellInspiron1713.jpg

Here I used the canned air on the entire exposed motherboard and the cpu fan. I will not be repasting the thermal paste but I do need to clean the entire fan assembly and heat sink fins. So without removing the heat-sink the only option is remove the metal plate over top of the cpu fan. With a small Philips remove the 4 screws directly on top of metal plate and set aside they are pictured to the right. Also there are 3 recessed screws around base of the fan assembly, remove them and set them aside too so we can raise fan slightly also and clean under it without removing the heat-sink. The 3 screws are bigger and shown also on the right of this picture.

DellInspiron1714.jpg

With metal plate of fan removed and set aside proceed to blow all the dust away from fans fins, under the plastic fan frame towards its intake port under fan and laptop, from the cooling fins and even the exhaust port. Though hard to see I found a gap between cooling fins and fan assembly, about an 1/8 to 1/4 inch, though it is hard to see in that picture

DellInspiron1715.jpg

Here a clean fan and cooling fins are pictured. The gap between cpu fan assembly and the cooling fins is hard to see here too but does exist.

DellInspiron1716.jpg

Look carefully to the right of copper tubing in between some of the motherboard I wedged a clip. I placed one of those clips used on hard drives and media drives to switch them from cable select to slave or master. I used it to fix another problem I noticed which is the fins do not snuggly fit to the fan allowing all the hot air into the chassis instead. The pressure of that plastic piece wedged in there was enough to get the fins snug all the way flush to the fan.

DellInspiron1717.jpg

The duct tape is a mod to prevent air from leaking out of metal fins so the air blows straight through fins and out of chassis. The fins seem to have gaps all over where each fin is connected to the next. The tape is placed all over outer surface of fins and over the seem between fan and fins plus even along seem between the ends of the fins and the exhaust vent. The problem it addresses is exactly like the problems with the heat-sinks located on the M17x R2 which seems to be common to Dell laptops IMO.

DellInspiron1718.jpg

Here you'll find I was sure that no hot air would be trapped in the laptop. I thoroughly used small slices and angles of duct tape just to be certain everything is sealed but I made sure no to go so crazy I can't place the chassis cover back on.

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Carefully place the chassis cover back over the motherboard. Pull small cable on the top right up into opening where it was originally. Bring the Touchpad cable up though center opening where it was originally and push it back into its slot.

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Now take the LCD and bring it towards the chassis in similar position to how it mounts. Push from the top the cables that were fed through the chassis back through that hole that is pictured.

DellInspiron1721.jpg

Here the cables are pushed back through the hole and pictured from bottom of laptop facing the wireless network card slot. The light gray cable, dark gray cable and blue cable plus one more not visible are stuffed back into that plastic tubing in the bottom of picture probably just used to store those unused cables which I believe are for add-on wireless PAN cards. No push the miniature connector, yes miniature to the wireless network card. There is a black one and a white one, the black connects to the left connector on the card and the white to the right.

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Okay here's where the laptop starts to come back together and look like a laptop. Slide the Magnesium like legs of the LCD hinge back into their slot, it should slide easy. You may screw the two screws on the back of the laptop on the hinge section now to secure the screen. Start wedging carefully the monitor cables back in the grooves they came out of. Located on the end of the video cable is a small screw attached to a tiny ground cable re-screw that over to the right side of the chassis as pictured.

DellInspiron1723.jpg

Really starting to come together now. Make sure now any exposed cables are back in their slots. The previous mentioned ground screw is where it belongs and screwed in. Now get all the screws that are for the top of the chassis and screw them back in. This will not include the 4 screws from the keyboard yet.

DellInspiron1724.jpg

Now its straight forward from here. See all those peripherals? Set the keyboard to the side and the 4 screws. Plus the touch panel with the Power Button located on it. Start by screwing the screws back in that came from under the hard drives. Place the, hard drives in their respective slots which are labeled for our convenience. Place screw their mounting brackets back in. Push the DVD drive back into it's slot, again you may need to wiggle it lightly or even turn laptop over for a second because it seems to catch. Slide the PCI protector card back in or your actual PCI card device and your SD card protector or again your actual SD-card.

DellInspiron1725.jpg

Screw the DVD drive down along with the Memory cover, the Hard drive cover and the wireless card cover. Place your battery in it's slot. This leaves you with just a keyboard with four screws, a touch panel and the rest of the screws for the bottom which I advised you to place on a surface in a pattern of how they came out of the bottom of the chassis so different sized screws aren't mixed up.

DellInspiron1726.jpg

The entire bottom should look like this. Screw the remaining screws in minus the four for the keyboard.

DellInspiron1727.jpg

slide the bottom end of keyboard into where the bottom of the keyboard was located. Now allow the keyboard to just lay down. Insert those four keyboard screws and tighten them. With nothing but the touch panel left place that over where it was wedged up from and lightly press the edges down till the entire thing is flush with the rest of the keyboard area.

DellInspiron1728.jpg

Here is the cleaned product with improved thermal ducting .Idle temps were hovering around 50 degrees celcius and now hover around 25 degrees celcius down to about 12 degrees celcius after the cleaning.

Edited by mw86
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lol, I didn't think anything of it but that truly is funny. I believe it came from her I-pod. She stuck it right on there. I had my laughs about it years ago when she did it. Lol, it must be a Dell Apple hybrid or something.

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and what's that mod with the duct tape on the 17th and 18th pic? For cooling improvement?

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Yes the duct tape is a mod to prevent air from leaking out of metal fins so the air blows straight through fins and out of chassis. The fins seem to have gaps all over where each fin is connected to the next. The tape is placed all over outer surface of fins and over the seem between fan and fins plus even along seem between the ends of the fins and the exhaust vent. The problem it addresses is exactly like the problems with the heat-sinks located on the M17x R2 which seems to be common to Dell laptops imo. If you notice pic 17 and 18 look carefully to the right of copper tubing in between some of the motherboard I wedged a clip. I placed one of those clips used on hard drives and media drives to switch them from cable select to slave or master. I will mention it in the instructions. I used it to fix another problem I noticed which is the fins do not snuggly fit to the fan allowing all the hot air into the chassis instead. The pressure of that plastic piece wedged in there was enough to get the fins snug all the way flush to the fan. Pic 16 shows the fins now cleaned with compressed air and the clip in place snugging the fins up. Pic 15 and 14 does in fact show this gap though it is hard to see in that picture. This I believe allowed for such a decrease in idle temps even without replacing the 4 year old thermal paste.

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Nice system and nice guide!

The Inspiron 1720 was a system I bought in mid 07. Used it until I got my R2, and then gave it to my bro. Still a good system. T9600 2.6GHz CPU, 256GB SSD, 500GB HDD, 4GB DDR2 RAM, and an Nvidia 8600M GT.

I put a black keyboard on it, thought it made it look kinda slick. Also has red arabic keyboard stickers on it from when I was taking Arabic 1-4 in school and learning some Arabic on my own. Learning to type in another language is a PITA.

It was good for gaming back in the day. Still a strong system and great for a student, which is why I gave to him. I kinda miss that system :P Made it though two trips to Iraq and still going strong, never had an issue with it.

dscn0632copy.jpg

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Nice keyboard I think the black really complements the system.

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Thanks, yea i thought so too. Its also a black inspiron so the lid is black.

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*The Guide has been updated to it's final revision.

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Nice tutorial, thank you!

Did you use an isolation mat?

I will not be repasting the thermal paste

What? Why? You opened the device completely in connection with so much work/time and you did not replace the termal past? *omg*

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Nice tutorial, thank you!

Did you use an isolation mat?

What? Why? You opened the device completely in connection with so much work/time and you did not replace the termal past? *omg*

Thank you very much.

Everyone should use an Isolation mat :) I had not used one in this project and the computer is still in working condition today :) is a spare laptop thankfully.

Good question lol, at the time I guess I just wanted to get the system cleaned out as the stock paste was still performing pretty well. since then I had used some Prolimatech thermal paste.

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Three Thermal Interface Materials Compared

Pasted a few times to get more consistent results through tests so only the final tests and results are posted. Both Liquid Metal were applied to both Heatsink and the Cpu Die. Each time reapplied heatsink and die was thoroughly cleaned of residue and or metal each time. Note the Liquid metal seems to have a soldering like effect on the copper, if you choose to use one of the liquid metals better paste once and not plan to need to again as it does take quite a bit of work removing it only from the copper surface unlike the cpu die which wiped easily with alcohol pad. If you plan to repaste it maybe consider lapping the copper before reapplying the liquid metal to the copper heatsink. Results were great in any case. I found applying the Liquid metal easier than anticipated. Paint it on is easiest and if one uses Liquid Pro I recommend the brush method vs the cotto Que tip it comes with, i used the second brush in the Ultra package. Cheers the following is the results.

Testing started on Prime95 but I moved to Intel Burn Test for higher heat generation.

Intel Core 2 Duo T7700

Intel Burn Test: 20 Tests @ 3349Mb Ram

Ambient Temp +20C

Voltage=1.3v

Speed: 2.6Ghz Dual Core (Dual IDA)

Monitor App: Throttle Stop (more info checked) + HWiNFO

Max Temperatures

Prolimatech PK-1: HWiNFO= 92c Throttle Stop= 92C

Coolaboratory Liquid Ultra: HWiNFO= 86c Throttle Stop= 86c

Coolaboratory Liquid Pro: HWiNFO= 84c Throttle Stop= 85c

Prolimatech

2854576cebf81e08763efb407940788f.jpg

Liquid Ultra

450e3c9f911cdbce5d3b179b9a0ed331.jpg

Liquid Pro

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Extra Pics such as when applied and removed

clean heatsink

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PK1 Applied

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PK1 removed

72d6dd51d0ae3475f087cb26a581b1b4.jpg

Liquid Ultra Applied

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Liquid Ultra After

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Liquid Ultra On Copper After using only Alcohol

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Liquid Pro Applied

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Liquid Pro Applied 2nd Pic

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Your teardown guide is great. Awesome job on that. I have an old Inspiron E1505 and while it is no longer fast by today's standards, it is still a solid little machine. It is very similar to your 1720. I recently upgraded it from XP to Windows 7 Pro with 240GB SSD, 4GB RAM, T7200 CPU and X1400 GPU, and added Bluetooth. It’s much better than it was and I think I spent a total of like $50 on parts from eBay. I already had the W7, Bluetooth and SSD in my spare parts stash. The only thing that I really do not like about it is the 1280x800 display. I am so used to 1080p or better than anything below 1080p is difficult to tolerate.

The Liquid Pro and Liquid Ultra made a solid improvement on your temps. I am totally sold on Liquid Ultra and that is all I use on my Alienware systems now. I used IC Diamond on the Inspiron 1505 since it only maxes out at 2.0GHz. I have tried to find a way to bump the base clock to get the CPU to run faster, but I cannot find a workable clock generator for SetFSB. Any ideas?

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