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OK, it looks like these things have a keyboard problem. Or to be more specific, a problem with the keyboard ribbon connection. My SAM102 suddenly developed a problem where some ...
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  1. #11
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    keyboard problem with Zotac SAM102


    OK, it looks like these things have a keyboard problem. Or to be more specific, a problem with the keyboard ribbon connection.

    My SAM102 suddenly developed a problem where some of the keys didn't work. From my experience, this is caused by a bad or dirty connection of the keyboard ribbon. Fixing this requires removing the keyboard, so that you can access the ribbon and the connector.

    I have removed the keyboard from several laptops, and my Eee PC 900, so I consider myself somewhat experienced in this.

    Well this unit is different!

    The keyboard is glued down with some type of two-sided tape. I ended up having to pry it up (gently). It didn't matter how gently I did it, because the ribbon is also glued down. When I pried up the keyboard, the ribbon stuck to the base. This caused the ribbon to tear, and now I am f*cked!

    OK, I couldn't find a replacement keyboard for this. Yet I already bought a bunch of accessories for it. I can't return it 'cause I damaged it. (it works fine with an external USB keyboard) I thought long and hard on this, and I decided to buy a second SAM102. I have replaced the screen on both my laptop and Eee PC, and that is usually $100. So I will have a "spare" netbook that I can use for parts. How's that for logic?

    The new unit arrived today. Can you believe it, it has a keyboard problem too! The connection for the ribbon is very poor. I was able to remove this keyboard and reinstall the ribbon, and it now works fine. But the ribbon keeps falling out!

    I may just try and return this, I don't know yet. I surely am disappointed as I have a Zotac ION motherboard that I love.

    For anyone reading this with the same problem. To remove the keyboard, after pushing in the pins at the bottom, flip the unit over and remove the hard drive and then gently pry up from the underside. I used a putty knife and worked it between the ribbon and the base. Make sure that you loosen the ribbon from the base. You can use a heat gun or hair dryer to warm the glue. You must separate the ribbon from the base, or it will tear when you attempt to remove it. Then you will have a piece of junk, like I have.
    Last edited by waterhead; 12-25-2009 at 12:02 AM.
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  2. #12
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    i just bought windows xp and need to put it on here but when i put all the files onto a usb drive and then boot up the computer using usb hdd, it just says "no bootable partition in the table". what can i do to get this working??

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by smoyle View Post
    i just bought windows xp and need to put it on here but when i put all the files onto a usb drive and then boot up the computer using usb hdd, it just says "no bootable partition in the table". what can i do to get this working??
    Since this is a Linux forums, my answer is this:

    Install Linux!
    Please do not send Private Messages to me with requests for help. I will not reply.

  4. #14
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    I too recently purchased the Zotac SAM102. I found the link to this thread on the Zotac forum, thanks for the helpful info waterhead. I am curious if you kept the SAM102 and if so did you complete any other upgrades? I also graduated from the school of "because I can" and without a doubt am going into overkill with this build, but using parts from dead laptops except the BroadCom which I have on order. I am running Ubuntu Netbook Remix, considering a dual boot with WinXP at a later date, once the BroadCom HD decoder on order arrives, 320gig 7200rpm HDD, 2gigs Crucial PC6400. Would like to swap out the original wireless with a Gigabyte AirCruiser and add the 3rd antenna. However, I am feeling a bit apprehensive after reading about the keyboard issue and prefer to proceed with caution in hopes of avoiding any possibly known issues. Any further info you have is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  5. #15
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    Hi, and welcome to LinuxForums!

    I guess that I should have updated this. I was meaning to.

    The keyboard problem have been resolved, for now. I returned the second netbook to NewEgg, hoping that they would give me a refund. I really wanted to purchase an Asus1201N, but they would only replace the Zotac with a new one. So I did the only thing I could, and got a RMA from NewEgg. Afterwards, I found out that there was a piece of plastic preventing the keyboard ribbon from locking in. When I moved the plastic out of the way, the ribbon locked in firmly.

    Since I was sending the unit back anyway I swapped keyboards, putting in the damaged one. I know, I should be ashamed of myself.

    The new netbook doesn't have a keyboard problem, yet. I put the CrystalHD card in that one, which didn't require taking the whole unit apart. The only application currently supporting the CrystalHD card is XBMC, and you must use the developmental version from the SVN repositories.
    Please do not send Private Messages to me with requests for help. I will not reply.

  6. #16
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    I have also installed a Broadband Wireless card (WWAN) in the open slot of my other SAM 102. I purchased a used Verizon Sierra Wireless card off of eBay. I did have trouble with the card that I got, but only in Windows. It works perfectly in Linux.

    There are no antennas for Broadband Wireless in the Zotac SAM 102, so you will have to install them. This requires completely disassembling the unit. This includes removing the LCD panel, as the antennas are mounted underneath it. I don't believe that the existing WLAN antennas will work properly for Broadband Wireless. I ended up using these antennas:

    WWAN 3G Antenna MC8775 MC8781 F3507G GTM378 Dell 5530 - eBay (item 220538798161 end time Feb-01-10 03:51:15 PST)

    They are slightly too long, but I was able to coil the excess behind the LCD panel. That seller seems to not be presently active on eBay, but his site says that he will be back after the Chinese new year.

    Some Wireless Broadband cards or providers require a SIM card. The SAM 102 has a slot for a SIM card under the battery. But there is no SIM card holder there. I checked the mainboard when I had it apart, and there are contacts present to solder in a SIM card holder. I purchased two of these for my netbooks:

    DIY Sim Slot Adapter for Acer Aspire One Asus EEEPC 901 - eBay (item 220482942357 end time Feb-16-10 07:34:13 PST)

    I had already re-assembled my netbook by the time they arrived. My Verizon card doesn't need a SIM card, and I really don't want to take it apart again! If I ever have it apart again, I will install the SIM card holder. I will then report on how that goes.

    For the WLAN card that you want to use, you could use one of these for the third antenna connection:
    3G-WWAN-antenna

    3G-WWAN-antenna

    Let me know how that goes, I may be interested. Post a link to the card that you use, too.

    EDIT: I found an actual third antenna for the wireless card, but it looks like it requires disassembling the unit to install it.

    Laptop Internal Aerial Antenna U.Fl plug connector -Electrically Isolated -easy installation no need to open the Base or LCD OxfordTEC.com
    Last edited by waterhead; 02-11-2010 at 09:57 PM.
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  7. #17
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    Thanks for replying so quickly. Very helpful information once again.

    I will be using the Gigabyte AirCruiser N300 and antenna (may require minor modification) pulled from a dead Sony board. Imagine I will also have to coil the antenna as it will be a bit long. The AzureWave mini pci-e that came with the netbook is rated for 802.11b/g/n, but had connections for only two antenna and the signal strength left much to be desired. The Gigabyte card has excellent signal strength running with the 2 stock antenna. The aerial antenna from OxfordTEC could be a very nice alternative, thanks for the link.

    Appreciate the heads up on the limited support for the BroadCom HD. I'll do a follow up when we get everything lined out.

  8. #18
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    just wondering here why you would need a broadband wireless card when the computer came with a wifi connection then? and i put in a 1 gig ram with a 160 gig sata hard drive. also i will be putting onto it windows xp since i already have it laying around. how did you put on your installation disk? did you just put the files on a usb and plug it into the notebook?

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by housefull View Post
    just wondering here why you would need a broadband wireless card when the computer came with a wifi connection then? and i put in a 1 gig ram with a 160 gig sata hard drive. also i will be putting onto it windows xp since i already have it laying around. how did you put on your installation disk? did you just put the files on a usb and plug it into the notebook?
    All of your questions have all ready been addressed in this thread. Please read through it! Wireless broadband is not the same as WiFi. Wireless broadband uses cell phone technology to connect to the internet.
    Please do not send Private Messages to me with requests for help. I will not reply.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by housefull View Post
    just wondering here why you would need a broadband wireless card when the computer came with a wifi connection then? and i put in a 1 gig ram with a 160 gig sata hard drive. also i will be putting onto it windows xp since i already have it laying around. how did you put on your installation disk? did you just put the files on a usb and plug it into the notebook?

    I researched how to install XP from USB and did so successfully. Since you want an easy answer, for Windows, in a Linux forum you should buy an external optical drive to install XP. Or you can try using a search engine to locate in depth documentation that is already easily available.

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