How to turn an old laptop into a digital photo frame

Do something useful with that venerable old machine

1. Before you start, make sure the frame is more than big enough – widescreen laptops will cause their own size issues. Also avoid running screens upside down or sideways, as most are designed to be viewed from one direction only.

Step 1

2. Disassemble your laptop! Every model is different, so you're on your own here.

Step 2

3. We popped off a top panel to reveal the screen's main mounting points.

Step 3

4. Most keyboards can be popped out pretty easily, though a few screws are normal. Once out of the way, the display's connection is revealed.

Step 4

5. At this point we can remove the connection and the entire display can be separated. If possible, free up any spare ribbon, but be very, very careful not to damage it!

Step 5a

Step 5b

6. Position everything within the frame and make sure it'll fit and the ribbon will reach. If it doesn't, you'll need to remove the chassis.

Step 6

7. We're keeping things simple: a couple of blocks and hot glue will keep the screen in position. We're using the screen's own mounts to secure it.

Step 7a

Step 7b

8. A baton screwed in place will keep the chassis secure; as this sits beyond the frame, another will be needed at the top. We're also going to strap it all securely in place.

Step 8

9. If you're going to run this off a flash drive, you'll need to transfer your Windows licence plus set up suitable slideshow software such as Irfanview.

Step 9

10. The final masterpiece! If you need to control the frame, using a wireless keyboard and mouse makes the most sense.

Step 10

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First published in PC Format Issue 231

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