Introduction: Hacking a USB Hub to Add Internal Ports to a Toshiba Satelite (or Other Laptop)


Okay so some of us are tired of all our flash drives and wireless dongles hanging off our laptop all the time!
on most laptops this can be easily taken care of by modding the guts of your laptop - we will be doing it only with USB so no risk of electrocution or injury (unless you are truly an idiot) ****Do not do this if you are afraid of hurting your lappy or yourself - the tutorial will be detailed but i accept no responsibility for broken damaged electronics or humans**** now on to the fun stuff.


we don't want to use a ton of hubs and yet we still want access to our main USB ports.

Step 1: Supplies

1. hot glue
2. screwdriver (might need mini or precision depending on laptop)
3. usb hub (small)
4. usb bluetooth/wifi dongle or flash drive
5. solder
6. soldering iron
7 misc. items depending on the difference of your mod

talents: simple soldering, safe glue gun use, laptop disassembly (easy)

Step 2: Laptop Disassembly

start by removing the battery,
then any disk drives,
unscrew all screws and save in a dish seperated if need be,
now turn laptop over and open lid,
undo all the screws under the keyboard and anywhere else,
if the top or bottom (whichever needs to be removed to access the USB ports) does not easily unsnap and pop off then look for more hidden screws, it might need a razor slid between the case to unsnap all of the little snap connections,
once the lid is open

Step 3: Identification of Guts!

okay you will now locate the USB port you want to tap into, if you do this right (carefully) you will not harm the port, your laptop, or yourself.

this photo will also educate you about the laptops guts if you didn't already know (be careful in here and ground yourself often)

Step 4: USB Basics

okay so if you don't know already here are some pics detailing the hook-ups and schematics for type A USB , courtesy of MR. GOOGLE.

RED wire +5V
GREEN wire Data+
WHITE wire Data-
BLACK wire Ground or -5V
SHIELD wire NON-USB Connected Ground

Step 5: Hub Soldering


okay so you basicly unsolder the old usb leads and solder new ones on to the length you need - i still color coded mine. then solder the other end of the wires to the USB ports make sure the solder on both ends is clean and power everything up and test the hub before hot glueing. fix if needed.

Step 6: Placement


make sure you know where you are placing the hub so there will be room for the dongle or flash drive and the hub itself and everything closes tight and secure

replace screws and parts, then power up and test.

If it works then you are done! comment with any questions or tips to add but please nothing negative! Thank You in advance! ^_^

Comments

author
StuartB44 (author)2016-04-18

You just fitted a usb hub inside your laptop.

How the hell are you supposed to use it when it's inside your laptop?

Or dont you have a top cover on your laptop?

author
MarcT40 (author)StuartB442016-08-11

This is an ideal situation for things you do not necessarily want to unplug. for example, I use an external logitech keyboard and mouse. even the mini dongle can take damage left on the machine. I would use this to move this and any other semi permanent dongle to the inside of my laptop. I personally thing all laptops these days should have a mini hub compartment hatch on the bottom for pluging in low profile devices.

author
TonyS124 (author)2016-05-31

Looking at doing something like this with a Dell inspiron 11 3162 (the $200 laptop). Because storage is so limited, I'd like to add an internal hub with a few permanent flash drives (possibly directly soldered to the hub) that provide things like a recovery drive, a linux distro, and a drive just for portable-style applications.

Is there anything that you came across while doing this that you didn't expect?

author
freadym (author)2015-09-20

This would work the same if they were USB 3.0 right?

author
Yonatan24 (author)freadym2015-12-14

Why not?

author
geunsjl (author)2012-03-13

Hi, nice tutorial, but when you solder the hub to a usb port, can you still use the usb port you soldered to?

author
zapskate (author)geunsjl2012-03-14

no that one will not work unless you add a switch to switch off the hub then it will work or if you disconnect that port and wire it to one of the hubs ports then it would also work

author
tinker234 (author)2012-01-22

wow thank you i hope now i can add a webcam to my computer

author
spockofborg (author)2012-01-16

Nice mod, Zapskate.  

I found the 31-port hub here: http://www.cad.t.u-tokyo.ac.jp/~shun/etc/20050720_usb_hub.html. Fascinating, but the bottleneck is horrible - i.e. no good for a flash raid array.

author
zapskate (author)2011-10-27

so nobody read the title? you just click on random cool pictures? the title says exactly what it is - i will remove the pic tomorrow.

author
asteidl (author)zapskate2011-10-29

Got a link to a project to make the "uber" hub in the intro pic?

author
zapskate (author)asteidl2011-10-29

no it don't but you could probably google it i don't know if it is a kit or what - it is a 32 port usb hub powered of course -

author
hightekrednek2396 (author)2011-10-26

That first picture is misleading. I thought thats what you made

author

Me too

author

yep

author
zapskate (author)2011-10-26

true i didn't make it and it has little to do with the project except for being a USB hub it is just a cool pic - i will consider removing it, Thank You!