DIY Laptop Battery Rebuild

A day will come when your notebook's rechargeable battery will no longer charge and instead serve better as a paper weight. As you use your battery more often, the battery loses more and more capacity until it finally won’t accept a charge and goes flat. Replacing a battery is easy, but the new battery price could be so steep that it costs more than the notebook is worth. Buying a refurbished battery can drive the price down even lower, but what if you are super cheap? Well, we are going to cover this last option, which means tearing apart your old battery and fixing it yourself.

Dell E1705 Battery Specs:
  • Voltage: 11.1v
  • Capacity: 53WHR
  • Original Cells: Sony SF US18650BR
  • Replacement Cell Specs: LG 1650 mAh li-ion Battery w/ tabs

Teardown Process

Breaking the battery apart was probably the single most painful moment of this entire article. I had no documentation to work with, the plastic halves of the battery were glued together, and all I had was a mini snipper. I first started by peeling off the top sticker exposing the open framework with cells in view. After this I took my little snippers to the plastic, and cut away piece by incredibly small piece till the entire top was removed. I had black plastic bits flying everywhere; I think even into someone’s can of soda. The end result was a brutalized battery case that looks 100 percent safe for future use.

Once all of the excess plastic was removed, I could get to the cells I would be replacing. All of these were glued in place, so prying them out with a screwdriver was the only option. As I slowly lifted each group form the plastic case without shorting any circuits, I took my clippers to the metal bridges to fully disconnect the batteries. During this time I also made special note of the wire leads off the charging circuit and where they connected for future use.


The Dell E1705 laptop was not the pinnacle of mobile performance from the start, but with the old battery it was difficult to get more than 25 minutes of life before the notebook shutoff. Anything above that value with the rebuilt battery would be a mild success, so I crossed my fingers and hoped that an hour of smoke inhalation (soldering) wasn’t wasted. The results of the rebuilt battery ended up being roughly 47 minutes of battery life, and a Dell battery warning saying the battery had reached the end of its useful life. While the cells were fresh, the batteries charging circuit hard already reached the point of no return. No matter what we could do, it would never reach the charge levels of its prior brand new state.

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