Monday, March 11, 2013

The BenQ S6: turning an MID into a UMPC


A UMPC, eh... Originally I was supposed to receive this last year, when my first plan to get a new laptop failed (shortly after August), and then my 1TB died the miserable death it did, preventing me from receiving this device until this month (February).

At its lowest cost ($49.99, seriously), it sounds like a really affordable computer considering I currently don't own one anymore (the laptop I'm using right now is borrowed). But at these specs, 800mhz Atom CPU, 512MB RAM, 2GB SSD with built-in 3G/BT/Wifi, a USB port and an Micro SD slot, is this really something I can use long term, if I eventually have to return this laptop?



That's the question I'm going to answer here. Remember that prior to using the laptop I'm borrowing now, I had a Sony Vaio that was so horrible, I had to use Windows XP on it. Well, For many years before that I have been a heavy customizer of Win XP, and it worked well on my Vaio before it eventually died on me. Can I replicate that awesomeness on the BenQ S6? 720p video playback? Opening Firefox and Chrome at the same time? Yes, it's possible! Read on to find out.

(I will break this into separate sections that pertain to the hardware in question. For example, in the section "Display", I will note everything I know about using the touchscreen, the graphics, and anything to do with viewability of the screen there. CTRL+F to the section you're interested in. You may know some of this already, but give it a read, it's arguably the best setup for the BenQ S6.)

=The outside case
---Buttons
---Micro SD Slot
---Speaker
---Microphone

=The CPU
---Overclocking

=RAM
---Where did my RAM go?
---Readyboost for XP?!?

=The 2GB SSD
---The...SSD

=3G data modem
---The myths and lies about its simlock status

=The 4.8 Inch resistive screen
---More resolutions besides 800x480
---My left side of the screen is unresponsive!
---Graphics is glitchy
---Nobody can tap-to-hold right-click, but I can.
---The touchscreen is more finger friendly than you think

=Windows XP
---Can it really fit into 2GB of space?
---480P video and 720p video playback
---Is gaming good on this device?
---Battery life is better than you think
---Running photoshop
---The perfect setup
---Recommended software

THE OUTSIDE CASE

This thing is a lot smaller than I thought. It's slightly bigger than my Nintendo DS Lite, yes, the skinny 2nd revision one, and when I say slightly bigger than that, you know this BenQ S6 is small. But it's so glorious because it's practically a small, handy computer that can do almost anything I can throw at it. It has a bit of weight though, the main culprits being the battery, the screen, and the heatsink/fan unit. But, it's perfectly usable the way it is, except for that USB port that stick out the left side, which is where your hand is supposed to go. Holding this unit while having a flash drive attached isn't exactly fun, since with such a small SSD inside you'd need a flash drive to complement the MicroSD slot.

---Buttons: There's just a button on the right side that is registered as "Left-CTRL", which is a funny thing because it's on the right side, there is a CTRL-F11 and CTRL-F9 on the left side of the screen (Home or Keyboard), below a Microsoft PS2 mouse wheel. Those two CTRL-F11/F9 buttons can be remapped to anything you want (more on that later), but the Left-CTRL cannot due to it being systematically linked to the other two. And that Microsoft PS2 Mouse wheel? It really is a Microsoft mouse, although if you install the Intellipoint software, it will not be recognized, but the capacitive scrolling can be configured with the intellipoint software, increasing its effectiveness.
---MicroSD slot: Some users report a 32GB card works, since I'm so cheap I can't confirm that, but I do have a Class-4 16GB that works, albeit slow since it's a Class-4 and well, any better costs money you know :P It can't be booted from, and its maximum read speed is 15MB/s regardless of card speed (tested my Class-6 4GB with the same results). Not so good a card slot in my opinion, but this slot is very useful for portable apps and.... Readyboost!
---Speaker: It's mono. Sound is provided by Realtek, which actually is a strange thing here. The original BenQ Realtek drivers are very bad for gaming, as they have stuttering in ePSXe. Well, if you get the latest drivers from Realtek, they have a specialized sound management program that lists the manufacturer's name at the top. Well, in this case, installing the drivers from Realtek will enable the BenQ logo to appear at the top of the program. Cool, eh?

---Microphone: It's bad. Like, so bad, I only found out about the above Realtek drivers because I thought it would help the microphone. Well, in any case, it will always have a buzzing tone sound if you enable Microphone Boost, which is the only way to even pick up sound in the first place. The included Headphone's do not have this problem.

THE CPU
Intel Atom Z500 800mhz, a limited front side bus of 400mhz, sounds like a huge step back from my recent involvement with Dual-core CPU's. But hey, I have used worse, and for this cheap price, what more could I ask for?

---Overclocking: This has been mentioned a few times around the web before, but this CPU can be overclocked to 1ghz, or 1060mhz to be exact. The most important part is running the Front side bus to 500mhz, which is where 720p h264 playback is possible. Depending on your power plan, it can lower itself to 800mhz when idle using the "portable/Laptop" power plan.

RAM
At only 512mb of RAM, it's a bit of a nightmare for today's users used to 4GB of ram or so. I myself am a person who uses a lot of Firefox and Chrome tabs, my personal record being 154 tabs in Firefox 2.6 on that 1GB of RAM Vaio I used to use. To be bluntly honest, such blatant use of tabs is not possible on the BenQ S6, but you can make it possible if you raise your page file size.

---Where did my RAM go? It's actually been eaten up by Intel and their ridiculous shared memory reserve. When you install XP for the first time, you will notice your RAM has as much as 480mb of RAM available (depending on the type of XP you installed). Once you install the Intel drivers, say sayonara to your RAM, as there's currently no way to limit the amount of shared ram (which is somewhere north of 256MB).
---Readyboost for XP?!? Why yes, it's possible! During my Sony Vaio days, with only 1GB of ram, photoshopping and Company of Heroes really pushes the limits of available RAM. That's when I came across a program called eBoostr, and it works similar to Readyboost. And the best part is the MicroSD slot works fabulously. I'd bet it would work extremely well with a Class 10 card, but the only downer is that 15MB/s read speed. Regardless, it works wonders for multiple browsing, where I've managed 2 tabs each for Firefox and Chrome at the same time, where before, it was only possible with only 1 browser at a time!

The 2GB SSD
---The...SSD: It's an Intel SSD that has modest read speeds (30MB/s), but horrendous write speeds (7MB/s). There are guides out there to beef up the SSD with something better, but me in all my cheapness cannot take that route. Keep in mind that it's 1,7xx MB of space available, and not the full 2GB. It would have been a whole lot better if it was exactly 2GB, 200mb makes a world of a difference.


3G data modem
At 7.2mbps, it has a more faster consistent download speed than my firmware-crippled 3G USB modem, which might have to do with it being built into the unit and drawing power directly, as we all know USB 2.0 isn't the fastest thing around, and not to mention the BenQ's 3G modem is not firmware locked to any carrier, meaning it's an unadulterated 7.2mbps speed (at least I think so, I've never hit that speed due to my low signal area).
---The myths and lies about its simlock status. In short: it's not locked. Some ebay sellers trying to capitalize on Dailysteals' blowout are trying to pass this device off as "locked to an italian carrier". The simple fact is it was originally a Linux unit, and was enabled as such. In order to "unlock" its use for Windows XP, one has to flash the Qualcomm downloader onto the modem, this taken from the Taiwanese/Chinese driver pack straight from BenQ. Someone at Slickdeals mentioned that, but what they failed to mention was that one has to install the HSPA modem software first, turn on the modem, open the Qualcomm downloader and flash to COM5 on Device 1. I had to figure this out on my own considering documentation online is scarce.



The 4.8 Inch resistive screen
Yep, it's a resistive screen, meaning I feel right at home considering my poor performance with capacitive screens (my fingers have low conductivity). It is connected via USB, made by the company Ideacom, and I was surprised that, of the short time I had the HTC HD2, I hadn't realized this BenQ S6 has a screen just slightly bigger than the HD2.
---More resolutions besides 800x480: Yes, it is possible to have more resolutions besides the default 640x480 and 800x480. After sampling various Intel drivers from a host of other devices, I have to settle on the drivers for the Viliv S5 (the stable drivers, not the newer one). I've read others have been able to do this already, but I can never get these resolutions with the stock BenQ drivers or the Intel ones.
---My left side of the screen is unresponsive! It is a weird bug at startup involving the USB devices, including my trackball, that for some reason the power is cut for a moment before it works again. A simple recalibration does make the left side of the screen work accurately again, but as of this moment I've not the time to figure out how to make this persistent (maybe delay loading of touchscreen driver?).
---Graphics is glitchy if you are using the Viliv S5 Stable drivers. The Kohjinsha drivers, the absolute fastest drivers, does not have this problem. The Viliv drivers have a hard time letting settings stay persistent, as I have linked a part of the graphic delays to the default 16bit display setting (change it to 32bit when you can).
---Nobody can tap-to-hold right-click, but I can. Ever watched those BenQ S6 reviews on Youtube? And how they have a hard time doing a right-click with the stylus? I used to think that my many years of stylus experience (from Palm OS to Windows Mobile to Windows Mobile even today) made me very used to stylus precision. Have you ever found anyone who can type on an onscreen keyboard with a stylus? I can do it. Anyways, I won't blame anyone who owns this BenQ S6, because even I had a hard time to right-click with the stylus. The answer lies in the .ini file of the Ideacom program. Allow me to explain. First, on your BenQ navigate to Program Files\IdeaCom\TSC, and look for a "settings.ini" file. Only the following lines are of importance:

[TSCSETTINGS]
SelectiveSuspend = 0
VistaSelectiveSuspendEnable = 0
DoubleClickArea = 90
LinearCalibration = 0
MouseStabilityRange =2
MouseWeightLV =1
MouseNoMoveRange = 60
RbtnHolding_Index_St1 = 30
RbtnHolding_Index_St2 = 90
AvoidWrongTouchType = 0

Marked in RED, using the above numbers will work wonders for complete control over the touchscreen. First let's look at "DoubleClickArea". Notice I changed it to "90". That is important because for people who aren't accustomed to resistive stylus', whenever humans double-tap, how often do you think you can tap the exact same pixel of the first tap? So the answer is no human can tap the same pixel twice in a row, so enter the Double Click Area. On your screen, this is a tiny invisible box that, if you happen to tap twice within this square area, that is registered as a double tap, in this case navigating Win XP. Raising this number will increase the usability of the OS using your finger by increasing the square area that you tap within.

Next, let's look at "RbtnHolding_Index_St1/2". As you might have guessed, these two lines are responsible for the starting timer for when you begin to tap-and-hold, and the ending timer for when the right-click action will be activated. The default numbers were too low/too high for it to be usable, so as you can see above, I lowered the amount of time between my tap and hold (St1, when the stylus is on the screen for 30 milliseconds), and I lowered the amount of time it takes for the right-click action to activate (St2, 30 to 90 = 60 milliseconds of when you continuously hold a tap on the screen to when right-click command is activated). With those settings, you will no longer have to painfully wait for the right-click icon to show up, and it is very possible to do this entirely with your finger! Remember to save the .ini file and restart the OS for settings to take effect.
---The touchscreen is more finger friendly than you think. I never understood why most people say Windows is not finger friendly, I mean seriously, did anyone even try? Or does everyone just want to jump on the Microsoft hate wagon? As you can see in the following screenshots, I've made it very finger friendly without any additional software:

This can be achieved simply by going to Display Properties, that is, right-click the desktop and go to properties->Appearance tab, go to "Effects" to enlarge the desktop icons and "Advanced" is where you enlarge only the UI elements, such as the close button, the context menu, etc. In order to enlarge the task bar, you right-click the taskbar and choose the "Start Menu" tab, and chose "customize", then "Select an icon size for programs".

Windows XP
It's an iconic OS, that's for sure. I'm still amazed at how it was able to fit into this BenQ S6. As usual, my craftiness knows no bounds.

---Can it really fit into 2GB of space? Yes, believe it or not. And I'm not talking with 200mb of space left, I'm talking a clean install with 1.1GB space available (128mb Pagefile), and that's without relocating junctions or what not. That's possible thanks to the OS I used, Windows XP Professional Performance Edition December 2009 by the great TJ. This is the perfect OS, not only full Service Pack 3 enabled, but it is the only reliable OS that supports East Asian languages, no other customized XP has this function with that much available space. If you need it, and you can find it, maybe you can hire... never mind :P
Did you know you can delete some unnecessary files in the SSD? For example, the above language files in the HSPA program folder, delete the unneeded languages and you save some, you can even save almost 100MB by deleting some of the Intel display language files in the system32 folder (they have a .lrc file extension or something like that)

---480P video and 720p video playback is possible, 480p natively and 720p requires a little overclocking. Remember my little guide here? Very helpful post, but it needs revising due to updates to FFDshow. According to several sites online, CoreAVC will give you the best results. Gives me the best results anyways, except I forgot how to make ffdshow load to play the subtitles, as vobsub is too slow.
---Is gaming good on this device? In some cases, yes. Take for example Delta Force 2, perfect with a mouse and keyboard (you can use the touchscreen as a mouse if you disable "Left Click to fire"). Crazy Taxi 1? Not so much, slight lag, though I haven't tried it with the Kohjinsha drivers and overclocking to 1Ghz. ePSXe is smoothly possible at 800mhz using the following settings:

Metal Gear Solid for PC also works splendidly, aside from one little flaw: when you die, the game over animation plays and dies to the desktop. Of course if you saved earlier, it wouldn't be a problem, so this isn't really a gameplay breaking bug.

Yup, an Eroge is fine too. I think it's time I finish these games, ever since, what, 2003, I've never completed any of these games. All I did finish was 1 route in Tokimeki Check-in, and 1 route in Sagara Family. You know, that one particular route that reeked of NTR, I remember clearly clicking as hard as I can to finish that route to see an end to those NTR vibes, that old man better keep his hands off my Sagara Family of cute girls!!! >:D It's too bad though one of my favorite games, People's General, can only be played using DXwindow, but hey, touchscreen turn bases strategy gaming on the go? I hope my work productivity doesn't drop!

---Battery life is better than you think. Don't listen to that Windows XP power status indicator. It's very inaccurate, and does not adhere to your usage pattern (ie, whether you are staying at 600mhz or if you have the H10 modem on). You can get 2 hours 30 minutes or 3 hours of continue web browsing using the 3G modem and CPU @ 600mhz, almost 4 hours on non-internet mode at 600Mhz, and while I don't use it often, 800mhz looks to give you 2 hours regardless of the task. (keep in mind I am using the lowest brightness, don't like stuff too bright for my eyeball >_>)
---Running photoshop is possible if.... you have some sort of hard drive if you are doing large images. At least, with the older photoshop's, but regardless of the photoshop, it never allowed flash drives, so yeah I'd say you'd need a hard drive just to photoshop. Sure wish the microSD can be used for a scratch disk, kind of frustrating the MicroSD can't be used much.
---The perfect setup. The following instructions are the ideal setup for Windows XP Pro Performance Edition Dec 2009 with a 400mb pagepool and 250MB free disk space (900MB+ free space).


  • This guide was okay, until I got tired from all the restarting. Yeah, I'm a time strapped person, and I was in no mood to spend time doing this, and having spent time previously on my older laptops, I came up with this no frills way.


  • First, I recommend a very simple USB hub, not a combo hub/card reader or whatever it might include. Just a USB hub, it blue-screened on me when using a combo usb hub/card reader.


  • Follow that guide above, Rufus owns WinToFlash any day, and keep in mind the order of the above guide of what to install, except do not restart at all. I used the Kohjinsha method, which is a all hands on deck, no restarting method by installing everything one after the other.
  • By this time you'd have a fresh install, and I recommend cloning the entire 2GB SSD onto another source, for example I used Acronis Disk Director to clone the drive onto a 2GB MicroSD. This is perfect for correcting any oversights.

  • For the supreme XP way, you must replace the following drivers in the above guide with these: new Realtek High Definition Audio drivers, when you install the video drivers, you'll have to install the BenQ drivers first and then the "GraphicDriver_XP_6.14.10.1093_Stable", and DO NOT INSTALL BENQ UTILITY, install MID Utility instead for better functionality and no need to install framework 3.5.
  • Now for the meat of the ultimate setup. Remember that I said to install MID utility instead of Benq utility? That's because we want to remap the Home and Keyboard buttons to whatever we want. And the best way is to use this fabulous program called Hot Virtual Keyboard. Check it out:


You folks know about DialKeys? This brings me back. In 2007 a friend of mine in Germany had a Samsung Q1 UMPC, and he was surprised at my ability to adapt quickly and type away on this keyboard.

Hot Virtual Keyboard is a very greatly enhanced software keyboard that destroys the default BenQ keyboard. I really hated the BenQ keyboard for not having sticky keys. For example, you can't shift + whatever key you want. You can't ctrl + any other key. It's a resistive screen, remember? Even the default microsoft OSK was better than the BenQ one. So HVK is great for a host of superior abilities:


  1. You can remap buttons on your device. That's right, the Home and Keyboard can be used for whatever you want! I myself map the Keyboard button to, what else, HVK, and the home button is used for right-click, since I do stuff that requires tapping and holding that isn't a right-click. Unfortunately, I do not recommend remapping that lone Ctrl button on the right, since it is the worst single button config ever, pressing that right button will enact the other two buttons too.
  2. HVK can be configured in a number of ways, from the size of the keyboard, to the colors, to a whole lot of different keyboard types, including a gaming ready keyboard that puts a d-pad on the left side of the screen and keys on the right side. Transparency can also be configured at any depth.
  3. Yes, I tried gaming with ePSXe, and as long as you are in windowed mode, 640x480 is good, you can have some serious fun with the screen, no running scripts anymore!
Hot Virtual Keyboard isn't free though, and while there is a trial, it's not so much fun, right? Well, since I'm so cheap, you can try this: clone your 2GB SSD before you install HVK, so that once your trial is over, you can restore your cloned drive and another new trial awaits! Gyahahaha but seriously, it is an amazing keyboard. My first forum post (Vivid Red Operation post #1363) was only possible with HVK, I would have punched a hole through my BenQ if I had used the default keyboard.

---Recommended software. The following is what I have setup to make my BenQ S6 a very usable UMPC wannabe:
  • BatteryCare. A free, ultimately superior battery monitoring program you must install to the S6. This program is smart, and enabling the time remaining algorithm, you can have an accurate reporting of battery life remaining. You can see it in my above screenshots, which it displays the percentage and time remaining on your battery, and you can configure the color of that too. Note that you must install .Net Framework 2.0 to run BatteryCare, don't worry, .net 2.0 is not as large as 3.5.
  • You've already met Hot Virtual Keyboard, seriously, try it now.
  • eBoostr, the readyboost type of program for Windows XP. Worth every penny if you've got a fast microSD.
  • I'm sure you know about Portable Apps, and that running them from the MicroSD is an absolute must.
  • If you got the Viliv S5 driver pack above, you'll also notice it comes with Bluesoleil Bluetooth managment software. It's a shame the built-in bluetooth can't stream audio for some unknown reason, but Bluesoleil has your back if you have another Bluetooth dongle like me.
That's basically it in terms of what I've done to this S6. Honestly, it's not as bad as people make it out to be. I mean, right now, this is the only computer I own, and I believe it is totally worthy of every penny it was marked down to. Seriously, if my hard drive hadn't died, I probably would have felt this S6 wasn't worth it too, but I gotta admit, my 1TB dying on me made me realize, sure they may not last much, but enjoying what it's worth, and bringing out its full potential and not shooting it down for its faults is okay in my book. As of right now, the paranoia set in and I don't know how long I can keep borrowing the laptop I'm using, but if it ever comes down to it, the BenQ S6 has my back.

126 comments:

  1. I just have one question, do you have an image of your setup you could share, that would save me a ton of time from tracking down all the drivers and what not, anyway the guide is excellent and I appreciate all the work you put into it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When you say "image of your setup", do you mean a disk image of my 2GB SSD? Unfortunately, that's something I cannot do due to the limitations of my internet bandwidth. If you want a list of drivers, I'm sure I listed the necessary items above, but basically you'll need the BenQ S6 driver pack from their taiwanese page here:
      http://slickdeals.net/forums/showpost.php?p=51613448&postcount=286

      or go here if you don't want to endure the language barrier: http://thefiledump.org/dump/projects/BenQ%20S6/

      There is not much to install when it comes to the BenQ S6. Surprisingly it doesn't need all those software utilities or OEM software that other UMPC's need.

      Delete
    2. I appreciate the response. I will work on getting this thing set up as soon as I get some time. I already downloaded the windows xp which was much smaller than the one I currently have loaded so this will help out greatly. Again, thanks for putting this guide together. I saw that you mentioned a guide for upgrading the 2GB ssd, do you have a link. I have searched for awhile trying to find a replacement ssd just to get a bigger one but am not having a lot of luck. Thanks

      Delete
    3. Here's the link for the SSD upgrading:

      http://midbenq.finestraweb.netau.net/sostituzione-ssd.html

      It's in italian, but there are a lot of pictures, and that's good enough if you don't know the language :)

      Delete
    4. I should mention that it needs the ZIF FPC flipped cable.

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous10:14 PM

    My BenQ S6 has quit getting on line ..just says LOADING..but never completes the cycle..originally worked just fine..any suggestions..?RW 6-6-2013

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm, when you say it can't go online, do you mean you cannot connect to the internet using the built-in modem? The only 2 things I can think of, because I experienced this before, is either 1) the sim card, either dirty or could not be detected, or there's something wrong with the I2EC.exe/BenQ utility file. Since BenQ/MID Utility is the only thing that can turn it on, perhaps your SSD encountered corruption at some point.

      Other than that, I'm sorry, but I don't know of any other suggestions. Provided you did not open your BenQ, those are the only 2 solutions I can think of.

      Delete
    2. You rock my friend. Thank you for the better display driver. Who knew you could display different resolutions with this thing. So awesome.

      This is the 2nd time I've messed with this device. I accidentally bought 2 during the Slickdeals sale. Install Windows PE on the 1st and gave it to my nephew.

      Had an old Tiny XP Beast edition laying around and put it on this current device and love the look/no problems except the damn WIFI. So annoying. It shows the driver installed, turned on & blinking blue, but it can't find my network or any network for that matter. I just keep refreshing, refreshing. Not sure what the deal is. Ack, I've tried to re-install the driver, etc. Nothing works, so odd because it says it's on and working.

      Anyway, keep up the good work, lots of good info. on this page. THANK YOU THANK YOU!

      Delete
  4. Anonymous2:36 AM

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    ReplyDelete
  5. I would really appreciate if you could try this out, I'm a fan of your blog and thinking of getting one of these! Could you test out the application ROBLOX for me and try to go on one of the front page games? If you could I'd be very grateful, please reply!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, sorry for late reply. If you are talking about www.roblox.com, it seems to be a Flash site, but it's asking for too much stuff to do, and my internet connection is hardly stable, so I can't try any, sorry.

      But, supposing the games are in Flash, they are playable on the BenQ S6, as long as you keep in mind you may need to overclock to 1Ghz to make the experience lag free.

      Delete
    2. Thank you very much for replying! ROBLOX is a download to play game it doesn't really use flash. The game itself is pretty low demanding, I'm just wondering how well it will run. They recommend a processor made recently (2005+ apparently) and it will run on 512 MB RAM.

      Delete
  6. Sorry that I'm bothering you once again, is there any chance that Minecraft would work on this UMPC?

    ReplyDelete
  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  8. You're a pretty busy guy I'm sure who has enough troubles to deal with, so I'm REALLY sorry if I'm bothering you too much. How would you rate the usability of this with a 32GB Class 10 SD card, a Bluetooth keyboard, and using the drivers that you have? I have a main computer, but I'd like something pocket able too. Thanks in advance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, yeah I've been busy. Okay, so first up, Minecraft, I've never played that game, but looking here:

      http://www.minecraftwiki.net/wiki/Hardware_requirements

      It seems to fit all the requirements except for the graphics. I'm not sure if the BenQ S6 graphics can run it. I tried to run the PSP emulator PPSSPP, but that wouldn't run. The heaviest game I tried to run was Crazy Taxi, which did run but slowly. I guess it all comes down to the Intel Graphics. I might do a test on that sometime, which driver version is best for 3D games.

      So, next, about the MicroSD, the fastest I have is a Class 10 16GB UHS-1, and it works as fast as the non-UHS speeds (write speed 9-10MB/s, read speed is BenQ maxed at 15MB/s no matter what class). A bluetooth keyboard sounds perfect, I don't have one, but I used WinMoBlue to link my qwerty windows mobile phone to the BenQ, and it worked nicely. The only thing you need to consider is both the Wifi and Bluetooth radios will remain on. I have the latest driver that fixes the power saving mode on the wifi, so that it can remain on low power if you want to use Bluetooth only. Right now, my BenQ S6 is my only mobile computer, and it's doing great so far.

      Delete
  9. Great guide. I have Windows XP on my Benq, too, but my installation is pretty huge. I was thinking of reinstalling and that Windows XP release you mentioned sounds good (I wasn't sure it was possible but now that I know it is, I want to play VNs on my Benq) but the problem is that I can't find any live downloads. Where did you find your ISO, if you don't mind me asking?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh gosh, it might be hard to find. It's quite an oldie, Win XP Performance Edition Multilingual released in December 2009 by TJ. I will give you some search strings to search on Google, but a quick look shows dead links:

      WXPPPED09M

      Windows XP Performance Edition SP3 December 2009 - MultiLingual

      Till now, that OS is stable and fun to use. I even got an RTS to play, even though we don't have 1GB of RAM. I'll post more about my BenQ S6 gaming in a post later some time.

      Delete
  10. Windows XP will be outdated fairly soon, and Windows 8/7 seem to do okay under 512 MB RAM. Do you plan on keeping Windows XP or do you think that you'll be upgrading to a light version of a newer version of Windows soon? Also, I'd like to know how the Benq's been handling your tasks in summary.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous9:23 AM

    hy i recently purchase benq s6 2 ssd with linux os, then i decided to upgrade the os to window xp. it was a success but the problem now is the hdpa 3g modem cannot detect and it shows that i have to turn on the 3g connection in the benq mid which i already did turn it on. please need help

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, sorry for the late reply. Please read the following link on how to set up the 3G modem:

      http://slickdeals.net/forums/showpost.php?p=57620848&postcount=367

      Delete
  12. Anonymous2:41 PM

    Whats the easiest way to put windows on this?.. i have been trying to find a step by step guide.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous12:13 PM

    Hello, I have a question about this Benq S6. Manny742 has a point do you think that you will ever go into installing Windows 7 on your Benq S6? Possibly a performance edition like you did with XP? In April, XP will not be supported for many applications, and I worry that the period of time in which I use my BenQ s6 will be limited due to running the XP system. Do you have any suggestions for guides?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hey thanks for asking. Last year I tried to make my own lite version of windows 7, it was really difficult to get a compressed one onto my BenQ S6 because the Tablet PC Input service needs to stay in, if that is taken out, or if a component related to it is taken out, the touchscreen will not work, even with the BenQ touchscreen driver. But I'm going to work on it. April is coming and I don't want to be caught in the XP funeral.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Any news or new suggestions? My BenQ s6 will finally be here Tuesday, and XP's outdated. Do you still use your S6 now, with the lack of support on XP?

      Delete
    2. Hey, I'm going to do a write up soon about my experiences of using a Lite version of Windows 7 on my BenQ S6. I modded a 16GB SSD into it as that was the only way Windows 7 would fit into the S6. Well, I'm sure it would work with the 8GB S6 too. But yeah, I'll post very soon!

      Delete
    3. Great, I'm dying for some more info! :D Which guide did you use for getting the SSD in? Which SSD, for that matter?

      Delete
  15. Thanks a lot for sharing this with all folks you really recognise what you are talking about! In this complex environment business need to present there company data in meaningful way.Sqiar (http://www.sqiar.com/solutions/technology/tableau/) which is in UK,provide services like Tableau and Data Warehousing etc .In these services sqiar experts convert company data into meaningful way.

    ReplyDelete
  16. John Wilson7:56 AM

    Hi, thanks for this post, very helpful. I've just received my BenQ S6 with a 2GB SSD, and am wondering which OS to upgrade/switch to. I like the small size of the build of Windows XP that you've suggested, but I have a question about compatibility. With the .NET framework that you avoided, would I be able to run any program that I would on a normal build XP?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I honestly haven't run into any program that I would want to run on my BenQ that needs .NET framework 3.5. So far .NET framework 2.0 is working okay, which is the minimum framework version for a lot of XP programs from several years ago.

      Maybe, if you try to install, say, Blackberry Desktop Manager from a CD, that one I know was picky with updates to XP, because of the installer. So, I would wager that program installers that have a fancy UI would definitely tell you to update the .NET framework. But luckily most exe installers don't need that.

      Delete
  17. Please help mangatron! I've got my BenQ S6, my copy of Windows XP Performance Edition, but I'm stuck. Do I need a usb hub to do this? I plugged my USB into it and it boots up and I see the setup, but how do I control it? And do I need the XP BIOS to install XP? I'm so confused! (please respond asap)

    ReplyDelete
  18. I put in my USB and got it to load the setup, but I run into the error "A problem ahs been detected and windows has been shut down to prevent further damage to your computer. UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME. I still really need help with my aforementioned issues.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, sorry for late reply. The BenQ is a little picky as to what hub you can use. I have 2 USB hubs, but 1 gives me a blue screen every time I try to install windows. The other one that works isn't even a powered hub.

      The best advice I can give you is, if you have a powered USB hub that worked for you in the past few months, use it. I know it sounds crazy, but I was able to install windows with just a keyboard connected (didn't have another mouse).

      Also are you installing windows from an optical drive? Then you definitely need a powered USB hub. I install windows from a USB flash drive, so I was able to use a non-powered hub.

      And I'm still recovering from an injury, but I will try to post my new BenQ post this week. I can't guarantee that though, but I will try.

      Delete
  19. And now I'm getting the SECTION 3 error thing. Must I install the bios before installing XP?

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks for responding, in this case I don't have a hub at all. I'm borrowing one from a friend today. Stopped working yesterday because I didn't want to brick my device.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No problem, glad to help. About the bios, I have read a user installing XP without flashing the bios, but no one else confirmed if that is true. I didn't want to take a chance so I flashed the bios. I think it's highly recommended you do that.

      Say, how are you installing Windows? Is it via an optical drive or a USB flash drive? If you are using a flash drive, I had tried numerous ways to transfer the .iso into the drive, and the only one that worked is using Rufus. It's a great program, check it out:

      http://rufus.akeo.ie/

      I even transferred the .iso into a microSD, and booted using a usb card reader. I highly recommend it.

      Delete
  21. Okay, so far things are going pretty well. Got a powered USB hub from my friend, luckily you can choose whether it is powered or not. I get to the BIOS boot screen when it says C://, but I can't type in 0303 because I don't have the required .exe file "0303_1783_33103_Customer.exe". Do you have this file, or do you happen to know a place where I could get it? I'm using a BenQ S6 .rar from Dropbox https://www.dropbox.com/s/gib2cos49n1489h/BenQ%20s6.rar but it doesn't look like it has the file for that method. (Installing using a USB flash drive, now a keyboard and hub)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Or is there another way to flash the BIOS? (I'm not the best with tech, but I'm learning)

    ReplyDelete
  23. I'm doing all of this using this guide: http://slickdeals.net/forums/showpost.php?p=51366676&postcount=213

    ReplyDelete
  24. FINALLY got the BIOS flashed, the file was actually in the Dropbox link I sent you! I'll install XP later, still getting the SECTION 3 error with old USB, only 512MB. I believe it's a problem with that, I'll do the rest later tonight.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Still getting the Section 3 error, even after using a larger flash drive. :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry, was asleep. Okay, I think I know what's up. You might need to erase the SSD inside the BenQ. I use Acronis to do this every time I test an OS, and it's really helpful. Now, I don't know any free version that can do this, but you basically need a partition manager program that can load at boot so it can see your SSD, and delete/format it from there. You can try these links, or search online if you know something better:

      http://www.acronis.com/en-us/homecomputing/diskdirector/gettrial/
      http://download.cnet.com/EaseUS-Partition-Master-Free-Edition/3000-2248_4-10863346.html?tag=dre
      http://www.partitionwizard.com/partition-wizard-bootable-cd.html

      Delete
  26. I actually did it! You were right, but somehow I figured it out without looking, I just came back here to post of my success! It's exactly that. I decided to restart everything, and I formatted my flash drive with the NEWEST version of WinSetupFromUSB. (It wasn't working with the older version, giving me error 6. I actually did get it to work previously, but I got errors then as well.) After that I gave the installation another go and it let me choose the partition to install. I went on ahead and deleted the 15xx MB partition only. It installed the first part, then when going to the second part it gave me an error, "Error loading operating system". I restarted and deleted the 200+ MB partition which I believe holds the Midlinux operating system. After that, it ran without a hitch! Thanks for all the help Mangatron, I also saw your post on the forums, I was happy to see you around there. Hope this helps others with problems!

    ReplyDelete
  27. https://web.archive.org/web/20130627190412/http://claptop.com/2012/08/how-to-install-windows-xp-on-benq-mid-s6/ is what I used to install Windows XP. Remember, use the NEWEST version of WinSetupFromUSB. It's cleaner and will most likely give you less errors.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow cool, glad to see it works :)

      Delete
  28. I'm having a pretty cool time so far. I do need a bit or help on loading up WiFi, 3g, and Bluetooth drivers though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, the 3G, you can read on my post here.

      The wifi, I highly recommend you install the following drivers instead, as several users report wifi dying after prolong use with the old drivers. The ones below have proper power management, and won't burn out the wifi module (weather permitting ;)

      http://www.4shared.com/rar/jg1DM8Dbce/benq_wifi_update.html

      Delete
  29. Thanks, those drivers worked well. I've now got my bluetooth keyboard connected, and am connected to the internet but have a new problem. MouseNoMoveRange = 60
    RbtnHolding_Index_St1 = 30
    RbtnHolding_Index_St2 = 90
    those lines are not in the file that you described, what do I do?
    Also, whenever I try to install a new browser, I come up with some error, limiting the BenQ S6's usability.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's strange. Did you install a different touchscreen driver? The one that is included with those BenQ S6 packs is correct one.

      Delete
  30. I've got Opera 12 installed, and it's satisfactory. I'm a bit confused at the moment, how do you know that the Intel drivers use 256MB+ of the memory? It says that I have 506 in system properties. Or am I missing something? I'm not exactly sure how to read RAM amounts in XP's task manager. Could you give a new link to overclocking the CPU, and possibly some insturctions? ROBLOX works, but it's very laggy, it'd need some heavy modification to work well, but I think with an overclock and those Kohjinsha drivers (link pls? :D) I could get it to work well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To see the ram availability and the total ram, in the task manager's Performance tab, it says "Physical Memory", Total is 518192KB, which is 518MB, Available after intel drivers are installed is around 246500KB, which is 246MB. If you do a fresh XP install without intel drivers, you'll see the available ram is more than 400MB.

      As for the drivers, I need to do that next week as right now I'm using an ISP that has limited bandwidth, I'll switch to an unlimited ISP next week so I should be able to upload then.

      Delete
  31. Any help on overclocking?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry, forgot about that ~____~

      Okay, download:

      http://www.4shared.com/rar/InJud9Piba/SetFSB.html

      Use the Clock Generator "ICS9UMS9610BL", and the highest I can set it is "Select FSB/DDR/PCI-E/PCI Frequency: 139.8/279.6/139.8/33.3MHz"

      That's 1.1ghz, if using the "Portable" power plan, it will be 800/1.1ghz.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for being compliant. I can't install it just yet because my storage space is so low. Any tips on freeing up space?

      Delete
  32. I've been asking so many questions about my BenQ S6, wow. I'm typing on it now with my bluetooth keyboard, and the experience isn't half bad, got it overclocked and there's definitely an increase in performance, don't know about battery life though. I don't want you to spoil too much, but how's the performance with a better SSD and Windows 7?

    ReplyDelete
  33. The 3g modem is mentioned in your blog, flashing the Qualcomm driver, etc., but I don't exactly understand how that works. Is there any way you can assist me?

    ReplyDelete
  34. Well, the 3G modem, at the moment, isn't really a necessity. What I'm having problems with now is attempting to get Portable Apps to work, every time I try to download one it comes up with a writing error when I attempt to save it onto my micro SD card.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, sorry for the late reply. For the 3G modem, try in this order: insert SIM, install H10 modem drivers, use MID Utility to turn on modem, then use Qualcomm downloader flashing tool to flash the modem, eith com port 1, 9 or 10. Let it finish, then H10 should start up.

      Still having microSD problems?

      Delete
    2. I actually gave up on Portable apps, then looked up a few videos to free up space. I deleted things, freeing up over 600 MB! I got a .net 3.5 install and still had about 450 MB left. I had accomplished this by installing Chrome portable from the website instead (though I do get errors that force me to restart my system every so often...), and am now able to watch Youtube videos, provided I run ccleaner. Overclocking is wonderful, and I've actually managed 480p playback on some videos. I currently have a few applications installed with about 200 MB free disk space. I'm going to try Osu with the Viliv drivers, since the touchscreen ones for the BenQ S6 don't work well with that.

      Delete
    3. Oh, forgot to tell you about the space saving. In my post here I mentioned about the language files, for both the H10 modem and the very large group of Intel language files, don't forget to try that.

      Delete
  35. My setup is pretty much complete, but in deleting things I must have deleted some driver files. I've got everything back, except for the touchscreen, and after using the uninstall executable inside of the folder, I'm still not able to reinstall. Osu, a game that would work VERY well with touch sadly runs too slowly, even with an overclock. Plus, the BenQ S6's particular touchscreen drivers don't translate well to the touchscreen mode. Any help? (with reinstalling the drivers) I'm also thinking of getting an SSD to compliment my BenQ S6 too, an 8 or 16 gig would be great, but they're quite expensive, at least the compatible ones that I've seen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Getting code error 39, wow, I really hope that I didn't delete anything important.

      Delete
    2. Okay, I got it all fixed by completely uninstalling the Ideacom drivers, right clicking and rolling back, then uninstalling it. I then reinstalled the touchscreen drivers through the setup.exe, and it prompted me to restart my BenQ S6 again, and now I've got it working. My setup is officially complete! I shouldn't be spamming your comment section anymore, and I should only come back when it comes to upgrading the SSD.

      Delete
  36. Going out right now, and my BenQ S6 has proven to be very useful. I was actually debating on how to use it, and whether or not I should sell it, but after thinking, a bigger SSD and faster microsd card would make it a perfectly capable device, I decided against it. Right now my only problems are 1. the underwhelming CPU performance, and 2. something wrong with the settings
    When I choose to Stand By, what's that supposed to do? It boots up about as quickly as restarting the device, and doesn't keep anything in memory (like it's supposed to?). Also, for the touchscreen drivers, it calibrates, but when I restart my device I have to re-calibrate it which gets annoying after a while. Other than that, my device has been helpful and I use it for FLVS during this summer vacation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trust me, that standby problem is annoying, it's Intel's fault as they've had this problem for their mobile chips all this time until Bay Trail. The fault is in their video drivers, and I've been trying to see which settings have the lowest failure rate, so I'll definitely report on that soon.

      As for the calibration, I found out the best way to handle this. After the device boots to windows, open the calibration tool, BUT only tap the first blinking dot, after that just press home and voila, the touchscreen responds like normal! You don't have to go through the whole calibration process, clearly there's a bug in the software ;)

      Delete
  37. Okay, thanks for the info. I'll be getting a faster 16GB micro sd card soon, so hopefully I can use that for that readyboost program you use, as it says that my class 4 card would be a bad idea. Please, please, how's performance on Windows 7 with the new SSD? Also, what size SSD did you use? 1.3", 1.8"?

    ReplyDelete
  38. Anonymous3:08 PM

    can games be downloaded in benQ s6?

    ReplyDelete
  39. Anonymous3:20 PM

    hey! i'm new to this benQ s6 and i didn't used it almost a month now. Can you give me some interesting things about it? I mean what games can I download to it? :)

    ReplyDelete
  40. Anonymous3:25 PM

    my benQ was given to me by my uncle, you said that wifi can be used if there is a sim card the problem is I think our sim card is not compatible with it, it won't read so I was just thinking if you could help me? and hey i'm from Philippines.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. erm, wifi doesn't need a sim card >__>

      Delete
  41. Hey Mangatron, how much has eboostr helped with performance?

    ReplyDelete
  42. I'm really thinking about upgrading the SSD for a boost in performance, and the ability to get a new operating system. That and a class 10 SD card sound perfect...
    Are you still alive man?

    ReplyDelete
  43. Hey, sorry about not replying, it's been tough dealing with my leg injury for 7 months now >__<

    Okay, let me give the basic rundown. The BenQ S6 has an IDE drive controller, so the SSD read speeds are capped at 30MB/s. The only real boost over the intel SSD is Write speed, but not by much. The intel writes at 9MB/s, while my Sandisk SSD writes at 19MB/s. It's not much of an improvement, but it is a really noticeable improvement over the 2GB SSD. Of course, getting a Class 10 MicroSD helps greatly, unfortunately, the microSD reader caps at a read speed of 15MB/s.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What exactly would the Class 10 MicroSD help so greatly with? Doesn't ebooster/readyboost only work well if you have a fast device in comparison to your hard drive? In this case, the BenQ S6 has a *paltry* SSD, so, would we see an improvement? Or is it that I'm missing something?

      Delete
    2. On my Desktop computer, I run a 3 hard drive system, 2 HDD's and 1 SSD. This is to ensure a smooth operation and long life of the SSD.

      Similar to the BenQ S6, because there's only 1 SSD, using the MicroSD as eBoostr is similar to Readyboost for Vista/7. That is, commonly accessed files will be stored on the MicroSD, and loaded when the OS requests them.

      For example, I primarily use my S6 for the paging file. That is like the extra RAM, when I open a program, it writes to the SSD some files to store, and if there is not much free ram available, it writes to the SSD even more. Imagine opening a program from the SSD, and have it load while the SSD is reading and writing, it slows down the OS even more.

      Loading a portable program from the MicroSD makes it faster because then the SSD only needs to write instead of read AND write. Makes sense, right?

      Delete
    3. Let's say that I have the portable version of Opera on my MicroSD card than. If I were to use my new MicroSD card for eBooster, would I be changing the destination of the page file or the cache? What exactly is the cache? The current SSD has a write speed of 9MB/s, right? So the SSD upgrade would make the page file faster with a faster write speed? Or could the MicroSD be used for a faster page file?

      Delete
  44. My BenQ S6 has been quite the performer lately! Overclocked, and without the SD card yet, I was able to play ROBLOX, and at a playable frame rate too! How does Windows 7 perform Mangatron? Is the performance better than with XP?

    ReplyDelete
  45. I'm dying for the SSD upgrade! I just love tinkering! Even though I have a good PC, the BenQ S6 has so much potential! Currently, my only bottlenecks are CPU/GPU and RAM. For ROBLOX, maybe 100 more MB of RAM would be great. How does that transfer when I use eBooster?
    The SSD upgrade is going to be the best thing ever... I'll have more space and a faster BenQ S6 altogether. Thanks for everything Mangatron. (feedback on Windows 7/SSD performance pls? :P)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you can find out which files ROBLOX commonly uses, it might help having eBoostr use them, other than that the Pagefile is the other extra ram so it's still going to read from the SSD/mSD.

      I'm sorry to say, Windows 7 on the BenQ S6 is not feasible with touch screen support. In order to make the touch screen usable, I had to leave certain features enabled, which increased the ram usage.

      After installing the intel drivers, there's a whopping.......... 99MB of RAM left! It is terrible, it takes up a lot of CPU time writing and reading to the SSD, ugh the only way to use Windows 7 well is to use the lite version, which disables the touchscreen, but would have at least 200MB of RAM available.

      That's why it's back to XP for me. I did want to try Vista Basic but gah, 7 is better if it's not XP, so XP for me :x

      Delete
  46. Aww, that's a shame... and I'm guessing that Windows 8 would run even worse. Did you use a special version of Windows 7? Like the performance edition you did on XP? Also, do you know any ways to improve performance on XP? I'm attempting to get as much RAM and processing power free. I am able to play ROBLOX ENJOYABLY now. It's amazing just how well it runs, though I have to make my taskbar huge and leave only a little space for the program to run in maximized form. It works WONDERS though. Overclocking is the best thing that has ever happened to my BenQ S6, though, even without overclocking, it does get unreasonably hot. I'd like to watch Youtube on my BenQ S6, but whenever in full screen it lags, 360p small screen is okay though. So, how is the performance boost with XP with the new SSD over the old one?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe more of a shame than I thought... did you know about all the enhancements to GMA500 on Windows 7? This was a pretty powerful chip, why did Intel have to do such a bad job at supporting it? :'(

      Delete
  47. I think I was a bit afraid to install any other drivers due to RAM usage. Were you ever able to switch to an unlimited ISP, I'd love to get the fastest drivers available. Why do you switch drivers? Do you get problems with the kohjinsha ones? How big is the improvement compared to the stock BenQ S6 ones linked in your post?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, a lot of people like to blame Microsoft for the failure of UMPC's but Intel didn't even try to make it work either. The performance of my upgraded SSD is way, way better than the stock 2GB SSD. For one thing, I put some programs on it that like to run from an OS drive instead of an external drive (like the mSD). Boot speeds are of course better, and the RAM doesn't always have to keep swapping with the pagefile because there's plenty of pagefile space to begin with. Very good with XP, if you've got the time and cash, upgrading the SSD is very very good (just don't spend too much money, otherwise you'll pay more upgrading than for the price of the entire unit lol)

      Now these drivers I'm using instead of the Kohjinsha drivers, they have power saving support, you know those options in the Intel control panel. It also doesn't drop down to 16 bit display colors like the Kohjinsha ones.

      The only drawback I see is that in order to turn on the Wifi, I have to open I2EC.exe every time. Other than that, the drivers are wonderful, and, now I just need to find time to upload them >__>

      Delete
  48. My BenQ S6's usability has gotten pretty good!
    I'm now able to watch 360p full screen on Youtube, and 480p on the small player. The new modded GMA500 drivers are pretty good!
    I'm using the Chrome portable browser with the built in flash on my SD card.
    How does your BenQ S6 do with Youtube?

    ReplyDelete
  49. Also, my microsd card shipped today! I'm using it, but when I scan for drives to use with eBoostr, it says that read speeds may increase by 1.3x. What do you recommend? I'm using a class 10 micro sd card.

    ReplyDelete
  50. I'm also a bit confused... still
    If I am using my microsd card as extra ram, and I use a portable app on the card, aren't I doing the same thing that my hard drive is always doing? Also, if I have eboostr set up, would it be fine then just to take off the page file on my ssd?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. *so, let's say I use Chrome portable.
      Woudln't I just be reading and writing from the microsd at the same time instead? And then see an improvements on applications on the SSD?

      Delete
  51. Hopefully I'll be able to get some money and use it for that new SSD. I really want/need to eek as much power out of my BenQ S6 as possible, and it looks like that might be my only option since it doesn't look like the microSD card is fast enough. (or I just don't know how to use it)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, sorry for the lack of replies, it's been really hard taking care of my leg.

      So for the SSD, this is similar to the one I bought:

      http://www.ebay.com/itm/251146739133

      If you see it at $25, that's a good price. Anymore and it loses its value. But, you also have to buy the ribbon cable, which I honestly forgot how many pins was it (I know the cable has to be reversed, meaning pins on one side are on top, the other side are on the bottom).

      They all come from China, but shipping was pretty fast from there. As long as the seller uses registered mail, which automatically has a tracking number.

      By the way, about your previous questions, we can never remove the pagefile. Doing so will force the OS to load everything into the RAM. This is why eBoostr helps, if you cache certain programs on there, it will read from the microSD, lowering the access times on the SSD.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the reply. I asked around on the forums, and someone pointed out that this is a 1.8" ssd. I made the same observation and thought I needed a 1.3". Could you clarify?: http://benqs6.freeforums.org/hardware-upgrade-t12.html

      Delete
  52. Hey Mangatron, currently typing this up on my BenQ S6. I went over the SSD upgrade guide (found on the same forum), and I see that they used a 1.8" SSD. I'll continue to ask around. Does the SSD help with the random freezes in XP? Usually near startup and just opening the start menu in general seems like quite the task for this BenQ S6.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Honestly, what I'd really like to know is the difficulty of upgrading the SSD to the 1.8". How long did it take you to upgrade?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, it's a bit of a difficult process, for me I had to take out the back plate that says "BenQ", and I had to cut out a piece of the plastic shell in order to make sure the SSD was not crushed by it. If you saw the SSD upgrade guide on an italian blog, that one was a little more extreme, mine was just a simple matter of cutting out a corner to fit the Flash memory module of the SSD, and just place it on top of the CPU fan-heatsink. I was supposed to post pictures, but my health has been dropping for the past few weeks and I'm unable to concentrate.

      Also, the SSD does help with the random freezes. Using the default 2GB SSD, startup was almost 5 minutes, the 1.8" SSD cut that to around 2 minutes. The random freezes occur because XP is trying to load the rest of the OS, my boot time is slightly delayed because of BatteryCare, which is a .Net framework program so it loads last :o

      Delete
  54. Anonymous1:06 AM

    Can you help me? I want to get smooth YouTube playback on my BenQ S6 running Windows XP with no upgrades, I've tried so many things. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  55. I've finally ordered myself an SSD for my BenQ S6. It probably won't be here until after Christmas, so I've got a bit of time before I actually have to assemble everything. I ordered this SSD http://www.ebay.com/itm/200856996803?_trksid=p2059210.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
    but I have one problem. I asked about it on the forums earlier in the day, but it's fairly inactive, so I don't know how long a response will take. I know that you upgraded your SSD to a 1.8" version, but you upgraded your SSD nonetheless, so you might know. Do you know what cable I have to buy to successfully upgrade my BenQ S6 to the aforementioned SSD? If so, could you link it? Thanks in advance!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey manny, happy holidays. My SSD is actually 1.3, same as yours. About that cable, it's really tricky, but you need a reverse 40-pin ZIF cable. It's hard to find because sellers don't mention if it's reversed, so when I ordered mine I took a gamble based on the picture alone:

      http://www.ebay.com/itm/1pcs-FFC-FPC-40-pin-1-25mm-Pitch-Ribbon-Flat-Cable-Wire-ZIF-HDD-300mm-Long-New-/331215106925?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4d1df5736d

      That's the same type of cable I have, it looks long but I folded it up beneath the SSD to cushion it between the Heatsink and the SSD. That link I posted is the cable you need, look at the picture and notice how only one side of the contacts is visible, the blue side is facing down.

      Good luck with your upgrade! I feel like posting the whole upgrade process after my leg heals, I modded my BenQ in a way that uses the least amount of tools, so I think you could benefit from that too.

      Delete
  56. Alright, I'm going to do my upgrade today, hoping it will go well, though I honestly don't have a great idea of what I'm going to do. Let's hope these pictures help! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, we spend hours simply trying to get the first set of screws out that kept the cover on the rest of the device. There are only four, right? We couldn't seem to get the last screw out, the one that hides in the stylus casing. Anyway, I hope to complete this upgrade either tomorrow or tonight. Any advice is appreciated.

      Delete
    2. I got to the step where I detach the original SSD, and now I'm stuck. The cable with flipped connections seems too large. Help is much appreciated, I think I'm going to leave it for now.

      Delete
    3. Hm, when you say "too large", do you mean it's too wide, or it's too long? This is what mine looks like:

      https://mangatron.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/20150106_094539_benq_ssd_fpc.jpg

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    4. Am I needing to cut it?

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    5. Oh no don't cut it. Wait, is yours long like mine? You can fold it like I did.

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    6. Mine is too wide. If I were to insert it into the ssd, it wouldn't fit.

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    7. That's strange. You did buy a 40-pin cable, right? You'll need to cut it if you want to use your BenQ now. Count the pins, and mark the 40th pin. Then, cut it so that has a space beside the 40th pin. You don't have to cut the whole cable, just enough to fit into the SSD and the motherboard.

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  57. I believe I bought the right cable, this one, correct?:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/1pcs-FFC-FPC-40-pin-1-25mm-Pitch-Ribbon-Flat-Cable-Wire-ZIF-HDD-300mm-Long-New-/331215106925?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4d1df5736d
    Thanks for the help, I'll try it!

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    Replies
    1. Gosh, looks like the seller sent you the wrong one. It's rare that it happens, but it does happen, and there's no returning that to china that's for sure.

      My advice is to cut it if you don't want to wait and buy from a different seller. The good thing about these cables is that they can be modified unlike a flex cable for LCD's or slider phones.

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  58. I'm not sure if the seller sent me the wrong one, it looks exactly as it does in the picture. I counted and got exactly 40 pins. The text on your cable looks to be in a larger font than mine. Is the problem that I bought a 1.25mm cable? Is that too wide? Looking at the upgrade guide found on the forums, I need a 100mm fpc cable.

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    1. Sorry, thought that the .pdf read 1.00mm, not 100. As I said, I have exactly 40 pins, but it looks to be too wide for the slots on both the SSD and the input in the device for a cable. I'm thinking that the width is too much.

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    2. It's really starting to look like I'll need to buy a new cable. Any advice on where I can get it? What's the width on yours?

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    3. Hm, I think you got the wrong cable if it's too wide at 40 pins. Mine is 20mm wide, 40 pins.

      The upgrade guide on the forums, is it the BenQ S6 SSD upgrade by mickchip? It doesn't mention the width of the cable. I hadn't realized there must be different kinds of 40 pin cables.

      The worst part is it's hard finding an ebay seller that even mentions the width. I took a gamble with mine but the seller no longer sells it :/

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    4. I'm using the guide by mickchip, yep. I suppose that I can look to find one, 20mm wide, reversed 40 pin ZIF cable is what I'm looking for, correct? I hope the search won't be too bad, I do wish that I could return my current one, though

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    5. Yeah, 20mm wide, 40 pin flipped Zif cable, "ZIF PATA" will probably narrow it down.

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    6. This won't work, then? http://www.ebay.ca/itm/220697299910?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649&clk_rvr_id=763680100974&rmvSB=true
      I've been searching quite a bit over the past few days, no luck.

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    7. Wait, this will work, won't it? 2cm width = 20mm, which is what I need, right? It's a 40 pin flipped cable, too! It will work then, right?

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    8. Hi, sorry for the late reply. Yes, 2cm, which is 20mm, is the same as the one I have. Although, I'm wondering about the picture in that ebay auction, it looks quite messed up :o

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    9. Finally ordered the cable. Will post of my success when it arrives! :)

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    10. Quick question: Is it possible to install Windows XP (using the same method that you describe in this comment session) on the new SSD once I put it in? I would like to clean install XP onto my BenQ s6, but if I can only get XP on it by copying/pasting from my old SSD, that'll have to do.

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    11. Well, I have everything in, but I'm getting a rather unsatisfactory message. It's telling me to reboot and boot with a proper drive (something to that effect). Was there anything on the software side that you needed to do before you got the unit working again?

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    12. Hey there, sorry for the late reply. First, about copying an existing OS to the SSD, you can do that. I copied over a backup that I kept on a 2GB Micro SD lol.

      Now, about your problem with the drive, I think I know what your problem is. You see, I had the same problem too, and it took me a while to figure out what was wrong. It's the cable, or rather the cable slot on the SSD, it's not tight enough. I had to hold the cable in place by squeezing staples on it like a clamp. It looks like this:

      https://mangatron.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/20150407_110031_benqssd.jpg

      Basically that black tab is not holding down the cable tight enough, and my BenQ will not boot unless I use those 2 clamps (I use staples because they are easy to bend with hands).

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    13. Are your staples hooking into the white/tannish piece? Additionally, should I have some of the "golden pieces" (my tech terminology isn't great) sticking out of the SSD? It seems like the whole thing won't fit in, I'm left with a tiny sliver visible.

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    14. (The pins on the zif cable)

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    15. Well, as of today, it seems that my BenQ S6 has stopped charging. When I plug it into the charger, all of the lights flash, but then they dim out and the orange indicator does not come back on. I can't seem to figure out exactly how you got the staples to support the black tab. My results thus far are rather discouraging. I will try to figure out what is wrong, though any help would be appreciated.

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    16. Sorry for the late reply, I don't open my BenQ much because of the mods I did ~__~

      This is what I did with the staple to make the ZIF cable work:

      https://mangatron.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/20150409_134329staple_clamps.jpg
      https://mangatron.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/20150409_134337staple_clamps.jpg

      As I mentioned before, that was the only way I can get the SSD to work. If I did not have those clamps, the cable would unseat itself and it really sucks having the OS crash while you're using it :x

      As for your battery, is it completely empty, or it will still turn on? My BenQ won't charge if the battery is at 93% or higher, no matter what I do. I have to bring it down past 85% in order to bring it to a full charge. Maybe that's happening to you.

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    17. The SSD's been installed! It's up and running, though it's currently sticking out of the BenQ S6. My cable was worn out due by the effort made attempting to get it into the SSD. Unfortunately, I'm getting the same "Normaliz.dll" error that I had gotten previously. Anyway, thanks for your help - really glad I got it to work. I'll be tinkering more over the next few days.

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  59. Hey Mangatron, how's everything going? It's been a month or two since I last commented here, and I'd just like to post a bit about how things have been going.

    I'll start off by saying that I really do love my BenQ S6. I love pocketable devices, and one of my favorite things to do is to bring my BenQ S6 around in the case it came with. I prefer that over bringing my larger tablet with me.

    I tried Windows 10 - and it didn't run so smoothly, as one could imagine. Driver setup was very easy - the screen looked great after installing the Windows 7 GMA500 drivers. Unfortunately, I didn't test any games because Windows 10 simply ran too slowly - though, it was a developer's preview, and I'm sure the full release and some tweaking would run much better. I couldn't figure out how to get the wifi working, however, so I'll be sticking with XP.

    My one complaint with Windows XP is the terrible driver support. I posted of 480p YouTube playback, and playback in 360p fullscreen on the factory SSD and my original installation. How great it would be to have that now! To be honest, YouTube isn't very great on my BenQ S6 now. I use Opera, so that could be part of the problem. I believe 3D games used to run better, too. I spoke of modded drivers that I simply can't find now. (After installing the new SSD, I just reinstalled Windows instead of transferring the old data) I remember the 3D game that I play, ROBLOX, running relatively well. I've tried various modded drivers for the gma500, and none of them seem to work - all incompatible. Any help with increased performance would be great appreciated.

    Currently, I use my BenQ S6 as an art device. I installed "myPaint," an application suited PERFECTLY for the BenQ S6. It runs VERY well, and the paint tools are so well suited for the device - it really is great. I also listen to music on it. It would be great if I could get some more performance out of it. A nice Windows XP device capable of YouTube thanks to modded drivers would give me everything I wanted out of this device.
    Anyway, hope you're doing well Mangatron. It's been an interesting year+ with the BenQ S6.

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