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2 Bronze

win7 on mini 9?

I ordered a Mini 9 in February and so far it is still in production. Apparently the broadband modem is backordered. Having read other posts on here about delays, I have a bad feeling about this, like I am never going to receive this computer (if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is). All the other Dells I've ever ordered have shipped within a week.

However, if I should ever receive it, I want to put Windows 7 on it. I have been running Win7 beta on my new Inspiron 13 since day 1, and it rocks. I hear it runs fine on 512K RAM, and I would like to try that out.

I am curious whether anyone has done this and how you did it. I have a Win7 DVD and I also have access to an OS image, or I could download the Enterprise installation from work, but I would have to join to the domain and hardwire to the corpnet and I'm not sure how possible this will be. Naturally the mini does not have an optical drive. I have an external DVD drive, but I don't think I can boot to it. I have a 4 gig flash drive. I think that might be the way to go.

Anyway I am curious how other people have done this if they have. I want to immediately wipe the whole thing (with all the Dell bloatware and XP) and install Win7 clean. But I suppose I could also upgrade and uninstall the Dell stuff by hand.



Replies (10)
2 Bronze

You can install windows 7 build 7057 to a mini 9, but the Aero interface will be seriously limited until you upgrade the mini 9 to 2GB of memory, but even still some aero effects will not work.

You can boot from any bootable USB device, to include USB DVD-rom drives, USB hard drives, USB memory sticks etc.



2 Bronze

I ran into trouble. I created the bootable USB & copied all the DVD files to it (beta DVD, build 7000), had to wipe the mini 9 hard drive, but then it said it had room, and it proceeded through the entire installation but hung at "Completing installation" and stated my hardware did not support it. Windows folks say it should install & run on 512 mb, I don't care about aero in this case. I wonder if there is that much difference that I should get hold of build 7057 or beef up the RAM or anyone have any other suggestions? This is really disappointing. XP doesn't support the smartcard drivers I need to terminal serve into my work desktop and is so slow besides.

2 Bronze

I was able to get Win7 onto the mini 9 (512mb RAM, 8 gb ssd) by stripping down the installation with vlite. Win 7 sound, video and wifi drivers were loaded automatically, but I had to reload several of the Dell drivers (such as for the mobile broadband card) manually. It rocks! Basically:

Install vlite 1.16 (freeware from web). Then install vlite 2.0. (1.16 has a dll you have to have.)

Load the vlite configuration found at You can add back some items if you need them, but I suggest don't remove anything additional. Have vlite build 1 Win7 Ultimate instance.

Have vlite build an iso file. Extract it with Winzip.

Format a 4 gb USB stick to be bootable with diskpart. Copy the extracted files onto it. They should be about 1.25-1.3 gb.

Set your mini 9 BIOS to boot first from the removable drive (use 2 option at startup; 0 didn't work for me).

Plug in your USB stick & reboot the mini 9.

With any luck at all... About an hour later you will have Win7!

I have about 2.5 gb space left over after installing... and it is running Aero and snappy compared to XP! But I'm still going to invest in a bigger SSD and 1 gb RAM. Then maybe I can get the whole Win7 with the cool wallpapers, games, etc.

Now all I need is the Viewguard antiglare screen (tried the Mini 9 outside today & couldn't see anything but my reflection) and I'm set!

2 Bronze

Where did you get a copy of Win_7 to use for this?

5 Rhenium

Hi rjames523, Windows 7 RC1 will be out in 12 days, Ie 10TH April. Keep an eye on the Windows 7 forums HERE.


If my answer Was helpful?  Please let me know by clicking on the 'Did this answer your question' and clicking on the Yes button.  Thanks.



2 Bronze


I got a beta disk when the beta was open, but it's closed now. I don't know if they will open it back up for RC or not. The beta license was good for 3 computers.

Maybe I'll put the RC on after I get my new memory & hard drive.


2 Bronze

Thanks for the link. I'll keep an eye on it. I'm over in Iraq with a company here. I couldn't download anything like this without violating bandwidth policy. I'm sure I can get someone back home to get it for me and send it on disk. I have read reports on the internet that Win 7 runs very good on Mini9.

2 Bronze

How is your Mini 9 running ??

I have a Ubuntu, Mini 9 which I am considering upgrading to Windows 7.

I have a 910 processor at 1.6 Ghz, 533 Mhz 512 L2 Cash

2 GB DDR2 533 Mhz 1 Dimm

64 GB Solid State Drive and an Intel Graphic Media Accelerator (GMA) 950.

I am concerned about drivers and compatibility, espically the solid state and video processing.

Do you have any suggestions or advice ??

2 Bronze

Go for it. It runs great. My Mini 9 (as in the thread above) is the same setup as yours only less - it came with 512mb RAM and an 8 gb SSD. I had to vlite WIn7 beta to fit it on there (mostly took out the language packs), but it ran like a champ from the get go. (I use a 4 gb USB stick to install from.)

Then I upgraded the Mini 9 to 2 GB RAM and a 16 GB SSD, which was a snap (undo 2 screws on the back, drop in the new cards). Then I was able to put the Win7 RC on it without having to vlite or remove any components. Completely problem free. The only driver I had to find and install by hand was the WWAN mobile broadband card.

When RTM came out I put that on - Win 7 Ultimate, clean install, and again it loaded almost all drivers on install. In fact this time I think it even found and loaded the mobile broadband card, but not the connection utility, which I had to go get from Dell. (There were actually some Ricoh controller drivers that did not load on install, although I didn't notice any ill effects, but when I used "Add Device" in Device Manager it found the devices, went out to the mfr's site, got the drivers and installed them automatically, pretty slick I thought.)

It runs flawlessly... performance is good, battery life is good, graphics are gorgeous (and they were even under 512 mb RAM). There were about 8 gb free on my 16 gb SSD after installing Win7. With a 64 gb drive you should be good to go.

I got the Mini 9 almost as a novelty because it was so cheap, but I use it much more than I thought I would. It almost runs better than my big loaded up machines. Note that I really do use this solely as a netbook. I connect to the Internet, my home network (and media libraries via Homegroup), and terminal serve/RDP into my work machines. Since I can do anything I want using those machines, I haven't been motivated to install many apps on the netbook itself, and I mostly put my media on my big home machine.

I can't think of any reason not to go for Win 7. Let me know if I can help in any way.


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