Installed Windows 10 Tech Preview on Dell Inspiron Mini 10

I'm an old-school computer builder - as in the first computer I built came in a bag and required a soldering iron.  As such, I admire optimization and positively loathe bloatware (such as Windows Vista) and decided that the 'ultimate test' I could perform (to see if WIn10 was anywhere near so lean as XP) was to try it out on my old Dell Mini 10 - jokingly named "10 for 10".

System Specs

Intel Atom N270 CPU

~ Single core with Hyper-Threading

~ 1.6 GHz CPU clock

~ 533 MHz FSB

1 GB RAM

1024x600 display

60 GB Corsair ForceGT SSD (non-original)

I came into this fully expecting to loathe Windows 10 and, thus far, it's beginning to grow on me - I'm amazed at how smoothly 10 runs on this tiny little netbook (shipped with XP).  CPU utilization averages 9%, peaking to around 50% when performing basic desktop tasks.  A tad sluggish in places but, given that this is a 5yo netbook, the overall performance is still remarkable.

The claim that "Windows 10 runs on anything" is, thus far, holding true.

Only two caveats thus far:

1 ) Even as old as this particular model is, there are still a lot of these smaller netbooks in use world-wide.  1024x600 or 800x600 is their maximum (and native) resolution - below the 1024x768 minimum required by the default apps.  Devs might consider adding 1024x600 / 800x600 versions of these apps to be used when the installation program detects lower-resolution LCD display.

2 ) REQUIRING users to log into a Microsoft account to utilize third-party apps such as Skype has to go!  If one recalls, such strong-arming crippled Xbox One's standings among consoles (required Kinect and always-online), and rectifying it after-the-fact was a tacit admission of guilt.  Although the apps feature a "Sign in without Microsoft account" option, it doesn't work - this needs to be fixed and quick!

I'll be back to update this post as the opportunity presents.

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Okay...  Three days of putting this little netbook through its paces and here's the skinny:

Overall, Windows 10 (TP) offers modest performance improvements over XP.  Despite being at the absolute bottom of the minimum system requirements, nearly all tested third-party software performed at least as well as under XP.

Those which failed to do so failed completely, resulting in the following error:

PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA (cpuz136_x32.sys)

The system error screen in Windows 10 is a welcome improvement - far less cryptic than the infamous BSOD (7 and earlier) and more informative than the default 8/8.1 screen.  Though I might suggest a timed 'Press any key to restart' option - providing more time for a user to copy down the error message.  (Took me three tries to make sure I copied the above error message correctly.)

The solitary shortcoming I noticed with this system involved compressed files/folders.  Making non-compressed copies of compressed files under Windows 10 (SSD to same SSD) takes roughly SIX times as long as under XP.  I noted that, under Windows 10, CPU utilization was maxxed out @ 1.6 GHz yet memory utilization never exceeded 52%.

As with copying in general (USB to SSD, 1 folder containing 5 files and 1 compressed folder [105 MB, 2620 files w/subfolders @ 258 MB] - 1.13 GB total), the system hung up several times during the process.  Happens with Windows 10, but not with XP.

This would seem to indicate that Windows 10 treats .ZIP archives as native folders - probably not an issue for more typical systems (multiple cores, 4+ GB RAM, etc) but a distinct bottleneck for more marginal systems such as this one.  I should also note that this is unique to .ZIP archives, so not liable to be an issue for mainstream users.

da one and only Vixie!

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One minor note I forgot to mention...

As an enthusiast, the first thing I do following a new Windows install (regardless of version) is to strip out Internet Explorer and anything directly relating to it (replacing it with a more standards-compatible browser like Chrome).

Still, Windows 10 is new and I figured that whatever version of IE came with it deserved a fair shake, so I reinstalled IE and its accompanying software....

And then everything on the Metro-styled Start Menu disappeared.  Name, power, All Apps, and Search remained but everything else was completely gone - no tiles, no program listing, nothing but a little blue block with three rows.

Tried rebooting - no change.  Rebooted again - no change.

Following one of the PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA crashes, booting produced an error message citing that windows could not start and needed to be repaired (which it did automatically).

Following this reboot, the Start Menu was back to its normal appearance.  I had not altered it prior, so cannot say whether it restored its previous arrangement or reverted to the default.

da one and only Vixie!

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I had the same thinking as you that installing on an old atom netbook as a good base line system to see how efficient win 10 TP ran.  

I installed Windows 10 Pro Tech Preview on a similar system:

Hp/Compaq Mini 110c-1100dx Product# VM146UA#aba

CPU             Intel Atom N270 / 1.6 GHz
Cache     L2 - 512 KB
FSB               533 Mhz
Chipset     Mobile Intel 945GSE Express

Memory     DDR2 SDRAM 533 Mhz/PC2-4200 SO DIMM 200-pin (1 slot max 2GB)
HDD interface    Serial ATA-150
Display      1024x600 (WSVGA 16:9) 10.1" LED backlight

GPU               Intel GMA 950 (Dynamic Video Memory Technology 3.0)
              128 MB total available graphics memory

Difference of specs between your system and mine is hard drive (mine is 160GB sata HDD not SSD) and I later replaced the 1GB ddr2 with a 2GB ddr2.

It seemed to frequently hesitate often.  I picked up at a local pc shop (for $15) a used 2GB of DDR2 to replace the 1GB and it made a tremendous difference in system.  The system actually is usable now with the 2GB ddr2 memory for basic tasks.  I installed chrome and did a little browsing 4 or 5 tabs.  Too slow to stream HD movies (video stutters).  haven't  got around to installing desktop apps yet.

I strongly recommend installing at least 2GB (max for my system board) for 32 bit install of W10.


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i just got my Win 7 Starter upgraded to Home Premium, and was hoping that I would soon see the "Reserve your free Win 10 upgrade" icon in the taskbar, but no such luck yet.   If not, will try a clean install of the final. I have a feeling a 2GB DDR and SSD will be forthcoming.

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Any luck for finding drivers for the touch pad on the dell Mini?   I found the windows 7 driver worked.

K3for I got the win icon on my windows 7 starter by making sure all the updates were installed.

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Hallo Twyla,

my old Dell is exactly the same as yours. But I'm just trying the 3rd install. Last point reached is allways a blue screen with "wait a moment, please...". And that for more than 2 hours. The dell is not connected to www. Is that neccessary? DO you have any helpful hints?

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The win10 roll out is a bit slow for the low end of windows products.  I recently updated my home desktop to 8.1 from vista and the reserve screen was part of the startup process.  If you are not an insider, join up.  It's free, and you get the final release win10 for free as a gift for downloading and trying the builds.  I am currently using win10 pro (build 10230, the last pre-release) on an emachines netbook with specs very similar to the original poster (the only difference is 2gb of ram instead of 1).  One essential I've discovered for the trial versions is ccleaner (free) so that when a new build hits, I can erase the old install which chews up about 14gb of ssd.  All of the win7 drivers work, as well as the old registry hack to get resolutions beyond 1024x600 on the screen.  Since these products are no longer made, it's unlikely Intel will rewrite the drivers for that capability.  The hack enabled 1152x864 on my display, which windows 10 set by default.  Download the .iso onto a memory stick and do a clean install, which has always been the best way to update.  SSD's are very reasonable now, so replace the mechanical hard drive for sure.  The main beef I have with the recent builds has been the sluggish performance of edge (the replacement for IE), particularly on ad heavy sites.  Nobody has an ad-killer for this new product developed yet, but hopefully the final release will iron out the problems.  My preferred browsers right now are safari with adblock, firefox with adblock, and opera develooper without an adblocker during testing.  The low end games that are suited for netbooks and big fish games run fine under win10, although I would likely disable the active charms on the start menu for pay as you go or metered connections.  I'm also looking forward to see if the connections to windows phone are more seamless, but that rollout might be held up until the fall, as the builds on phone are controlled by carriers.

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I'm an old-school computer builder - as in the first computer I built came in a bag and required a soldering iron.  As such, I admire optimization and positively loathe bloatware (such as Windows Vista) and decided that the 'ultimate test' I could perform (to see if WIn10 was anywhere near so lean as XP) was to try it out on my old Dell Mini 10 - jokingly named "10 for 10".

I sold my Dell Mini-9 about 6 months ago. I just couldn't come up with any other uses for it. Now I wish I had kept it, so I could run the same tests as you. I would love to put a bigger SSD in there and see how it runs.

I'm really liking WinTen on my Latitude. Incredibly fast! According to Control Panel -> System, I am running Windows 10 Pro, 64-bit, since last night. I can't find anything anywhere relating to a "Build". I honestly think I have WinTen Pro now.

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i have a dell mini 910

with a dual with ssd of 128gb (supertalent)

2gb ddr2 600mhz ram (kingston)

still the stock wifi card (maybe upgrading to a 8011.11N or 801.11AC wifi card) (no place left for the 3g card (space taken by ssd)) (recycled out of a old laptop/new)

it runs fine in win7 32bit

all drivers are working fine under win7 except for some: (still need to update all of them)

broken/unknown drivers:

-other devices

/base system device 

/base system device

/unkown device

--------------------------

*update* 

currently runnin win10 32bit without problems.

the 3 broken drivers are still not working, dont know the cause.

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If you have XP don't you first have to upgrade to win 7 with sp1.  Don't you have to buy that first?

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Last updated May 21, 2021 Views 18,555 Applies to: