What does Windows 7 run on?


In Thursday’s blog post on Windows 7 release dates, I asked if you’d had a chance to run the Beta or Release Candidate version on one of your older machines yet – and I received a welcome deluge of emails from people who had.

It would take me ages to give you all of the scientific details of configurations, so instead I’ve gone for a ready reckoner table of the responses.

Thanks to the EduGeek community too, as they have continued to provide more examples of kit they’ve tried it on. The emerging view is that whilst it will install on 512MB RAM, it is slower than XP on older kit, but when you move to 1GB RAM it’s faster.
You can read more on the EduGeek Windows 7 forum

I haven’t yet received a single email from somebody who has failed to get Windows 7 running on one of their computers, which I think is probably even more significant than the detail in the list below! (See the bottom for my own inglorious failure!)

So, for your delight and delectation…

Fabulous successes

Manufacturer Laptop Basic Spec Notes
Acer Aspire One 16GB SSD disk Alex Billing has been running this since Beta release
Acer Travelmate C110 1GHz Centrino 1.5GB RAM Everything was fine, but needed new graphics driver
Apple MacBookPro 2GB RAM, 32GB disk Grumbledook (aka Tony) had this working with the Beta and the RC – see the comments for more
Apple MacMini 1GB RAM Grumbledook again – this time a little trickier, and reported as quite slow and needing quite a few driver tweaks.
Asus Eee PC 1000H 1GB RAM, 80GB Disk Ceri had this running Win 7 at BETT
Dell Mini 9 1GB RAM, 16GB SSD disk Reported as “faster than XP SP3”! And this was on the Beta
Dell Mini 12 1GB RAM, 1.6Ghz Atom Chris reported “it works great, noticeably faster than the install of Vista that came with it”
Dell Optiplex 745 Desktop Ceri Morriss has been running it for a while on his desktop, and also runs well on 755
Dell Studio 15 4GB RAM Chris pointed out that this worked perfectly (I’d hope so too, with a greedy 4GB of RAM!)
Elonex Webbook 1GB RAM, 80GB Disk Ceri had this running Win 7 at BETT
Ergo Microlite 512MB RAM & 1.4GHz proc Ben said “It's a bit slow with the 512 especially when swapping to disk but general performance seems better than XP”
HiGrade Notino L100 1GB RAM, 80GB Disk Ceri had this running Win 7 at BETT
HP Tablet 2710p 2GB RAM Chris Rothwell reported it as “snappy”!
HP MiniNote 2GB RAM Alex Pearce says this one is fine too
HP Compaq 6735s 2GB RAM Rob reported that it needed a driver installing for HP DriveGuard 3D*, but apart from that everything else worked straight away.
* Thanks Rob, for telling me that I'd read "3D" and assuming it was a graphics card. Double thanks for telling me in an email, rather than shaming me publically
Lenovo T61p 2GB RAM, 160GB Disk Working well as on laptop used every day
Lenovo X61 2GB RAM, 100GB Disk My every day laptop - Better performance than Vista
RM One 512MB RAM Teky says it’s slow with 512MB RAM
Samsung R40 1GB RAM, 80GB Disk My demo laptop - Simple install and didn’t require any additional drivers later.
Samsung NC10 1GB is okay,
2GB is better
Alex Pearce reports he’s “very happy” on this!
Matt recommend getting 2GB
And the Cookie Monster said that the best bit is waking from Sleep in 3 seconds
Sony Viao 1GB RAM, 1GHz processor Leighton didn’t have the model number for this (his wife’s!) but he reckoned it was at least 5 years old. He did have to download the Vista drivers for wireless and sound, but apart from that, it was easy.
Toshiba NB100   Ceri had this running Win 7 at BETT
Toshiba Portege M400 2GB RAM Leighton Searle reported this was a straightforward install
Toshiba Satellite Pro A10 1GB RAM and 2 GHz Celeron Alex Billing at Wilsthorpe College says “…but the one that impressed me is the 8 year old Toshiba Satellite..which runs very smoothly, I think even better than it runs XP”
Zeem1 from EduGeek reported it runs well on just 512MB RAM “unless I try and do too many things at once”!
Toshiba Tecra M700   Accura2000 reported “Everything works and the touch screen has better support than in Vista”
Viglen Dossier NS   This is a very old computer – DrPerceptron from EduGeek reported “I could NEVER get it to run XP SP2/3 properly – and it works faultlessly…doesn’t run Aero, but then I didn’t expect it to work at all”

Also, take a look at the Windows Club forum, where somebody has Windows 7 running on an old P2 processor (266MHz) and 96MB RAM - which is definitely NOT in my list of "recommended things to do". And PC World are reporting "Windows 7 hits a new low" - the 'new low' is lower specification hardware.

Glorious failures…

Manufacturer Laptop Basic Spec Notes
Asus Eee PC 900 1GB RAM, 12GB Disk This was one of the very early EeePCs, so not a surprise!
I tried and failed, because the 12GB storage was on two physical drives– one was 4GB and the other was 8GB. And Windows 7 needed more than 8GB to install.
However, I read an article over the weekend that gave me some hints, and I’m going to have another bash, just to be able to say “Yes, it works!”

Comments (7)

  1. Personally I have also had it running on Apple MacBookPro (mid-2007) with 2GB RAM (and then 4GB RAM) on a 32GB partition with no problem, both Beta and RC. Drivers were a pain under Beta and worked better as an upgrade rather than a clean install but RC just worked fine.

    I have tried it on a Mac Mini (Late-2006) with 1GB Ram and it is slow, drivers under the RC were more difficult and did require re-installing a few times (especially audio).

    It will run on a Dell Mini 9 too as long as you have a large enough drive for it.

  2. speverett says:

    Had it running on a Dell Mini 9 with the Beta (clean install – 1.6Ghz proc, 1GB RAM, 16GB Solid State HD.  Seemed faster than XP Home SP3 and was happy running Office 2007, Project 2007, Visio etc.  No problems with drivers.  Not tried the RC yet on it.

    We’re installing on new Dell Optiplex machines at the moment and once these are OK, we’ll be looking at the older Dell machines in the college (Optiplex 170L and Latitude D520 will be the oldest running machines).

  3. Ray Fleming says:

    Thanks for the comments so far – I will add them to the table above when I’ve got a few moments free.

    (This week I seem to spend more time on London buses than anything else!)


  4. mlporter says:

    32 Bit runs great on my White Macbook.  64 Bit on the other hand, is a bit more tricky, as after attempting to boot from CD, and start the installer, it says "Select Boot Device, 1. 2." and does nothing, no matter what you do.  Apparently, this can be overcome, by changing something in the ISO file, but I haven’t had the time or need to do so.

  5. Dominic says:

    A Samsung NC20 with 1GB, I have ordered a 2GB module though because I’m using my netbook the way I use a PC and find it quickly runs out of memory.  Although today, travelling on the train and working mostly in either a browser, outlook or word on single tasks it has been fabulous.  I was even listening to music all the way on media player.  So now I’m wondering if I really do need that extra GB…..sure I’ll use it though.

    One thing for the NC20 – it’s got a 12 inch screen and aero looks fabulous.

  6. ramtej says:

    i have a dell latitude 131l with 40gb inbuilt hard disk and 1gb ram,currently i am using windows xp,is it possible to install and run smoothly if i install windows 7 please reply

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