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…
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.
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.