Repair4Laptop: Do-It-Yourself Laptop and Notebook Upgrading, Modding and Repairing
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Modding, Repairing, Upgrading for USB Adaptors & Hubs

Do you need to upgrade or repair an USB adapter (WLAN, storage stick, hard drive, ...)? Here is a collection of free do-it-yourself instructions.

If you have written a repair guide for an USB device (adaptor, stick, hub) yourself (or if you know of a report not linked here), please submit a new entry.

USB Adaptor Repairing and Do-it-Yourself Custom Builds

ASUS WL-167G How to add an external antenna port to the USB WLAN adapter.
Buffalo Air Station g54 (WLI-U2-KG54-AI) Antenna modification: how to fit a RT-SMA socket pigtail to the WLAN USB stick.
Linksys USB BT100 Class 1 Bluetooth Adapter  [archived link] Bluetooth a Mile Away: With a simple antenna modification to a USB Bluetooth adapter, you can extend your wireless range to record-setting distances.
NetGear WG111v2 54 Mpbs Wireless USB 2.0 Adapter (Dongle)  [archived link] Disassembly picture gallery.
4km WiFi Range w/ $5 DIY Antenna Make 2.4GHz parabolic mesh dishes from cheap but sturdy Chinese cookware scoops & a USB WiFi adaptor.
USB BendLight Attaching a LED to one end of an USB cable.
Scientific Atlanta/WebStar DPW939 (rebadged WL-167g) Ralink USB wifi adapter external antenna modification.
Siemens Gigaset USB Adapter 54 (WLAN Accesspoint)  [archived link] Disassembly instructions with pictures.
Homer Simpson Stick How to make a Homer USB stick.
Sandisk 256 MB Cruzer Micro An illustrated Lego(tm) Jumpdrive conversion guide.
Sandisk 512 MB Cruzer Micro The Lego(tm) USB flash drive.
SanDisk Cruzer 512 MB How to cast the USB stick in clear casting resin used to make paperweights out of scorpions or flowers.
LegoStick I How to build an USB stick into a Lego(tm) brick.
LegoStick II How to fit an USB memory drive into a Lego(tm) brick.
Dick Smith Electronics USB Flash Drive 128MB Here is an illustrated step-by-step HOWTO to fit a USB stick into a Lego(tm) brick.
w00tstick Mod your own USB WoodStick, all you need is a USB stick and some epoxy glue.
CUSBPDC Pimp that freebie USB stick, turn it into a CUSBPDC (that's Custom USB Pen Drive Case for those of you not in the know). Soldering a LED to the top of the stick.
Kingston Mini USB Micro SD Card Reader (aka CONRAD microSD Reader Model: CR043)A short guide illustrating how to take apart the stick.
ZTE K3565Z (Vodafone) USB UMTS/GRPS Stick Dismantling the UMTS stick is easy and does not pose any difficulties.
Realtek RTL8187B Wireless 802.11g 54Mbps Network Adapter USB How to attach a SMA connector to a WLAN USB stick to connect an external antenna to gain a better signal strength.

How to Handle external USB Hard Drive Cases

N.N. Recycle a laptop hard drive using it in an external USB enclosure.
N.N. How to assemble a USB portable hard drive?

Adding a USB Port to a Laptop or Notebook

Acer Aspire One Installing RAM is incredibly simple after the trials endured in unpacking the motherboard. This guide explains how to pop out the 512MB 5300 SODIMM piece and slap in a Netlist 1GB 5300 DDR2 piece. It also tells how to strip the case of a cheap mini USB BlueTooth dongle and solder it with four wires on to the USB terminal connectors.
Apple iBook G4 14.1'' 1GHz How to add an internal USB BlueTooth dongle.
ASUS Eee PC 701 How to add an internal USB Bluetooth port to the sub-notebook without affecting the built-in wireless or using the empty mini PCIe card slot.
ASUS Eee PC 701 This netbook conveniently has some space next to the memory slot, and this is a great place to add some gadgets: 8GB USB pen drive, bluetooth adapter and four port USB hub. You have to break open these adapters, and remove the sockets to reveal the bare PCBs.
ASUS Eee PC 701 4G Some internal upgrades: to install devices internally, more USB-connections are needed this can be achieved by routing the D+/D- signals from the southbridge/controller to a 4 port USB-hub. Now you can add a GPS with antenna, a BlueTooth connector, a SD/HC CardReader and some FlashDrive storage. A separate power switch can switch off all additional USB devices.
ASUS Eee PC 701 4G This page documents adding an internal Bluetooth and an extra USB port.
Averatec AV1050 Adding an internal USB BlueTooth module.
DELL Inspiron 8500/8600 Adding an extra USB port.
DELL Latitude CPx Adding internal USB BlueTooth.
DELL Inspiron mini 9 A plastic wedge allows you to pry open the case without damaging it. The so called Octopus hub is small enough to fit inside the WWAN space, leaving enough space for additional USB devices like a 16GB PNY Attache Premium USB Flash drive. In order to add an SSD activity light, you need to tap into pin 52 on the standard STEC SSD.
IBM ThinkPad i1400 HOW-TO: Laptop resurrection and upgrade, battery revival, membrane keyboard repairs, trackpoint transplant, adding USB ports and wireless LAN.
MaxData Eco 4000A This tutorial covers upgrading components and parts of the laptop and details of the technical process involved in installing them. It details several upgrades: 1. RAM: 1GB DDR 400 (PC3200) in 2x512 2. CPU: AMD Sempron 3100+ (1.8ghz) 3. Internal Wireless 4. Internal Bluetooth 5. Hard Drive: 60GB 7200RPM with 8MB cache 6. Optical Drive: QSI DVD+-RW SDW-082S 7. Heatsinks and Cooling.
Sony VAIO PCG-505EX/64 Adding two USB ports to the notebook case (in Japanese).

Repairing and Modding USB-Cables

Selfmade USB-Cable - 2in1 Make one from two: how to build one reliable USB cable from two cheap cables (in German).
Selfmade USB-Cable - Cheap and Short How to make a short USB cable.

Repairing and Modding USB Hubs

Australian PC-Authority USB-4Port-Hub This 4 Ports USB Hub was given away by the magazine PC Authority. If it is given away, it must be cheap and therefore must not contain many surprises inside.
Car Lighter USB Hub Make a portable, multicharging device for your electronics, that will let you recharge your stuff in your car from a cheap USB hub and a car lighter cell phone recharger.

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© Werner Heuser 2005-2017 · · last change Fri Jun 29 2012