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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger
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    Just for giggles I've been trying to install Windows 7 on old decrepid systems and always failed...until now. VIA has thier old 4 in 1 Hyperion drivers good up through Vista and I was able to force those on 7, get the network card going and connected and now I'm posting from a circa 2000, 800mhz (upgraded from the original 400 or 450 mhz) slot P3 processor and 512 megabytes of RAM. The old TI4200 video card had crapped out so I replaced it with a smokin' X1600 Radeon which got me close enough (2.9) to force Aero to complete the package.

    So has anyone gotten an even older hunk of junk with less power to work with Windows 7?

    Oh boy, I'm cookin' with mollasses now! I can watch YouTube video at about 3-5 frames a second, stay several letters ahead of the display as I type, all kinds of amazing stuff! The poor little processor is mostly pegged during this type of strenuous activity.

    Serously though, its not horribly slow, just slow and I can watch say DVD-quality video locally, no problem, as long as I'm not doing anything else like posting to a forum!

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I would probably use a older machine like this to load a version of Linux. I decided to get rid of it on my laptop, but would consider playing with it on this old timer. Have not attempted anything like this here.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
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  3. #3
    5 Star Lounger
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    I tried UBUNTU on this system but it was too old for the normal version once it progressed beyond 6 or 7. As LINUX has progressed more into user-freindly territory it has also had to elevate the resource minimum specs. I'm sure one of the old more command-line oriented versions would work just fine though...It also doesn't give me the giggles.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Not older, but I do have Windows 7 running quite nicely on a Dell Latitude D800 (early 2003).

    Pentium M 1.6 GHz, 2GB RAM, NVidia GeForce Go5650 128MB. I had to Vista-ize an XP driver for the graphics card, and my User Experience rating is only 1.0 (no Aero), but it boots and runs Windows 7 a bit faster than it runs XP (I'm dual booting XP on the laptop).

    It runs well enough that I still use it quite frequently. I can't watch YouTube, but I can watch a DVD without any problems.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    You guys are a hoot! I bet you could get Windows 7 running on a turnip!

    Byron, Puppy Linux would probably run on that puppy. Have you thought about dual booting?
    Deadeye81

    "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." Sir Winston Churchill

  6. #6
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    I have Windows 7 running on an old (2002) Shuttle SK41G XPC. It's got a single-core 32-bit AMD Athlon (I don't recall its speed, but something just over 1 GHz), and 512MB of RAM. It's slow, but usable in a pinch.

    I'd like to put W7 on a Compaq Presario 1800 laptop from 2001. It's got a 900-MHz CPU, but maxes out at 320MB of RAM. I found that the Windows 7 installer won't proceed with the installation if it detects less than 512MB of installed RAM. Darn.

  7. #7
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    I figured as much as far as minimum RAM goes. But if one could get it installed with 512 then one could start taking RAM away to see if it would still run but I don't see much point in that because the idea is to have at least a somewhat functional system, not find out where it freezes for a minute on a wordpad document or something.

    Who knew the old cheap disdainfully regarded VIA chipsets would be a vector for trying this out on old old equipment? I don't know of any other sort of generic chipset driver that can be used in this way over such a wide range of boards.

    I also have a system similar to bbearen's (Athlon 1.67) that runs it just fine, though XP is snappier than Win7 (also the case on the 800 mhz P3 by a significant margin). If I were to draw a sinusoid, the 800 mhz would be maybe halfway up the steep part while the 1.67 would be well over the steep part, maybe halfway between the steepest and the peak. The fastest OS I have though is a WindowsME on a 500 mhz P3 with 192 megabytes of RAM. Of course if I tried running any modern programs on that system it would not respond nearly as well as XP or Win 7 would to loading.

  8. #8
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    If you have older hardware, see if you can get Windows 7 Basic, which lacks the Aero Effects and other hardware-intensive features, running. This won't be a full-blown Windows 7 user experience, but it may work. I recall Randall Kennedy (at the time) of Infoworld.com reported about a year ago running Win-7 Basic RC on a netbook with only 512 MB of RAM. With 1GB RAM, even Home Premium could be run, with some limitations.

    But seriously, folks, is $399 too much to pay for a laptop which will run Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit comfortably? Or $299 for a desktop? Maybe even cheaper at some times in in some places.

    Recycle the old (being careful about your hard drive being destroyed or wiped) and upgrade for a better Windows 7 experience.
    -- Bob Primak --

  9. #9
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Primak View Post
    But seriously, folks, is $399 too much to pay for a laptop which will run Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit comfortably? Or $299 for a desktop? Maybe even cheaper at some times in in some places.

    Recycle the old (being careful about your hard drive being destroyed or wiped) and upgrade for a better Windows 7 experience.
    You're missing the point here, Bob. We are recycling in a fun and challenging way. I think we're having great Windows 7 experiences in seeing just what we can accomplish with Windows 7 under these challenging conditions and hardware limitations.

    My son has a new Windows 7 Lenovo, my daughter has a new Windows 7 HP laptop, and I have two Windows 7 desktops, one of which dual-boots XP.

    But I really enjoyed the challenge of getting Windows 7 Ultimate to run (quite nicely, too) on my Latitude D800. There's no Aero, and my User Experience is 1.0, but that's not the point. It does what I want it to do, and it runs Windows 7 as well as if not better than Windows XP Pro.

    And I'm dual-booting XP Pro on the D800.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

  10. #10
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Byron Tarbox View Post
    I also have a system similar to bbearen's (Athlon 1.67) that runs it just fine, though XP is snappier than Win7
    That Windows 7 is a bit snappier than XP on my D800 probably is a result of the Pentium M and those long, long pipelines in the architecture.

    I've got an old Socket 7 Via motherboard (somewhere; I'll have to find it) with an AMD K6-III 450 MHz CPU that used to run Windows 2000 Pro quite well with 512 MB RAM. I'm thinking about putting a box together to see if it can grunt its way into Windows 7.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

  11. #11
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Primak View Post
    If you have older hardware, see if you can get Windows 7 Basic, which lacks the Aero Effects and other hardware-intensive features, running. This won't be a full-blown Windows 7 user experience, but it may work. I recall Randall Kennedy (at the time) of Infoworld.com reported about a year ago running Win-7 Basic RC on a netbook with only 512 MB of RAM. With 1GB RAM, even Home Premium could be run, with some limitations.
    Hi Bob,

    Are you referring to Windows 7 Starter edition? It is my understanding that Windows 7 Basic is not for sale in developed nations, but only in emerging markets around the world. Windows 7 Basic probably has more features than the Starter edition, but probably would run well on old hardware too.

    Starter edition should run great on gray haired computers.
    Deadeye81

    "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." Sir Winston Churchill

  12. #12
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    All of these experimenters, and not one of them admits to even having tried ReadyBoost? Surely someone might have a modern, ReadyBoost-capable bit of hardware to plug into the machine and give it a whirl.

    Yes, I have an old machine as well, and it (with 8 GB flash) appears to benefit. Since it works like SuperFetch, it has to go through a learning process in order to have the right goods available for your most-used applications, including, for example, booting the computer. If you already have the hardware, I suggest you give it a try - the hardware is conveniently reusable and available at any time to re-allocate (losing what it has learned in the process, of course). You may find it will reduce your boot time, for example, and I think we would all be interested to hear if it works at all.

  13. #13
    5 Star Lounger
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    In either Basic or Starter there is no Aero glass right? Or maybe it can be reg-hacked with a good enough GPU? A large part of the experience for me is to get Aero working because that sort of breathes new life into the oldster. Otherwise it kind of looks like its still on life-support and I can get a pretty close faximile and more varied UI experience with something like Windowblinds on XP.

    And with any newer mobo, first thing I want to know is if I can get the XP drivers for it because I get more CPU time on average per application, which is an important consideration for processor intensive applications. In other words I personally get my work done faster on XP systems.

    So how's that for contrarian bi-polarism? I want Win 7 running on all my old single core processor systems and whatever on the intermeadiate, and definitely XP on the quads and one triple I have. Those old good video cards I invested in once apon a time get some extra mileage that way too.

  14. #14
    5 Star Lounger
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    Hadn't thought of Readyboost. Need USB 2.0 or a header for a card reader or something for that? I have a PCI USB 2.0 card if that would work.

  15. #15
    WS Lounge VIP Browni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peterg View Post
    All of these experimenters, and not one of them admits to even having tried ReadyBoost? Surely someone might have a modern, ReadyBoost-capable bit of hardware to plug into the machine and give it a whirl.

    Yes, I have an old machine as well, and it (with 8 GB flash) appears to benefit. Since it works like SuperFetch, it has to go through a learning process in order to have the right goods available for your most-used applications, including, for example, booting the computer. If you already have the hardware, I suggest you give it a try - the hardware is conveniently reusable and available at any time to re-allocate (losing what it has learned in the process, of course). You may find it will reduce your boot time, for example, and I think we would all be interested to hear if it works at all.
    Many thanks for reminding me of this often forgotten feature of Windows.

    I too have a seriously under powered PC (in theory) to run Windows 7 x64/Office 2010 x64 but it performs admirably doing what I want it to do!

    The PC specs are an AMD64 3200+ processor (2ghz clock speed) with 1GB RAM running of a rather nice Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB drive but I have now added a 4GB Sandisk flash drive dedicated as Readyboost memory so will be interested to see if there is any performance improvement.

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