Don’t throw away your old Laptop! Make MagicMirror instead

Hi all. Do you have an old laptop that is just collecting dust? Maybe it’s not working properly. Audio out not working, some keyboard keys, trackpad, overheating, hard disk not working… You don’t know why you didn’t throw that laptop a long time away, but it is still collecting dust. So, please don’t throw away your old Laptop Make MagicMirror instead.


There is a lot of inspiration for this topic online.

But in every single case, Raspberry Pi is used. Maybe Laptop Display is recycled but never hole laptop. Let’s change that.

Disassemble Laptop

This step will vary from laptop to laptop, but there is a lot of information online on how to disassemble laptops, so I will focus on end result and what we need. In my case, the disassembled laptop looks like this.

What parts we need:

  • Motherboard
  • CPU
  • CPU Cooler
  • RAM
  • Display
  • WiFi Module + Athena
  • Power Button Panel or Power Button
  • Hard disk or USB

When you have disassembled your laptop please try to power it on. This will confirm that your laptop survived the surgery. Now, important step. Swap thermal paste between your CPU and CPU heat sync! We have four screws in the CPU head sync number for 1 to 4. We need to unscrew them little by little in descending order. Newt, we need to slowly pull heat sync from the CPU. After then, please take your time and clean old thermal paste from CPU and heat sync. In the end, we need to replay the new thermal paste and put everything together.

OS installation

We have multiple options in this section. We can reuse an old hard drive or we simply boot from the USB stick. For this, part 1 of this MagicMirror project, I will just install MX Linux on the existing HDD.

Install and run MagicMirror

Now we simply need to follow instructions from the MagicMirror site. Go to Documented tab and then to the Installation & Usage tab.

We need to enter the next commands to install node js and clone MagicMirror.

curl -sL | sudo -E bash -
sudo apt install -y nodejs
git clone

Next, we need to install MagicMirror with:

cd MagicMirror/
npm install
cp config/config.js.sample config/config.js
npm run start

With the last command, we will start magic Mirror with the default configuration.

Add MagicMirror to start up

The last task for this part 1 is to start MagicMirror after reset. This is simply done by creating a bash script

cd ~/MagicMirror 
npm run start

Open Session and Startup and add a new startup script by clicking on the button Add. Then locate created script above for Command input. Add Name and Description and press OK. With this bash script above will start at login and then MagicMirror will start right after.

Final Words

And that is all for part 1. In this part, we prepared hardware for the Magic Mirror project and started default software. In this second part, I will try to finish the whole project by customizing and adding MagicMirror modules and then fixing the display to the two-way mirror. Did you manage to follow these instructions? Do you already have MagicMirror?

Check out my other posts at

Please comment down below and see you in the part 2.

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