Findings on the Toughbook CF-31 Mark 3
We’ve recently been given the opportunity to purchase some end-of-life Toughbook CF-31s for a deal. They were wiped and cleanly installed with Windows 10, but didn’t have all the drivers available. With at least 12 drivers unavailable, no access to the GPS and no way to adjust the touch screen calibration, it was time to see what I could get running.
Being the hack that I am, I wanted to see what it would take to get my mark 3 all running from a clean windows 10 install (version 22H2) with all drivers resolved and hardware accessible from the OS. After a lot of trial and error, I believe I have done it.
Note that any Mark 5 and up versions can download a tool from Panasonic to create a recovery disk or USB thumb drive that will allow you to restore the toughbook close to it’s factory-shipped OS with all resolved drivers.
Identifying CF-31 Mark revision
The CF-31 toughbooks come in several mark revisions and each mark revision has several variations based on features included when initially sold. The model number on the bottom of the toughbook will determine the mark number, looking at the letters/numbers after the main model of CF-31. For example, I’ve seen several people get the mark 3’s with the specific model number of CF-31SBL1UFM which look to all include a WWAN card with GPS, a 56k dialup/fax modem, touchscreen, 120GB SSD and 8GB of dual-stick RAM. The revisions start with the Mark 1’s at CF-31A###### and the mark 3’s are labelled CF-31S######, CF-31U######, CF-31V######. I personally purchased a Mark 3 and a Mark 5, and a few other friends ended up with the same model Mark 3 and a Mark 4.
For more details on identifying your mark version, read this informative post from Tough Outlet: How to find the CF-31 Mark
Links for Toughbooks
Here’s some links I’ve found that helped in this process, including determining the hardware included in the laptops.
A refurbisher with some decent technical online data for the Toughbooks and their accessories. Link to the CF-31 information is here https://help.toughoutlet.com/category/116-panasonic-toughbook-cf-31
Direct link to the manuals can be found here
Panasonic Japan Drivers Download
The first stop for driver searches and hardware support applications. It’s very convoluted, but can track down a lot of drivers here https://pc-dl.panasonic.co.jp/dl/search?dc%5B%5D=002001&p1=117
Getting Features Working in Linux
Here’s a link from Bob Johnson’s Computer site, providing tips for getting brightness, audio and other features working properly for the CF-31 laptops. I’ve successfully used it to get Linux Mint running fine, so I suspect it should work for any debian-based linux distribution.
Bob Johnson’s Computer YouTube videos
Great collection of videos on hardware installs/replaces and operations. Also has an online repair shop like Tough Outlet with sales of refurbished toughbooks. Here’s the playlist for CF-31s from their channel.
Intel video drivers
Find the latest drivers for the integrated graphics from Intel here: https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/download/18606/intel-graphics-driver-for-windows-15-33.html
Sierra Wireless MC7700 Drivers
Here’s a link I’ve found to some drivers for the Sierra Wireless WWAN cards, but I’m unsure if they’re as viable. It also requires an account to be able to download anything.
Panasonic Apps for Hardware
The apps from Panasonic are available on the Microsoft Store or can be downloaded from the page here. Most are unnecessary, but GPS Viewer and PC Settings Utility can be handy.
Some prep work is needed for windows:
- Update windows
- Enable .NET 3.5 framework support, only needed for one app, but won’t install unless it’s already enabled.
- Press and release the
<Win>key and then type “turn windows features” and run the “Turn Windows Features On or Off” app
- Enable .NET Framework 3.5 and select <OK>.
- Follow the prompts (Select the “download” option) and let it finish installing .Net 3.5.
- Press and release the
I’ve hunted down the last revision of the drivers that were available from Panasonic and from the OEM if they had them available. Since these are end-of-life systems, support ended for the Mark 3’s back when Windows 8 was being released. The major benefit is there are a lot of apps and drivers from Windows 8 that still work under Windows 10. They’re available here from Panasonic
Core Driver Install
Install the following in order, most of the downloaded files when run will extract files to your
C:\util2\ folder (
c:\util2\drivers in some cases) for you to install manually. Inside the folder, there is usually a
Pinstall.bat file. Right click it and select “Run as Administrator” to run them properly. There will be a
log.txt file you can open the file in notepad to see if it installed fine. If it didn’t, there will be an “Error” in the
Also reboot between installations for these ones. They won’t register properly in the OS until they’re restarted.
Drivers to install, in order
- Dynamic Power Perf Mgmt Driver (located as item 14 here): Helps to resolve a few missing devices and needed for some other drivers
- Intel Management Engine Software (located here): Helps to resolve one missing device.
- Intel Video Driver Update Program (located as item 1 here): The latest from Panasonic for the CF31s, updated as of 2018. You can alternatively install the official latest from Intel here, last updated in 2020, if you’d prefer the latest and greatest drivers.
Other Drivers, install optional
These can be installed in any order, they’re mostly for either fixing functionality or resolving a missing driver.
- Touchscreen Driver (from Fujitsu, here) Direct from the manufacturer, the latest driver I could find that is compatible with the touch screen. Download the file, unzip it and run TPSetUp.exe with admin privileges. After installation, you can run the TouchPanel Settings located in “FCL USB TouchPanel” in the start menu apps list and run the calibration. Switch to the “Calibrate” tab, click on the “Calibrate” button and click on the 9 crosses with your stylus (important for accuracy) and save the settings. This will make touching the screen or using the stylus aligned with the screen.
- Wireless WAN Driver for MC7700 (AT&T) (located here) The only downloadable driver for the WWAN card I could find, I presume this means these cards are locked to Rogers in Canada. You need this to fix the “MC7700” unresolved drivers and to enable the GPS and access to setting up a cellular network connection in Windows 10. (SIM still needed, slot is below the HDMI port on the right side, not tested yet)
GPS settings are a virtual com port from the WWAN driver and can be found using the “GPS Viewer” app from Panasonic (found as item 9 on this page, you can sideload or follow the microsoft store link to install) and scan for the port. It will fail on COM3, but will find one on COM6 or COM7. You can specify any speed for the communications using the second port, but anything over 9600 baud really is overkill.
**note: There is a bug with these cards that doesn’t set the correct week with the GPS, so some time sync software may require a flag enabled to not update the date, only the time.
- Modem Driver (located here) (only if you have an RJ-11 phone jack on the side) Install this to get the modem working and resolve an unresolved driver. Unfortunately, it’s a soft modem so won’t work easily in linux machines. Supports dial-up and fax modes apparently.
- Bluetooth Stack Driver (located as item 13 here) Optional as bluetooth is functioning with Windows 10, but this driver opens up extra options and fixes some unresolved drivers. It also adds many virtual COM ports for legacy software interfaces requiring a serial COM port.
- Smart Card Driver (located here) driver for the older smart card interface port. Only really needed if you’re using the smart card interface or just want to clean up an unresolved driver.
- SD Driver (located here) completely optional as the SD card reader works without the driver, but helps to resolve a missing driver.
- Hotkey Driver with Apps (located here) Allows adjusting the fn modes (sticky, audible beeping, screen overlay of what they do) and resolves a missing driver. Completely optional.
- Common Components for Panasonic PC (x64) (located here) Optional install, adds some functionality for some legacy apps.
- Quick Boot Manager (located as item 5 here) optional, modifies BIOS settings to speed up booting (e.g.: no logo screen, fast mem scan, etc) or revert if applied.
- Wireless Switch Utility (located as item 10 here) optional, an app that lives in the taskbar for turning on and off the various radios directly (eg: bluetooth, WWAN, WLAN, etc)
So that’s all I’ve found so far, a big dump that hopefully can help get the mark 3 toughbooks all up-to-snuff.
Give me a shout if you notice any omissions, broken links, etc.