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Why would someone go out and buy a computer from a manufacturer like Dell or Gateway, when they could build a more powerful computer for less money? The answer, they do not know how to build it.

This may sound like a complicated process, but in all actuality, it is very simple.

This guide will help you build your very own laptop computer.

DISCLAIMER: I am not responsible for any damage done to hardware during installation.

I also do not want to be contacted about computer problems. Go to your local repair shop (NOT GEEK SQUAD) and get it fixed. If the computer that is having problems was the one that you built (or tried to) then I will help. I just don't want a bunch of people who are asking how to fix unrelated issues.

I hope you enjoy building your computer. I did. In fact I'm using the computer pictured right now.

If you want to build a desktop computer, check out my Instructable on that

Step 1: Buy parts

The first thing you will need is the barebones notebook, or a barebook as some call it. These can easily be found by using the Google Product Search. The barebones notebook should be the base, screen, keyboard, and touchpad of the laptop. Many sellers will offer almost every part to go with the laptop. I suggest that the only thing you buy with the laptop is the CD/DVD drive. These are different for every laptop so go ahead and buy it with the laptop.

I used an Alienware base for my computer.

As for the other parts, you should be able to find them separate. Here are the parts you will need besides the CD drive:
-Processor (check the barebones notebook for socket type, new ones should have socket M or P for Intel and socket S1 or FS1 for AMD)
-RAM or Memory (check the barebones notebook for memory type, new ones should have DDR2 style)
-Graphics card (some may have it already built into the motherboard, check to make sure it's not before buying one)
-Hard Drive (check the notebook for hard drive type, new ones should be SATA)
-Wireless card (check the notebook for wireless card type, new ones should be Mini PCI-E)

You should be able to find most of these parts at Newegg.com, or eBay.
<p>I have an old school laptop with Microsoft Office and some other useful software. I am looking to replace most of the parts in this computer so I can continue to use it for college. My question is what should I do in order to keep Microsoft Office and the other software when enhancing the system? Is there anything I should not touch ect?</p>
<p>Just put your old HDD in the laptop and all everything will be saved including your OS and Microsoft Office. </p>
<p>@Coffee. That is false information. Maybe for Linux based OS but not for Microsoft. It registers to the motherboard. I thought the same thing, but I actually tried it. I had windows 7 on a PC and I upgraded everything and kept the same HDD, I booted it up, Windows said it was Pirated on my desktop. I was like what no? Called Microsoft and I was forced to buy a new copy. They specifically told me whenever you purchase an OEM copy of windows(most home users buy this because its cheaper) you get on copy for one computer. It labels the motherboard as the computer. If you change the MOBO you will be forced to buy a new copy. </p>
<p>This must be an old instructable... He said about the memory, &quot;New ones should have DDR2 type&quot;. DDR2 laptop memory is so old, plus it cost so much more because it's so old.</p>
<p>It cost so much NOT because it's old, but because DDR2 was expensive. I remember, when DDR3 showed up everyone was like wow, how can it be so cheap...</p>
<p>does this work if you already have a non integrated graphics card installed and were looking to upgrade instead?</p>
<p>Can you add a link where I can find the barebone laptop without any parts in it?</p>
<p>Am I mistake or is this BS? This is more about souping up an existing laptop rather than building from scratch. The problem is that mechanicals are very specific to each laptop as are motherboards. I don't think it is a simple matter of replacing parts. If I am mistaken please let me know.</p>
<p>would i have to do anything different if i used a toshiba laptop as a base besides not buying the optical drive since it comes with one?</p>
<p>nice post.</p><p>http://www.sobhadreamacres.propladder.com/</p>
<p>In all honesty, the time it takes, and the hit and miss you will have attempting to build your own laptop from a &quot;barebone&quot; state, will be much more costly than just buying something newer already built. Desktops are a different story... For laptops, it is so hard to match a used mainboard to fit your shell, then getting the right CPU, Graphics etc. compatible with the mainboard, plus everything else will cost way more than just buying one already built. If it's the challenge of building it that drives you, just buy one and tear it down, then rebuild it (not the same, I know). Not saying it can't be done, but it's just not as easy as you think it should be. Also the poster recommended getting the DVD drive first, you need the mainboard first, then buy the compatible DVD drive to fit.</p>
<p>dude was this fake? you literally did not tell us one detail about the parts you purchased, and replaced. The problem with this, is its not affordable unless, everything works perfectly in your favor. you have to know all the details of your board, or get a new board. why did you talk about replacing the board? that information would have been helpful. I would like to see someone with a new, empty laptop case, and just buy all the parts himself, that would be kind of cool. Please include the information about the parts you had, and the parts you replaced them with.</p>
<p>Definitely fake, for lots of reasons like no explanation on key points ;)</p>
<p>I've built a few mid-tier gaming PCs in the past and they've done well. However I just recently tried getting into building laptops. I understand whats what in a PC/Laptop along with tweaking some settings to get what I want.</p><p>My question is, what reliable retailers would @instructables.com recommend in order to purchase the shells, CPUs, HDD, and RAM that I may need?</p><p>Thank you</p>
<p>Where can I purchase a laptop shell?</p>
<p>so cool wish I can though I bet I could I will send u how it goes , Mario</p>
<p>Is there any way to go one step further and build a laptop from complete scratch? ie with no bareshell? I understand this would involve buying a screen separately and having a case manufactured / 3D printed so that the ports would fit... but I can't find any instructables on this. Have you any experience?</p>
<p>I'm trying to build a laptop for school and gaming. Don't necessarily need a high-performance PC, just something that can handle pretty much any game I decide to play, without slowing down or lagging or anything like that. What specs do you recommend for each of the parts?</p>
<p>do you know where i could by a macbook pro barebone?</p>
<p>eBay</p>
<p>thx, but i am ebay free sense 2009- i can't trust ppl on there</p><p>I found a complete display, bottom shell, and topcase for 458.52 on commandmacparts.com</p>
<p>Hi,</p><p>I have a 4 years old Alienware MX15. I was planning on changing some parts to upgrade it. My question is, before changing the GPU and the processor, should I change the motherboard ? If so, How can I know if it fits and if it will be compatible with my alim etc ?</p><p>Thanks !</p><p>B.</p>
<p>which processor would you recommend for gaming? i also want to install a thumbprint reader, is that fairly easy? this is by far the best explanation i have read on how to build laptops. i have built desktops before but thats very different. thank you for this instructable. </p>
<p>I wonder if I could seal the fans and use mineral oil for cooling on the laptop?</p>
I have a very old(2004) gateway that I'm hoping I could just upgrade with ram and hard drive. Would it be worth trying or should I just save up and buy a new one? Can't really afford a decent one right now. Only gonna be using for small downloads and streaming. And little office work.
<p>Find the manual: Look at the model number on the bottom and search google for the manual. In there, you should see a (limited) list of parts that you may upgrade to. There are only certain parts that will fit or &quot;be seen&quot; with that motherboard.</p><p>Second, remember that there is the chance that other parts of the laptop may be on their last legs - the power supply, the motherboard...etc.</p><p>Third, some of those companies &quot;whitelist&quot; their hardware...meaning you have to buy their parts. Lenovo does this...I cannot find any &quot;google search&quot; of Gateway doing this. But be warned.</p><p>There are plenty of laptops in the $300-400 range to support your needs. Asus has been my choice for motherboards, so I haven't had problems purchasing these laptops. I bought these a lot to send over to friends in the military overseas (as it needs to work well, but be cheap enough to be disposable).</p>
<p>can you make one with mac os(challenge),JK,please</p>
<p>Check out Hackintosh-</p><p><a href="http://www.hackintosh.com/" rel="nofollow">http://www.hackintosh.com/</a></p><p>You might be joking but it is possible to install an OS X-Like OS<br></p>
<p>how do you open a hp pavilion 11 x2 pc?</p>
<p>can you make one with mac os(challenge),JK,please</p>
<p>I want to build my own laptop for programming and maybe light gaming, but I can't find any bare bones kits online that don't have a processor and gpu and are under $500. Could you please link me to where you can find these? Thanks!</p>
<p>Just buy a regular laptop, or build a desktop. Trying to &quot;build&quot; a laptop is useless and it will be very expensive. </p>
<p><a href="http://www.ebay.com/itm/Barebone-Laptop-No-CPU-No-Memory-space-for-two-Hard-Drives-/271832143276" rel="nofollow">http://www.ebay.com/itm/Barebone-Laptop-No-CPU-No-...</a></p><p><a href="http://www.ebay.com/itm/ECS-A929-Barebones-AMD-Notebook-w-DVD-14-1-TFT-Silver-/271759304695" rel="nofollow">http://www.ebay.com/itm/ECS-A929-Barebones-AMD-Not...</a></p><p><a href="http://www.ebay.com/itm/MSI-15-6-Intel-HM86-DVD-RW-Notebook-Barebone-Computer-Black-937-16GD22-008-/261756306771" rel="nofollow">http://www.ebay.com/itm/MSI-15-6-Intel-HM86-DVD-RW...</a></p><p><a href="http://www.ebay.com/itm/Alienware-Area-51-M15x-R1-Laptop-Computer-Barebone-with-Heatsink-/261741004487" rel="nofollow">http://www.ebay.com/itm/Alienware-Area-51-M15x-R1-...</a></p><p>Try these links, I think the last one is the one they used in this instructable</p>
Ok, seems easy enough to make one from scratch but how about if I ordered a laptop (e.g. Alienware, Acer etc) would I be able to modify the GPU, RAM, CPU and hard drive? If so how much would I be looking at spending and how can I modify it?
<p>Depends entirely on the manufacturer. I would suggest just building a desktop or buying a laptop and not trying to upgrade it. The market for laptop parts is very niche, therefore parts are extremely expensive.</p>
<p>Just curious. When updating a laptop, can any processor be used or must a laptop specific one be used. I have been eyeing an i5-4670 to update my alien with, but will this cause countless software and running issues.</p>
<p>A 4670 is a desktop processor, so no. The sockets have to match exactly.</p>
<p>Chances are it's laptop-specific, and any upgrade would be marginal due to different sockets and chipsets. There are a lot of details that are different these days. Check your current processor against any other processor at ark.intel.com</p>
<p>okay, so I need to replace the GPU on my laptop, and I was wondering is there a specific GPU i have to buy? or? Because i dont want to spend the money and then it not fit in my laptop.</p><p>I have a Gateway NE56R41U Laptop with the following specs:</p><p>Intel(R) Pentium(R) CPU 2020M @ 2.40Ghz 2.40Ghz Processor</p><p>4.00GB of RAM</p><p>64-bit Operating system, x64 based processor.</p><p>If someone could help, I would really appreciate it,</p>
<p>You can't add a GPU. It has integrated graphics.</p>
<p>also how do you know which parts will fit the laptop that you have? how do i know that the cpu will fit the laptop that i have?</p>
<p>where can i get a laptop base?</p>
<p>Heyhey,<br>I'm totally new to building laptops but I'm keen to try building my own.<br>Firstly I've got an ASUS G75VW which is about 2 years old.<br>(16GB RAM, 17.3&quot; FULL HD 3rd Gen i7-3610QM 3.30Ghz Turbo nVIDIA GTX 670M 2Gb)<br>My first question is - can I modify it by upgrading the motherboard, processor and graphics card? The new ones would be: Motherboard - Asus MAXIMUS VII HERO; processor - i7-4790K and Graphics Card - 4G GTX 970. Could I use my existing 16Gb RAM, 1 TB HDD and 250GB Kingston SSD?<br>Sorry about these beginner questions, I guess I have to start with the basics...<br>Aivar</p>
<p>Hey bro, I wouldn't do that... There's no way that a laptop would fit a desktop motherboard or fit a desktop graphics card... The guide is a little misleading, but there is no big parts marketplace for laptops like there is for desktops. The CPU Motherboard and GPU are going to be pretty top of the line for your laptop as well. So sorry :( it's pretty much impossible unless you design your own laptop case and battery :D</p>
<p>Thanks, I didn't realize that these parts were actually desktop parts. I'm having a bit of trouble finding laptop ones as it almost never sais what type they are for :) I might go for a desktop instead then, just feeling like building something :)</p>
<p>I wonder if i could recase a laptop instead of the cheap plastic put something like alnium </p>
I am very interested in doing something like this, however, as a general reference, how much did this cost (roughly) and what are the specifications?
<p>where can i find a laptop case, and they only show stands when i search for things like &quot;laptop base&quot; or &quot;empty laptop shell&quot; </p>

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Bio: A current student at the University of Advancing Technology. Currently studying Robotics and Embedded Systems.
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