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Zotac Zbox AD03BR

Jim Carter, 2012-03-16


Web Resources

In the Box

Pre-Setup Notes

BIOS Setup

BIOS Update

Suspend to RAM is unreliable on the machine as shipped. When it wakes, it freezes in an early step of BIOS initialization with a probability of about 20%. The obvious first step is to check for a BIOS update.

Look at Zotac's site (redirects to www.zotacusa.com, for my USA IP address). Select Support, and in the dropdown menu, Downloads and Drivers. On that page, click on Mini-PC, Zotac ZBOX, AD03BR. It unhides a list of Windows drivers and documentation PDFs, in the middle of which is the ZBOX AD03BR/ AD03BR-PLUS BIOS and update utility. As of 2012-04-01 it has Version 2K120221 (the number is plausibly interpreted as a date). Click on that link and you get to download the zip file (2.9Mb). The enclosed BIOS turns out to call itself version 4.6.4.

If you are dual-booting Windows and Linux on your ZBOX, you will probably be happier doing the update from Windows, but if like me you don't have access to Windows, you can imitate my procedure. Warning: Read the provided PDF, and if its instructions differ from these, do what the PDF says! I'm adapting Zotac's instructions for the available resources, not attempting to come up with a different procedure.

Change to a scratch directory and do unzip pa176.zip (prepending the path to where the file is). You will find a PDF in its root directory named Important_note_AMI_EFI_1.2.pdf. View this file and find the section on MS-DOS. Review the procedure. Of course you first need a bootable removeable device with MS-DOS on it.

See my page about flashing your BIOS from Linux. It has some links to other sites. I created a bootable USB mass storage device (flash drive) with FreeDOS using Jeremy Visser's procedure, which failed to boot on a Dell E520, but which boots just fine on the ZBOX. Likely the procedure with two CDs would have also worked, but I didn't test it on the ZBOX.

Here is the update procedure.

The description of the BIOS update mentions an error or warning when hibernating. I did not have any problem with hibernation (suspend to disc). But after the BIOS update the problem with suspend to RAM was fixed: I tested it 20 times in succession with no failures.

Installing OpenSuSE 11.4

Problems with LIRC (Infrared Remote Control)

LIRC: does nothing. The eventual fix for this may be found in my bugfix report Infrared Remote Control as Keyboard. For historical interest, here is a record of debugging LIRC:

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