This is what Windows 8 looks like on (old) netbooks

Asus Eee PC 1000H with Windows 8

Update: On February 29th, 2012 Microsoft released Windows 8 Consumer Preview. Everything works out of the box on my aging Asus netbook, including wireless. But I did need to download a driver from Intel in order to adjust the screen resolution so that I could use the Windows Store and Metro style apps.

The Windows 8 Developer Preview is now available for anyone to download and test. Microsoft has stated that any hardware that can run Windows 7 should be able to run Windows 8 as well — even older netbooks, so I decided to put that claim to the test.

I pulled out an old Asus Eee PC 1000H netbook I have lying around, plugged in a USB DVD drive so that I could install the operating system. You can also use a USB flash drive to install the operating system by:

  1. Downloading the ISO file from Microsoft.
  2. Downloading and installing the Windows 7 USB/DVD tool.
  3. Running the USB tool to copy the ISO to your flash drive.
  4. Plug the flash drive into your netbook and choose the option to boot from USB from the BIOS.

The Asus Eee PC 1000H netbook features a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom N270 single core processor, 1GB of RAM, and an 80GB hard drive. It has a 10.2 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel display and it was one of the first 10 inch netbooks on the market when it launched in the summer of 2008. I think I paid something like $585 for it at the time.

The first time I booted Windows 8 after the install process was completed, I was asked to create a name for the computer, choose my wireless network, and login with my Windows Live ID. After that was done, I saw the funky new Metro style Start Menu with large tiles labeled with functions including Internet Explorer, Desktop, and Windows Explorer.

The Start Menu was clearly designed for use with a touchscreen display, but the Eee PC 1000H doesn’t have one. But you can move a mouse cursor around to navigate, and dragging the cursor down to the lower left menu brings up what looks like an old-school Start Menu with options for Settings, Devices, Share, and Search. A large clock, battery meter, and WiFi indicator also come up when you’re looking at this menu.

Microsoft requires a higher resolution display for new Metro style apps, which means that you don’t get to use the new full screen version of Internet Explorer that has no toolbars or other menus cluttering the screen. This is a little ass-backward, since users with lower resolution displays are the ones who could most benefit from full screen apps. Internet Explorer, Windows Explorer, and other apps actually look pretty awful on the Eee PC 1000H, since the Windows 8 toolbars take up so much space.

In order to launch any apps, I had to exit the Metro style Start Menu altogether and use what looked like a classic Windows environment with a desktop, taskbar, and start menu.

The operating system also failed to recognize that I was using a 1024 x 600 pixel display, and instead set the resolution at 800 x 600 pixels. Since Asus doesn’t currently offer any Windows 8 drivers for this netbook and I was unable to automatically download any using the Windows device manager, it looks like I’m stuck with 800 x 600 pixels for now.

Update: It turns out the Intel VGA driver for Windows 7 works like a charm. You can download it from Intel or from the Asus support page. This should work on most older netbooks with GMA 950 graphics. If you have a netbook with an Intel Atom N450 or newer processor, you should search the Intel site for “GMA 3150″ and download the appropriate graphics driver.

There were a few other quirks as well. While Windows 8 recognized my wireless network right away, it told me I had a limited connection when I logged in. I was able to get a full internet connection by going to desktop mode, right-clicking on the wireless icon, and choosing the “Troubleshoot problems” option. But this option isn’t available if you’re only using the Metro style Start Menu. I also had to do this every time I rebooted the computer.

Update: I downloaded the wireless drivers for this netbook from the Ralink website and after installing the driver and going into the Windows Device Manager and choosing which driver to use (Ralink instead of the default Microsoft driver), I no longer have to click the troubleshoot button every time I want to go online.

The good news is that Windows 8 does boot very quickly. While you won’t get the 8 second boot speed that comes with a faster processor and solid state drive, Windows 8 takes about 20 to 25 seconds to boot on the Eee PC 1000H. It resumes from sleep even more quickly, making it the fastest-booting operating system I’ve ever installed on this netbook.

At this point I wouldn’t recommend anyone use Windows 8 Developer Preview as a replacement for Windows XP, Windows 7, Ubuntu, Joli OS, or any other operating system on your netbook. It is just a preview, after all. But most features do work out of the box, and it’s pretty clear that Microsoft will be able to deliver on its promise of making sure the operating system runs on pretty much any machine that can currently handle Windows 7.

Hopefully Microsoft will also ease up on its screen resolution requirements so that older netbook users can also get the full benefit of Metro style full screen apps.

  • Vimes

    you can install windows 8 from a usb drive withe the “windows 7 usb/dvd download tool”.

    http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msstore/html/pbPage.Help_Win7_usbdvd_dwnTool

    • http://www.liliputing.com Brad Linder

      Nice! I spent about 20 minutes trying to get WinToFlash to work this morning, with no luck. I completely forgot to try this, but it works like a charm.

  • Matti

    LOL… fastest booting.

    My ArchLinux setup on my Atom netbook with standard HDD boots in around 12sec (4seconds of which are wasted by the crappy slow BIOS Lenovo provides… your ASUS would be faster).

    • aftermath

      Yes, and my Debian system boots even faster than that, but that’s not the point.  Boot speed doesn’t really matter that much as a consumer feature, and trying to have a “boot time” drag race doesn’t really accomplish anything.  The point is more that in businesses and governments yours and my boxes aren’t going to be welcome, but one day (eventually) they will be running Windows 8.  When they do, boot speeds will be improved.  If on the other hand insanely quick boot times are the first and only priority, then those organizations would choose some other more aggressive, less flexible, highly proprietary system instead.

  • Edley

    Meego on an Asus 901 netbook boots in about 20-25 seconds as well. Wireless is working once the system is up. Fastest boot I’ve experienced, will have to see about the Windows 8 time.

  • Rob Rakis

    You can get the 1024×600 resolution if you go and find a Windows 7 driver for your video. Probably an Intel Express 945. I had the same 800×600 resolution and got a Windows 7 driver directly from Intel and got it fixed.

  • Orlando

    I have the MSI Wind U160DX. I cant get any apps to come up working. They just do nothing. Its really crappy since most people use mobile computers alot more nowadays. I hope Micro$oft fix this issue later on.

  • http://twitter.com/Xzigraz Daniel Zhu

    dude, just install the windows 7 32bit video adapter driver from asus, that’s what I did. Does metro app work for you? When I click on it, it just gives the pressed animation and no application is launched.

    • Jeff Bristow

      I have tried the Asus and Intel Windows 7 drivers and each of them tell me that I am using an incompatible Operating System. I have also tracked down the .inf file and Windows 8 gives me an unsupported error when I attempt to use that. I think I am going to do another clean install, this is odd these Windows 7 drivers are working for everyone else.

      • Anas Alali

        just go to the compatibility and make it win7 and it will work

  • Arka4131

    Dude can you tell me I have Intel Graphics Media accelator 3150 windows 7 driver…will it help me to give a 1024 x 600 resolution…

  • Vnagendra2001

    I have a Nokia 3G booklet and my resolution is set at 800 x 600. I tried to install the Intel drivers for the windows 7 and has not worked. Any one has similar experience or is there a way around?
    PS Nokia booklet uses Intel GMA 500 chipset

    • Crsmlg

      Hi, Vnagendra2001. I had the same case today. Did u solved it?

  • Jeff Bristow

    I am using this exact same netbook with Windows 8 and have not successfully found a Windows 7 driver that works with Windows 8 to resolve the screen resolution. If someone knows of a driver could you please post a link to it? I know the author of this post as well as many other eeePC 1000H users would appreciate a fix for this.

  • Rob Rakis

    I would suggest trying here . . . http://downloadcenter.intel.com/SearchResult.aspx?lang=eng&ProductFamily=Graphics&ProductLine=Laptop+graphics+controllers&ProductProduct=Intel%c2%ae+Graphics+Media+Accelerator+500&ProdId=3180&LineId=1101&FamilyId=39

    Make sure you grab the Windows 7 32 bit driver. I don’t think which version (Enterprise, Home Premium) will make a difference, but get your version anyway. If none of that works I don’t have any other way to help as I don’t have one of those particular devices available to work from.

  • Besar3x

    i have a dell d630 and windows 8 works just fine on it , i have only one concern, my dell now is overheating , does anybody has this problem ???

  • Orlando

    I have the correct resolution,  1024×600, but style the apps dont work. They work on my Desktop with a 22″ widescreen though. Any fix for the netbook version?

    • http://twitter.com/JorgTheElder Jorgie

      you may have the “correct resolution” for your screen, but metro apps require a minimum of 1024×768 to run. (Even wider to stack them side by side.) I am in the same boat. I hope someone finds a hack that lets metro work at 1024×600.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the tip using windows 7 drivers. I installed it on Compaq Presario C700 and fixed my resolution issues and so far I am just loving it. It is much snappier then windows 7 and I started feeling much more comfortable and faster in moving around much quicker then windows 7.

  • guest

    The reason you dont get the “Chrome free” version of IE in the video is because you ran it from the desktop.  This for all intents and purposes is “windows 7″.  All windows 7 drivers should work on 8.  To get the Chrome-free version of IE you have to run the metro style app from the start screen, ie “Touch First”.

  • Mode_m

    Asus 900 HA, can’t get the audio to work.

  • Stefan

    I instaled win 8 on my eee-pc 1000hd.Everything worked perfectly only my video driver not. I can’t find any driver that can be instal.
    Did enyone know a driver compatible?
    Pls help.

  • overmatik

    What about installing W8 on the Asus Transformer, would it work? If the Transformer 2 arrives with W8 I can see Android dying on tablets around the world. A tab with a removable keyboard which runs MS Office will be a jackpot.

    • holy shit

      dont forget that there are thousands of apps like office on play store.

  • Pixelloop

    With this modded grafix driver:

    http://uploading.com/files/acace4f9/GRAPHICS-DRIVER-IGMA-8.15.10.1930_SEVEN_MOD.exe/ 
    …you will be able to compress a 1024×768 resolution to eee screen with the asus tray. It will fix the metro gui. More modded drivers for the entire eee series can be found @ downloading.k0k0.de

    • Ethan

      Is this a driver for GMA 3150?

  • Mohsen

    Hi,
    I have a Dell Inspiron 6400 with VGA of Intel 945G. But the driver for win 7 does not support my VGA on windows developer preview. :( Could you plz help me?

    THANKS

  • Jan

    Hi, I’m using the same EEE Pc and I too am having the wireless problem. However, switching to the Ralink driver in the Device Manager does not solve it for me. Could you tell me which driver you downloaded, and is it possible that I’ve installed the wrong one?

  • Mifune

    I have tried to install Windows 8 but every time it says that a DVD driver is missing. Everyone some Ideas ?

  • http://twitter.com/rbassilian rbassilian

    I have an HP Mini with a 16GB SSD boot.  I still am running XP on it because it’s the only OS small enough to leave me room to work.  My question is, do you think they’ll be releasing a compact OS Windows 8 deployment so it’ll fit on devices like this?  I mean, if they’re going to release it to work on tablets, they need to accomodate this configuration.  

  • Mr. Joe

    This would only work with touch screens. It’s certainly a bold move for Windows. I doubt it’s the right one, however. I’m gonna stick with Windows 7 for now.

  • soep

    Does it make sense to install Win 8?

    At the end of the article you state it is not worth it for the Developer Preview. How about the Consumer Preview or latterly the retail version (if you had to guess)

    I believe I have a similair Eee PC as you. Currently I have running “Win XP Performance edition” on it (a customized stripped down version of XP). Do you think the upgrade(hassle) to Win 8 will be worth it, or just stick to XP? All that I am interested in, is a more smooth/faster running netbook. I am not interested in new (win 8) features.

    • reijin

      if your not interested in new features. I could suggest you stick to your current OS. as for windows 8 retail right now is running almost the same as windows 7. atleast this is on my acer aspire 4752G. :)

  • TurboDiesel

    Just loaded Win 8 onto my 1000h – I AM THRILLED.

    It loaded without issue from XP. Metro is odd. “apps” are a waste, but the metro page shows all icons (keep looking right). I got over resolution issue with REGEDIT fix = Display1_DownScalingSupported in order to “click” apps, but not worth the distortion. Just run normal display and IE 10 is like IE 8/9.

    Still wrangling with HIGH security for downloads = temporarily turn off IE 10 security.

    GO FOR IT. It’s fun and cheap $40!! (but then again I like Win 7 > XP)

  • dinoe

    I used the HotKey Resolution Changer (http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/17604/change-desktop-resolution-with-a-keyboard-shortcut/) on my windows 8 eee pc. pretty good work around. just makes it easy to switch resolutions to run metro-style apps.

  • THE REAL NIGGER

    I agree, fuck linux.

  • http://home.comcast.net/~tomleem BigGoofyGuy

    I have Win7 on an Acer Aspire One. It is frustrating. It is limited. I doubt Win 8 would work on it. I have an Asus notebook with Win8 on it. It was a ‘floor model’ so it might explain the slowness but it might be due to Win8 being ‘bloated’. Win8 makes Win7 look good.
    I am hoping that ReactOS will be at least usable by the time WinXP is no longer supported. Even if it is no longer supported, I have a feeling people will continue to use it anyway, especially on older computers like netbooks.
    http://www.reactos.org

  • Hole Of Peace for Everybody

    To make work the apps you need to install the 945intel graphic driver, i want to know if every driver is working? (camera, microphone, wifi)?

  • fiery43

    support for lower resolution displays is coming back with windows 10- you can join the windows insider programme, and download and install the windows 10 technical preview, which should run on your netbook.

  • Glen

    I just installed the Windows 10 Preview on my old 1000HE. It works quite well! No extra drivers were needed, and everything seems to be working.