this is my first question on this website, so please excuse me if I did not follow the guidelines correctly.
I have an Alienware 17 R1 (2014) and have been looking into rebuilding its laptop battery that has been dead for a while now. I have read up quite a bit into battery chemistries etc., but I would appreciate advice from the experts here regarding my little project.
I am a computer enthusiast, but rebuilding a battery pack is something I have never done before. My laptop battery uses a 4S 2P configuration of 18650 cells for a total of 14.8V and 5.6A. I want to replace these cells with higher capacity ones, but am unsure of what cells to buy (unprotected or protected), and if directly soldering onto these cells is really a good idea. What I am worried about the most, however, is if this modification will result in a battery that is unsafe and might result in my house burning down.
One last question that I feel is relevant to this topic. I was also thinking about replacing the optical drive bay of my laptop with more 18650 cells for more battery life, I read about another guy doing this in this forum: https://www.overclock.net/forum/158-laptops-netbooks/1528118-guide-tutorial-upgrading-your-laptop-s-battery-life-without-wasting-existing-battery-capacity.html. I was wondering if I can do the same safely. I know for a fact that the batteries will fit (took the measurements).
Please feel free to inform me of any equipment that you feel I should have when building the battery. I already have a list, but I am open to more advice and suggestions.
Thank you so much for your time and advice, I will select the best answer in a week.