Windows 8 Consumer Preview may be optimized for computers with touchscreens and high resolution displays, but Microsoft’s latest operating system also runs reasonably well on netbooks and other older computers.

Windows 8 Eee PC 1000H

The Asus Eee PC 1000H was released in the summer of 2008. It has a 10 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel display, a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom N270 processor, and GMA 950 graphics. It’s not exactly a powerhouse, but when I installed Windows 8 Consumer Preview on the aging netbook today it felt surprisingly snappy.

Microsoft’s minimum system requirements for Windows 8 Consumer Preview include a computer with a 1 GHz or faster processor, 1GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage space. Most netbooks released over the last 4 years fit that description.

There is one major problem though: Windows 8 really works best on a machine with a 1366 x 768 pixel display. In fact, you can’t even access the Windows Store to download apps for the new Metro Style user interface unless you have at least a 1024 x 768 pixel display.

Fortunately there’s an app for that… or rather a graphics driver.

When I first install Windows 8 Consumer Preview, the operating system thought my netbook had an 800 x 600 pixel display. By downloading a Windows 7 graphics driver from Intel I was able to convince Windows 8 that I had a 1024 x 600 pixel display.

If the graphics driver from the previous link doesn’t work, you can also try searching the Intel download center for the latest driver for your device.

What’s more, I could actually set the screen resolution as high as 1024 x 768 or even 1152 x 864. Since there aren’t actually that many pixels on my screen, some images and text look funky at those resolutions, but you can access the Windows Store and run Metro Style apps such as the latest version of Internet Explorer 10.

You still need a 1366 x 768 pixel or higher resolution display to enable window snapping though.

Last year’s Windows 8 Developer Preview didn’t even require a graphics driver. All I had to do with that pre-release version of Windows was make a change to the registry, but that option doesn’t seem to be available anymore.

Windows 8 consumer preview

The good news is that the minimum screen resolution requirements are a pretty good indication that future Windows tablets, netbooks, and other devices with small displays will probably have high resolution screens. But it’s also nice to know that you don’t need to update to a new computer to run the latest Windows software.

Of course, this is just a preview version of Windows 8 though… a lot could change before Microsoft releases the final version of the operating system later this year.


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35 replies on “Windows 8 Consumer Preview runs well on netbooks (mostly)”

  1. 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. (but then again I like Win 7 > XP)

  2. I think Windows 8 runs pretty well on my HP netbook, it usually boots in less than 10 to 10 seconds and is much faster than Windows 7 when it was on my netbook. Plus it seems to me that my battery is lasting longer than what it was on Windows 7.

  3. Hey there, does anyone have any idea how I could do a similar scaling with an ATi netbook? It’s a 6200 video card in there… and I’m more that sure that I couldn’t use an Intel driver, ha! 

  4. Hi I’m new here and I really thankful for the information you provided. I installed windows 8 consumer preview in my Eee pc 900HA. Everything works fine but Sounds. I tried to find windows 7 drivers but I couldn’t. Can someone please help me with this?

  5. im sorry if i sound technically challenged but my itunes have stopped working since i upgraded to windows 8   i have tried reinstalling it but no joy   i have  a 1000h

      1. what do u suggest if i have to sync my ipod is there any other option ???

  6. The newest GMA 1350 (Oct 2010) driver does not provide 1024×768 or higher resolution option. However, the Asus T101MT still recognizes the regedit hack mentioned in the article to increase the resolution. That works well with the Windows 8 

  7. yes it works and it looks very nice and I like it, but Why are ALL the metro apps for a minimum resolution of 1024 x 768??? stupid windows!

  8. Hi guys
    I’m Vietnamese. So sorry about my English

    When I install Win8CPx86 on my Asus EeePC 1000H via USB Flash (use Windows7-USB-DVD-tool.exe) then this message appear:
    “We couldn’t create a new partition or locate an existing one. For more information, see the setup log files”

    With Win7, just back to Install Windows screen and unplug USB, after that re-plug USB in another usb port on my netbook then hit I Install. Everything will run normally.

    But with Win8 CP x86, I can not do it right now.

    Pls help me

    1. hix… finally, solution is Google’s answer “use other USB”

      Good day all

  9. Excellento !

    I tried it on my asus 1000HE.
    Yes indeed , it worked allright.

    Thank you doctors.

  10. Tried it on my EEE PC 900HA. Looked way better after downloading the driver (thanks for the link). Overall it worked alright, but I ended up connecting it to a monitor because I wanted to try out the Metro style apps. Definitely an interesting experience.

  11. Brad says the registry change does not work, but it worked for me on a Lenovo Ideapad s10t convertible tablet netbook with Intel n450 atom and 3150 graphics.  I had to change one occurrence of the the display1_downsizing parameter following Brad’s instructions – thanks!  The linked driver did not work (it is for earlier Intel graphics.  I am using latest (circa Oct 2010) Intel driver for 3150.  Win8 is much more interesting now.
    So how do I change the email app to gmail (it wants an MS account login)?

  12. Hello I’m new in here, I have a big problem I have a Eee PC Netbook but I follow all the step, but is don’t work I don’t now why, I tray whit different drivers but none works, i need your help thanks

    1.  It’ll be better if you ask on the site, it’s a message board dedicated to fellow Eee PC users and they can go in more depth than we can here.  Especially if someone on the board has the same model as yours and is also trying this out.

      So list your model number, BIOS version, and what you’re trying to do.

  13. I have a 1000he and I can’t seem to give the audio to fire up. Any suggestions?

      1. I downloaded and installed that driver last night and no dice. Checked devices and found that drivers were installed but got errors saying that sound has been disabled within Windows 8. Maybe a BIOS or registry based issue. It’s strange that 1000H works without a hitch and 1000HE has issues when they are basically the same computer.

        1. Not quite the same, the 1000HE has some minor differences from the other 1000H models.  Also the N280 tended to not have as much support as the N270 even by the time Pine Trail replaced them both.

          You can check the Eee User Forum for topics already covering installing Windows 7 on the 1000HE that can be applicable or just post your problem, make sure to list your BIOS version if you do.

          1. All is working now. Did BIOS update and re-installed Windows 8. Works flawlessly. I am very happy with what Microsoft has done with Windows 8.

  14. I absolutely love you guys.  I have been looking for a driver all morning for windows 8.  I had a newer version of the one you guys provided and it did not work.  This one you linked to did.  Thanks very much!

  15. how can you hack screen resolution, I know it in windows 7,

    I need it in windows 8 CP,  I can’t do anything right now on Win8, it stops me saying  I need 1024×768 when I’ve got only 1024×600

  16. I have the exact same netbook you used to install w8 but when I try it it says my processor isnt good enough!? Did you install directly with an ISO or did you use the install tool?

    1. Got it working now with installing through the iso file instead, thanks

      1.  Yes, they’ve tested on the HP Elitebook 2760p convertible and Asus EP121, both with 1280×800 screens and snap did not work.

        Though don’t know if it can be allowed with virtual resolution.

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