Hardware Other Windows

ARCHOS Cesium 80 — support?!

Well, it’s that time again. I got something to blargh about.

Keeping it short and to the point: I recently bought a shiny new Archos Cesium 80 tablet with Windows 8.1. All very nice, being able to run w32 apps without any problem. But there’s one bottleneck: it only has 16GB of available disk space. Which is not much, but it should be plenty until you break it down:

Partition 0: Operating system and files – 9GB used; after updates ~10GB (without removing the default additional language packs like Russian and Spanish)
Partition 1: Recovery — 4GB
Partition 2: just the usual bootstuffs — 100MB

So that leaves us with very little workspace. I decided to remove the language packs (by ‘adding’ them and removing them, basically) and to delete the recovery partition. Which I shouldn’t have done: the EFI/GPT scheme doesn’t allow that for some reason, so you get a BSOD 0xc0000225 and no recovery options ofcourse. So I decided after inserting a recovery USB stick with EFI and trying to fix stuff with bcdboot and diskpart (which did not work at all; strangely enough, ‘no operating system’ etc.), and plenty of other methods. Not only that, the touch screen did not work by default in the non-Archos Windows 8.1, so I had to attach a USB hub and a keyboard.

After trying several thousand things, I decided to install Windows 8.1 Pro. And yet again, to my surprise, no drivers anywhere to be found on the entire net. I e-mailed Archos, they just skipped reading and said ‘we do not support this OS’ and that was that.
Terribly enough, no support at all — not even a recovery image or anything like that. So I took a twisted turn, I decided to make a deal with a webshop and ‘buy’ a new tablet: the same one. The plan: get a recovery image and extract all the drivers.

So I did just that. And it works. Here is the recovery image for Windows 8.1 with Bing for Archos C80:
Here are all the drivers (working in Windows 8.1 x86 and Windows 8.1 Pro x86):

And that’s all I got, and here are some interesting links:
Full recovery image(use Win32 Disk Imager to write this to a 16+GB USB stick or network-disk):

NOTICE: This image is only for use on the Archos 80 Cesium tablet. —
Trying this on a laptop or other type of tablet will cause unwanted results and might corrupt your partition table and EFI-stored Windows serial number if it does not correspond with the type and model if you do a forced install.
After installing this image, you can also upgrade to Windows 10 Home after installing all Windows updates and connecting an external USB stick once again for the installation files (see the Windows 10 Upgrade application (GWX) for more  information)

Drivers (7z):


The Apple and the Ampere

A few days ago, I got a hold on a cheap generic Android ‘gaming’ tablet made by TomTec. I got it without a charger  and it is sold for around 100$ and features Android 4.0. The problem with this tablet is that it requires a minimum of  2.1A to charge, without even using it. I have a 1.0A charger, but I noticed that it didn’t charge. It didn’t even charge for 1%.

I searched on Google for this problem, and I noticed that the Apple iPad requires 2.0A to charge while powered on, or else you will get a “Not Charging” warning in the top-right of the screen. But this problem was different. A cheaper tablet, serving Android on it’s dish, and a manual without power specifications. The only thing that hinted me in the manual was ‘Only use the included 2.1A charger’ that it would require 2.1A. Which is above all USB standards: the USB 2.0 specification has a maximum of 500mA, and 3.0 has 1.0A. Apple surely does introduce much hassle and confusion in this project.

The thing is: Last Saturday, I bought a charger with 2.1A of power from ICIDU. It works perfectly, exept for one thing: it didn’t charge. I though the battery was dead, but when I screwed the case open, it wasn’t the battery nor the PCB itself. The MicroUSB was not soldered correctly (the last pin was broken) and while the tablet said it was ‘charging’, it was actually pulling power from the Data pins.

I’m still working on this one, it is a tiny pin, and I soldered it while burning my zoom vision glasses. At the time of writing, it is charging, so stay tuned.

Edit: It works fantastic, even my blog works on it ;).