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One screenshot is worth a thousand words, in this case.  (Source: The Windows Club forums)
Hacker is eager to push the new OS onto a Pentium system next

Microsoft recently released a tool that suggests to users whether or not to upgrade to Windows 7, Microsoft's hot new OS.  However, it appears that the actual hardware requirements may be much lower than Microsoft's suggestions if you have enough determination.

A user on The Windows Club's forum has cooked up the ultimate low-end Windows 7 setup.  The user who goes by "hackerman1" has managed to squeeze a working, bootable Windows 7 install onto a machine with a blazing fast 266 MHz Pentium II processor, a whopping 96 MB of SDRAM memory, and a high-tech 4 MB video card. 

The enthusiast first used 128 MB of RAM, then pushed the total down to 96 MB.  A subsequent push for 64 MB proved too much -- Windows 7 needs at least 96 MB to function properly.

Not to be content, the user is now working on a new setup, trying to install Windows 7 on a Pentium I machine featuring a 166 MHz CPU paired with a 1 MB graphics card.  He's also considered trying to make the new fancy graphics wrapping -- Aero -- work on the Pentium II setup. 

Don't expect a quick install, though -- a Pentium III-based system install took 17 continuous hours, and the Pentium II install likely took much, much more.  The Pentium III based system boots in a mere 17 minutes.

While perhaps not very practical, hackerman1's quest/obsession with putting Microsoft's newest on some rather outdated hardware provides a nice illustration of the new OS's smaller footprint.  The new OS is reported to have consolidated processes, lowered memory requirements, and reduced install size from Windows Vista, allowing it to be installed on netbooks and other non-Vista-ready machines.

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Netbook w/ Atom CPU boots Win7 in ~20 seconds
By irev210 on 6/23/2009 12:08:13 PM , Rating: 5
I just installed windows7 on my netbook. From the second I push the power button until it boots and i launch/load internet explorer takes 31 seconds.

To shutdown Win7 takes 4 seconds.

We have come a long way.

(asus 1000HE with OCZ vertex 30GB SSD and 2GB of ram)

By EasyC on 6/23/2009 12:20:26 PM , Rating: 2
I too have windows 7 on my netbook. (Asus 1000HEB)... it runs better than xp lol. It fully boots into login screen in about 15-17 seconds.

RE: Netbook w/ Atom CPU boots Win7 in ~20 seconds
By Mitch101 on 6/23/2009 12:26:46 PM , Rating: 2
If you close IE then reopen it how quick is it then? Still 31 seconds?

I think the 2 gigs of ram is the key without the ram it has to do a ton of disk thrashing.

By monomer on 6/23/2009 3:04:22 PM , Rating: 2
I installed Win 7 on my old Athlon 64 3500+ desktop, which only has 1 GB of ram, and it actually still runs pretty snappy. Using Firefox with multiple tabs open will start to thrash on the hard disk after a while, but IE 8 runs really well, and only takes a few seconds to load.

By RubberJohnny on 6/23/2009 10:33:49 PM , Rating: 2
Did you not notice he also has an SSD...

RE: Netbook w/ Atom CPU boots Win7 in ~20 seconds
By kattanna on 6/23/2009 12:46:08 PM , Rating: 2
OCZ vertex 30GB SSD

and thats the KEY piece making that happen.

i got windows 7 installed on one on my quad core system, and those drives are amazingly fast.

i use another for a couple games i play.. LOL just awwesome

By ertomas on 6/23/2009 6:50:08 PM , Rating: 2
I installed it on my acer netbook that has a 160gb 5400rpm sata HDD and it runs great. And that's only with 1gb RAM.

By petrosy on 6/23/2009 9:57:53 PM , Rating: 1
That is pretty good. I have ubuntu 9.04 on an old celeron running webserver and Mythtv Backend with MYSQL on regular SATA drive with 1.5gb ram.

Boot time under 30 secs.... talk to the hand B****s!

I have had this system running for sometime now. Let see if you still have ~20 sec boot time after a few months.

And to the guy putting Win7 on a P2.... you need to get out more!

"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen
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