Windows 7 can run on a very old PC

A user by the name of "hackerman1" has installed Windows 7 on a Pentium II
  • (PC World (US online))
  • — 22 June, 2009 14:08

I've always wanted to get a modern operating system to work on my graphing calculator. And we're about there, thanks to the efforts of a fellow (or strangly named lady) on The Windows Club forum. A user by the name of "hackerman1" has installed Windows 7 on his PC, which in itself is nothing to write home about. The catch here is that he's gotten a bootable, working installation on no less than a Pentium II system. No, that's not a typo--Pentium Two. The extreme...ly old machine consists of a 266 MHz CPU, a whopping 96 MB of memory, and a next-generation 4 MB graphics card.

Like a stuntperson who just keeps tempting death by pushing the landing ramp farther and farther back, hackerman1 didn't just stop with that meager system loadout. He continued to alter the memory amount, achieving success with two of three setups: 128 MB and 96 MB. Unfortunately, Windows 7 didn't seem to enjoy only having 64 megabytes of memory to work with, marking hackerman's stopping point with that version of the experiment.

That's not to say that he's planning on stopping for good, however. Next up? A Pentium I machine featuring a 166 MHz CPU paired with a 1 MB graphics card. After that, maybe hackerman1 can break inject some Aero graphics into his trusty abacus. Although he didn't say how long it took him to install or boot the operating system, other forum users have chimed in and timed the installation for a Pentium III-based system at a low 17 continuous hours. And the boot time? 17 minutes.

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David Murphy

PC World (US online)
Topics: Windows 7
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