View Full Version : updating a superold laptop

10 October 2004, 09:56 PM
I was just wondering if it would be possible/realistic to supe up an old toshiba laptop of mine. It's a toshiba satellite with a pentium 2 processor and 64 mb ram. I guess none of that matters. I will probably try to put in a new motherboard/chipset combo and some new ram and hard drive. It's running windows NT server, so i'll probably put 2000 pro on it. I just want to make sure all of this will actually fit right and work...thanks.

10 October 2004, 10:24 PM
Is it possible? If you've got the technical know how, the money, and the time to hack apart a laptop and replace its parts, then yes, it might be possible.

But, you've also got some problems.
1: if you are even thinking of trying this you either are very daring, very stupid (sorry), or don't know what you are getting into. I'm going to guess the latter.
2: if you are going to try to remake an old laptop, you probably don't have much money for buying a new one.

Why i'm saying this: laptops are custom made per model. They do not need to suscribe to generic form factors and standardized layouts. Each laptop manufacturer only has to make its parts work with its parts, in that specific case. Unlike the desktop market where you have for example, the ATX form factor motherboard, the ATX form factor case, standardized cpu sockets, etc., laptops are not made to have interchangeable parts. Certainly broken parts can be replaced, and on modern laptops the potential for upgrades has been increased. But it isn't a case where to drop in a new video card, all you need to know is if your power supply can support it and your motherboard accept the slot type.

I've seen replacement motherboards and video cards on sale on ebay. But I have yet to see a manufacturer of motherboards for the mainstream market. Furthermore, should you actually find such a manufacturer, the motherboard will need to fit the case, and all the assorted cdrom bays, hds, batteries, and correspond to the outputs.

Additionally, the new cpu will likely run much hotter than your P2, creating cooling problems that the laptop is not currently equipped to take. Plus it will run down the battery faster, and have different power requirements.

Finally, a p2 laptop is OLD as i'm sure you know. It's screen is probably 640x480, which if you intend to use it on cg, will be woefully inadequate. Plus you'll need to somehow fit a modern video card in, unless the upgrade mobo includes one, introducing even more issues.

So, as you can see, I'm against the idea. I can see you banging your head against a wall over trying to upgrade a laptop not worth $200.

That being said, it is quite possible that i don't know what the f i'm talking about. Maybe there is a standard form factor and just a few manufacturers for laptop mobo's. Maybe this is incredibly easy. But I doubt it. I've heard its possible to build a laptop, but if you do do that, I would suggest ditching the old one, and finding a base case which is less outdated, and more suitable for the undertaking.

10 October 2004, 10:28 PM
The short reply is that you cannot replace the motherboard and you cannot replace the cpu with anything worth using. Your screen will be 640 or 800 pixels wide, likely not even 16-bit and the viewing angles will be about 1 each way.

10 October 2004, 08:53 AM
If you wanted to waste your time and money and not bothered if it actually worked out in the end I'd say go ahead and try. The screen will be pretty crappy by todays standards if you can get it to work.

But in all honesty, give it to a family member or friend to learn and play "computers" on, stick it on ebay or just hang on to it so that in twenty years time you can pull it out the loft and say "Hey do you remember one of these?" But don't expect it to work 'cause the batteries long long dead.

Would you, if it could fit, put a modern powerful car engine into something from the 1930's and leave the brakes and suspension as the original? I think it's a bit like that.

Not only has so much changed, for the better, the prices certainly have, the only way I'd attempt anything like this is by getting hold of two or three identical broken laptops and try to make one good working one as a bit of fun.

Even an old desktop would be very difficult to do what you are proposing these days with the changes in layout, heat issues etc. let alone a laptop.

10 October 2004, 01:29 AM
ha thanks guys...It was just a thought:D I'm going to be building a new pc pretty soon anyway, and it will be very very nice, im making sure of that, so I wont really need it anyway...

10 October 2004, 06:24 AM
heh.. It would be cheaper to buy a new one ;)

But, since you're not running a comptuer shop or anything, you wouldnt even be able to purchase motherboards.. let alone ones that fit in whatever size case you have.. ;)

Rabid pitbull
10 October 2004, 07:30 AM
It would definitly be cheaper to buy new one, especially since it would not likely upgrade much. I would also think (never worked on any beyond ram) there is much more room for error with laptops as apposed to workstations, many clips springs and tiny parts waiting to get lost or damaged easily. The site below carries lots of parts and pieces to repair laptops though, just in case someone feels bold.

10 October 2004, 07:34 AM
The most you really do for a laptop like that is add ram... and maybe in some cases the processor but probably only the next step up p2 processor..

Get a new laptop... you'll be happier.

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