Let's run Win10 on really really old hardware

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  1. spapakons's Avatar
    Posts : 2,560
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit 1803 (April 2018 build 17134.407)
       1 Week Ago #271

    Your old PC can be downgraded (change to a less demanding use) to many things. For example, you can put a large hard disk on it, share it to the network and convert it to File server where your huge downloads are accessible from any other device connected to the network. You could install some emulators and make it a retro gaming machine by playing emulated games as long as old Windows games that do not need the power of a modern PC. The kids will love it.
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  2.    1 Week Ago #272

    I "injected" a w10 Macrium Reflect Free image from one computer to another one with just 512MB RAM. It was pretty unuseable and just because the hardware was slightly different I had lot of issues with drivers. It quite worked though. I also have refurbished a very old 1GB RAM PC from scrapped components for my girlfriend and I am amazed how well it runs w10.
    Does anybody know how to remove the 1GB RAM install limitation for w10 x86? I think it could be possible to run it with 512MB RAM even if it was pretty slow (maybe on ssd or ReadyBoost).
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  3. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 5,530
    Win10 Home and Pro, Win10 Insider Preview, WinXP Home Premium, Linux Mint
       1 Week Ago #273

    eLPuSHeR said: View Post
    Does anybody know how to remove the 1GB RAM install limitation for w10 x86? I think it could be possible to run it with 512MB RAM even if it was pretty slow (maybe on ssd or ReadyBoost).
    I'd think part of the RAM requirement issue is with the onboard/built-in video adapter that uses part of the physical memory which makes less available to the Operating System, maybe an Add-in card with its own memory will help.
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  4. spapakons's Avatar
    Posts : 2,560
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit 1803 (April 2018 build 17134.407)
       1 Week Ago #274

    Hello! You can't remove that limitation, you can however install or upgrade from earlier Windows to 10 and then return back to 512MB. It will run, but it will be VERY slow... I had once did the same trick with an old computer running Windows NT 4.0 and had only 32MB RAM. I wanted to upgrade to Windows XP, but it won't let me unless I had 64MB RAM or more, so I borrowed another 32MB module from a nearby computer (I was at a computer lab), upgraded RAM to 64MB and I was able (after 2 hours!) to upgrade from NT 4.0 to XP. I then removed the module, went back in 32MB RAM and it was "running" (crawling) Windows XP, despite you needed about 10-15 minutes to see the desktop!
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  5. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 9,203
    10 Home x64 (1809) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       1 Week Ago #275

    Berton said: View Post
    I'd think part of the RAM requirement issue is with the onboard/built-in video adapter that uses part of the physical memory which makes less available to the Operating System....
    You only hit that limitation if you install 4GB RAM in an x86 machine. A 32-bit address space has a 4GB limit, the video RAM is typically 1.1GB. With 2GB of RAM the OS can map the video RAM into the unused address space, but with 4GB of RAM there are no unused addresses. This means that 1.1GB of the physical RAM cannot be addressed, that part of the address space has to be 'hardware reserved' for the video RAM. So with 4GB RAM installed, typically only 2.9GB will be available to the OS.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The same type of limit applies in x64, but you are unlikely to hit it

    In 64-bit Windows, the theoretical amount of virtual address space is 2^64 bytes (16 exabytes)
    Virtual address spaces - Windows drivers | Microsoft Docs
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  6. Posts : 1,501
    Windows 10 Pro (32-bit) 16299.15
       1 Week Ago #276

    Bree said: View Post
    You only hit that limitation if you install 4GB RAM in an x86 machine.
    I think Berton is talking about the scenario where the video card doesn't have any RAM of its own so it uses RAM which would otherwise be available to the OS.
    So if machine has 1GB of RAM, and 256MB is used for video, that leaves only 768MB for Windows to do everything else. The figures might not be representative but it shows the principle. It's not so much an address space issue as sheer lack of bytes.

    When I first put Windows 8 on my 1GB laptop it was particularly unpleasant, I think for this reason, until I bought more RAM.
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  7. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 9,203
    10 Home x64 (1809) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       1 Week Ago #277

    DavidY said: View Post
    I think Berton is talking about the scenario where the video card doesn't have any RAM of its own so it uses RAM which would otherwise be available to the OS....
    That would be some really old hardware then
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  8.    1 Week Ago #278

    I am either going to try to upgrade RAM to 1 or 2 GB and install w10 (preferred route) or try to convince my customer to install some lightweight Linux. I am against using WinXP and haven't found any suitable browser that allows me to use Youtube for instance.
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  9.    1 Week Ago #279

    All your described cases are not a problem, running win8/10 on Celeron M 1.30 Ghz 128MB is a problem) The problem as I read is caused by kernel that needs NX? bit support if i`m not wrong, inet offers solution to manually patch kernel) Any other ideas are welcome
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  10. Posts : 1,501
    Windows 10 Pro (32-bit) 16299.15
       1 Week Ago #280

    Bree said: View Post
    That would be some really old hardware then
    I think mine uses Intel GMA graphics:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_GMA
    The products in this series are integrated onto the motherboard, have limited graphics processing power, and use the computer's main memory for storage instead of a dedicated video memory.
    It still runs Windows 10 1709 - although Desktop Window Manager seems to use a lot of CPU which I suspect is an issue with the drivers on said graphics.
    It may go further than 1709 but I need to set aside a couple of days to backup, clean install and reinstall everything so I've not got around to it.
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