Broken laptop recovered using Arduino

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.

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  1. 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 :)

    1. 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?

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