DIY Firmware Upgrade For BENQ Z-Series


For XL2720Z monitors, firmware Version 2 or later is required for Blur Busters Strobe Utility.

NOTE: These steps are only necessary for Version 1 of XL2720Z

A) Either get a new BENQ XL2420Z or XL2720Z with V2+ Firmware preinstalled;
B) Or send into BENQ for free upgrade. See BENQ America press release for info;
C) Or install via Linux with no hardware tools, see forum thread;
D) Or manually install the V2 Firmware yourself from Windows, by following the instructions below.

Deciding if the upgrade worth it? Check out “…it’s like a totally new screen!“.

DIY Firmware Upgrade Instructions:

  1. Download Firmware from gaming.benq.com/downloads
    EDIT: BenQ has removed the firmwares. However, you can now download Version 5 via SkyDrive
  2. You need to purchase an MSTAR ISP upgrader (easy) or build your own (advanced). The easy unit connects to the computer via USB, and connects to the monitor via VGA.
    mstar-isp
  3. Open the .RAR File you downloaded from BENQ. (Use 7-Zip to open .RAR files)
    Next, Unzip (copy) the .BIN file inside the .RAR, to a temporary folder on your system.
    benq-firmware-rar
  4. Download the firmware installer software: MSTAR ISP SOFTWARE v45082.zip
    download-40
  5. Unzip the MSTAR ISP SOFTWARE file. There will be drivers, and the installer tool.
    mstar-software-zip
  6. First, connect a USB cable into the MSTAR ISP device, and plug it into your PC.
    Next, connect a VGA cable into the MSTAR ISP device (use the VGA port as pictured below), and plug the other end of the VGA cable into your BENQ Z-Series monitor.
    mstar-cable-connection
    NOTE: You may continue to keep your monitor connected to your PC via DVI or DP cable. It is safe to continue using the same monitor you will be upgrading.
  7. If you are manually prompted for the location of drivers, point it to the drivers within the folder that you unzipped in step 5.
  8. Now run ISP_Tool.exe inside the MSTAR_ISP_TOOL folder:
    explorer-isp-tool
  9. You should see this screen appear:
    mstar-startup
  10. First, click the “Auto” button.
    Then disable the “Reconnect” checkbox.
    Then click the “Connect” button.
    isp-utility-step1+2+3
  11. If your monitor is successfully detected, you should get a “Device Type” dialog popup:
    mstar-device-type
    NOTE: If you do not get this message, go into your monitor’s service menu and then change “DVI HPD” to “On”. Next, try installing via a DVI cable instead of via VGA. 
  12. Click toolbar “Read” button at the top, then click file folder “Read” button.
    Select the firmware .BIN file that you downloaded and unzipped (in Step 3).isp-utility-step4+5
  13. Click toolbar “Auto” button, and then click “Run” button:
    isp-utility-step6+7
  14. Within a few minutes, your firmware should finish installing, with a green “PASS”.
    Your BENQ Z-Series monitor will automatically reset itself, show a purple BENQ splash screen for a few seconds, and then finish powering up.isp-utility-step8
  15. If your upgrade went successfully, your monitor will begin flashing solid colors in a burn-in test. To turn this off, turn off this mode by press the ENTER button and then RIGHT button on your Z-Series monitor to turn off burn-in mode.
  16. OPTIONAL: If you want to do an additional verification that the firmware installed successfully, you may access the service menu of your BENQ Z-Series, to confirm. When finished, power cycle your monitor (off-on) to allow Strobe Utility to work.
  17. Download and run Blur Busters Strobe Utility.
    You should see “Supported Monitor Found” at the bottom-right corner of the window.
  18. Post your success reports and feedback in the Blur Busters Forums!

Additional Notes:
– Some units of MSTAR ISP that you purchase online, may also include a CD containing the firmware installer software (ISP Utility).
– If your monitor doesn’t appear to have upgraded (still says V001 instead of V002 in service menu, and Strobe Utility still says Old Firmware), repeat the Firmware upgrade while the Z-Series monitor is in Standby mode (off). This will require using a different display, while upgrading the BENQ Z-Series.
– Reports have been received that certain heuristic scanners (Webroot Security) is flagging the DLL file that came with MSTAR ISP, while Avast is happy with it. This appears to occur with both the download software, and the software included on CD.

Questions? Discuss at Blur Busters Forums: BENQ Blur Reduction.

For Those Who Have Not Purchased Monitor Yet

You can buy a BENQ monitor with new firmware preinstalled, so you don’t need to do the above complex steps. Most other online stores are still selling V1 firmware. To get immediate easy compatibility with Blur Busters Strobe Utility, you can get BENQ XL2411Z, XL2420Z or XL2720Z with firmware already guaranteed pre-installed:

get-xl2420z-v2    get-xl2420z-v2    get-xl2720z-v2

32 comments on “DIY Firmware Upgrade For BENQ Z-Series

  1. PanzerIV says:

    Why is it required to use some sort of third party PCB to upgrade the firmware while usualy you never need anything special for upgrading the one of any hardware such as (Mouse, Keyboard, Dvd Burner, Router, etc) and even the bios of a motherboard. It’s totaly unacceptable that such device cost like 42$USD… mostly since it’s gonna be used only once. At least I have a great news, the only not-overpriced model which is the XL2411Z will be exclusively shipping out with V2 as it’s gonna be available to North America early to mid April 2014 according to this BenQ representative as seen at the link below 🙂

    http://uppix.net/1pBfzv.jpg

    • Chief Blur Buster says:

      Good information about the XL2411Z!

      Originally, these monitors were never intended to be user-upgraded. So the steps are a bit more involved than the usual firmware upgrade. A very special exception was made to release Version 2 firmware in these extenuating circumstances. We’ve tried our best to simplify the upgrade process with this step by step, for those who don’t want to ship monitors back to BENQ for free upgrade.

      • osny says:

        Hello Chief Blur Buster!

        I bought MPstar and realized that the connection used for updating is VGA. My motherboard does not have VGA, only DP, DVI and HDMI. Can I upgrade over the DVI-d connection?

        Monitor is XL2720z

  2. kaban says:

    i’ve got xl2411z (just today) so is it possible to do update another way (without using and buing upgrader)? That will be hard for me becouse i’m from poland…? I have to wait or there is any way to do that? I’m asking cuz i’m not sure that I understood your post well 😉 Thank you and respect for your job! 🙂

  3. B3N4 says:

    I just get my XL2411Z, and it have V1.
    Chief when I look on this post I see that there is MSTAR driver for win 7.
    Im using win 8, and want to known if there will be problem whit upgrading whit same driver which you post?

  4. kaban says:

    I’ve just got upgrader (made by myself). I did it becouse i know someone will have somewhere pc with LPT slot. My pc doesn’t get that. But i need to ask that is it any way to connect my monitor with this upgrader any other way than just to pc. Maybe any other switcher? Do you have any idea or i have to just to look for someone with old pc and lpt slot?

    • Chief Blur Buster says:

      For those building the parallel port ISP unit:
      — The parallel port upgrader also works from old laptops containing a parallel port.
      — Some motherboards still have headers for parallel printer port connectivity (not all newer ones), so if your motherboard manual says it does, you may just need to get an parallel port motherboard connector.
      — It _might_ also work with a good-quality USB-to-parallel adaptor (one that operates all lines properly). No guarantee. However, a native hardware parallel port works best (even if it’s a PCI parallel port card).
      — Borrowing an old computer may be easiest. It doesn’t matter what GPU the old computer has, as you only need that computer temporarily for upgrading the monitor.

  5. kaban says:

    Hello. I’ve got parrarel port but now when i try to open mstar isp it shows error that i dont have “ftd2xx.dll” I have win7 x64. Can u tell me what to do with that now?

    • kaban says:

      Sorry for replying myself, but now I have another problem… Now ftd2xx.dll error not showing, but when I opening isp_tool i’m getting error “cannot install driver for your system! your print port will not work” And it isn’t work :p What i have to do? I can’t find any driver for parallel on win7 x64… and my multifunction device doesn’t show that it is installed

  6. BoB-Xygene says:

    Hello, i just bought an XL2720Z in France and i got a firmware version 1.
    The blur-reduction feature was buggy an i wished not to RMA the monitor for just a flash operation.
    Then i built the DIY Parallel-to-vga linked above and i flashed it to V2 on the first run, thanks a lot!
    My remarks :
    – The flashing program only works in 32 bit Operating System, there are 64bit drivers but no 64 bit program…
    – When the monitor is flashed and restarts i goes to burn-in mode and to exit you have to press Menu AND Exit at the same time!!!
    – If the flash program finds the monitor once and the loses it, press the Disconnect button and press Connect.

    I’m gonna try to uploads pictures of it in the forum http://forums.blurbusters.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=437&start=80

  7. cadave says:

    Bob-Xygene thanks for that post! I built a DIY parallel upgrader but had a lot of trouble getting it to work and identifying . Your pictures answered a lot. Now Im flashed with 2.0! I was shaking the whole time is was uploading… THANKS BLURBUSTERS! All these resources were so valuable, and the strobe utility works fantastic.

  8. Soccer-tk says:

    Hey guys,

    first of all i want to say thank you for these informations and work here.
    I got a little Problem with my BenQ XL2411Z.
    I built a DIY parallel upgrader and flashed my monitor successfully, i thought so. There was the green “Pass” information and screen turned off and on, but no burn-in test and its still on Firmare 001. What did i do wrong?
    Sry for my bad english, i’m from germany :).

    Thanks a lot.

  9. nikolaichukov says:

    Hello on Everyone
    Mr Chief Blur Buster
    Can you help me about my monitor Benq XL2420Z
    I bought this monitor before 1 week and i have problem with my Profiles.
    I can save any profiles any Game Mode etc…
    How can i fix it … i try 5 days to make my profile to make my settings but everytime when i restart my computer the shits start again with Brightness 100 Low blue light and Blur reduction and Resolution…

    And one more question : How can i see my FIRMWARE version.Im from Bulgaria and i buy my monitor 19.09.2014.
    Please Help me about This profiles and firmware.I pay for my monitor 700LV or (350euro)

  10. victoracbarbosa says:

    Hello blur busters, please someone help me.
    I live in brazil and just bought a benq xl2420z. Im initially trying to intsall the firmware, but without sucess. I downloaded the mstar software, and when i open it it appears:
    “Cannot install driver to your system! Your print port will not work!”
    And then, in the #10 step, when i click to connect it appears: program files not ready.
    Someone help me please! thank you

  11. jweller says:

    Just bought the XL2720Z a couple weeks ago after reading a good review on tomshardware. I’m absolutely flabbergasted to learn that I have to buy a special piece of equipment and then go through a set of complex steps to merely upgrade my firmware. tomshardware should have revealed covered that in their review. I regret purchasing this monitor from BenQ and will not buy one from them again in the future.

  12. makkie says:

    hello, i have updated to firmware 2 with mstar isp tool, and benq service desk says its v2, but i still have blur and crosstalk etc, why? btw im using 144hz

  13. osny says:

    Hello guys!

    I bought Mstar ISP and realized that the connection used for updating is VGA. My motherboard does not have VGA, only DP, DVI and HDMI. Can I upgrade over the DVI-d connection?

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