Windows 10: Let's run Win10 on really really old hardware
Compaq ProLiant ML350. Dual Pentium IIIs @1GHZ. 1 Gigabyte of ECC ram, 140GB of Raid0 (4 36GB drives) @ 10,000 RPM. RageXL or Radeon X1300. Ran DNS and IP routing at my school until 2015. Who thinks its up for the challange?
Pentium III does not have the required processor specification for Windows 10. No Intel processors earlier than Pentium 4, and then not all Pentium 4 models, can run Windows 10 32-bit.
Only some not-so-common Pentium 4 socket 478 CPUs have the required NX/PAE support to run Windows 10 32-bit, and you must also have a motherboard that allows that feature to be enabled in the BIOS. The same is true for the first generation 32-bit socket 775 CPUs 64-bit not dual-core socket 775 CPUs. Anything newer (Pentium D series) supports Windows 10, I have tested (and reported in an earlier post in this thread) about a server using a Pentium D 945 3.4GHz socket 775 CPU which can run both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows 10. Of course anything newer also can.
i just decided to share my small Windows 10 machine on this thread. I noticed that only Intel and AMD CPUs were mentioned in this thread so far, but there are more CPU manufacturers out there. One of them is VIA, probably better known for their chipsets, but they also produce low-cost low-power x86 CPUs. In my case i'm using a Jetway Mini-ITX Motherboard featuring a
VIA C7 1.5 GHz VIA C7 1.2 GHz CPU. I know it's not the oldest system mentioned in this thread, but definitely one of the weakest. Even opening the start menu takes 5-15 seconds. Here ist a screenshot (even saving a screenshot using MS Paint takes one minute):
I didn't bother installing an english version of Windows 10 since this is only for playing around. I hope you can understand most of it.
The drivers are made for Windows XP, so i couldn't install any of them except the VIA Vinyl audio drivers. The maximum resolution is 1600x1200 on Windows, but using Antix Linux i can set it to Full HD 1920x1080. On Windows 10 this computer is quite unusable, but on Windows XP i can even do some office work using Microsoft Office 2007 as long as i don't try to browse the web or play a video.
I'm gonna add a screenshot of GPU-Z on WinXP later to this post
Edit: GPU-Z on WinXP doesn't recognize the S3 UniChrome IGP, so posting a screenshot wouldn't show anything that is not already shown in the screenshot. I really thought GPU-Z showed a nice logo and all that stuff in the past, but i can't swear to it.
Last edited by Computeruser7; 23 Sep 2016 at 08:49.
I believe you can double your ram on that board. That won't make it real fast but I think you would see a big improvement. It looks like you have 512 MB of ram and your board will take 1 GB, I believe. That should make things a lot better.
You're right, this board can use up to 1 GB of RAM. In fact, i'm using a Kingston KTH-XW4200AN/1G 1 GB RAM stick, but the board only recognizes 512 MB. I think this is because there are 8 x 1Gbit chips on the Kingston RAM stick but the board can only handle 512 MBit chips. Unfortunately i don't have a 16 chip 1 GB stick here at the moment but i can use a 2 GB stick which is recognized as 1 GB. Windows 10 is a little bit faster with 1 GB (for example opening the start menu only takes 1-2 seconds) but it is still limited by the CPU (even displaying the start menu causes 70% CPU load from the desktop window manager process, probably caused by missing graphics drivers). Since i don't intend to use this computer with Windows 10, i don't really care about it's performance. I know it runs very well with XP and i can even use it as a pfSense firewall because it has a second ethernet card on a daughter board. I just installed Windows 10 for fun because i knew this is one of the weakest CPUs that can run it.
VIA CPUs? I didn't know they still exist! Here in Greece the last 15 years one can only find either Intel or AMD. I remember some VIA and Cyrix CPUs back in the Pentium I era ('90s), but I thought these companies had stopped manufacturing CPUs.
To take 100% of such as system without sticking to Windows XP, I recommend installing Windows 7 32-bit. This will allow you to use the Windows XP graphics driver (XPDM), which is not supported in Windows 8 and 10, and get some little hardware acceleration (Microsoft Basic Display Adapter is software only). Of course 1GB RAM will make a huge difference over the 512MB which is not sufficient. So if you rather run Windows instead of Linux, clean install Windows 7 32-bit, increase RAM to 1GB and you are good to go!
Like I have said in an earlier post in this thread, if your old system has WDDM graphics driver (at least Vista), then install Windows 10. If it only has Windows XP driver (XPDM), install Windows 7 to use the XP driver. That's my rule when I have to install Windows in an old system. Avoid the Microsoft Basic Display Adapter since it is software only and will make the computer much slower than it really is.
I got Windows 10 successfully running on my ThinkPad T43.
(Sorry about the pink screen, the backlight is shot)
It has a Pentium M (which is essentially an enhanced Pentium 3 with NX bit support) running at 1.87 GHz and is 32 bit only. I have 2 gigs of RAM installed which is the maximum the chipset supports (Intel 915GM).
Things that work out of the box
- Built-in trackpad and keyboard
Things that can be fixed with drivers
- ThinkPad macro keys
Things that will never work
- Graphics. Sadly, the 915GM cannot support WDDM due to hardware limitations (See here: http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/...000005550.html) and since Windows 8 dropped support for XPDM drivers, we cannot get any acceleration. On the other hand, if you have a higher end T43 with a Radeon GPU, WDDM is fully supported.
According to your specs here: https://support.lenovo.com/gr/en/documents/pd012235 your RAM is DDR2, so the CPU is similar to 775 CPUs and it is not really a surprise to run Windows 10 on such machine. I also noticed your audio card is Realtek AC'97. Beware! Do not let Windows Update find a driver or you can get a BSOD! Also do not install latest Vista driver from Realtek for the same reason. Search the forum for Realtek AC'97 to find the relevant thread and read my posts there for alternative working drivers 32-bit or 64-bit.
Kryptonmod, out of interest, what is the BIOS date for your ThinkPad T43 system? These Pentium M and Celeron M processors from 2004 show up on systems a couple of years downline from the cpu release date, when they could be obtained cheaply from Intel by the ODM companies that supplied the big name OEMs like IBM/Lenovo, Acer/Gateway/Packard Bell, Dell, and HP/Compaq.
I haven't had the new PC delivered yet, but am wondering if, as Vista drivers for gaming hardware tended to be OK in Win7, should they and/or Win7 drivers work in Win10?
Thinking of things like Saitek X52, Belkin Nostromo N52..
I could of...
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