Windows 7 installed on a Pentium II-based PC

By on June 21, 2009, 10:15 AM
From the moment I heard Microsoft would be licensing Windows 7 to netbook manufacturers, I questioned just how paltry of a hardware setup the OS would run on. Granted, netbooks are nifty devices which have their niche. But between Intelís Atom CPU and the lack of graphics processing power, the pint-sized package isnít what Iíd imagine to be ideal for Windows 7. As it turns out, my curiosity is far from unique.

Impressively, a member of the Windows Club forum who goes by the handle of ďhackerman1Ē has gotten Windows 7 to boot on some pretty ancient machines. At the top of the configurations, he installed it on a system packing a 266MHz Pentium II, 128MB of RAM and a 4MB graphics card. After succeeding, he decreased the RAM capacity to 96MB, which also handled 7. His experiment came to a temporary halt after dropping the RAM to 64MB. Hackermanís fun wonít end there, though. He plans to try and get Windows 7 up and running on a 166MHz Pentium I and 1MB graphics card next.


There is no mention of install or boot times for the Pentium II system, but other forum members have provided the information for a Pentium III PC. They say it took the antique system 17 hours to install Microsoftís latest OS, and a patience-shattering 17 minutes to boot.




User Comments: 30

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Guest said:

I installed Win 7 RC on a Pentium III 850 MHz notebook with 512 MB RAM and 100 MHz FSB in slightly less than 1 hour and it works exceptionally well. There were a couple of hardware with missing drivers. The network card, the sound card, and an unidentified card. I fed Win XP drivers for the missing ones and they are accepted.

Regards

BlindObject said:

Oh boy! Is this a XP killer? (Vista is already dead btw lol)

Badfinger said:

Why upgrade at all?

The only reason I see for me, is if games I want to play, go Direct X 11 only.

hellokitty[hk] hellokitty[hk], I'm a TechSpot Evangelist, said:

Impressive patience, how much do they pay you xD.

Guest said:

Solve the whole Vista, XP, 7, etc. issue by getting a Mac. Best salesman for the Mac OS is Microsoft itself. MSFT is a dinosaur.

czplayer czplayer said:

Microsoft rules. No, that is not a joke, they own the world and they wipe their asses with money after crapping all over mac. Gotta love em

Guest said:

I have MSFT stock, so I hope Windows 7 succeeds. But Vista is such a mess that Microsoft should be ashamed of itself. Would have been better not to have offered that POS at all considering Vista's problems. All Microsoft did was damage its reputation and turn people toward Macs which still have a tiny market share by comparison........but the Mac's share is GROWING.

Microsoft reminds me of IBM in the 1970s and '80s: Everybody HAD to own IBM even though it was has-been, poor performer. Microsoft is like that now.

yukka, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Spent the weekend running Warhammer Age of Reckoning on Windows 7 RC inside Bootcamp on a 2Ghz Core 2 Duo white macbook with 4GB of Ram.

Considering its running at 1280*800 on integrated graphics, It runs very nicely thanks very much. As far as dropping Windows for Mac? Could do as I can easily run all the Windows Apps inside OSX using Parallels or VMware fusion. Then again if I could run Mac apps in Windows, why would I ever buy a Mac..

Gets me wondering who is out of order, since I am not forced to buy overpriced hardware to get Windows 7 to run but Apple wont let me run their OS on anything except their flashy "stylish" overpriced hardware.

Guest said:

That's because Apple is primarily a HARDWARE company more than a software company like Microsoft. Also, could be that having the hardware and the OS made by the same company creates a smoother experience for the user.

If Apple sold its OS to run in cheap hardware, it would compete directly with Microsoft and surely expand the use of the Mac OS, but the company's profits would fall because it needs income from its hardware. It was take years, if ever, to penetrate MSFT's OS domination now.

Was a mistake for Apple not to license its OS a couple of decades ago--if so, it might have the OS market share that Microsoft has now..........and the wealth that MSFT has, too.

Staff
Rick Rick, TechSpot Staff, said:

since I am not forced to buy overpriced hardware to get Windows 7 to run but Apple wont let me run their OS on anything except their flashy "stylish" overpriced hardware.
The hardware really isn't *that* overpriced. With concern to price, the problem is Apple doesn't have a *value* line of computers and they DO gouge on the higher-end systems... But considering what you get with most of lower to midrange Apple computers, the price is actually pretty fair.

For example, look for anything that resembles an aluminum PC laptop under an inch thick with a slot loading DVD-RW, LED lit keys, dedicated video with a C2D... nevermind the kind of U.S warranty service and support that Apple offers... You'll see $1000 is pretty reasonable.

Quantex_rox Quantex_rox said:

Apple is not a primarily hardware company, they only make the mainboards and cases for their computers, which even most of that is outsourced to intel or foxconn.

The parts used in apple are of the same manufacturers of pc's, AcBel power supplies, seagate/WD hard drives, Nvidia and intel graphics cards, intel processors, micron ram (a.k.a crucial) sony and phillips cd/dvd/BR drives. They just overprice their computers, arguing that they are better looking, more functional, make from better parts, etc...

I can tell you, there are a lot better motherboard manufacturers for pc's than intel or foxconn, Asus's are very good, Supermicros, GIgabytes, etc... Hard drive are the same, power supplies, well, AcBel are not all that good. Any PC power and cooling, Corsair, Delta, Antec, etc... is much better.

They're the same hardware, just overpriced.

Staff
Rick Rick, TechSpot Staff, said:

Apple is not a primarily hardware company, they only make the mainboards and cases for their computers

Well, don't forget about iPods, iPhones etc... They are also in the portable electronics business.

Also, would you not consider Dell, HP and such to be a hardware company? I ask because they do the exact same thing. Apple isn't a global manufacturing conglomerate like Samsung, Fujitsu and Sony... But that doesn't really make them less of a 'hardware' company, IMO.

I can tell you, there are a lot better motherboard manufacturers for pc's than intel or foxconn, Asus's are very good, Supermicros, GIgabytes, etc...

Your source? I don't want anectodtal evidence either, I want real data that shows Asus, Supermicro and Gigabytes are 'very good'. For extra credit, I'd like statistics that prove Intel and Foxconn make crappy boards.

AcBel are not all that good. Any PC power and cooling, Corsair, Delta, Antec, etc... is much better.
Again, more sources? Do you have statistics that show higher AcBel failure rates or something? Do you have proof that companies like Antec make a "better" PSU? Do Antec PSUs deliver more consistent voltage than AcBel PSUs? Do they have higher MTBFs? Are all Delta PSUs made with higher quality caps than AcBels? Maybe they have more features for less money? -- If you have any of that information, I'd love to see it.

Your point that Apple uses commodity hardware is valid, but these broad, sweeping judgments that "X Brand is better than Y brand" is part of a brand-preference group-think culture that's bad for your health.

I guess my point is: Don't believe others so easily, don't prejudge brands based on a small sample of personal experiences and don't spread said information unless you have meaningful facts.

viperpfl said:

After reading this, was thinking about installing Windows 7 on my old Pentium III Dell laptop. I just bought one of the newer Acer netbooks yesterday. Came with 2 gigs ram, 250 gig hard drive, and a 11.6" screen. I decided to replace Vista with Windows 7 and what a difference it made. Was even able to use Vista drivers with Windows 7 without any issues. I am hoping the battery efficiency on the netbook will be better with Windows 7.

skitzo_zac skitzo_zac, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I only came here to comment and say that I loved that the computer was called Dinosaur!

But I also love the fact that anything can be turned into a MS vs Apple argument.

Staff
Rick Rick, TechSpot Staff, said:

Glad to hear Windows 7 runs nicely on your netbook.

After reading this, was thinking about installing Windows 7 on my old Pentium III Dell laptop. I just bought one of the newer Acer netbooks yesterday. Came with 2 gigs ram, 250 gig hard drive, and a 11.6" screen. I decided to replace Vista with Windows 7 and what a difference it made. Was even able to use Vista drivers with Windows 7 without any issues. I am hoping the battery efficiency on the netbook will be better with Windows 7.

Awesome. :-)

I think the shame here is the 'maximum requirements' MS has set for Windows 7 on Netbooks. Sure, you can buy any version of Win7 you want and install it, but the "special price" OEMs get wouldn't apply to your 'Netbook' -- It has too much RAM and too large of a screen.

MS really needs to lighten up these restrictions so OEMs can ship decent Netbooks at better prices.

Guest said:

cool!

I'm starting windows Vista on pentium 1 computer, 100 Mhz and slow.

screenshot:

http://www.retro-pc.net/docs/vp1/p0.jpg

and video:

http://www.gbu.ho.ua/temp/vista/vista133.flv

I think windows 7 starting on this motherboard too, but i'm don't try this.

LinkedKube LinkedKube, TechSpot Project Baby, said:

I'm sorry, but you can get the same hardware from their 1000 macbook in a cheaper notebook around 600ish, give or take a 100 depend on what company you go with.

LinkedKube LinkedKube, TechSpot Project Baby, said:

Actually there are huge differences in some of the power supplies he mentioned, I think just about anyone here could almost agree that The general design of most power supplies are similar, but most of the psu's he named above do have more quality put in, especially psu's from pc P and C, some Antec series, and even Delta. I'll argue that you get charged a premium price for crap parts( comparatively speaking to what you can get if you knew enough to build yourself.) Come on now, foxconn and intel has an argument here of being compared to Asus, Gigabyte, and similar companies? Not a chance in hell with cold ice water in a blizzard. Yes you cant see a difference in most low end systems from all companies, but you get what you pay for...except when you buy a pc from apple. I bet they make around 30-40% profit on each sale.

LinkedKube LinkedKube, TechSpot Project Baby, said:

I'm sorry, I said pc and apple in the same sentence. Anywho

Win 7 being installed on this old machine is a great thing. I'm hoping I can get a cheap upgrade since I paid 350 for vista ultimate.

yukka, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Here is the bottom line imo.

Apple don't sell as many Macs as they would like to. They therefore put a premium on the cost as they need to make money. The components arent any better than parts that can be bought separately but you pay the apple premium

They then offer upgrades like Snow Leopard for 29 dollars and people ignore they paid extra for the hardware they are running the software on.

I would like to see apple allow OSX to be run on non-apple machines. Ill bet that it will run really well on a standard desktop but Apple won't let it happen. They won't make enough money without selling the hardware at a premium plus I think they would have problems making it compatible with the same range of hardware that Microsoft users take for granted.

HaMsTeYr HaMsTeYr said:

Well, part of making their OS exclusive to only their hardware is also part of their marketing. As said, i don't think they can really survive that well if their OS ran on every computer.

As far as my opinion on macs go, i do say that they're a fad machine more than anything :X I've used macs before and i find them just alright, but their prices don't justify most of their performance.

Taking simple comparison purchasing a apple notebook of same specs as compared to maybe a asus notebook or some other brand for that matter of the same specs, you're likely to fork out 2 if not 3 times more where i come from.

I'd have to side with Quantex_rox with his statement as well regarding better boards and better PSUs because well, they do exist and those brands stated ARE better than intel boards and whatever PSUs and it has been proven via statistics. Anyone who has gone and look at reviews around the web with statistics can see this really.

But sometimes its not just extra performance but what comes with the board as well, like how in general Asus boards and Gigabyte boards or eVGA so on so forth have better overclocking capabilities than the stock intel boards. As he said as well not many of the non enthusiast end may notice these things, but for people who spend time tinkering with their machine, or try pushing it to its maximum potential, you'll find that there is a difference.

If its one thing though, its that Apple has one of the best marketing teams in the world. Its respectable but i still won't get their hardware :P

Technochicken Technochicken, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Hmm, maybe I should install this on my 1 ghz pentium III, 256 mb of ram laptop

yukka, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I want to see some benchmarks! What is the 3dMArk 2000 score for these

tengeta tengeta said:

Crap, Apple charges a premium because people don't buy ENOUGH of their overpriced machines?

Watch out, under that theory Opera will start charging you for bandwidth that passes through their browser... don't tell them I said that.

OUTLAWXXX said:

L O L

Computer Name: DINOSAUR

Damn right ^^

Guest said:

Interesting, but must have been slow:)

I installed Windows Vista on a K6-2, 500Mhz with 256MB RAM, the boot took about 5 minutes, took hours to install, but until Vista worked more or less, of course, after I installed off a lot of services.

Technochicken Technochicken, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Crap, Apple charges a premium because people don't buy ENOUGH of their overpriced machines?

Watch out, under that theory Opera will start charging you for bandwidth that passes through their browser... don't tell them I said that.

The difference is a Opera is open source. I'm pretty sure Apple is not...

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

Opera isn't open source.

Guest said:

I still have a Thinkpad 300 with 160MB RAM and 20GB HDD. Maybe I will also try to install W7 if I can start the screen (that and it's batteries were the problems that made me stop using it).

Guest said:

Haha thats great that it was installed on such an old machine, it's just the processor taking a while to process all the info, thats all.

And for you Apple fanboys, why do you post here? why can't you post in the apple forums or something, jeez. I still have no reason to switch to an Apple Macintosh, which I know has great hardware, and warranty, don't get me wrong, but I just don't care for Macintosh Operating System X (yet) as I have been unable to use it enough to get into it.

The only way i'd ever get into Macintosh OS would be to have it ported to common personal computers, rather than just Mac personal computer hardware. It isn't that I won't switch, I just don't want to pay a premium for the hardware, and the warranty or support, as I can fix my own computer just fine. That is why i'll stick with custom that I build myself, and run Windows and Linux on.

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