Adding a backlit keyboard to 17r (n7110) - General Hardware - Laptop - Dell Community

Adding a backlit keyboard to 17r (n7110)


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Adding a backlit keyboard to 17r (n7110)

This question has been answered by CTPro

Hi I just recently purchased a 17r 2nd gen and I love
the performance and style but I just wish it had a backlit keyboard, knowing it
was not in the customization features I was wondering if I could purchase a XPS
17 (L702X) and replace my default keyboard. I just know if the motherboard has
the same connection and if the LED’s would work. Any help will be greatly appreciated!

Verified Answer
  • Hello!

    First off thank you very much to the poster who gave some direction on adding a backlit keyboard to an n7110 laptop.  That has been my main complaint with this computer since it is mostly used in my living room. 

    I can confirm that this is possible and the backlight socket is there hidden under the palm rest assembly.  If you remove the palm rest you will see it about 1/2 inch to the right and slightly below the keyboard socket.  I would recommend getting the keyboard from  I originally bought one from an ebay seller and the "new"keyboard he sent me was not new and was defective.  One of the keys didn't work and in the process of taking the keyboard off an on trying to figure out what was going on the backlight ribbon came off.  He supposedly sent me a replacement but it never showed. In the end he made good and returned my money without any grief.  I then ordered one from, same price, and it showed up next day (they are in the same state as me).

    A word of warning, the backlight ribbon is very fragile (see above) so don't try to insert it under the palm rest as I originally did.  What I did was take my dremel with a sanding wheel and just removed enough plastic from the palm rest so the socket was exposed like the others while the palm rest was in place.  After that, voila, lit keyboard and I love it!

  • After buying a replacement back-lite keyboard, I was disappointed to read this, but I did more research and found the ziff socket under the front panel. I cut out some plastic to access it and I know have a super cool back-lite keyboard! 

    Dig in a little deeper!

    It can be seen right above the D on motherboard in this picture...

All Replies
  • Austinmoss,

    Thank you for using the Dell Community Forum.

    There is no backlit keyboard available for this system.

  • To the Original Poster.   Have you removed your keyboard to see if there is an open Ziff socket to power the backlit keyboard from the XPS?

  • There isn't, on the Inspiron models - it is there only on the XPS.

  • What about  the Dell OEM Inspiron N7110 Backlit Keyboard 454RX Black I'm looking into it for myself now

  • Backlit keyboard is optional on 17 inch Vostro 3750.

    Mine came w/o but I added backlit KB later (luckily  my main board has KB power socket).

  • I found the site that supplies the backlit KB. Says that it's compatible with the Inspiron N7110. I have the exact model. Thinking of ordering it.

  • That's a great price if they don't go crazy with shipping. Let us know if it works out.

  • Yes... please share your experience with the replacement back lit keyboard.

  • Has anyone tried they keyboard? If so did it work?

  • See above.  There is no socket for the backlight cable on the Inspiron model - even if you install a backlit keyboard it will not work with the Inspiron (although the same keyboard will fit into and work correctly with the XPS series).

  • Fully aware of that. This keyboard that we where looking at though has the light cable merged with the other cable.

  • Jesse - Is there some sort of light that can clip on to the 17R-N7110? It is impossible to see the keys at night time, even with light in the room. Please pass that along to the designers and suggest that they always add backlights to these machines.

    Also, I just bought machine from an E-bay seller. Please tell me the date that the warranty went into effect and for how long it lasts. The Service Tag S/N is 

    <ADMIN NOTE: Service tag removed per privacy policy>    The Express Service Code is

    <ADMIN NOTE: Express Service code removed per privacy policy> 

    Please let me know. Thanks.  MacDaddy453

  • There are external, USB lights you can use -- not unlike book lights.

    Until you get the seller to transfer the warranty into your name, you have no warranty - contact that person.

  • Have you tried the keyboard with any success???

  • Hi Eman941,

    There are a few steps that you can try before coming to a conclusion.

    1. Remove all the external peripherals, the power cable and battery from the laptop, press and hold the power button for 20 seconds. This process will drain all the static energy from the computer.
    2. Connect the battery in the computer and try switching it on.
    3. If the computer does not power on, remove the battery and connect only the AC adapter switch on the laptop. (Make sure AC adapter is receiving power and has a light on the connector port or adapter brick). also check if the laptop is giving any beep sound.
    4. If the laptop does not power on it could be a bad motherboard. Motherboard and keyboard needs to be replaced. And if the laptop powers on try running diagnostics.

    Running the hardware diagnostics can help in checking if there is any hardware problem. Follow the steps below to run hardware diagnostics.

    1. Restart the computer.
    2. Keep tapping the F12 key on the Dell Logo Screen.
    3.  From the One time boot menu select Diagnostics and Press Enter.
    4.  It runs a test on all the hardware components.
    5. If the test fails capture the error code and let me know the error code, I would tell you the next course of action.

    In case the system has active warranty, please private message the system service tag, contact number and registered owner’s name to private message, accept my friend request; click on my user name and click start conversation. 

    To check the Warranty status of the computer use this link:



    Awaiting your response!

    Thanks & Regards,
    Nikhil D

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