Windows 8 - The oldest hardware you've installed it on...

By on January 25, 2013 12:20:35 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

the_Monk

Join Date 01/2008
+212

 

So last night I decided to see if my old notebook from 2005 would be able to handle Windows 8 Pro.

 

With some minor issues I was able to get it installed and working quite well.

 

Hardware:

Dell Inspiron 6000

1.6Ghz Intel Pentium M centrino (533MHz FSB)

2 GB 533Mhz DDR2 RAM

15.4" WSXGA+ (1680x1050) display  -  I sooooo miss this res on newer notebooks........sigh!

128 MB ATI Mobility X300 video chip

160GB 5400rpm HD

1st gen NEC Dual Layer DVD burner

Intel Pro 2100 b/g WiFi

SigmaTel Audio Controller

 

INFO:

The interesting thing here is.  If my proc had been a Pentium M with the 400Mhz FSB it wouldn't have had PAE, NX and SSE2 and therefore Windows 8 would have failed to install.  The Pentium M in my notebook has a 533Mhz FSB however, so it had the needed instruction sets and Windows 8 installed smoothly.

Immediately after install however it became apparent (since I was viewing the Windows 8 start in a 640x480 box in the middle of the screen) that my video chip had not been recognized by Win8.  Checking around further in the device manager showed everything else had actually installed correctly aside from my Intel WiFi, and the SigmaTel audio chip was also not being recognized.

Since I tend to keep all of my driver packages archived for just such an occasion (yes I suffer from OCD......somewhat! ) I dug up the old DELL drivers for my display, WiFi and audio.  I knew my best bet would be to unpack the files but cancel the auto-install and rather manually point the "update driver" dialog to the correct files.  That method worked fine for both the video (thank god for that beautiful, beautiful 1680x1050 resolution!) and the WiFi network adapter (the wired network adapter had been properly installed by Windows 8 during the install).  The audio driver however did not want to properly function until I actually ran the unpacked installer in "compatibility mode".

With those minor issues out of the way, my Dell Inspiron 6000D from 2005 is happily chomping away on Windows 8 Pro.

 

Colour me impressed.........way to go MS, pretty painless in my books!

 

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January 25, 2013 4:36:33 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

On a 7 year old machine. I'd be impressed too. Hope you have tons of fun the_Monk

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January 25, 2013 12:01:04 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

 

Yeah, from a cold boot (ie. notebook off and pushing the power button) it gets to the login screen in under 20 seconds.      I don't think it even booted Windows 7 that fast.

 

Essentially, Windows 8 (just the OS itself) doesn't feel much slower on this notebook as compared to some of my 'power-rigs' running Win8.  That is indeed impressive.

 

 

 

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January 25, 2013 1:40:29 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Sitting at the desktop with taskmanager open there are 32 processes running (some like "send to onenote" were added by installing MS Office 2013 and will probably be disabled later on), 1-2% CPU utilization and 25% of RAM 'used' (0.5 GB).

Windows 8 is a lean beast....even without any 'tweaking' done.

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January 25, 2013 2:13:31 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting the_Monk,
Yeah, from a cold boot (ie. notebook off and pushing the power button) it gets to the login screen in under 20 seconds.      I don't think it even booted Windows 7 that fast.

The "boot" in W7 and W8 are rather different. In W8, your computer isn't really "off". It's just asleep. In fact probably hundreds of webpages have been written on how to turn it really "off". In any case, it's apples to oranges.

Fast Startup (aka: hybrid boot or hybrid Shutdown) is a new feature in Windows 8 to help your PC start up faster after shutting down.

When turned on, Windows 8 does this by using a hybrid shutdown (a partial hibernate) method that saves only the kernal session and device drivers (system information) to the hibernate (hiberfil.sys) file on disk instead of closing it when you shut down your PC.

This also makes the hiberfil.sys file to be much smaller than what hibernate would use (often 4GB or more). When you start your PC again, Windows 8 uses that saved system information to resume your system instead of having to do a cold boot to fully restart it. 

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2011/09/08/delivering-fast-boot-times-in-windows-8.aspx

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/05/22/designing-for-pcs-that-boot-faster-than-ever-before.aspx


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January 25, 2013 2:40:26 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Thanks Doc I do know that, I guess I should have been clearer in my statement.   " ....I don't think it even booted *my tweaked* windows 7 that fast" 

 

My point being, vanilla Win8 install = actually very fast even on older hardware without the need for tweaking.

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January 25, 2013 3:39:50 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Welcome, the_Monk.  I'm sure you did know that - I'd find it hard to believe you wouldn't know more than me about this stuff.

Yes it's faster, but not "really"... 8's boot isn't a cold boot - unless you disable the hybrid hibernation... and why anyone would do that escapes me. Tree hugging can only go so far before you bark your shins ( ) - crummy pun.

I think it's a great feature, Maybe the best one 8 has...and am unhappy 7 can't really be made to do that. Bothers the hell out of me that the "improvements" are accumulated and sold as wholly new OS's (which they aren't) instead of doing modular upgrades to existing OS's... but then, what would they sell? Their hardware is crap compared to others'.

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January 25, 2013 4:11:39 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting DrJBHL,

I think it's a great feature, Maybe the best one 8 has...and am unhappy 7 can't really be made to do that. Bothers the hell out of me that the "improvements" are accumulated and sold as wholly new OS's (which they aren't) instead of doing modular upgrades to existing OS's... but then, what would they sell? Their hardware is crap compared to others'.

While it is a great feature no doubt, I do think Win8 is packed with many such great features and certainly worth the $40 upgrade (I believe as ID has posted that upgrade pricing is in effect until the end of Jan 2013).

I have been running Win8 on my more powerful machines for some time now but I always like to take a newer OS (after I've had some time to play with it on newer hardware) and then install it on the oldest hardware I have.  I find this method underscores a few things for me especially how much more (if at all) efficient the newer OS has become, how good its built-in driver support may be etc. etc.

Another happy side-effect of doing this is that it actually highlights the real timesaving new features in any new OS and weeds out the 'chaff'.  Certainly all new OSes have some 'bells and whistles' which might not really be more efficient or particularly optimized so installing on older hardware just makes it apparent which 'features' might not be much more than 'resource-hogging-time-wasters' and not all that worthy of an upgrade.

For instance one feature I absolutely love is the 'snap-left/right' for app windows.  I find it akin to having the first scroll-wheel mouse (no going back for me now....hehe).  The windows button taking you back and forth (between the START screen and to your last app) is also used a lot by me in Win8.  I find the system-wide SEARCH you initiate just by starting to type something at the START screen a time-saver and once that search is up on your screen the 'filter options' to refine your search couldn't be easier to use.  The fact that much of the 'advanced' (and usually not needed extraneous OS items) are somewhat buried (while not being hard to get to) is fantastic and of course allows one to really focus on and make use of the 'live tiles' which I am in love with.  The SkyDrive integration is amazing (MS Office 2013 adds SkyDrive Pro which only builds on the already fantastic integration).  I could go on and on.......but then I'm sure you get the point!  I love Windows 8 and running it on older hardware just highlights for me why I love it! 

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January 26, 2013 4:30:24 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting DrJBHL,
I think it's a great feature, Maybe the best one 8 has...and am unhappy 7 can't really be made to do that. Bothers the hell out of me that the "improvements" are accumulated and sold as wholly new OS's (which they aren't) instead of doing modular upgrades to existing OS's... but then, what would they sell? Their hardware is crap compared to others'.

Log out*, then hibernate.

That's almost exactly what 8 does (see http://blogs.msdn.com/b/olivnie/archive/2012/12/14/windows-8-fast-boot.aspx)

Almost because I don't know whether anything before 8 runs a full hardware enumeration + driver initialization.

 

Since you're doing it manually anyway, you probably want to log out, log in again, wait for all autostarts to run and then hibernate - this deals a bit of memory (so more data in the hiberfil) for less time to a fully active desktop session.

Really nice, but AFAIK patented, would be an automation of a full reboot and then hibernate, or full reboot + autologon + hibernate.

 

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January 26, 2013 9:54:17 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I can't remember the age of my laptop but it has an intel duo 1.6gb, 4gb mem, and 64 bit OS. This little thing has been running Vista Ultimate 64 for a while and then last year I installed Win 8 developer. Lazy me fired up computer running Win 8 developer - complete with threats to restart every hour, purchased and downloaded Win 8 Pro (don't forget, sale ends the 31st) and installed. As promised the computer restarted in an hour and poor install freaked. When it came back up I ran the install again and after some thought it picked up where it left off. After getting past the restart script it happily finished and asked me to fill in the details.  All done, all running, I haven't found any errors yet but I'm sure I'll need drivers someplace. There is, however, something in the setup that will only allow me to download certain exe files. Perhaps that is IE, I'll be installing Firefox.

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January 27, 2013 12:36:03 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting LizMarr,
There is, however, something in the setup that will only allow me to download certain exe files. Perhaps that is IE, I'll be installing Firefox.

 

Are you talking about MS "SmartScreen"?  Just right-click on the 'blocked' .EXE and then left-click 'properties'.  You should see (at the bottom of the properties windows) an 'unblock' button.  Click that and you should be able to run the .exe in question.

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January 27, 2013 2:48:28 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I have a P4 1.6 with 1 gig ram running 7 Ult. 32bit. ...

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January 27, 2013 5:13:03 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Jafo,
I have a P4 1.6 with 1 gig ram running 7 Ult. 32bit. ...

 

Let me guess Jafo, you are also still using one of those 14.4Kbps modems for internet access?   hehe    

To be serious for a second, I swear the build quality on that old modem (I still have a US Robotics 14.4 in a box somewhere) is better than that on some of the current system motherboards.  "They don't build em like they used to"......comes to mind......

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January 27, 2013 11:30:14 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Can you purchase/download multiple licenses for Win8 before 1-31 (I'd buy 2-3)?  Would the only way to do that (buy but not install) be to buy the $70 DVD?  Does the downloaded OS version require you to install/activate it before 1-31?

I have a Dell Vostro 200 with a Core 2 CPU (4400 @ 2.00GHz) and 2GB of RAM - you think Win8 would run OK on that?

TIA

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February 2, 2013 3:09:50 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

 

So I'm sure most who are using Windows 8 know this already and there are a myriad of websites and videos on youtube out there showing Windows 8 tips and tricks.....

 

I just thought I'd share a few of my most-used keyboard shortcuts:

 

Windows key‌ +start typing = search your PC   (Windows key‌ +Q = opens search to search APPS, Windows key +F = opens search Files)

Windows key +TAB = cycle through open APPS excluding desktop programs  (Alt-TAB cycles everything open)

Windows key +I = opens the settings menu (charm on the right) which is contextual with regard to open APPS

Windows key +K = opens the devices menu (charm on the right) which is also contextual with regard to open APPS

Windows key +Z = opens the menu for in-APP options (ie. same as right-clicking at the top or bottom of the screen when inside an app)

Windows key +X = opens the 'quick link' menu where the START button used to be (same as right-clicking at the bottom left of the screen)

 

Here's the link to the MS website for a few more keyboard shortcuts if interested:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-CA/windows-8/new-keyboard-shortcuts#1TC=t1

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February 2, 2013 3:32:06 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

thats is the list i printed for my old man and stickyd it to a wall since he has the shortcuts in sight he likes windows8 
These keyboard shortcuts are missing in the tut that comes with windows8 and for me they represent the reason why windows8 has such a bad call.
I like that you installed it on old hardware and the fact that its running more than in acceptable performance on it.
Was it only the FSB that made it possible to install win8 in the first place since i dont have minimal specs here on my win8 wrappings about it have to go and google also have some old pcs that could use a little win8 magic LOL
 

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February 2, 2013 5:28:45 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Roloccolor,

Was it only the FSB that made it possible to install win8 in the first place?
 

Well it's not the FSB itself that limits Win8 installs, it's the extended CPU instruction sets (being there or not).  On Intel M series processors the one's with an FSB of 400Mhz do not have PAE, NX and SSE2 which as far as I know are required to install MS Windows 8.

 

 

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February 3, 2013 11:25:44 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

I was going to put it on my laptop (Turion X2 Ultra) but I gave it to a friend a while back who said HIS friend is out of work and using it so I said keep it.

I was going to put it on my older spare machine (Athlon 64 X2) but I don't actually use that for anything.  I'm sure it'd be a hell of a sight better than 7 on it since its got a 7300LE (woo crappy vidcards) but can't be arsed when I doubt I'll be using the machine for anything afterwards either.

So I guess this will stay the oldest hardware I have it installed on.

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February 5, 2013 12:19:51 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Savyg,
I was going to put it on my older spare machine (Athlon 64 X2) but I don't actually use that for anything.

 

I hear ya.  I have an Intel Pentium 805D kicking around somewhere I had intended to repurpose at some point, but I just can't get over how much power that Smithfield core sucks outta the wall (try it OC'd and you can watch the power-meter needle spin!  hehe).

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March 5, 2013 2:58:16 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

 

I continue to be impressed with just how much better Windows 8 runs on this old notebook (Inspiron 6000) over the XP Pro it was shipped with, Vista Business and most recently Windows 7 Pro.


With Vista and Win7 it just seemed I started with an amount of free space on this notebook and then just ever lost more and more to the operating system(s) over time.  I don't know if MS has made any changes/advancements to how it handles WinSxS or what but it seems to routinely free up some space now which didn't seem to be happening in Vista/Win7.  Whatever sort of 'garbage collection' the OS appears to be doing is seemingly doing a much better job of it in Windows 8.

The 'sandboxing' of applications and IE 10 browser tabs/addons is a nice compliment to 'least privilege computing' offering greater security in Windows 8 over previous MS OSes and the new memory management in Windows 8 appears to have had quite the positive impact.

 

 

Anyone wanting to 'get more legs' out of that older machine running an MS OS?  As long as it supports the CPU instructions I listed in my OP, go for it......Windows 8 will breathe some new MS life into that 'older rig'. 

 

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