Funny how these things go : after moving into our new appartment I was able to get a desk out again - an opportunity to set up a desktop computer like I hadn't had in years ! However, lack of money was an issue until my trusty laptop, after a trip to Germany with a colleague and a team of teenagers to meet with young Berliners, started giving signs of wear for the use it was intended for. Inspired by this article from Lifehacker and the fact that I couldn't afford to buy a new desktop computer, I decided to get to work and set up an under-desk system - something made possible by the fact that my laptop came with a remote control that, among other things, allows one to turn it on and off !

Word of Warning
This Instructable is by far the biggest, in terms of difficulty, I made so far. The procedure will change depending on the laptop you own and involves tools. Take the time to read the maintenance guide for your laptop, all the steps in this Instructable, and familiarize yourself with all the tools needed before deciding whether you want to go through with this mod or not !

Also, there's been a whole lot of occasions where I almost broke my laptop while dismantling it, so make sure to be much much more careful than me ! And now without further ado...

Step 1: What you'll need

For this project, along with a good helping of time and patience, you'll need :
* A laptop (at least one you won't regret should you break it) that can be turned on and off by a remote, and a remote
* A desk (mine is a trusty, 3cm thick planch of wood)
* A computer desktop monitor (you'll need that once you'll have removed your laptop's screen)
* A USB keyboard and mouse (the more practical option for when you'll have removed the keyboard and touchpad from your laptop)
* A USB hub (you have to hook up all these peripherals somewhere, no ?)
* A pair of aluminium brackets (to bend into a support for your laptop base - length and width depend on what you're looking for)
* (Optional) Zip ties (for cable management)

As for tools :
* Screwdrivers (to disassemble your laptop)
* A metal saw if you need to cut your brackets to size
* A drill to pierce holes in your brackets
* A meter for measurements
* (Optional) A glue gun to glue the zip ties to the brackets and/or underside of the desk

Since I had most of this lying around the appartment already (we're right out of some renovation after having moved about a year ago), all I had to buy was brackets - I ended up cutting one in two and was able to return the other :) It shouldn't cost you too much !
i got a free desktop a few months ago someone was throwing it out i grabbed it and then a few days later i found a screen mad for this computer and all the accessories for $7 and the screen is a dell screen with built on speakers
hey would connecting a moniter to an old laptop work because there is an cable inside my laptop that went bad connecting the the scrrren vidio to the rest of it and it would cost $200 dollars to fix it
Hey Schmidty16 - it might actually work, since apparently the failure is between the screen and motherboard of your computer, but doesn't involve the components themselves. Of course your laptop won't be mobile in any way, but you should be able to squeeeze a little more life out of it. Let us know how it goes !
That's a HP DV9000 Series :) I know because one recently failed on me... GPU death?
One thing that might be cool if you have a fine tipped soldering iron and a steady hand would be to solder some wires onto a couple leads of the TACT switch for the power. Then you could build a power switch into the top of the desk.<br><br>Very neat idea though! I enjoyed reading this, and if I didn't have a desktop computer I might do it! I like your minimalistic style.
Great idea and execution. Should I come across an old laptop that needs purpose I'll try this :)
Thanks a lot for all these compliments ! The laptop didn't hold on as long as I hoped (hardware failure in the end, it wouldn't even boot anymore) but I like to think I squeezed as much life as I could out of it :p
Make sure you have good cooling, we get these in all the time at the computer repair place I work, video cards die very easily from slight overheating.
Hear hear - that is very important, and why I just used the two aluminium brackts instead of a full case. I also make sure to regularly clean the base so it doesn't get clogged with dust. All very good advice you gave !
hey deslivres! great ible. I like the idea of repuposing an old laptop into something more unique and useful. I have an old dell laptop. I have been thinking of what to do with it. i am considering either this project or another project which consists of turning a keyboard into a laptop. <br><br>here is the other project link:<br><br>http://lifehacker.com/5617226/turn-a-broken-down-laptop-into-a-desktop-pc+inside+a+keyboard
Hey Ron, thanks for the comments and the heads-up on that other project ! I must say it looks super tempting - maybe I'll go for it when my EEE laptop (a first generation little monster too) starts giving signs of wear ;)<br><br>Happy hacking, and let us know how your modding goes !

About This Instructable


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Bio: Librarian, gamer, tinker, feminist. I have an elastic heart. Articles and projects portfolios at http://tommaillioux.fr/?lang=en
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