Mini ITX motherboard or Laptop motherboard for mini PC?

I’m currently working on, what I can only describe as my ‘Commodore 1541 retro Nas drive’. Basically taking a vintage 1982 non working Commodore 1541 floppy drive and converting it into something a little more useful like a NAS drive.

See my older post – https://stiggyblog.wordpress.com/2009/08/18/commodore-1541-disk-drive-project/

Originally i’d planned to use one those very small form factor mini ITX motherboards, however i’ve been thinking about that very old (and pretty much underpowered) laptop I have and wondering if i could reuse the motherboard   instead?

If I strip the laptop of all the components I don’t need, for example the laptop keyboard and plug in an external PS/2 keyboard it will still boot? Likewise, if i remove the LCD panel and plug in an external monitor will it still boot? I’m certainly interested to find out/test because it does, then this pretty much useless laptop may have a use after all.

I plan to use Freenas (http://freenas.org) therefore processor, memory requirement are very minimal. I’ll boot Freenas from a CF card and either use a 2.5″ HDD for storage or hopefully one of the 3.5″ drives I have spare. I probably won’t need an optical drive apart from the initial install of Freenas but I’ll use a USB CD drive for that bit.

If it doesn’t work, eBay seem to have lots of low spec ITX boards from as little as £11.99

I’ll post my result when i get the chance to test a little further.

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