Digital Photo Frame From Laptop - Yes, Another One!




Introduction: Digital Photo Frame From Laptop - Yes, Another One!

This another photo frame made from an old laptop, a Toshiba 1640CDT running a 450Mhz AMD K6-2+, 192MB RAM, 6GB HDD.

Why another? Well, this is Instructables! Everyone has a different approach of doing things! :-)

EDIT: Go to step 5 for improvements!

Step 1: Step 1: Remove the Guts From the Laptop

In this step, you basically remove all the screws and unneeded stuff like cd drive, diskette drive, etc. Becarefull disassembling the lcd.

In the end you'll have a nice kit set of parts.

Step 2: Making the Frame

I used an aluminium photo frame I had laying around for this.

Foamcore cardboard was used as a basis.

Measure 4 times, cut once. My first try was scrapped due to wrong measuring.

I cut the foamcore as a snug fit inside the frame. Cut the main display (measuring the pixel, not screen, width and height) area, the on the reverse side, carefully cut part of the cardboard and foam to fit the LCD screen snuggly on the foamcore board.

Thus, the foamcore will act as a frame for the LCD within the frame!

Cut the necessary slots on the original frame's MDF backing for cables to pass through.

Step 3: Final Assembly

Now we're ready for assembling the frame.

Mount the glass, foamcore board, LCD and MDF backing to the frame.

I use scraps of foamcore board to space the motherboard from the conductive aluminium frame and zip-ties to hold it in place.

Connect the LCD's inverter and control cables to the motherboard.

In my case I have to have the original keyboard in place as the BIOS halts on startup for a hybernation partition and floppy drive missing errors, and does not recognize an external USB keyboard.

Step 4: Boot Time!

It's time to boot the frame and make the initial settings.

I'm sharing the frame's HDD over network. This way I just need to connect the USB wifi dongle and remotely add or remove photos.

Still, I added a USB 2.0 PCMCIA card to connect an external keyboard, mouse, thumbdrive and wifi when needed.

The HDD is a bit noisy, so I set to make a 20MB RAMdisk holding the photos to keep the drive as much as possible shutdown, using Windows power settings. Doesn't work as well as I would like, as Windows wakes the drive up once in a while, but...

Window's slide show is set to one and a half minutes between photos, CPU is set to 350MHz (could be running at 200MHz for this!) and photos are set to the screen's resolution, 800x600, using little space.

Step 5: New OS and Small Improvement

January 3rd 2013 - I've made some small improvements on the frame and installed FreeDos with LxPic as the slideshow viewer.

I picked up some foamcore board and glued the keyboard to it, making some hinges with - what else??? - duct tape!
As the HDD made a disturbing (to me, I'm sensitive to very low and very high frequencies) whine, and I enjoy silence, I replaced it with a 512MB compact flash card on a IDE adaptor.
Using the laptops cd-rom, I installed FreeDos to the CF card and am using LxPic as the viewer. Since it's a FAT file system, I simply remove the CF card from the frame and connect it to the external CF reader on my netbook.

To automate the process I made the following change to Autoexec.bat at the end:


The "c:\photos" is the directory where I keep the photos and lxpic executable.

Added also the following file to the same directory, containing:


And renamed it lxpic.cfg to start the program resizing larger photos than the screen (A), make a slideshow (y) at aprox 30sec intervals ([.... - each "[" means a 2sec interval).

The frame is also set to run at 230MHz, well bellow the max 450Mhz of this processor to keep it cool. It also provides more than enough processing power for such a simple task.

Links for the software:

LxPic -
FreeDOS -

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    6 years ago on Introduction

    That's avery nice Instructable, I am definitely going to do this, if Iget my hands on an old laptop! Good work!