The machine itself
Power brick with USA power cord (interchangeable per locale)
VESA mounting adapter (hexagonal shape) and packet of 4 screws. The holes are in a 75mm square, and also a 100mm square. You can also attach the adapter directly to a wall with wood screws or plasterboard anchors (not provided).
DVI-I to VGA adapter
CD of CyberLink PowerDVD video display software for Windows
Users Manual (English)
Quick Start Sheet (multilingual)
Warranty card (small)
Beware: None of the Zotac products have an operating system installed. You will need to obtain your operating system from another source. This of course is simple, inexpensive and legal for Linux.
Press Delete during booting to get into BIOS setup, within 1 second of the splash screen appearing. A number of forum posters have complained about the very short prompt delay. In Setup you can increase it.
When powered on, the machine shows a big blue circle on the top. In standby, this circle pulsates. The eye candy can be turned off with a BIOS setting. I think I'm going to do that. It's in Onboard Device Config, Backlight Control.
A number of the connectors are upside down, like all but the RJ45 (Ethernet) jack. This is probably because the motherboard is upside down, i.e. with the processor toward the bottom.
The CPU fan draws air in from the bottom and exhausts to the right side. Do not block the airflow. Putting the machine on a pillow or carpet would be very bad for it.
The hard disc drive bay accomodates 9.5mm thick drives. There isn't enough room for 12.5mm thick drives.
Media types that will go in the card slot: MMC, SD, SDHC, MS, MS-Pro, xD.
Below the optical drive slot is a small hole. Use your Apple Emergency Disc Ejector (unbent paper clip) to get your disc out, if you turn off power with a disc in the drive.
As is common, the optical drive is region restricted. It will assume the region of the first regionalized media inserted. It can change regions up to 5 times. Hiss, boo.
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.
I copied efudos/ZTEFUDOS.EXE and 1202/A1760221.rom to the root directory of my USB drive. In later BIOS versions the name of the ROM definitely will be different, and be alert for improved versions of the update utility too. Get the MS-DOS variant, not the one for Windows. The instructions mention that sometimes several ROMs are sent out together; get the one for your machine, if there are several.
Plug the USB drive into the ZBOX. I used the USB-2.0/eSATA combo port in back, which was vacant, though probably any USB port would have worked.
Boot the ZBOX and hit F7 immediately when the splash screen appears, to jump to the boot override menu. Alternatively, hit Delete to get into setup, and turn to the Save&Exit page, which has the boot override menu. Select the USB drive and boot from it.
For me on the ZBOX, FreeDOS booted right up. On the E520 it needed some coaxing and menu choices.
dir to make sure your files are still there and to
review the name of the flasher and the ROM.
Back up your old BIOS. You can't do this on a CD which is readonly. Here is the command line (the trailing -o is the letter, not a zero). It shows progress as it works.
ztefudos backup.rom -o
Flash the new BIOS. It shows progress as it works. Some of the steps have pauses of a few seconds; don't panic, and particularly, don't lose power or try to restart the machine.
Remove the USB drive. Reboot (ctrl-alt-delete) and get into setup by hitting Delete within 1 second after the splash screen appears. Notice the snazzy new background image behind the text.
Turn to the Save&Exit page and select Restore Defaults, then F10 to save changes and exit.
Once again the machine reboots; get into setup by hitting Delete within 1 second. Now put back your custom BIOS configuration; particularly increase the prompt delay for getting into setup. The BIOS upgrade is now complete.
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.
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:
Are the LIRC modules loaded? Yes. Modules on Aurora (which works):
Modules on Iris:
Was the LIRC device created? Yes, /dev/lirc0 .
Do we have the lircd configuration file? Yes, /etc/lirc/lircd.conf copied from Aurora. /etc/lircd.conf is an alternative. The one installed with the lirc package appears to define an infrared keyboard with everything but the kitchen sink. The one from Aurora is specifically for the Philips MCE remote control.
Also needs /etc/sysconfig/lirc and specifically LIRCD_DEVICE has to be set to the actually existing device. Yes, it is.
Is lircd running? /etc/init.d/lirc status -- yes it's running.
Are the sockets there: /dev/lircd symlink to /var/run/lirc/lircd . Yes, present, and the latter is mode 660 root:video (correct).
irw, it reports key names and codes received on that
socket, per lircd.conf. Press buttons on the remote control.
The light blinks on the control and on the receiver, but irw puts
out nothing. It works on Aurora.
cat /dev/lirc0. That should put out
unintelligible binary data when a button is pressed, but nothing
appears. It works on Aurora.
If you have multiple decoder modules, each keypress will produce two (or more?) events. (Our problem is producing no events.) You need to blacklist the IR decoder modules. Not just blacklist, really suppress, e.g.
install ir_sony_decoder /bin/trueDo this for the sony, jfc, rc5, rc6, nec decoders and ir-mce_kbd-decoder rc_rc6_mce (infrared keyboards). I restored the blacklist file from Aurora. This may have cured a future double keycode issue, but didn't make any data appear.
OP Vortalex (2011-06-27) has our symptom. lukaszan replies,
ir-keytable -p LIRC. Vortalex reports, that fixed it.
We don't have ir-keytable. He refers to the following posting.
OP akb825 (2011-04-09) reports, module mceusb (versus lirc_mceusb
which is deprecated) treats the remote as a keyboard, which prevents
lircd from recognizing input. To fix:
echo lirc > /sys/class/rc/rc0/protocols.
Catting the file will give a list of supported protocols, and
the currently operative protocol(s) are enclosed in [brackets].
This intervention didn't help.
Look in /proc/bus/input/devices to find it. We're input29. Translate to /dev/input/ir -> event10 Catting that device produces no output.
Try upgrading to a more recent lirc because there's been a
change in (some) protocol. We have lirc-0.8.7
OP: Yianni Vidalis (2011-12-04) gave this useful post.
Easy way to find out which /dev/input/event$N :
ls -l /dev/input/by-id.
ir-keytable is in package v4l-utils .
It shows the sys and /dev/input files, e.g. /sys/class/rc/rc0/
Summary of what I've done so far (that doesn't bring it to life):
Modules: (see above).
ir-keytable -s rc1 -p RC-6,LIRC -w /etc/rc_keymaps/rc6_mce
Found /sys/class/rc/rc1/ (/dev/input/event9) with: Driver mceusb, table rc-rc6-mce Supported protocols: LIRC other Enabled protocols: LIRC Repeat delay = 500 ms, repeat period = 125 ms
ir-keytable -s rc1 -t (shows nothing upon button press)
Hunting in the kernel sources: /usr/src/linux/drivers/media/rc/mceusb.c contains mceusb_dev_printdata . This subroutine should print all data received from the remote, if module parameter debug=1. I turned this on but nothing appeared on syslog.
Giving up for now.
Net research indicates that the current design (operative in kernel 3.2.x and likely earlier) is for the IR control data to be converted to keycodes in the driver, and handled from there as if it were a keyboard; in other words, the X-server gets the keycodes, converts them to keysyms, and presents them as alphanumeric letters to the apps such as MythTV. Lircd is not used any more. But this isn't happening for us.
The ultimately successful fix procedure is continued in
my bugfix report
Infrared Remote Control as Keyboard.