That Pesky Touchpad Ribbon Cable...

I have an M17xR2 which I have built entirely from parts purchased on ebay, and software from Dell. The biggest problem with building a laptop this way is finding all the important little grebbly bits - like the screws and the ribbon cable which connects the touchpad to the motherboard.

Especially the touchpad ribbon cable.

I've searched several forums, as well as trying to deal with the band of gibbering monkeys known as Dell Out-of-Warranty Support, and it seems that you can't get the cable by itself; Dell always wants to sell the whole unit, touchpad and cable both, which doesn't make much sense if the pad is working.

After doing some rather exhaustive searching, I finally found a vendor on ebay who hooked me up. The ribbon cable is actually from a different laptop entirely, but I was assured the voltages and pins were the same as the one I need and since it was less than $5 I decided to buy it. I expect it to show up sometime next week. When it does, I'll put it in the laptop and see what happens....
Success, folks! :)

The ribbon cable works like a charm. The touchpad functions just fine, and I changed the color to check and see that the Command Center would work with it. Here's a picture of the laptop before and after the cable was installed:
before and after.jpg
If you need this cable, the part you will be looking for is an Asus X44H Touchpad Ribbon Cable with 12 pins. Just two things to take note of though:

1) When installing the cable, the pins have to face upward as you place the cable into the slot.

2) The ribbon cable is a bit longer than the one which originally comes with the touchpad, so you'll have to let it fold as you re-seat the palm rest.

And there you have it.