Wyse Z90D7: Firmware 





On power-up the DEL key takes you into the BIOS. If you're prompted for a password the old Wyse password of Fireport still works on these modern thin clients.

The Wyse Z90D7 BIOS identifies itself as Phoenix SecureCore Tiano Setup

My unit was running version 1.0F dated 04/11/2011.


The Boot Tab listed:

  1. USB HDD
  3. DATA 0: 4GB ATA Flash Disk
  4. PXE LAN: Realtek PXE B04 D00
  5. SATA 1:
  6. USB: FDC

Any pendrives you have plugged in will appear under the USB HDD entry. I did note that there is another entry under the Advanced tab which read Boot from USB which could be set to Enabled or Disabled. Something to bear in mind if you find you can't boot from USB.

You can also bring up a one-time boot menu without fiddling with the BIOS settings:

  • Plug in the USB key to the Z90D7.
  • Press the power button to power it on.
  • Press and hold the P key on the keyboard.

This brings up the Boot Menu. In my case it showed:

  1. USB HDD SanDisk Cruzer Blade
  2. SATA 0:4GB ATA Flash Disk
  3. PXE LAN:Realtek PXE B04 D00

The cursor up and cursor down keys let you pick what you want to boot.

The Tab key switches you between the Boot menu and the App menu. In my case there is just one entry in the App menu - Setup - which is the standard BIOS Setup utility.

System Firmware

The Z90D7 is running Windows 7 Embedded.

BIOS Supervisor Password

An acquisition in February 2022 turned out to have an unknown BIOS password set. When trying to get into the BIOS I was presented with:

Password/Unlock Key [ ] Unlock Key Hint Number 6A64C4F6

I subsequently discovered that this prompt is what you end up with after three (or was four?) wrong attempts at the password. At that point you get:

System Locked  1B3C3F0A

The "Hint Number" in the subsequent password prompts indicates that there is a recovery mechanism. For those unfamiliar with it herewith a brief explanation.

What most systems store is a hash of the password. A hash function is a one-way function that takes potentially an input of any size and 'mangles' it to produce a fixed size output. A decent hash function is not reversible (given the output you can't run things backwards to find the input) and should have a minimum number of collisions (the output values are spread reasonably equally across all the possibilities).

To deal with the case of forgotten passwords laptop BIOSs and the like present an error code which is actually the stored hash value that they are looking for. (See the Wyse Xn0L for an example). Then, if you know the hash algorithm used, you can carry out an exhaustive search to find a string of characters that gives you the same hash value and hence an be used as a password to get in. With modern computers and a 16-bit hash value this can take just a few seconds or tens of seconds.

A brief session with Google showed that there were potentially online solutions but there was nothing downloadable that you could use for free. The web sites would provide you with an unlock code after payment. It was also not clear whether any of them would work on a Wyse Thin Client as, naturally, they were focussed on the much larger laptop market. I also found a suggestion elsewhere that in the Z90D7 case you might have to use the unit's Serial Number as part of the recovery process. Most (all?) sites were just asking for the displayed on-screen error number.

Note: This recovery mechanism is necessary for laptops as they store the password hash in some onboard flash memory in a way that is generally unique to the laptop and/or manufacturer.

First Recovery Attempt

The first thing to try in situations like this is to clear the CMOS (NVRAM). With the Z90D7 this can be done by using the link on CN8 near the backup battery.

On powering up it looked like this had made no difference as the prompt was still the same:

Password/Unlock Key [ ] Unlock Key Hint Number 6A64C4F6

However it turned out the default password of Fireport now worked. I wonder why they added the 'Unlock Key' approach when it isn't really necessary?

BIOS Settings & Updates

I recently installed a larger SSD with the intention of using the Z90D7 as a development machine and ran into a few problems which made me think about updating the BIOS - my Z90D7 was running with BIOS 1.0F dated 04/18/2011. A quick Google found me this link where the author recommended an immediate upgrade to Version 3.0E.

One problem I found, having installed Tiny Core on an SSD connected to the SATA port, was that it wouldn't boot. This turned out to be the SATA Mode setting in the BIOS. This can be set to either IDE or AHCI. The latter would be the preferred mode and I obviously had changed it at some point. However I found with the mode set to AHCI the Z90D7 would not boot anything from the SATA port - neither the original firmware on the 4GB flash drive nor Tiny Core from a 16GB SSD. Set it to IDE and then both the original flash drive and the new SSD work fine. Later on, having updated the BIOS to version 2.0C, I found that Tiny Core would boot quite happily with the SATA mode set to AHCI.

I find updating the firmware on Wyse systems can be a bit of a hassle as you have to track down a suitable version of of the USB Firmware Update tool - often not an easy task. Anyway my first attempt to upgrade to BIOS 3.0E failed with an error message along the lines of a 'security key' mismatch and a refusal to carry out the update. An article in the Wyse Knowledge Base provides an explanation:

This issue is the result of a manufacturing change done to the Z and Xm series of thin clients for both Windows Embedded Standard and Windows Embedded Standard 7 operating systems. When Upgrading any of these devices (Z90SW, Z90SW, Z90S7, Z90D7, X90MW and X90M7) from any firmware version below build 830, you will need to install the "2nd Generation Compatibility Kit" before re-imaging the thin client in order to re-image them.

I downloaded the compatibility kit (which advanced the BIOS to 2.0) and waded through the release notes and upgrade path. It's all documented under the Updating Tab.

As always things are not helped by Wyse continually changing their USB Firmware Imaging tool along the way and not making available the early versions for download.

[July 2019] With the switch to the new Dell support site the "2nd generation compatibility kit" download has vanished along with the article in the Dell Knowledge Base.

FYI Below is a README that came as part of the 2nd Generation Upgrade Kit.

Read Me First
Important Product Notice

Thank you for purchasing the Wyse Z class desktop and XM class mobile products with AMD T56N 1.65GHZ Dual Core or T52R 1.5GHZ Single Core 2nd Gen Processors.

These new thin clients have been enhanced using the latest technology. Customers with older versions of these products can upgrade to BIOS version 2.0C or later which is compatible with either AMD's 1st Gen or 2nd Gen Processors.

Models affected are as follows:

Model ID:ProductIDOldNew
Xn0M-Dual CoreX00M909599‐xxL909699‐xxL
Model ID:ProductID  
Zx0- Single CoreZ50S909588‐xxL,909589‐xxL909688‐xxL,909689‐xxL
Model ID:ProductID  
Zx0- Dual CoreZ00D909592‐xxL,909593‐xxL909692‐xxL,909693‐xxL
Model ID:ProductID  
Zx0DE -Dual Core Extended chassisZ00DE909610‐xxL909710‐xxL


Please contact your Reseller or Wyse Technical Support for custom versions of the embedded operating system. An incorrect upgrade path will render the product unusable and subsequently require the Product to be returned for servicing.


Any comments? email me. Added August 2016    Last update February 2022