Windows 10: 10 on a Netbook? SUCCESS!
10 on a Netbook? SUCCESS!
Have you got a crappy old netbook that you can't even give away?
Install Windows 10 and give it some love!
What you'll need:
A cold room.
A powerful desk fan.
My Acer netbook has 1GB of DDR2 memory.
A 32 bit Intel Atom processor running at a blazing 1.60 GHz.
120 GB HDD.
The netbook originally came with XP pre-installed just when the last of the dinosaurs died out.
I since bought Windows 7 Starter for it, but that was pretty slow.
First, I downloaded the Windows 10 (32 bit version) from Microsoft onto my main PC.
I then unpacked the ISO onto a flash drive.
To make the installation go as smoothly as possible I formatted the drive and re-installed Windows 7 Starter.
(..and made sure it was activated.)
I then upgraded that to Windows 10 Home (keeping my existing files and settings.)
(..and made sure it was activated.)
I then formatted the drive and made a clean install of Windows 10.
(..and made sure it was activated.)
This all took several hours and the install process was very slow.
But I didn't encounter any errors or hitches of any kind!
I added the Chrome browser and made lots of various tweaks and fixes....
Disabling superfluous Windows services.
Optimizing Windows for best performance.
Disabling and/or uninstalling Cortana and all the other apps that come with Windows 10.
Removed ALL the tiles from the start menu and resized it.
...and many many more!
Then I attached a second monitor.
I Stared with wonder and awe for a few minutes then went to bed.
I haven't had time to actually do anything yet, and that will be the subject of my next post on this thread!
If you manage to get Chrome to run well on that awesome machine, anything is possible for you.
If Chrome's performance is not good, I recommend downloading the Atom-optimized version of Pale Moon (Firefox based web browser with old look!). It's designed for slow computers and netbooks with Atom processors or old Intels/AMDs. It supposedly uses less battery than Firefox and Chrome, too.
Advice appreciated and taken on board.
I'll do just that and report back on both browsers tomorrow.
Some thoughts on the Netbook installation...
But first some pics...
Watching video websites is doable, although it can be a stuttery affair!
Of course, the fewer other things your computer is doing, the better the videos will play.
Here's how Specy looked after the computer had beeen onfor a while.
As you can see - everything is well within the bounds of the computer's hardware limits.
The Chrome browser was a bust. It was slow and crashed a lot.
But... the 32 bit Atom-optimized version of Pale Moon was a delight.
In fact, after my favorites were imported and the favicons showed up, it was very much like running my usual Chrome browser on my other systems.
(Unlike that horrible cluttered mess Edge/IE which did a shitty job of importing my favorites!)
It took a lot of intelligent tweaking and hacking to reduce the load on the meager resources of the netbook...
NOT something a casual computer user could/would want to go through.
If you are a casual computer user then updating a slow/old computer isn't something that will work for you.
You'll just get frustrated waiting for things to happen.
If you are prepared to spend some time, though, the results are good.
This Windows 10 netbook runs much better than it ever did under any previous OS (including Linux.)
It can be hacked and tweaked into a workable solution.
So far it hasn't crashed once... but I do keep an eye on the green HDD light before I try to do something.
Also - if anything, this experiment exposes just how much Windows 10 has become harder (or more inconvenient) to control and custom tailor.
When using the computer it seems like you are constantly competing for the computer's resources as Windows downloads and installs updates without your approval, as it scans for malware, sends off pointless messages and tries to get you to fill out surveys, etc.
But, overall, the experience was good and I have a little travel machine for emergencies!
Awesome, although the 202 MB of RAM that it's using is a little high for netbooks IMO. But it works. Firefox's RAM usage sometimes climbs to 400 MB on my computer.
ReadyBoost can give your computer a little more performance, I bet. It uses compatible external drives as cache.
How to enable ReadyBoost:
I have Windows 10 Pro 64-bit on y almost 5-year old netbook (Samsung N145 Plus, Intel Atom N455, RAM upgraded to 2GB DDR3, 200GB HD). Also has Windows XP as dual boot.
Windows 10 works OK except window drawing which is slow, probably due to DWM and the GMA 3150 which can't be disabled as in W7.
Opera browser (31) works like a charm, with Hardware acceleration disabled (HW acceleration enabled make scrolling a pain). In my experience way better than Chrome and Firefox (or another Gecko browser) Edge seems to work OK but I don't like it.
Anyway, the best OS for it is..... Windows XP
PS: A tip, defragging (With the built-in defrag tool) and running CCleaner help a lot, specially after installing apps
Last edited by derek10; 08 Aug 2015 at 01:55.
Well done - but in your initial list of requirements you forgot " Also Plenty of Cold BEER !!!!!.
If you could slot an SSD in there you'd get a decent boost even on that old machine !!! use an old 120GB SSD - they are incredibly cheap now. Not sure if those old netbooks can even Open but if you can take the back off it then slot an SSD in there and go for it.
(Slow I/O is usually worse than anything else on systems ever since the ist computer was invented - how many years ago - especially performing typical tasks most users do. An SSD will perversely yield more noticeable effects on older systems than newer more powerful ones but they will always give you the best bang for buck in performance - assuming you have 1GB RAM or more for any OS after XP).
An SSD would be a nice addition to a netbook, It would speed things up while lowering battery usage, and you could use the netbook while riding on car or train, as the vibrations and bumps won't damage a SSD.
As for the Windows lag, I think this is due to the DWM as it uses 3D acceleration to render the desktop, and as the netbook doesn't have a "proper" GPU, that's it, everything 3D is software emulated, so it causes major overhead, and Windows 10 doesn't have a way to disable desktop compositing as Win 7 had.
Anyway the best OS for a netbook is, IMO, Win XP, as it's lightweight, almost doesn't use GPU nor RAM, doesn't have as many as background tasks and services as everythis post-XP has, and can use classic themes to even make it faster. The only issue with XP is gradual loss of software support, as well as its EOL status (and therefore unpatched security vulnerabilities) but still has strong software support.
XP probably is the best system to run on one of these systems - but I have another idea you'd still run XP but it would be in a SAFE environment and you could still use the Internet without a problem.
Install any decent distro of LINUX on it - Linux Mint probably is the easiest as it would work straight out of the box, install VMWARE PLAYER and run XP as a VM.
The overhead of the Linux OS is TINY and the XP VM would run fine. For Internet browsing use something like CHROME on the LINUX Host or FIREFOX. You could isolate the XP VM from the internet by using "Host only" networking.
If you need OUTLOOK as an email client you could ensure that OUTLOOK could retrieve and send email on the XP system too.
Thanks for all the help on this site! Was able to upgrade from Windows 7 Pro to Win10 Pro (Activated) without any major problems. Had to force the Windows 10 upgrade via Windows Update deleting all files in the...
Greetings O Great Ones, from the Emerald Isle.
Background: I've being using Windows since 3.00a.
I had a dual boot set-up with 8.1 and 10240.
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10240 downloaded only some of the...
Upgraded my Samsung n145plus netbook to w10.
Finally metro apps work at full screen at 1024x600 without shoody resolution hacks
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spec below, will it take W10?
Netbook: Samsung N145 Plus, Atom N455 2 GB RAM 64-bit
It works beyond perfect, shame Metro apps still can't run on 1024x600 resolution, given they can run on separate windows :(
Edit: The search function doesn't work (blank window) while in my...