Broken laptop recovered using Arduino

Posted on Wednesday, January 5th, 2011 in Arduino, hacks, techniques, USB by the machinegeek

When Jack the Vendicator’s laptop display malfunctioned, he thought all was lost. He developed a rescue strategy using an Arduino as a USB bridge between the laptop and a desktop PC. He plugged the Arduino into the laptop, and connected a USB serial converter from his desktop computer to the Arduino’s serial pins. In effect he using the FTDI chip as a null modem cable , translating those signals back into USB on either end. Once he booted the headless laptop it took just a couple of blindly typed commands to get SSH running in order to regain control.

Via Hack A Day.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 5th, 2011 at 3:50 pm and is filed under Arduino, hacks, techniques, USB. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

2 Responses to “Broken laptop recovered using Arduino”

  1. Paulo Branco says:

    I’m a big fan of new solutions to old problems, but this might be just a bit excessive…
    If the laptop display malfunctioned, why not just plug a VGA into an external monitor? The setup is automatic, and he would have normal control over his laptop :)

    • CJ says:

      Unless of course the fault wasn’t with the TFT and was actually to do with the graphics hardware on the systemboard.

      It does seem overkill though, essentially all he did was use an Arduino as a USB to RS-232 converter, surely he could also have used the ethernet port without any extra hardware?

Leave a Reply

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

Recent Comments

  • Drone: Gee, just the sight of one of these HP493A TWT laboratory amps brings back decades-old memories. There are four models covering 1-12.4 GHz in steps...
  • KH: After reading all the comments, I have questions: Does this mean STM32 and AVR boards/parts from dodgy online sellers are suspect? What are your opinions?...
  • Sjaak: They are available with more flash then their ST counterparts which makes them more interesting. You don't have to port the code, but use another...
  • Sjaak: I dunno if you can 'license' register definitions, but I'm not a lawyer. Since the chip is available since 2015 and I haven't heard of...
  • Sjaak: They can be found on taobao or the Chinese markets in Shenzhen.