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houdel
2 Bronze

Inspiron 17R 7720 vs 17R SE 7720 and parts swapping between the two

I have a Dell Inspiron 17R 7720 laptop computer that I bought new from Dell back in 2012. I have has several problems with the power supply connector on this computer - Dell replaced it once, I replaced it myself once and it is not working again. Both the BIOS and Win7 show the charger not connected even though I have it plugged in. Not a charger problem; we have several other Dell laptops with the same charger and it will not show any of the chargers as connected or charging the battery.

I went on Ebay, a used replacement motherboard would run me $200 or I could get a complete working used 17R SE 7720 computer for $300. A no brainer for me; the extra $100 bought me a lot of spare parts, and I love having spare parts for old obsolete equipment.

But I'm questioning what difference, if any, there is between a 17R 7720 and a 17R SE 7720. I have my original Dell invoice from when I bought the computer and there is no "SE" in the model nomenclature anyplace that I could find, but all the 7720s listed on Ebay had "SE" in the model number. So for question number 1, is there any difference between a "SE" and a non "SE" 17R 7720, or was the "SE" some marketing decision thrown into the mix? FWIW,the model label on the new computer just says "Inspiron 7720".

Now on two question 2. For right now, I am basically using the new computer as a remote battery charger for my old computer, as the old computer's hard drive is loaded up with 4 years worth of software and data, and the new computer has nothing but Win8 on its hard drive. What I would like to do is put the hard drive and mSATA drive from the old computer into the new computer (the new one does not have a mSATA drive).

From an examination of the BIOS and Device Manager data I don't see any hardware differences between the two computers other than the old one has an i7-3610QM processor and a 32GB mSATA SDD and is running Win7 while the new one has an i5-3210M processor and no mSATA drive and is running Win8.

Both have a ST1000LM024 HN 1TB hard drive, TSST Corp DVD +/- RW optical drive, Intel Cetrino BT 4.0 Bluetooth Adapter, Nvidia GeForce GT 650M video, Intel Cetrino N2230 Wireless Adapter, backlit keyboards and version A11 BIOS.

I see basically all the same hardware so all the drivers on my old HDD should be correct for the new computer. Will all I have to do is swap the HDD and mSATA drive into the new computer to get up and running? This seems fairly straightforward, but I've been bit in the *** by "fairly straightforward" before. Finally, do I have to do anything in BIOS to invoke the Intel Rapidstore Technology drivers for the mSATA drive or will the BIOS take care of that fro me when it detects the drive?

At some point I will swap the i7 processor into the new computer as well, but that will wait for another day and another posting in this forum!

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2 Replies
9 Rhodium

RE: Inspiron 17R 7720 vs 17R SE 7720 and parts swapping between the two

If it's just the adapter not being recognized, have you changed the DC jack, which is usually the cause if it's not the adapter?

www.amazon.com/.../B00HFHANDU

That may solve the problem.

The two models are the same except for peripherals - you should be able to swap things over (you will need to set the BIOS for IRST AND you should make a full backup of the drive before beginning).  You will also need to swap over your AC adapter if the i5 is running on a 90W unit - the i7 will need a 130 W or better power adapter.

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houdel
2 Bronze

RE: Inspiron 17R 7720 vs 17R SE 7720 and parts swapping between the two

The DC jack has been replaced twice already - once by Dell and once by me. I have a third jack on order from Ebay, only $7.10 there w/free shipping. I hope that works, then I can clone the HDD from the old computer, buy a new mSATA for the new computer and have two identical computers.

I am running a 240W Alienware power supply. My three sons each have an Alienware MX17 gaming laptop. All of us have had at least one power supply failure, the strain relief at the end of the power supply cable where it goes into the plug was inadequate on the older power supplies. All of us generally sat on the couch doing our thing, the power cord was at a 90 degree angle to the plug & eventually the strain relief would break, then the cable jacket & finally the conductors inside the cable  resulting in a short. Dell replaced all the power supplies as they failed then once the computers were out of warranty & the power supplies failed again I bought only replacement 240W Alienware power supplies since they were comparable in price to the Inspiron PS and they worked on the Inspiron.

The Inspiron manual instructs you to remove the system board to replace the power jack since its connector is on the underside of the board. Of course removing the system board also requires removing about a dozen other pieces before you can get the system board out. However, as the power jack connector is right at the edge of the system board I found you only need to remove the optical drive, keyboard and palm rest to get to the power jack. It unplugs from the system board quite nicely and can be reinstalled, a bit awkwardly as it is a semi-blind insertion, from the top side of the system board, thus saving a substantial amount of time.

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