Converting Laptop into Nettop Desktop

Discussion in 'Computer Discussion' started by Acronell, Nov 10, 2016.

  1. Acronell Aquafam .

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    Alright, so while I was walking home from work yesterday, I'm walking with Kendra and we're talking about the family bits, her son and his development, my daughter and how she won't stop quoting the Cromulons, and we're getting close to where we split off for me to make my way and her her separate way, and next to the curb, I see a red rectangular piece of plastic that I recognize as clearly being electronics of some sort, and I pick it up.


    Well as it turns out, it's the bottom half of a Windows 10 Laptop. It's a Lenovo IdeaPad 100S.

    I can see it clearly has no screen, the casing is all jacked up, partially crushed in some areas, and think it most likely won't be worth much. But I decided to keep it because at least it would still have some RAM and a HDD or at least SSD that I could salvage to use for whatever comes up.


    I get it home, and carefully take it apart.


    The keyboard is unable to be used because the ribbon cable is stiff and broken in several places, including being completely broken across. that and several of the points and data lines are completely crushed/scraped off, I assume by being run over by some cars or trucks.

    The trackpad was also damaged beyond repair.


    In all seriousness, Lenovo disappoints me to a point.

    Here's what we're working with:

    [​IMG]

    This is the Lenovo IdeaPad 100S' motherboard in it's entirety. I placed one of my standard Duracell rechargeable AA batteries next to it in order to show the scale size of this board.

    Starting left side downward, counter clockwise around:

    - Port for connecting the screen and camera
    - Ribbon Cable port for connecting the USB board
    - Ribbon cable port of the keyboard
    - Battery Connection
    - Ribbon cable port to connect the touchpad
    - Port to connect the speakers
    - MicroSD card slot (opposite side of the board directly next to the black line of my Duracell)
    - Inline Mic/Headphone jack
    - HDMI output
    - DC Adapter port

    [​IMG]
    Here is everything assembled sans the laptop casing and broken keyboard and touchpad.

    The USB board has bent connectors, if I'm lucky all I'll have to do is carefully bend them back into shape, and hopefully they will work without issue.

    But anyways, good news is that the battery is completely undamaged and still has a charge, as is the motherboard!

    [​IMG]
    The time is off by about 40 minutes, and the date is off by 2 months.

    So this being the case, I am ordering an official power adapter in a few minutes, so I can power it/keep it charged.

    What I am going to do is pretty simple at this point, I'm converting it into a WinBox.

    I plan to incorporate a powered USB hub, between 4-8 ports (depends on the Quality v Pricing), set it into a custom housing, and attach a new antenna for the wireless. Allegedly there is bluetooth support and capability, if so I will set it up with a bluetooth mouse or keyboard.


    WHOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A FREE WORKING COMPUTER BECAUSE I FOUND IT!!!!
     
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  2. Acronell Aquafam .

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    Thinking on this, and taking a look again as I was thinking, I came to realize that there was absolutely no ventilation for this laptop.

    The base of the laptop has no ventilation areas whatsoever, there's nothing on the sides, no openings in the keyboard area, and it'd be laughable to think they'd placed ventilation in the openings for the hinges.

    I honestly cannot think that this gives off no heat, or that it's something quite minimal.

    I think I am going to hve to build in some ventilation bare minimum, if not add a cooling fan.


    In terms of casing, I am going to FrankenCase, starting with the base of my new little WinTop.
    I'm going to start off with the actual bottom of the Lenovo housing, cut and trim it up nice, then begin to put it together from there.

    I'm thinking of doing the frankencasing in layers, so I can inset some small posts inside the casing to separate the boards and battery, allowing for free space so components are able to cool and not likely to cause any interference with eachother, going from separated and completely away from eachother to right on top of eachother may not be good for the bits.

    I am fully going on with this project as I have found a replacement USB board for the 100S, for only 10$ shipped, if the one I have is beyond my repair.
     
  3. cheese the tallest memer in town Staff Member . . .

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    You may want to extend one of the USB's directly from the motherboard, as they are faster than when put through a hub (eg transfer files to/from a flash drive). Also, just googling the processor in a 100S tells me that it has a 2.2W TDP, so it very well could be entirely passively cooled (it's also recommended to sell the processor for 18$ lmao).

    Anyway, good luck with the free computer!
     
  4. Acronell Aquafam .

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    I am looking to see if there are other USB boards that are compatible with this mobo, if there is at least one that has a few additional ports then I'm going to see about using that instead of the 2 port USB board that is standard to this model.

    I have no intentions of selling my processor, unless a new one is provided to me >.>

    I am also going to see if the webcam chip is cheap enough or not, and if it is, I intend to incorporate it directly into the case (specifically as I do enjoy using Skype)
     
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  5. cheese the tallest memer in town Staff Member . . .

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    Sounds cool, can't wait to see the finished product ^.^
     
  6. Acronell Aquafam .

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    I found more of the parts to the computer along the same path, the actual shattered screen and broken apart top shell, crushed and bent camera board, actual lens is nowhere to be seen(and I am not scavenging all along that path, too much work). The back panel(top of the shell) is still intact, but it is a bit scratched up.

    I can't salvage any of the top save for the back panel itself, so I will use it in my frankencase, most likely going to make cuts in the top shell and bottom shell to span from front to back of the casing, but match up spacing for identical sides from the top and bottom of the shell.

    [​IMG]
    By doing this I can utilize the red colored shell, and use the nubbs on the bottom of the case to keep the lift, and make use of the internal space with the cuts already made in it for the mobo and initial port space for the HDMI/MicroSD/DC/AUDIO ports.
     
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  7. Acronell Aquafam .

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    Alright, though it's basically nothing, here is an update!


    The new charger cable/power adapter came in after a bit of time:
    [​IMG]
    Whooooo!!!!! Now I can keep this thing running while I'm working and such!

    [​IMG]

    Unpleasantness:

    So, I did manage to find the Webcam that was a part of this computer, however, it was broken, and the lens is missing.

    Also, during the time I was waiting for the adapter to come in the mail, one of my children, I am currently assuming Alexander, broke the USB board. I found it jammed between the lockbox and my gamecube, on the floor underneathe my desk (where my son frequents due to his need to be underfoot at all times)
    [​IMG]
    The small thin board is the Webcam module, and the other board may clearly be the USB board

    [​IMG]

    Pieces towards FrankenCase:

    Here are the two layers of red plastic that form the upper most portion and lower most portions of the IdeaPad

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    So, this is where I sit currently, as now I am going to be waiting for a new USB board, which thankfully is only going to cost 12.78$

    Oh boy oh boy oh boy
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2016
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  8. cheese the tallest memer in town Staff Member . . .

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    Oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy ʎoq ɥo oh boy
     
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  9. Acronell Aquafam .

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    Alright, so the new USB board has finally arrived!

    [​IMG]

    So now I can finally get this together, and finish it up!


    Tonight, I shall be working on the case work, tomorrow likely to pick up some new paint in order to paint the exterior of the case, also going to pick up some rubber lining, so as to neatly cover the straight cuts across the casing, and give the case a nice looking accent.

    I'm up and down at the moment about keeping the battery attached now, because it will likely be only connected to an HDMI compatible television, but still leaning towards keeping it attached, so as not to have to deal with losing all the work I'm doing on it in the event of a power outage.
     
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  10. Acronell Aquafam .

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    Also, I decided against the webcam module being included, as I found out it's not all that great in specs, being only 0.3 MP, and being out of stock until at least mid january.
     
  11. Acronell Aquafam .

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    I am still on this, however trying to figure out what I am going to use as a power button, as the board has two power tacts, and I need to set it up with an actual button on the top of the case.

    The actual layout is going to be wider than I'd like, this being due to the battery connection, and making sure to keep the ports are kept on the backing of the case, save for the USB ports, which I have decided I am going to have centered in the front of the case.

    I wanted to attempt to run a different operating system on this, however the IdeaPad 100S doesn't have USB boot options, save from some type of secure install type that I wouldn't be able to use with the OS choices I would use. I wanted to set it up with Lakka, and have a fantastic little Emu Beast, but it won't work out apparently.

    On the other hand I have tested the paint I picked up, and the coloring will work out fine, so well as the way that it settles.
     
  12. Acronell Aquafam .

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    So after not getting around to finishing this, or working on it much at all I have come back to it.

    I have made some new idea changes to what I'm doing with this.

    Today I picked up the casing pieces from my desk, and realized how much of a pain it's going to be to cut the bottom and top layers by hand in order to fashion a new housing. (I have not any power tools or the such to simplify this process)

    And while mulling it over I had to pick up around the house (children cannot be trusted to keep the place clean), and I found a box I got ages ago filled with empty DS and 3DS game cases.


    Thus comes on idea to use a 3DS game case as a new housing for my little Lenovo.

    IMG_20170114_182706.jpg

    The thickness of the board and it's components are actually slimmer than the game case, so this works extraordinarily well.

    IMG_20170114_182817.jpg

    However now the battery will not fit inside this case, and thus I have decided that the battery will no longer be included. Seeing as it is going to be directly attached to a television at all times, this is not going to make as much of a difference.

    I am currently removing the tabs that hold in the instruction manuals and caution papers, so as to place the ports of the board where you would open the case from.


    I will be getting someone to print a custom case insert so it will cover the plastic holes in the case, and make it more easily disguised as an actual game case, rather than it being a computer. Plus it makes for easy storage.
     
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  13. Acronell Aquafam .

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    Alright, now the case is nearly complete!!

    I have still not found something small, yet solid enough, to use as a power button, though I did make sure to cut a spot in the case to allow the eventual button to be placed,
    1484448564744-1215520819.jpg

    Here we can see the finished product:
    14844480779211363871549.jpg

    Ünd here are the port shots:

    USB ports:
    1484448006817858504457.jpg

    HDMI ünd DC ports:
    14844480482261886190104.jpg

    Now we open her up:
    14844482692821418614981.jpg

    In order to protect the boards, and the case itself, I used self adhesive electrical wrap around each board.

    I used the original rubber stubs as spacers to keep the boards from moving up and down in the case.

    Then I used the battery holster from a Dual shock 4 controller as a spacer to keep the main board from moving horizontally in the case. I'm not sure where the DS4 battery itself actually landed.

    I also used the plastic back panel of a broken 1.5inch LCD to level the USB board, so as to make sure it wouldn't wiggle around when putting in flash drives or other USB peripherals.

    I decided that having this connected to the TV all the time would mean that I wouldn't be needing the 3.5mm audio output, so I didn't make a port hole for it, nor did I make a slot in the case to make use of the microSD card slot.

    If I end up giving this away or selling it, I will probably pop it open and put a 32GB card into it, so it has extra "onboard" storage.


    Now as for installing an alternate OS on this little guy, that just isn't happening. There isn't a direct way for me to do this, and I'm at peace with it.


    In the relative future I shall post a vid of it working, likely from when I will be doing a factory reset for Windows 10

    I sure hope I can play Age Of Empires on this thing
     
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  14. fibbef Wizardry V Completer .

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    Nice pocket computer! With that case I know exactly how small it is. If you ever consider upgrading/downgrading your case you might consider a PS Vita game case. They're as tall and thick as a 3DS case, but not as wide. Would be a tighter fit but less chance of your components wiggling around.
     
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  15. Acronell Aquafam .

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    I have an extra case kicking around somewhere actually from when I bought Minecraft for my PSTV, which is the consoled Vita you plug via HDMI with a DS4 controller.

    I believe I want to attempt a full functioning Wii in the Vita game case, if I can wrangle the Omega Trim of course
     
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