In this post I describe my experience while upgrading the BIOS, in order to support 4GB of memory.
This is the third post in a series of posts related to the Zotac ZBOX ZBOXHD-ID11.
– 4GB is supported after upgrading the BIOS.
– BIOS has to be updated using less than 4GB, else ID11 fails to post.
[Update: 20 May 2010]
After writing this post, the machine started bluescreen / BSOD crashing.
Mostly MEMORY_MANAGEMENT / 0x0000001A errors, with occasional 0x000000BE and 0x0000003B crashes.
When I initially installed the 4GB RAM, I ran memtest for one cycle, and the RAM tested fine. I just reran memtest, and it is reporting that the memory as bad.
I replaced the memory with a new stick, I ran memtest overnight, and everything seems back to normal.
I hope it was just a bad stick, and not the ID11 that killed the memory.
When I ordered my ID11, I also ordered a 4GB Kingston SODIM RAM stick.
When I received the ID11, the specs said 2GB only, and after contacting Zotac support, and posting in their support forum, they confirmed that 4GB is not supported.
I reverted to using a 2GB Kingston SODIM RAM stick.
I was pleasantly surprised when Zotac announced a BIOS update that added 4GB support.
The BIOS changes are described as follows:
.Added support on 4GB memory modules
.Added CMOS selection on Logo LED
I downloaded the BIOS update, extracted the contents, and tried running the AFUWIN AMI BIOS update utility. After a warning message appeared telling me to not run other apps and not to power down, on clicking ok, nothing happened. I tried again this time running AFUWIN.exe as administrator, still nothing.
I went to the AMI site, and downloaded their latest Windows BIOS update utility. Since I was running Windows 7 Ultimate x64, I ran AFUWINx64.exe, this binary automatically UAC prompted for elevated access, and presented this warning:
I opened the A140PA19.rom file, and the information tab showed the following:
I started the flash, and got this warning:
I accepted, and the flash completed:
I rebooted, and the POST screen showed a CMOS Checksum Bad error:
I pressed F1 to enter setup, and I made the following changes:
[Exit] [Load Optimal Defaults]
[Advanced] [PC Health Monitor] [CPUFAN TargetTemp Value] = 50
[Advanced] [IDE Configuration] [Configure SATA as] = AHCI
[Advanced] [PCIPnP] [Plug & Play OS] = Yes
The two BIOS changes are visible under these sections:
[Chipset] [North Bridge Configuration] “PCI MMIO Allocation: 4GB to 3072MB”
[Chipset] [South Bridge Configuration] [LOGO LED indicator:]
I rebooted, and everything worked fine.
Next I powered down, and replaced the 2GB RAM with 4GB RAM.
On reboot the following changes were visible on the POST screen and in the BIOS:
Booting into Windows, the following 4GB related changes were visible:
So far everything appears to work fine.
One of these days I will really get to testing media playback performance.
By the way.
In my first impressions post I reported that the ID11 came with the wrong power cable. Zotac support sent me the correct replacement cables free of charge:
Hello, very interesting reviews, Pieter. I'm also interested in buying one of these ZBOXes. Also, looks like yesterday Zotac released a beta version of their BIOS. This new version seems to automatically adjust optimal values for fan speed. If you're interested, take a look at:http://www.zotac.com/index.php?option=com_docman&task=cat_view&gid=223&Itemid=100032&lang=enRegards.
Ah! Just a couple of questions. What happens if you plug a 4G DIMM in the slot without the upgrade you mention on this post? Is it recognized as a 2G?And, is it possible to upgrade the BIOS without using Windows? If Windows (or any OS) are required, and the 4G DIMM is not recognized, do we need an extra (1 or 2 G) DIMM to run the upgrade, then?Thank you very much!
I will try the Beta BIOS out.When I booted with 4GB before the BIOS update, the machine would not even POST. I ran the update with a 2GB stick.
RedCrash:My system without the upgraded BIOS would not post with a 4GB SODIMM (667MHz, if it matters).
Thank you, Pieter & Evan!These are pretty bad news indeed. I hope that the new ZBOXes will reach the market with the the newest BIOS soon.
I had a simular experience with the 4GB chip, I bought a 2GB just to do the BIOS update! Peiter, I'm intested to see hear about your experiences with the XBMC DSPlayer version. So far I've found it sluggish under Win 7 x64, even with a SSD and 4GB.
hello,I looking forward to buy a Zbox HD-ID11 . I have a couple questions to the existing user.1. Does it heat up too much?2. Is the Fan noise level decrease out with the new BIOS update.3.Flash Video playback issues are they resolved.4.Can the system run continuously for48-72 hours if i m download some torrents.5.Which OS is faster in Zbox with 2GB RAM, XP or 76.Does HDMI have any audio issue with windows7.Do you recommend me any other products like Giada http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=3754314131Mainly using the zbox downloading movies and watching them on my LCD TV.0% gaming with itThanks guys