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Twitter User Runs Windows 10 on 192MB of RAM

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Twitter user Nori has managed to get the 32-bit version of Windows 10 running on 192MB of RAM, less than a quarter of the 1GB minimum Microsoft recommends for the operating system. 

Yesterday, 16-year-old Twitter user @0xN0ri (Nori for short) posted a thread where they continually tried to run the 32-bit version of Windows 10 on smaller and smaller amounts of RAM, using the operating system’s 1909 November update as a base and running it on Oracle VM Virtualbox off what they told Tom's Hardware was a Dell Inspiron 3670 running Arch Linux. 

Starting at 512MB, they repeatedly succeeded in lowering the RAM needed to run the OS, first cutting it down to 256MB, then again to 192MB at another user’s request. Windows booted up under all three arrangements, but finally blue screened at 128MB.

The lowest RAM Nori could get a response from was 140MB, which allowed the operating system to boot, but not to run the UI for logging in. 

 

It’s an impressively low-spec achievement, coming close to Windows XP’s recommended RAM of 128MB all the way from 2001.

When we reached out to Nori for details, they told us that the CPU for the project was an Intel Core i5-8400 with one core dedicated to the virtual machine, and that the version of Windows they chose to experiment on was Windows 10 Pro x86. They didn’t disable any services or make any changes to install it, and the page file was 2.8GB large.

“It took around three minutes to boot up to the desktop and it’s unusable with the virtual machine file stored on my 7200RPM hard drive,” they explained to us. “I was only able to get task manager, cmd, and file explorer open on 192MB RAM and the performance was very bad with 15MB free.”

So why go through all the trouble? It’s a fun experiment.
 

For more projects from Nori, check out their Github about page, where they talk more in-depth about their passion for booting different operating systems on embedded devices and under strange conditions. 

  • punkncat
    I like playing in VM Ware too......Yawn.
    Reply
  • King_V
    It does make me wonder what would happen if I attempted to install Windows 10 on my still-working Celeron 1GHz system with its whopping 416MB of SDR RAM.

    Practically a luxurious excess! But, I imagine there'd be other issues.
    Reply
  • excalibur1814
    "So why go through all the trouble? "

    Why not. Years back people loved doing stuff like this and still do.
    Reply
  • excalibur1814
    punkncat said:
    I like playing in VM Ware too......Yawn.


    Someone's jealous! :)
    Reply
  • Third-Eye
    King_V said:
    It does make me wonder what would happen if I attempted to install Windows 10 on my still-working Celeron 1GHz system with its whopping 416MB of SDR RAM.

    Practically a luxurious excess! But, I imagine there'd be other issues.
    That 1Ghz Celeron system would need a HDD/SSD on a SATA port using AHCI mode to use Windows 10.
    Reply
  • King_V
    Third-Eye said:
    That 1Ghz Celeron system would need a HDD/SSD on a SATA port using AHCI mode to use Windows 10.
    Yikes, yeah, guess that's not happening!
    Reply
  • spongiemaster
    Third-Eye said:
    That 1Ghz Celeron system would need a HDD/SSD on a SATA port using AHCI mode to use Windows 10.
    You can use something like an Adaptec 2940 PCI card with SCSI drive to get around that.
    Reply
  • punkncat
    excalibur1814 said:
    Someone's jealous! :)


    I get doing something like this 'just because you can' but it's a completely pointless endeavor from a usability standpoint. Even if you CAN open anything, it's already so deep on page file that the experience will be horrible. In truth, Win 10 on 2GB of RAM is a tempt of your patience. This is nothing more than a "Stuart: Look what I can do".

    There is actually a really good YouTube video of a fellow doing this exact same thing. Can't recall what he got down to, but I played along with him and it was crazy how unresponsive and terrible the experience gets as you go well below what the system needs to operate properly.
    Reply
  • FF320
    So my running it with a usable desktop at 168mb RAM must be underwhelming......
    mdUTa9kRMnkView: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdUTa9kRMnk
    Reply
  • punkncat
    ^What was that? ~30 sec to open my pc/properties?

    Thanks, but no.
    Reply