Thursday, March 19, 2009

Dual booting into Windows 7 an Asus EEE 901

I recently managed to convince myself that the thing my life was lacking was a new toy - since I have a baby and a toddler toys are in no short supply in my house, but the generally crinkle or squeak rather than run beta operating systems so I decided to jump on the netbook bandwagon. After lots of reading reviews I decided Asus were still where it was at, and went for an Asus eee 901 Linux.

Linux lasted about half an hour, and that wasn't just because I was unable to persuade it to use my wireless network. I bought the netbook at least partly because I wanted to play about with installing Windows 7 beta on it - at least partly just for the challenge.

Thing is, I can't see what the fuss is about. After reading tutorials like this I thought this was going to be rocket science, in fact it seemed so complicated, with bootable SD cards (don't have one) and messing about with vlite and the Windows AIK and using Startup Repair from the DVD that I decided to just just sick a DVD in the (external) drive and see what happened. Actually, I installed XP first (while Windows 7 build 7057 downloaded) on the 4gb partition, then formatted the 15gb partition and installed Windows 7 to there. Job done - I now am dual booting Windows 7 and XP, so I can decide which one is faster (obviously XP) and better (obviously Windows 7).

Anyway, since everyone else is publishing guides to getting Windows 7 on a Netbook, this is mine for dual booting XP and Windows 7. If somoeone can tell me why mine seem to have half the steps of everyone else's that'd be great! Oh, and this works just fine with Vista, I found 7 to be much faster than Vista on the 901 though.

1. Make sure you are running bios version 1001 or 1101 - these are the only current versions that will work in XP and Windows 7 without an external monitor!
2. Plug in your external DVD drive and change the bios to boot off it.
3. Pop in your Windows XP Professional CD and boot
4. Delete all partitions on the 4gb and 16gb drives. Create partitions on both and install to the 4gb one.
5. Get the latest drivers from the Asus site, install everything and connect to the (wireless?) lan.
6. Format the 16gb D: drive and copy the contents of the Windows 7 DVD to it. Run Setup
7. Install Windows 7 to the big partition.
8. After install, remove the Windows 7 installation files, they're just taking up space.

Yep, that's it. Anyway, I will soon make a decision about which OS to go for (probably 7) and rebuild to save space, but for now its all working lovely.

Just got to get used to tiny keyboard now.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, hark at Mr Jakeman and his fancy eeePC. I had one of those before anyone had even heard of a notebook, but you had to go and get one better than me and dual boot it with Windows 7. Grrr, mine barely works with XP thanks to its 4gb hard drive, 20gb? You must want the moon on a bloody stick. Grrrr.....