Linked by Howard Fosdick on Mon 31st Dec 2012 20:26 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems Last month, I explained why I use generic desktops and laptops running open source software. They're reliable and inexpensive. But this presumes you can fix them. I believe that even those with no hardware training (like me), can identify and fix most hardware problems. To prove it, here's a quick guide. Feel free to add whatever I've missed.
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WereCatf
Member since:
2006-02-15

Well, if you are unable to trace the power/gnd lanes on the motherboard far enough to find the culprit then your solution is similar to what I would do. I would possibly throw out the optical drive and wean the power from there instead of USB-ports, though. (I don't know if your laptop even has an optical drive or an mSATA-port.)

Reply Parent Score: 2

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I agree, tapping USB power is not a great idea. An alternative to disabling the optical drive (especially if you need it) would be to tap the extra mini PCI-E slot that most laptops have. Pins 2, 24 and 52 are 3.3 volts. Keep in mind, the second PCI-E slot may not be populated with a plastic connector, but the pads are there and should still have voltage supplied to them.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

I agree, tapping USB power is not a great idea. An alternative to disabling the optical drive (especially if you need it) would be to tap the extra mini PCI-E slot that most laptops have. Pins 2, 24 and 52 are 3.3 volts. Keep in mind, the second PCI-E slot may not be populated with a plastic connector, but the pads are there and should still have voltage supplied to them.


Thanks, that's a great idea and interesting approach. 3.3V should be enough voltage (maybe no resistor is needed to "slow down" the fan additionally). However, accessing the PCIe wiring might be even more complicated than connecting to USB. The only requirement left is that the power must be present as soon as the machine is powered on. I'll investigate this further - sounds possible, and I don't want to deactivate the optical unit in this laptop just to make the CPU fan work. :-)

Reply Parent Score: 2