First post, by Kahenraz
I've been working with a Fujitsu U810 miniature notebook lately and wanted to share some of the problems and solutions I had while working with it. This notebook is not particularly powerful but has some unique features such as having a left/right mount button and thumb stick available to the user while opened and while the screen has been rotated into tablet mode. It runs Windows XP or Vista and includes an optional stylus.
For a quick summary of features, this is a 1.56 lb. mini-notebook has a 5.6" 1024 x 600 touch screen display with built-in webcam. It comes with an Intel A110 800Mhz processor and 1GB of memory that is not upgradable. It has a 40GB 1.8" HDD that uses a 50-pin ZIF connector that makes finding a replacement difficult. There is also an SD card slow, a CF slot, a USB port, and 3.5mm headphone and mic ports. VGA and ethernet are NOT standard but can be added with a dongle adapter. There is also a dock but this is very hard to find. The notebook also has a biometric fingerprint scanner.
The unit I purchased came with Windows Vista but there are official drivers available from Toshiba's website for Windows XP. I had problems installing some of them on regular Windows XP; they seem to check and require that you have the Tablet PC components installed. I had no problem with any of the drivers when using the "Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005" version specifically.
The first issue I found was that the CMOS battery had died. This wouldn't normally be an issue except for the fact that this laptop uses a battery that isn't made any more. It's a CR1620 3V coin cell (16mm x 2mm) with a very specific connector. I wasn't able to find an exact match so I tried a few variations. A larger CR2032 will NOT fit but a smaller ML1220 will. The ML1220 is the same height as the CR1620 but with a smaller diameter and therefore a smaller capacity. I don't think this will create any problems and it seems to work just fine.
Here is a photo of the original battery with collector and the correct polarity for the wires:
The second thing I needed to tackle was the hard disk. The unit I received came with a 40GB Toshiba drive and there wasn't anything wrong with it. But personally, I prefer swapping out old drives with an SSD or CF card when possible. The problem I encountered here is that this notebook used a 40-pin ZIF connector. This is NOT the same as the 50-pin ZIF connector used with Toshiba drives in various iPod models.
Here is a picture of the drive:
Considering how unusual this connector is, I was lucky to find a seller on eBay who did stock something that was compatible. Here is a photo of the product:
I found that the ZIF cable used in the laptop had a height that is thinner than what the adapter was designed for. This meant that the end of the cable would just flop about and would not fit snuggly into the adapter. I managed to get it to work by taping small piece of paper to one side of the ZIF cable to increase its height.
After installing Windows XP there was a new problem. At every boot I would get a popup saying "your system has no paging file, or the paging file is too small". I was able to find a number of examples of this error from other Windows users but none of the workarounds fixed my problem. I eventually figured out that the cause was because my CF card was being recognized as a "removable disk" instead of a "fixed disk". Windows was protecting itself by not allowing the page file to be written to a removable disk but this also happened to be the only one available and in my case was a fixed disk.
I managed to work around this using a special driver "cfadisk.sys" which was originally intended for use with a Hitcahi microdrive. It is used in place of the Microsoft driver and masks the bit responsible for reporting to the operating system that the drive is removable. This has to be installed manually so it shouldn't cause any issue when plugging in a USB driver later.
I also had an issue with the Toshiba provided "Omni Pass" software which is designed to work with the fingerprint reader. For some reason the OS will hang for a very long time during the boot process before the login screen appears. Removing this software fixed this issue for me.
I think that's all of the problems I had to deal with. It was a lot of fun getting to this point and now I can enjoy pulling out this cute little thing to entertain either myself or others when I have company.
Also of note, it is not possible to use the original Fujitsu restore disc after swapping out the original hard disk. Otherwise you'll get the following error:
I also had an issue where the computer was unbootable after installing Windows XP and problems reinstalling XP on top of another copy where the installer would not delete the old partition. I worked around this issue by booting to a gparted disc and deleting the partition manually.
The most up to date video drivers from Toshiba's website also give an error about the product not being correct when trying to use their installer. Extracting the files and installing then manually works around this issue.
The bluetooth drivers for some reason are not provided on Toshiba's website. They are too large to attach here but they are called "Bluetooth Stack for Windows by Toshiba", if that helps.