I stripped the m9700 down to the bare motherboard and chassis. Cleaned every component and the motherboard with cotton swaps with 91% rubbing alcohol.
Reseated everything, new AS5 thermal grease applied, reassembled.
In the meantime, I did a ton of reading about 'solid amber' power lights.
Seems the solid amber is related to CPU. Either the CPU, CPU fan, or CPU not getting power.
All 3 of those will result in a solid amber power light.
So now I have to try and eliminate which is causing the problem. CPU chip going bad, weak or no voltage to the CPU chip, or the heatsink fan having gone bad.
How can I test the CPU chip and the heatsink to see whether or not they are good without having another notebook to test them in?