Installing Windows 7 on Acer One


Installing Windows 7 inside an Acer One is fun and probably not a waste of your time.






Why?

For two reasons in specific: It's free and it's fast.

- Free because Microsoft allows you to use Windows 7 until June 2010.
- Fast when compared to it's predecessor Windows Vista.

Still not as fast as XP and a lot of memory is consumed but we might consider the pros vs cons in a later blog post.

How?

My short tutorial is just an example so that people have a better notion about a possible way to install.

The first step is downloading the Windows 7 ISO, it's available from MS here:
http://www.microsoft.com/Windows/windows-7/download.aspx

Then, using a separate partition to keep both XP and Win7 working is a good idea in case you need to go back some day. There are plenty of tools to split the Acer One partion, I used the one I trusted the most.

Since I use Ubuntu, there is a USB install tool that creates USB pendisks, one advantage of these pendisks is that they come builtin with a partition editor that resizes NTFS partitions safely (and as simple as it gets) - http://www.ubuntu.com/

After the partition is made available, it's time to launch Windows 7 install setup from the original XP. I created a 40Gb partition thought after installed this new Windows it took about 9Gb worth of used space.


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Installing

Since there is no incorporated DVD reader, we can fake a drive using a virtual DVD drive to mount the ISO image.

My favorite tool for this task on Windows is ImDisk (open source) - http://www.ltr-data.se/opencode.html#ImDisk

LinkJust install and reboot the machine. Aftwerwards you can right-click on any ISO image and make it available as a fake drive.

Mounting the Windows 7 ISO image we get the install started.

Don't forget to choose a new instalation and select the secondary partition that you have just created and the installation begins.

The install process is a bit lengthy (one hour perhaps) and reboots several times without need for human interaction.

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I was a bit afraid that some drivers wouldn't recognize the Acer One hardware. But there is one good thing about this Windows version - it supports drivers that were created for XP. This is a big plus without doubt.

All that was left to be done was visiting the Acer download site and grab the latest drivers for the Mouse synaptic software that allowed double tapping to be recognized as left-click.

Also, the software to control the fan noise also seemed to work only for XP/Vista - it was nice to see Win7 also asking to run the program in "XP mode" so that it work as expected (and it did).

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In overall

I have very nice words to say about Windows 7 indeed.

This OS is serious and less cluttered than it's precedent. The visual style is good and they have really made enough improvements to convince me as a worthy replacement for XP.

In a time that both OSX and Ubuntu are enjoying from a popularity boost given by the awfull performance demonstrated by Windows Vista, it should be no surprise to see Windows rising back into better days within 2010 if all goes well for them.

It's nice to see some competition.. :)