So......... you bought a DT310 tablet off EBAY - now what???
Well, it's good news and bad news. The good news - it's most likely working. The bad news - you have more money to spend.
First, some do not come with a power supply. Figure another $15 there from EBAY.
GET A WELL REGULATED ONE RATED AT 12V DC 3.5A - This is IMPORTANT.
****If you formatted the drive or changed the OS, this will not work*****
Second, the screen - is it burned out or just too dim to read??? Here's the easy test.
The ‘standard’ tablet will boot up into Windows XP Embedded with the necessary screen drivers loaded.
Power it up and after it is done loading follow this procedure:
Wait until the tablet is finished loading - they are slow.
Look at the seven buttons - three labeled 1,2,3 and four to the right side with symbols.
Assume they are numbered 1 through 7 - press AND HOLD button #6
while holding in button #6, press button #3 a couple times.
(maybe as many as 5 clicks - usually 2 or 3 - no problem with too many clicks)
This will put the display in the highest brightness setting. Now release button 6 - you were still pressing it, right?.
More good news - bad news here....did it work?? You can determine if the backlight is good or bad.
Replacing the screen backlight is a pain but can be done – look through the forum for info.
Third issue - batteries.....the ones in your tablet are most likely USELESS.
The internal BIOS battery is dead – that is why the screen was dim.
The battery is a CR1220 available at Radio Shack or WalMart.
If you don't care about the BIOS settings and clock being lost at least remove the dead BIOS battery even if you don't replace it with a new one. You’ll also get that dim screen if the internal battery dies or if you turn it off with the ‘storage’ switch. You should replace the BIOS battery but you must get that bad one out of there. Some of these tablets are around seven years old and that’s three or more years that BIOS battery has been dead.
The internal battery that powers the tablet is most likely in the near-useless state. Good news is that batteries are still available cheap. Look on EBAY for the Crestron TPMC-8X tablet (a repackaged DT360) - these batteries are direct replacements.
More money to spend....$25 is the average price. A fully charged new battery will last 90 minutes of continuous use - more time with simple power saving tricks.
Most of these tablets on EBAY do not come with a stylus. NEVER use a metallic item – only plastic. Get a cheap stylus at WalMart in the section that has video games.
There are docking cradles on EBAY for these too - be prepared to spend more money. Same with the external add-on battery. You can buy dead ones off EBAY cheap - if you want to repack them. New external batteries are very expensive and available on EBAY for that Crestron tablet – again, the same battery.
So..... that gets you a working tablet for about $75 for the tablet off EBAY, $15 for the power supply, $25 for an internal battery and a little more for the BIOS battery and stylus. If you get the external battery, add another $100.
When you see the refurbished tablets on EBAY with hard drives and replaced batteries for $200 – it’s a better deal than buying one for $50 and doing it yourself – unless you have access to cheap parts.
More about the hardware (most but not all are like this):
10.4" display – can rotate for landscape or portrait viewing - 1024x768 or 800x600 (with limitations)
512mb of RAM of which 24mb is used for video
1GB flash module (loaded with XPe SP2)
Intel 2915 54G wifi card (newer models had the Atheros card)
PCMCIA slot - use this for a 3G cell connection....more later
1.8" PATA hard drive slot *****WARNING***** port must be modified before you can use a 'standard' 1.8" harddrive
other features and specs can be found at dtresearch.com
Choosing an OS to run.
Linux choice - Puppy Linux. It's stable, easy, works great and FREE. Tons of free software too.
Best choice Windows XP - you have XP Embedded on it for FREE or you could find one of the hacked versions of XP Pro or XP Tablet edition. These have names like ‘MicroXP’, ‘XP_Lite’, etc. Using a hacked version means no updates and it will fail the WGA test so no other Microsoft software will work (like Office). You can make it work but it's a pain - use Puppy Linux or XPe that is included.
Use both XPe and Puppy Linux since you can load puppy on a USB drive. There is a puppy image on the forum with the touch screen drivers preinstalled - try it, you'll like Puppy. Run it in the 800x600 mode for best results.
Other flavors of Linux can run on these tablets – DSL and TinyCore plus a few other distros.
Since it comes with XP Embedded - let's start there:
Make a backup of the image so you can restore it when you screw up.
Use Ghost or a similar product to make an image of your tablet. Use GHOST or
REDO BACKUP ( http://redobackup.org/
) or PUDD from Puppy Linux or CLONEZILLA.
Once you have an image you can always go back to that point.
If you don't have Ghost - use REDO BACKUP off a USB stick.
You can find GHOST83.EXE on the web.
You need to get into the BIOS to change the boot order.
You must have a USB keyboard connected AND WORKING.
You can not use a USB to PS2 adapter - just use an ordinary USB keyboard.
With a working USB keyboard connected, power up the tablet and start tapping the F1 key.
Tap it about once per second over and over until you go into the BIOS.
Refer to other posts in the forum for settings but here are a few "must have" settings
Once into the BIOS, tap the L key to load the defaults. These tablets have been sitting around with dead batteries so you could have corrupt data saved.
Set the time and date.
Section H - miscellaneous Config
Summary screen - Enabled
Summary timeout - 3000 (3 seconds - more if you like)
This summary will display devices at boot up time - you can turn it off later if you want
press ESCape to go back to the main menu
Section O - boot order
1 - USB CD ROM (tap ENTER to cycle through options)
2 - USB Hard Drive or Flash
3 - Hard drive (this is the 1gb flash)
4 - None
5 - None
*****NOTE*** you may also have the option of HARDDRIVE2 - this is the 1.8" drive.
The BIOS will automatically switch to the other drive if the selected drive is not installed.
This will create many issues - always select the drive that is installed and bootable
Press ESCape to return to the main level
press X to save the settings and reboot the tablet
**********BIOS NOTE *************
If you don’t have HARDDRIVE2 as an option then you have an old BIOS and you should flash the BIOS to a later version
If you have a USB flash drive or CD ready to boot, this will boot off those devices so you can run GHOST.
Once you have an image saved, let's reboot and go into XP Embedded and make changes.
For those unfamiliar with XPe, think of XP running off a CD ROM. You can make changes but when you reboot, it always comes back to the originally saved settings.
XPe allows you to have a quick power off with no damage to your programs - like a GPS navigation device going off when you turn off the car ignition.
Think what would happen if that loss of power happens with XP Pro - sometimes it's OK - usually not.
This is one of the advantages to XPe. Read more about XPe on the web.
Let's move on to changing the Administrator password and other OS configuration issues.
You must have a USB keyboard and USB mouse connected AND WORKING.
You usually can not use a USB to PS2 adapter - just use an ordinary USB keyboard and mouse.
Once you have started XPe and it’s finished loading,
Click START and RUN and then type in DTUTIL and hit enter.
Click on the "EWF Disable" button
Click on the "Reboot" button
This will allow for changes to be made to the OS. With EWF Enabled, it's like running in read-only mode since no changes are saved (with a few exceptions for you purists).
With EWF Disabled it like normal XP Pro
Now that you have rebooted, we'll change the administrator password to a blank.
Right click on My Computer (based on your theme, it will be on your desktop or in the start menu)
click on Local Users and Groups
then on the right side double-click on Users
then right-click on administrator
choose set password
a warning will be displayed due to the sledgehammer approach to changing the password
then leave the password fields blank (you can change the password later but a blank is best for what we need to do now)
reboot the computer
When the login screen comes up the auto logon will fail because the auto password is not blank. Sign in with a blank password.
If the auto logon worked then you didn't follow the directions - start over.
Once you can sign in with a blank password then we need to disable the auto logon with password.
Click START and RUN and then type in DTUTIL and hit enter.
remove the check from the Logon Automatically at Startup.
We can re-enable auto logon later.
Now you have administrator access with a blank password. You can also make changes that will be saved since EWF is disabled.
This is a good spot to uninstall unneeded programs and to copy drivers that you'll need if you reinstall XP Pro (MicroXP, webdt_XP_Lite or any of the many "lite" XP versions)
Changes that should be done.
These tablets have the 'Button Agent' software which is acceptable (with limitations) but should be replaced by the Button Manager service.
If you MUST use the BA, change to 1024x768 - it doesn't work correctly on 800x600.
I would recommend this procedure to return the BA to default settings:
(if you have button manager service, skip this)
Change to 1024x768 screen resolution
Right click the blue button agent icon in the taskbar near the clock.
choose Close Button Agent
make sure the icon is gone
Click START and RUN then type REGEDIT and hit enter
be careful in Regedit......
you'll see BTNAgent under that - delete BTNAgent
change to 1024x768 resolution if you are not already there
Click on START then RUN and type BTNAGENT and hit enter
the button agent will restart with the default settings and now you can double click the blue BTNAgent icon to go into the change mode.
You click the button marker over the actual button and then click an item off the menu. That command will execute when you press the button. The defaults are setup like this:
1,2,3 are for anything you want
4 is the DTOSK keyboard (you could change it to the Microsoft keyboard if you like it better)
5 is the security key used for XP Tablet Edition for logging in (sends ALT-CTRL-DEL in XPe)
6 will rotate the screen from landscape to portrait and back
(must make settings in the Penmount utility for the touch screen- see below)
if you use your tablet as an e-reader then the portrait view is great!
7 will start the System Utility that shows battery condition, allows change to the volume and screen brightness, turn wifi and/or bluetooth on or off - etc...
Pen Mount changes:
Click the PM on the taskbar and choose control panel
select the TOOLS tab, turn ON advanced calibration and right button emulation
select the SETTING tab, click Back to Default - make sure check is ON for Automatic Rotation Detection
don't bother to calibrate unless you have a stylus - I'm sure you didn't get one from the EBAY surplus seller.
Click on OK to save the setting and exit the config utility.
Use a non-metal object like a plastic pen top or use a stylus. Move around to see the cursor follow the stylus, press button 6 to rotate the screen and see that the cursor follows the stylus.
If it does not work - check your settings. Reboot and try again. Sometimes you have to uninstall and reinstall the penmount software - usually it works fine if you followed the instructions.
XP Embedded SP2 does not have internal support for all the latest encryption modes - like WPA2
If you have no encryption or use old encryption like WEP on your network then you'll be fine with the built-in support
If you need all the latest encryption, use the latest software that matches your card.
Almost all of these had the Intel 2915abg card - go to the Intel website and get the latest version of software
(uninstall the current version - don't install on top of old drivers)
You might have an Atheros card – same thing with using the manufacturer software for all encryption modes.
If you have XPe SP3 then you can use the built in Windows zero config since SP3 has all the encryption modes.
I can reflash your DT310 with a factory fresh image THAT MATCHES YOUR LICENSE STICKER. If your original tablet was shipped with XPeSP2 then you get XPeSP2 – no upgrades available unless you upgrade your storage device.
You must ship me your tablet and pay for return shipping. Sorry, US ONLY.
I can not send you the software.
Most questions answered for free.