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O/T: Old laptops. Anything salvageable or just E-waste?

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  • JRouche
    replied
    Originally posted by nickel-city-fab View Post
    Those HDD magnets are unbelieveably strong -- I stuck one on my fridge and tried to pull it off. The fridge door opened instead. The magnet is only the size of a fingernail.
    They are. I have them stuck all over my shop in a small ziplock bag (for easy cleaning). I use them for many things. JR

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  • nickel-city-fab
    replied
    You can always disassemble the hard drives and get the magnets out of them. Then smash the rest with a good sledgehammer, and take it into e-waste recycling. Those HDD magnets are unbelieveably strong -- I stuck one on my fridge and tried to pull it off. The fridge door opened instead. The magnet is only the size of a fingernail.

    Leave a comment:


  • JRouche
    replied
    Originally posted by Mcgyver View Post
    Now that I think about it, its getting long in the tooth....10 years old!
    Not just it Mac. You and I are too old for this new landscape. Hope we get through JR


    Edit: Clausing 20" drill press, auto feed, 1" core bit and laptop hard drives?

    Ehh, I dont see any loose bits.. All good. JR

    Leave a comment:


  • JRouche
    replied
    Originally posted by ldbent View Post
    IIRC Ah-ha was a company that sold kits to convert manual lathes/mills to CNC using stepper drives.
    Yes. My friend John had one also. JR

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  • AntonLargiader
    replied
    I recently disassembled a Win98 laptop to see what was in it. Can't say there's much that can be used, or so it seems to me. I kept the TFT display, because a buddy says there are aftermarket boards to drive them, and I will toss the dead battery into recycling and that leaves the HDD and FD cartridges that might have cool motors in them. That's about all. Oh.. I did get the tiny speakers and mic. The speakers work from an Arduino and I hope the mic will also.

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  • rjs44032
    replied
    Problem with old hardware is the wear-outable parts are hard to come by. Current Hard-Drive (HDD) tech is SSD (solid state) or SATA-III. If you can get EIDE HDDs they are most likely old stock and are most likely out of production. These replacements can be 2 to 3 times more expensive than current technology and limited to sizes and speeds of the past.

    USB is now up to version 4. Windows 7 and anything before it have reached EOL and are no longer supported or updated (not a problem for Linux users). And video has gone far away from VGA and DisplayPort to HDMI etc.

    That said I still have a couple of XP boxes hanging on for dear life as dedicated machines. These will eventually have to be replaced with newer tech.

    Working inside the laptops isn't much different than working in desktops, just miniature. Greater care required to remove thin plastic sections and 10s of tiny screws that need to be organized for re-assembly. Most often, I've been able to get breakdown instructions with pics online for any laptops I've had to work on. So check Google first before you start unscrewing anything.

    Best Regards,
    Bob

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  • ldbent
    replied
    IIRC Ah-ha was a company that sold kits to convert manual lathes/mills to CNC using stepper drives.

    Leave a comment:


  • mickeyf
    replied
    There is a cheap adapter cable that you can use to connect the 2-1/2 in laptop drive via a usb port:
    Click image for larger version

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    My experience has been that when a laptop dies, the problem is rarely the HD itself. I use this adapter to slurp the (oops, someone forgot to back it up) data off the drive, and possibly copy it directly to a new machine. And yes, you could continue to use this as an additional external drive for your desktop PC. Note it has 2 usb connectors, apparently some drives require more power than a single usb port can supply.

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  • thin-woodsman
    replied
    Recently, I came across an old USB drive enclosure with a laptop drive in it, that made the "your data is toast" noise (click...click...click...). Took it apart, chucked the circuit board and the rest went into the bit bin (except the drive platter, that was so shiny i wrapped it in cloth and put it in a drawer). The magnets were not all that strong - they're goo magnets, but I had no trouble removing them from the toolbox I stuck them on.

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  • OaklandGB
    replied
    Years ago, our company's IT guy used to recover hard drive magnets. He had some stuck together on his desk top for fun. As I recall they were small but very strong. Once stuck together, very hard to get them apart. Not sure if hard drives today have similar or not.

    Leave a comment:


  • thin-woodsman
    replied
    I have a similar stack, with laptops dating back about 15 years. They all still work, for some definition of work - some have exhausted battery, broken wireless, flaky power connector, broken hinge. All would serve well as desktops, and I even pulled out the broken hinge one to put next to the 3D printer I recently purchased. Couple of aluminum flat bars to fix the screen in place and it's good to go. I've been using Linux since the 90s and they only just recently dropped support for the Intel 386 chip - it can handle any laptop I've owned. Windows or OS X, good luck. BSD, good luck getting any laptop to work - I gave up on FreeBSD in 2010 when I was building a workstation with SATA2 drives, and it was considered too new/experimental for the FreeBSD folks to have developed a driver for.

    Now, regarding the internals: most everything in a modern laptop is wired into the motherboard, meaning the mobo is a single-board-computer like an over (Vantechsized Raspberry Pi. The hard drives used to be removable, and you could use something like https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000J01I1G/
    (Vantech SATA/IDE to USB adapter) to pull data off them. Now most laptops use SSDs, and those have a host of new connection standards, but pretty much VVMe-to-USB or M.2 SATA -to-USB should work. As would be expected, if there's an adapter, there/s an enclosure available.

    The only other interesting component in a laptop (because let's face it, the keyboards and trackpads suck) is the display. There are a projects out there which attempt to make these useful, but the downside is the connection for each display is proprietary and often unique. I'll never understand why electrical engineers find it so difficult to repeat themselves. Here are some links:

    https://hackaday.io/project/4177-lvd...ay-interfacing
    https://hackaday.io/project/4177-lvd...g-an-lcd-panel
    https://www.ebay.com/c/1933145725
    https://www.banggood.com/T_SK106A_03...p-1401875.html

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  • nickel-city-fab
    replied
    Originally posted by JRouche View Post

    I can to. Do you know how many add on drivers they needed to just get the install rolling?

    My Bridgeport Boss5 runs on Ah-Ha. Its a conversion that was available. I ripped ten tons of electronics off the back of my lil bridgeport, lightened her up a bunch.

    A PC running DOS 6.2. Boot seq. Ah-Ha or Dos:6.2.

    Yeah, its a old group. Whatever.. JR
    Yeahm BSD does not play that game with the extra drivers. I've done that tooo, but it was 20 yrs ago. What is Ah-Ha?
    I actually think DOS 6.2 is pretty good, wish I still had a copy. Nah.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mcgyver
    replied
    I haven't had a working battery in my current daily driver for probably 5 years. Who cares? I am rarely working sitting on a rock with a mountain vista, so I just plug it in to use it. Now that I think about it, its getting long in the tooth....10 years old! It was high end at the time and has aged fairly well. Every time I look at a new one and think about having to waste time installing everything and learning/futzing about with W10 I give up and figure I'll get another few years out of it.

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  • JRouche
    replied
    Originally posted by nickel-city-fab View Post

    I guarantee I can get either linux or FreeBSD installed on them, with full-on multimedia. Hell I was watching music videos back in 1998 on an old 486-DX4 in linux. Running FreeBSD right now, in fact -- I like it.
    I can to. Do you know how many add on drivers they needed to just get the install rolling?

    My Bridgeport Boss5 runs on Ah-Ha. Its a conversion that was available. I ripped ten tons of electronics off the back of my lil bridgeport, lightened her up a bunch.

    A PC running DOS 6.2. Boot seq. Ah-Ha or Dos:6.2.

    Yeah, its a old group. Whatever.. JR

    Leave a comment:


  • nickel-city-fab
    replied
    FWIW, my last desktop went 19 yrs before I finally got a new (used) one last year.

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