DIY Laptop/ Notebook Computer - Do It Yourself Notebook, Picture Tutorial
By Dr. Michael Copyright © Directron.com 2005
Customer Reviews: "Super layout.Easy to follow&understand. It doesn't get any better than this. "
Most of us have built our own desktop and even server computers. Now several companies offer barebone laptops for consumers/individuals to build their own laptops. All you need to purchase and put together are:
laptop hard drive
Then, you'll load the operating system software and add any laptop accessory you may want.
About two weeks ago, I was fortunate to be invited to Asus' US headquarter in Fremont, CA to their vendor program, which includes a hands-on training on assembling a DIY laptop. Although we have been selling the Asus barebone for a while, this is the first time I have experienced the process of building a laptop myself.
The process is actually very simple. With a hard drive pre-loaded with the OS, it took only about 10-15 minutes to finish the entire assembling process. In comparison, building a laptop is much easier than building a desktop PC from scratch, but much like building a desktop from a barebone system such as Shuttle or Asus cubes. The process is made allot easier because the motherboard and almost all the cables are pre-connected already. The engineers already worked out the details for us - the end-user - to install the memory, CPU, hard drive, and a built-in wire-less network adapter in this case.
If you can use a relatively small screw driver, you can do it!
Here are some pictures from the entire process.
Picture of the CPU chamber after removing the cover and two screws
A picture showing the back of the laptop with CPU chamber (open), hard drive chamber (top left corner, closed), memory/WiFi chamber (middle, closed), and battery chamber (lower, open).
The most tricky part is to remove the heat sink and pipe before mounting the CPU. You have little space to work with. Obviously, you try not to break anything.
Now I had the fan and heatsink removed and got ready to mount the CPU.
Making sure the CPU is aligned well with the socket.
Tightening the screw on the CPU/socket.
Now the CPU is mounted with the heatsink and fan back in their spaces.
Cover back on the CPU chamber.
Now working on the memory chamber. The cover is removed by removing one screw. (Warning: the screws are small. Keep them in a safe space).
Now insert the memory module.
Memory module "happily" inserted.
Now it's time to add the internal WiFi card. This card adds a wireless network adapter to the laptop!
There are two wires that need to be connected to the WiFi card (one black and one white). The connectors are a clip-on-bottom type. They are a little difficult to work with. Since they the WiFi card is not supported well, it's difficult to push the click-on bottoms onto the card without putting too much pressure on the card itself. What I did was to place a screw driver head underneath the card to support it while pushing the clips.
Now it's time for the hard drive after putting the cover back onto the memory chamber.
The hard drive needs to be mounted onto a bracket first.
Two screws on each side are used to fix the drive to the bracket.
Slide the drive bracket into the HD chamber with the IDE pins going into the connector. Push it to make sure the connection is tight. And then ready for putting the cover back on.
Now I was ready for the battery. I pulled it out from the accessory box.
Battery was inserted. Piece of cake..
Now I was ready to power up this baby! It booted normally the first time! Everyone is happy to see that.
Since the hard drive was preloaded with OS already, we saved the time for loading the OS. The entire assembling process took about 10-15 minutes. It may take longer for people who have never put a computer together or shorter for those who are really good at building PCs.
Now go to http://www.directron.com/notsys.html to buy your own Asus laptop barebone.
I would like to thank Asus for sponsoring such training and the entire trip, which included a one-day visit to Napa wine country.
(Last updated 04-22-05) Go to Top
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