I need to keep the set-up clean. I did my homework and came across Connect Pi to an old laptop screen and Like a projector can I use raspberry pi to VGA port in my Laptop and both of them did not exactly solve the problem. The first one solved the problem by dismantling, and taking the screen off, the laptop and the second one isn't relevant since it gives no direct answers whether this could be accomplished via the HDMI converter.

The significant point here is to take power from the generic power adapter of the laptop to power up the screen and to use the computing power of RPi without having to dismantle the screen. Are there any converters which would easily do the job? To keep it more clean, here's the Netbook which I am using and needs to be operated.

I would appreciate if working details are mentioned, like:

  1. Possibility of getting this worked - a 'yes' or a 'no'
  2. List items to be bought - connectors, converters, cables, etc.

Also to keep it more precise, the hard disk failed, which is why I wanted to turn on the laptop screen, thereby saving additional storage costs since I own portable hard disks and could use them, after having them turned on via RPi.

3 Answers 3


What you want isn't possible. Laptop/netbooks aren't configured to accept video directly from a port to the screen. The hardware simply doesn't support it.

Any solution that could make this work requires software, and would either use a network connection, or maybe USB. Since you can't start the netbook, this seems like a moot direction.

  • You can start the netbook, which would only no have harddisk attached. I mentioned this in my original post. And if USB is the key what components would be required to set up a USB/any other port on RPi to USB on the laptop setup? The laptop can be turned on using the generic power adaptor and the screen does start up, the entire point is to get it working ith power sources from two i.e: the RPi required power and the screen monitor required power. The latter which already starts. Commented Jul 17, 2015 at 0:13
  • @Shirtam: you missed the point. The hardware of your netbook isn't capable of this task. You would need software running on the netbook to make this work. That means an OS. Also, this is a non standard task using hardware that isn't suited for it. There is no magic bullet to do what you're asking, it'd be a lot of custom work.
    – Jacobm001
    Commented Jul 17, 2015 at 0:54
  • I get it as a 'no' then. Thank you for the information as you are coupled up with more experiences alongside. Cheers on that one. Commented Jul 17, 2015 at 1:10
  • Just to elaborate in case this isn't clear: The display is connected to a graphics adapter, and that is connected to the CPU. When the computer is running normally, an operating system uses a software driver to operate the graphics adapter, which outputs to the display. So what you would really want to connect to is that adapter, but not via HDMI and I think this would require a special soldering rig and some even more specialized knowledge -- as Jacobm001 points out, it is either impossible for you or simply very far from worthwhile.
    – goldilocks
    Commented Jul 17, 2015 at 13:42

Possible answer would be booting netbook into some linux distro from a SD card or a flash drive, where whole thing could work only if netbook has working two-way HDMI. If that is true, then you will have working netbook which also can be used as an external HDMI display. For this trick you need another pc/netbook with internet to download program LinuxLiveCreator and appropriate dist ISO. EDIT: Most systems simply do not have input capability in onboard HDMI port(s), so there is another (sorry,this can solve your problem but is too far from original question) software solution - VNC over network.


You could use a LVDS to HDMI converter/interface board, but as goldlocks states in the comment, it would be more trouble than it is worth... unless you have a lot of time on your hands and are looking for a project.

There are plenty available on eBay, and they are not very expensive. Just ensure that you get the correct one (i.e. it can support your LCD's screen resolution).

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