Can the motherboard run without display? Battery?


  1. Will the computer have any problems booting without the laptop display?
  2. Will the computer perform normally with power attached but no battery connected?

I know Apple make their laptops with disconnected batteries run at the lowest possible clock to allow people to get data off, and avoid the situations where power draw is higher than DC alone can provide.



We designed the mainboard to work without a display or battery so that it can be re-used outside the Framework Laptop. To get the best performance in that mode, you’ll want a higher wattage power adapter (100W if possible).


Yes it can run without a display and battery, however the system power envelope will be limited to the adapter power. When a battery is connected, the mainboard will use battery hybrid mode to draw power from the battery and the adapter at the same time.


And how does one turn the motherboard on when it is outside of the case?

1 Like

There is a tiny itty bitty button on the motherboard, I can’t recall where it is but if you look for SW1 that’s it.

Reference: What does the SW1 button inside do? - #2 by nrp


@digitalknk, Is there any other way (like via USB) other than that tiny tiny button?

@Shawn_Lewis I unfortunately I do not have that answer for you, but I am sure someone from the Framework team could answer that, maybe @Kieran_Levin or @nrp

My logical brain wants to say no it’s not possible BUT there might be something I do not know.

IIRC Linus from LinusTechTips mentioned in his review of the laptop that there is a BIOS setting to automatically turn the laptop on when power is connected.

That could be another solution, similar to how a Raspberry Pi behaves.

I don’t have a FW Laptop myself (yet), since I’m in Germany, but maybe someone here on the formus can double check.


Currently, power on can be done through the small SW1 switch on the mainboard or through the main power button, which is connected through the Touchpad Cable connector on the mainboard. Note that we’re currently working on a firmware update to enable the mainboard to work without the battery plugged in.


@nrp, That means that the only other way to turn on the motherboard would be with a special cable that connects like the keyboard? (I don’t know the name of the connector, but we pull it off to get the top panel out). If I had the pinout and the name of the connector, I could build a breakout board with a wire and a switch.

depend on how the system handles Thunderbolt peripherals, you might be able to “wake from dock”.

Wait! What? For five months you have claimed that the mainboard functioned independently of the battery, and now, without explanation, you are saying it doesn’t. This was a major reason I purchased the Framework, knowing ALL the components could be repurposed, and would not become e-waste. I can say I’m very disappointed that a feature I thought existed prior to purchase is in fact still not worked out.


@CJ_Elevated, to be fair, they said that it would be in the future. It’s been determined that the system uses both mains power and battery power sometimes and that to run off just mains power would require a 100W power adapter. Also, there is no way to turn the board on unless you use the “power on with mains” feature in the bios.

But yes, I can see how this fact can get lost in communication. I say give them a month again, they haven’t made and grand unprovable claims thus far.


No, scroll up. The second and third reply on this post said nothing about “Future” They both said it worked. That was the day before I pre-ordered my laptop.

1 Like

@CJ_Elevated, Btw, did you try it? I saw that you took the mainboard out and hooked it up.

Proof of the pudding is in the eating! I might disconnect my battery to see if it starts at all.


@Shawn_Lewis Of course I did This Framework Feature Isn't as Advertised. - Mainboard Testing. - YouTube


I have to agree with Elevated systems here.

I purchased this machine fully knowing that my leftover machines would be reusable. Now I’m learning that such features will be implemented “soon”.

To boast about a feature, only to change it AFTER the release of the product is very dissappointed and down right shady.


Gah damn it :cry: (so did I)

Ok, super important firmware update expected, hopefully before year’s end.

1 Like

I had no plans on using this, but I find it incredibly aggravating that they promoted the laptop with this as a feature, without actually implementing it. I fully understand if they encountered issues pre-production - but I would have expected them to disclose it ahead of time. All they needed to do was say at any time before Batch 1 shipped, “We had hoped to have this working at launch, but ran into unexpected problems. Rather than halt production while resolving it, we have decided to release it as-is and intend to deploy a firmware update in the future. We will offer full refunds for any canceled pre-orders.”

It’s not the end of the world, but I honestly expected better. It feels disingenuous to promote it all this time, and then months later sneak in a statement on the forum about a future firmware update.


Or before the mainbords are available on the marketplace. I was definitely planing on buying at least a couple.