Some of you know that I set up Windows Vista Home Premium on this Netbook earlier and you can read that here. I was glad to say goodbye to XP and see Vista running on this little machine. Well, the day after Thanksgiving I was able to get the family pack of Windows 7 Home Premium for $150. It was time to upgrade the Mini, I knew my fiancé would love the new features and I wanted to see how much better it would run on there. So again I went to work.
Here is some background, I got this Netbook because it is light and portable, not to just check e-mail and look cool. This thing is very light. I would suggest any of the HP Netbooks if you are interested in them. This one is an HP Mini 1000 the true model number is the 1030NR. I have read that the best thing you can do to these computers that run Intel Atom processors is to upgrade the ram and I did just that, I upgraded it to 2 Gb. Other than that this thing is still stock.
The upgrade was much simpler than putting Vista on this and I would say that anyone could do this very easily. I had purchased an external DVD drive when I got the Mini so I attached it to it and booted off of the Windows 7 install disc. The Mini will only support 32bit versions of Windows. I booted off of the 32bit disc and formatted the hard drive and installed Windows, it was simple. Afterward, I ran Windows Updates and installed Microsoft Office 2007 Ultimate. Total Windows, Office, and a few programs fill up the 16Gb Solid State hard drive. Just a few gigs free when it is all said and done. I again disabled System Restore and set to a manual page file size instead of letting the OS manage it.
This was an easy install, the Device Manager was clear from the end of the installation. However, a basic mouse driver was installed. If you want the scroll function, download the Vista mouse driver from another HP laptop that used a Synaptics driver. Also, just a note the built-in webcam in the Mini works just fine in Windows 7, did not have to load any drivers for it the Windows Setup did it automatically.
All in all this Mini seems faster with 7 installed than with Vista. The numbers are interesting, below is the Scores from Windows 7, check out my other blog here for windows Vista’s numbers on the same machine. Remember in Vista the highest score was a 5.9, in Windows 7 the highest score is a 7.9
Again I ran the Passmark Performance Test and Vista got a 172, while Windows 7 gets a 178.8, not a big jump but it is still a performance increase and you notice it on the Mini, the system is much more responsive.
So if you bought that Netbook on Black Friday or have an older one I would suggest a Windows 7 upgrade. If you do not have an external DVD drive you can look into local computer service shops to do an upgrade for you. Windows 7 takes everything good about Vista and makes it better, as well as taking the bad and making it great. This upgrade is simple and recommended.