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Windows 7 Successfully Installed on a Pentium II

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 73 comments

What are the minimum system requirements for running Windows 7?

When Microsoft made the Windows 7 RC available, it also issued an official list of system requirements for anyone hoping to install the OS:

  • 1GHz processor (32- or 64-bit)
  • 1GB of main memory
  • 16GB of available disk space
  • Support for DX9 graphics with 128MB of memory (for the Aero interface)

Not exactly monstrous and the same as what you needed to run Vista years ago. That said, one Windows enthusiast decided to push the limits and in a kind of “how low can you go” scenario, managed to get Microsoft’s latest OS running on a Pentium II at 266 MHz CPU, 96 MB of RAM and a 4 MB graphics card.

The user hackerman1 posted about his efforts on the Windows Club Forums for the world to see and his fellow posters we, like the other users on the forum, were suitably impressed. Hackerman1 said he did three different tests (128 MB, 96 MB and 64 MB of RAM). Of these, he had success with both 128 MB and 96 MB, while his 64 MB attempt returned error messages reading “insufficient memory.”

Hackerman1 went on to say that he also has a Pentium I with a 166 MHz CPU and a 1 MB graphics card and says if he can dig up the PSU, he’s going to test that next. Check out the screenshots below.

(click to enlarge)(click to enlarge)

(click to enlarge)(click to enlarge)

(via TECHSPOT)

*All pictures credited to the original poster (hackerman1) on forum.thewindowsclub.com.

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Top Comments
  • 26 Hide
    rbarone69 , June 22, 2009 4:34 PM
    Windows exp rating of -8.

    WARNING use of this machine may cause you to go back in time.
  • 18 Hide
    captaincharisma , June 22, 2009 3:52 PM
    talk about someone with allot of time on there hands
  • 12 Hide
    fulle , June 22, 2009 5:52 PM
    Some people watch TV. Some people play Warcraft. Others worship the GYM. And, a small percentage of curious tinkerers do stuff like this.
    -Good work, Pal. Sure beats actually knowing what happened on the Bachelorette.
Other Comments
    Display all 73 comments.
  • 18 Hide
    captaincharisma , June 22, 2009 3:52 PM
    talk about someone with allot of time on there hands
  • 9 Hide
    hemelskonijn , June 22, 2009 3:58 PM
    Interesting that he got it to run, though i wonder what exactly did he get to run ?

    Obvious it booted to the desktop but will he be able to boot it to the desktop start a browser and post a reply to my message here in under 15 minutes ?
  • 1 Hide
    aspireonelover , June 22, 2009 4:05 PM
    LOL! If you told me earlier... I took apart my pentium 2 cartridge like, two days ago. Just to see what they're like.
  • 1 Hide
    scook9 , June 22, 2009 4:09 PM
    its' a shame the Microsoft windows use experience bottoms out at 1.0.....I would be interested to see where this actually falls. And yes, way too much spare time...
  • -6 Hide
    erichlund , June 22, 2009 4:10 PM
    I have a 2 GB HP laptop that runs out of resources after several days if I leave it on and just log out when I'm not using it. This is only using the built in email client, Explorer 8 and Quicken. I should qualify that by saying there may be a couple of other things running in the background, but I've never had this happen with Vista or XP.
  • 3 Hide
    Ciuy , June 22, 2009 4:18 PM
    LoL ,i bet it runs smooth :) )
  • 2 Hide
    zubai , June 22, 2009 4:20 PM
    Sure he can run it, but can he use it? Hmm.. I've got an old pc, might try this myself (I got a lot of time too).
  • 5 Hide
    chripuck , June 22, 2009 4:22 PM
    erichlundI have a 2 GB HP laptop that runs out of resources after several days if I leave it on and just log out when I'm not using it. This is only using the built in email client, Explorer 8 and Quicken. I should qualify that by saying there may be a couple of other things running in the background, but I've never had this happen with Vista or XP.


    ???? Are you referring to Windows 7? You know it's still in the RC stage... Why would you expect it to be perfect yet?

    At least hold your complaints until October. :) 
  • 8 Hide
    Hanin33 , June 22, 2009 4:28 PM
    eh... everything that would run on a 'modern' pc will run under the system shown... just slower... there's nothing in the architecture that's lacking in between those series of processor/motherboards that would not allow a program to run. if you strip down the services and wot not, i bet it'd run just fine as a IM client and web browsing without flash crap... i think we're just too spoiled because there's still a great majority, worldwide, that uses pentium 2/3 class hardware...
  • 1 Hide
    erigolhuhu , June 22, 2009 4:29 PM
    Talking about that, are they going to add something to change that huge windows bar in the final version?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , June 22, 2009 4:32 PM
    wonder how big the harddrive is.
    I have a old laptop with similar hardware but only 4 GB of HDD.
    Don't think its worth trying to install :) 
  • 26 Hide
    rbarone69 , June 22, 2009 4:34 PM
    Windows exp rating of -8.

    WARNING use of this machine may cause you to go back in time.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , June 22, 2009 4:38 PM
    I'm sure even a 166Mhz processor could boot Win7, but the user experience will be.. just terrible!
    With CPU speeds lower than our current RAM, graphics, PCIE, or FSB speeds, what can you expect?

    I bet it took all 24 hours to get that one installed!

    It'd be nice to see some specs!
  • 0 Hide
    perpetual98 , June 22, 2009 4:39 PM
    rbarone69Windows exp rating of -8.WARNING use of this machine may cause you to go back in time.


    LOL! Thanks for the chuckle :) 
  • 0 Hide
    rooket , June 22, 2009 4:44 PM
    A pentium II what's the point lol. I also have a Pentium 233mmx I guess I could try it out on if I thought it served any purpose but it doesn't. :)  I'm about to scrap a pentium III 1ghz system and put at least a P4 in that, and even P4's are slow.
  • 0 Hide
    apmyhr , June 22, 2009 4:52 PM
    erigolhuhuTalking about that, are they going to add something to change that huge windows bar in the final version?

    The RC is suppose to be feature complete. Which means any changes will just be bug fixes, minor tweaks, and added drivers.
  • 6 Hide
    methal , June 22, 2009 4:53 PM
    meh, meh, and more MEH!! When they can get the latest version of windows to run on a 486 then I might say "hey look, windows can one more thing linux does with ease..."

  • 10 Hide
    apmyhr , June 22, 2009 4:54 PM
    I'm suprised to see so many Toms readers criticising the man for having to much time on his hands. Aren't we all suppose to be enthusiasts? I think its awesome. I might give a crack at installing on my old Pentium M...
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , June 22, 2009 5:01 PM
    I wonder why noone so far asked if it could run crysis too!
  • 1 Hide
    brickhouse , June 22, 2009 5:05 PM
    I'm running the RC on a Toshiba Satilite a70 laptop. 1 Gig of ram and an ati mobility 9000 gpu. I was never able to get drivers running under vista for the gpu, but under Win 7 XP drivers from 2006 are working fine.

    The laptop performs fine for everyday tasks (office, web, email) and is WOW is even quite playable on it :-)

    If you haven't tried it, don't open your yaps.

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