Apr 15, 2021

Thin Client: devonIT TC2D

 


I picked up a DevonIT TC2D "Zero Client" device for about $5.00 on eBay. It came new in the box (or appeared new) with a power adapter, instructions, and a DVI/VGA adapter. Let's look at some specs:

CPU - VIA Eden 1 GHz

GPU -VIA VX855

RJ45 (Wired Ethernet) -Realtek 8110SC

Sound -Azalia HDA Controller (VT1708s)

Storage -1GB DOM (2.5-inch IDE riser connector)

RAM - 1xDDR2 SODIMM 

USB Ports -4x USB 2.0 (2 on back, 2 on front)

Video Ports - DVI Connector 

Power Requirements - 12V, 3A AC Adapter 

Other Ports -PS/2 Keyboard connector on back, Kensington slot on back

BIOS: Phoenix AwardBIOS

OS: DeTOS 7.1.1 20120508

Notes: HDD Auto Detection, Provisions for IDE Slave Device, Set Boot Priority, Boot from USB, Azalia Disable Feature, USB Settings (KB/Mouse can be set to USB), Power Management Options.

OPERATING SYSTEMS:

 DeTOS 7.1.1 (05082012) (1GB RAM, 1GB DOM) - The unit came with DeTOS 7.1 installed. I did a complete post on my experiences with it: HERE 

Briefly, DeTOS brings you to desktop with very limited options: Control Panel or Reboot/Shutdown. The Control Panel allows for some basic configuration and includes Firefox Aurora browser.

ZeroClient (1GB RAM, 1GB DOM) -  Selecting this option during setup reboots the system to a simple login page. Note: After trying to revert back to DeTOS, system boots to blank desktop.*

DOS 6.22 (1GB RAM, 2GB DOM) - Installed from bootable USB floppy. PC Speaker only since the audio is HD. I tried various TSRs, but none worked for sound. Games like Doom and Duke3d run very nicely! I was able to run VESA800x600 Duke3d smoothly.

WFW 3.11 (1GB RAM, 2GB DOM) - Installs fine, but has weird screen issues upon boot. Changing the driver to VGA Version 3.0 helps get into the system. PC Speaker only since HD audio is HD. I tried to use HDADRV9J, but I never heard sounds.

Windows 95 - (2GB RAM, 16GB DOM) - Booted from DOS USB. Copied setup files for Win95. Ran setup. After first reboot, had to edit the system.ini file [386enh] with MaxPhysPage=3B000 due to 2GB ram. Windows installed Active Desktop (blech!) which I promptly removed. Tried to install various Chrome9 Drivers, but none worked. Could not find network drivers. Sound would not work either, since it is HD audio.

Windows 98SE (2GB RAM, 16GB DOM) - Copied Win98 install files to Win95 DOM above. Booted Win95 to Command Prompt only. DELTREE c:\Windows then started Win98 setup. After first boot, fix the memory error by adding the MaxPhysPage=3B000 to system.ini (Safe Mode Command Prompt). I found Realtek "universal" drivers for the LAN Card (HERE). Go to Device Manager and on the General tab, use the "Reinstall Driver" option then find the INF file. I also installed "LANLights" to display network connectivity in the system tray. I tried to install Win98 USB drivers, but the system locked up and reported no mouse connected upon reboot. I reinstalled Win98 on top of the currently installed OS. I used the "Generic PCI to USB Host Controller" driver from Windows and USB started working. I installed VBEM VGA drivers to help with display resolution and color depth.

Windows XP w/SP3 (2GB RAM, 16GB DOM) - Booted from USB installation (made from XP ISO and Rufus 3.x). Installation went normal, though VERY slow in places. After setup, three devices were missing. The drivers for these can be found HERE.

Windows 7 (2GB RAM, 16GB DOM) - Booted from USB installation (made from Win 7 ISO and Rufus 3.x). Had to clear the partitioning. Installation started. SLOW process. Win 7 detected all but the video card. Had roughly 6GB free upon first boot. I tried several different ways to install the VX855 driver for Windows 7, but each time it told me that the software was "not compatible with this version of Windows), even though it was asking for 32-bit Windows 7 in the error. Weird. I found VX900 C9-HD IGP drivers that worked! I had to go to the VGA adapter in Device Manager and force it to update the driver from a folder I chose. It wasn't happy about the driver, but let me install it anyway and after reboot, resolution was set to 1440x900 (matching the monitor I was attached to). Nice! I did run into an issue with DOS games in that these video drivers would not allow the system to switch to full screen mode. Here is a link to an article about how to fix that (basically, revert back to the generic vga drivers).

Windows 8.1

Windows 10


*Feb 25 2021: I ran into issues with the system itself after switching over to the "ThinOS" option. I reached out to Clientron in Japan and was sent a link to a reflash utility. I ran the utility, installing the flash software onto a usb drive. After booting the device from the drive, I followed the prompts to reinstall the software onto the original DOM. I recommend NOT having a mouse plugged in. My system screen was filled with connects/disconnects coming from the USB mouse which didn't seem to affect the install process, but made following along difficult. After it finished, the system rebooted. I was greeted with the DevonIT boot screen and then the screen went blank for a bit. I tapped an arrow key and was met with the OS selection screen as above!