Modding the Asus 701 (Eee)

After spending several evenings exploring the motherboard of my Asus 701 (Eee) for USB signals and 5V (off in standby) here’s what I’ve discovered.

There’s a 5V trace (off in standby) that’s available without draining current from the existing USB connectors – take a look at the picture above, snapped with my Sony Ericsson K850i (then scaled to 640×480 and annotated).

There are 8 USB ports provided by the Intel chipset:
– 3 are the existing USB connectors
– 1 is used by the SDHC/MMC card reader
– 1 is used by the webcam
– 2 are used by the mini PCIe card slots (1 for each)
– 1 is still unknown (debug connector, perhaps?)

I damaged a USB Bluetooth module while looking for USB signals on the debug connector – doh! Consider this a warning :)

The MDC card slot does not have USB signals available, but both mini PCIe card slots do…

The Atheros mini PCIe wireless card does not appear to use USB signals (only PCIe signals):

These USB signals are available even when the Atheros mini PCIe wireless card is installed and working, along with another 5V trace (off in standby):

Inserting a Novatel mini PCIe EVDO card into the empty mini PCIe card slot disabled the built-in SSD – as a result, my Eee was unable to boot! I think this mini PCIe card slot is designed for an optional SSD that replaces the built-in SSD…

The Novatel mini PCIe EVDO card does not appear to use PCIe signals (only USB signals), so I think there’s a detection pin on the empty mini PCIe card slot such that the built-in SSD is disabled when a mini PCIe card is inserted.

But, without a mini PCIe card inserted, the USB signals are available, along with a 3.3V trace (off in standby):

That’s it… Enjoy hacking your Eee :) Of course, I’m not responsible if you damage anything!

For more information, visit the Eee user forums. Thanks to user “tristand” for validating some of this information.

Update: I’ve since added Bluetooth to my Eee.

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47 thoughts on “Modding the Asus 701 (Eee)

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  1. How do you look for usb signals? I’ve been trying to hook up a notebook’s fingerprint sensor hat I think uses USB signals but can’t figure out. I would realy apreciate your help

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  3. The main bus of this platform seems to be usb. The surf versions without the webcam would allow another devices to be installed (since the webcam takes one of the usb ports). No bluetooth is a bummer, seems like it would atleast be useful for a mouse AND not need a dongle.

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  5. Excellent work.

    Did you happen to come across a +5 that turns on & off with the WIFI? I want to have my USB BT turn off when I turn off the WIFI when I’m on a plane.

    Al.

  6. Hello … Thank you for the information that I will be very useful when I have my ASUS EEA PC 701 4GB, but all run the risk of damaging or ruining our E3 for irreparably. Excuse my ignorance, but on these modifications, my idea in the beginning was to replace the board of Atheros WiFi Mini PCI-E by Intel PRO WIRELESS 4965AGN, uses USB Is that the other does not use the Mini PCI-E?. If anyone of you I could presizar this information is what I infinitely thank. What I saw in the pictures to be more specific, noting that without the mass of the diagram. This surely is an ignorant question on my part, entiendamen. As English is not using the Google translator to translate this message, whether it is safe if found some grammatical mistake or expressions unusual. I promise to know a little more English next time. Jeje. Thanks. Greetings

  7. Thanks tnkgrl for the writeups – thanks to you, I now have 2 additional usb ports in my (missing) cardslot (7B unit with the connector missing).

    I took 2 surface mount usb connectors and soldered them into a small proto-board, then I hot glued the board onto the motherboard to secure it. It ‘almost’ fits – the access door touches it and bulges ever so slightly. It’s not enough for me to worry about though.

    Thanks again

  8. in the pic, she shows “usb+” and “usb-“. are these power connectors or data connectors? also, where would you ground the sockets?

  9. hi, i have an eeepc 701 with the atheros wifi card, can this wifi card be replaced with an intel 3945 mini pci card? i keep seeing references to people replacing them with the 11n card which is intel, i have tried to replace it but the bios doesnt recognise the card….. is there any way of installing this?, the app i need to run has to see an intel 3945….

    mike

  10. Does anyone know a reputable and dependable site to get some of those surface USB’s so I can mod my 701?

    I just picked up a touch screen kit off of ebay and would still like to drop in a couple more USB’s. I really dont care about battery drain I just want some novice modder add-on options.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Solderless-Eee-PC-7-700-701-Touch-Screen-kit-eeepc_W0QQitemZ320329606109QQihZ011QQcategoryZ177QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem#ebayphotohosting

  11. Is it possible that the keyboard or touchpad are using the unknown USB port?

    Seems like everything else is USB, why not those?

  12. I just bought a asus eeepc4g. I only interest to if I could upgrade it to 16gb hard drive instead of 4gb. I will be happy. I know almost nothing about electronics, but I can do soldering. Much appreciate for all detail instruction with detail pictures.
    I am happy with my eeepc4g except it is now only 4gb hard drive. I don’t mind to take risk to mod it to 16 gb hard drive.
    Thanks,
    Wai.

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