Recyling Old Laptops into Raspberry PI Machines

Has anyone ever thought about turning an old net book or laptop into a dedicated PI box or netmf box? Just replacing the guts of the laptop and putting in it’s place a raspberry PI or NETMF device?

Connecting the display will be a challenge in both cases.

There are various assorted stand alone display drivers for laptop panels now.


This should make it easy to connect. Connecting the keyboard and mouse may be more of a challenge.

Just get a cheap laptop and put Ubuntu on it. :wink:

@ Architect - The GPU and CPU don’t work anymore. The motherboard is dead. A new mobo would cost 200 usd, if it even exists

EDIT: They always talk about how rasberry PIs are the cheapest computer you could get, and how they are usefull for children etc. However you still need a keyboard, mouse and monitor to make them work. Well, I have a keyboard, mouse, display, battery, dvd drive that all still work, however i have no way to connect them to the pi directly. I’d even go so far as to suggest that the PI (or even the NETMF) lcd display driver may work to drive the laptop’s lcd display. Implement a kernel driver to attach the keyboard and mouse, plus some custom board to manage the battery.

I think he means, get a DIFFERENT cheap laptop, and put ubuntu on it… that that would be cheaper, or at least much easier, than going the route you are contemplating. And you would end up with a much more powerful device, with much more supported options. Add a cheap usb to gpio, usb to spi, whatever.

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Oh a different cheap laptop. That machine would have to cost less than 100 USD. I don’t see that happening.

I guess growing up in San Jose, and seeing hundreds of similar “working but really old” laptops dumped at the e-waste recycle spots, has me thinking that old laptops are ubiquitous for everyone… That may not be the case I guess

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@ mtylerjr - Definitely not the case down here closer to the equator. We don’t throw out until its so dead, it won’t turn on anymore.

Ah well. was worth the thought.