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Vista Home Premium - Installation

© April 2008 Anthony Lawrence

I was given a review copy of Vista Home Premium.. I would have liked Vista Ultimate, but this is what they sent me - oh well. I deliberately installed it on weak hardware - an older 386 (no, typo, P3, see the comments) with 512MB of RAM.. weak, yes, but meeting their listed minimum requirements and also a system that happily and quickly installed the latest Ubuntu.

It took just about one hour to get beyond "Expanding Files" and to do its first reboot. Frankly, I was surprised that it wasn't longer. After that reboot I dd have an agonizingly long black screens, but reasonably quickly after that it said "Completing Installation" and within another five minutes or so it rebooted again and eventually (long periods of blackness again) brought up a Vista desktop. Painful watching this poor thing boot.

Whoo-hoo. I guess..

Then we had a simple setup - name, password, computer name, wallpaper and timezone. Following that, Vista said it was checking my computer's performance - that ate up a few more minutes. More dark screens, and then a login prompt.. "Preparing your desktop" took a bit of time.. and then, there it was.. well, almost, there was still a spinning circle for a bit, but it actually stopped before I expected it to. I immediately logged off..

I timed logging back in - thirteen seconds - not too bad. My Mac is speedier, but it isn't running on this slow a processor. Windows Vista rates this as "1.0" on the Windows Experience scale.. I'm pretty sure that's as low as it can get and still run Vista, so we won't complain about it being pokey. Yes, Linux runs better.. I know that.

First disappointment: "Windows did not detect any networking hardware". Funny, Ubuntu and every other Linux and BSD OS I ever threw at this old box certainly found the NIC card. Apparently it's too old for Microsoft to bother supplying a driver for.. isn't that a kick?

So I guess that I'll have to go buy a more modern NIC before I can try much else.. we'll revisit this another day.

And actually I realized later: only 384MB of ram - amazing this runs at all!

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-> Vista Home Premium on low end hardware - Installation


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Thu Apr 17 14:53:45 2008: 4047   anonymous

Even Popular Mechanics thinks Macs are better: (link)

Thu Apr 17 17:42:26 2008: 4050   BenTheMeek

Surely thats a typo (or a joke) about the 386? The max speed for a 386 if memory serves is 33 Mhz and vistas minimum requirement is 1 Ghz. At first I chuckled and then I thought maybe you were serious by the end of the post. Anyway just curious about the specs of the machine...

Thu Apr 17 17:51:14 2008: 4051   TonyLawrence

Actually, Vista's minimum requirement is

* 800 MHz processor and 512 MB of system memory
* 20 GB hard drive with at least 15 GB of available space
* Support for Super VGA graphics
* CD-ROM drive

Turns out this box doesn't quite meet that - but amazingly enough, it installed and ran - I'll give it that much!

The cpu identifies as x86 family 6 model 8 stepping 3

I think that's a P3 actually..? So no, I mistyped 386 :-)

And also, actually I realized later: only 384MB of ram - amazing this runs at all!


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