Windows 7 on the MSI Wind Netbook: First Impressions

37 Comments

Windows 7 on the MSI Wind

Windows 7 on the MSI Wind

Thanks to a kind Microsoftie at the Tablet & Touch Meetup, I received an official DVD of the Windows 7 beta. This saved me a ton of downloading time that I don’t really have. I was home from CES for 36 hours before jetting off to SFO this morning. Since I spent the first 12 hours at home asleep, the DVD came in handy.

I decided to just do a clean Windows 7 install for the moment; no point in dual-booting or anything since my netbook has MOSPD anyway. That’s Multiple Operating System Personality Disorder for those new to our mobile escapades. I didn’t take the 2GB RAM stick out either, but that’s something I’ll have to do when I get back this weekend. After all, most netbooks these days come with 512MB or 1GB of memory. Having said that, here’s what I see when installing Windows 7 on the MSI Wind as I sit in PHL waiting for a flight.

  • A clean install was painless and took less than 30 minutes. As near as I can tell at this point, the only item that didn’t work after the initial install were my wireless card. Running Windows Update while wired to my LAN resolved that issue. Everything else seemed to work out of the gate: Bluetooth, webcam, trackpad scrolling, etc…
  • Boot time is 56.6 seconds and that includes around 10 seconds of the BIOS & MSI Wind splash screen. I can see everything I expect in the system tray at that point and can start opening apps. Note, I’m in the PHL airport and can’t test the wireless connection time, although at the 56.6 mark, I see the connection manager looking for a WiFi signal.
  • Sleep without any programs open is 7.2 seconds. Resume is 3.6 seconds. I expect that these figures will vary based on your hardware, amount of RAM, applications open at the time, etc… I’ll do more time tests as I start to use Windows 7.
  • Windows says the battery life on a full charge is 6 hours and 18 minutes. As I said when I looked at an early Win7 build, that’s not an exact number to use, but a good general indicator.
  • Another general indicator of expected performance is the Windows Experience Index:
  1. Processor = 2.2
  2. Memory = 4.5
  3. Graphics = 2.3
  4. Gaming Graphics = 3.0
  5. Primary Hard Disk = 4.9
  • All of my function keys appear to be working, although I don’t see any visible difference when using the Turbo / Underclock button. Note that I haven’t installed any of the MSI utilities yet, so my on-screen menu items for these keys aren’t working.

All in all, the initial experience during and just after installation is very positive. It’s way too early to formulate any  performance impressions as I have to install an app or two and then use the device for my daily grind to gain any useful data. However, this shows promise, especially for devices like netbooks that have relatively meager hardware. During all of these observations, I have Aero Glass running; performance can be improved by turning that off.

In terms of first looks of the OS “feel”, I remember clicking the Control Panel on Vista and the machine took a few seconds to open and render. I won’t say that it’s instantaneous in Windows 7 on my netbook, but it’s pretty close. There’s not much lag at all when maneuvering around the OS and that’s good because it shouldn’t get in your way. I see 30 processes at startup and a pretty reasonable memory footprint in use.

All in all: good signs that show promise. After continued use I’ll have more to say. I’m curious how Windows 7 works after an extended time frame people still report “disk thrashing” after startup and such. I haven’t seen that yet, but it’s way too early to discount the possibility.

37 Comments

fRED

ive installed win 7 for msi u100 plus. the problem that came out is the battery wont charge. ive also already upgraded the bios. hope anyone could help. thanks!

jobbs

I got that same problem, lucky me i did flash bios & had it under warranty so they changed it immediately (the whole unit not just the battery). What happened is u also accidentaly mis-flashed the battery, those things happen.

You have to upgrade bios (without the battery pack on) just plugged in with the adaptor (to a ups – for safety purposes) to an outlet. Then do the usual USB flashboot method…

ikram

Hi guys!

I have bought a windows 7 netbook but i cannot seem to open any of my word pro files. can anyone help?

jason

had it running on my msi wind u120 mic didnt work in skype so i switched back to xp because i use it everyday and i need it

Ray Wolfson

installed windows 7 on wind 120

the fn keys work but do not show up on screen.

would appreciate any help

digitally

i’ve upgraded my MSI Wind U100 Plus LXP8 Netbook to windows 7 but to my dismay, i can’t find a driver for my webcam and bluetooth

pls help

digital

HG

make sure you enable the webcam with the FN key, same with the Bluetooth. Then your Windows 7 will continue and install the drivers.

Brian

I’ve installed the RTM version of Win .
the only issue I have is it won’t turn off the monitor automatically when open, then won’t go to sleep.
Its fine when the monitor is closed.

kyle

this has been an issue with all versions of windows 7…if you look on msiwind.net forums you will find a bat file that installs a new power option that fixes the flickering and dims the screen.

T-MANN

I too suffer from this issue with the Webcam not working. Has anyone had this and solved it? No windows update fixed it.

AlxBlack

Drivers for webcam ? msi u100 ..
i had installed the windows 7 .127 but my camera it’s not working ..

Michael

thanks, before I sow you post I used wind u1200 driver and it installed correctly, I did the setting you suggested and it works just fine

michael

kyle

ajax…this is from msiwind.net should fix both of your issues….

Anyway, download the drivers for vista from here
http://www.realtek.com.tw/downloads/downloadsCheck.aspx?Langid=1&PNid=24&PFid=24&Level=4&Conn=3&DownTypeID=3&GetDown=false#High%20Definition%20Audio%20Codecs

then open realtek hd audio manager
go to microphone
set at the maximum the recording volume
press the second button next to the recording volume
set the boost to maximum
then open device advance settings to the upper right corner of realtek hd audio manager
and select the first option (to solve the “two instances installed”)

Michael

I have it installed too, works very well better them XP, but the mic does not working for me.
the camera, the wireless are working fine. but can’t install the Audio driver, any Idea

thanks
michael

Ajax

Im running it on my Wind (u100, 1g ram) now as well. The wireless drivers updating through windows update was pretty much the best thing any windows OS has done ever.

I know this is beta but its more stable and faster than XP… My only complaint is that xp doesnt “upgrade” to 7, only Vista.
I was dual booting xp and ubuntu, but now Im running xp and win7 and I gotta say its awesome so far.

baronbuzby

mmmmm – with OS X AND Windows 7 able to run on the Wind – I am severely tempted

HG

I’m going to recheck my Wind. I have windows 7 and p believe I saw that it showed 256MB of video ram. Kevin do you have the latest BIOS? But I will check later when I get home.

Kevin C. Tofel

I will put Windows 7 on my Samsung Q1UP once I get back from business travel.

Allan, my MSI Wind has the 6-cell battery. The Wind definitely supports more than 64MB of video memory. In Win7 right now, it shows 64MB of dedicated video memory and 192MB of shared system memory for video.

allan

Kevin, thanks for trying this out. How big is your battery? Is it a 6-cell? And how much video memory is being reported? I seem to recall having seen somewhere that Windows 7 would allow the user to more easily adjust how much video memory should be allocated… I would like to be able to bump my Wind U100 up from 64 MB to 128 MB, because certain programs have problems with less than 128 MB (pictomio for instance).

Mike Reilly

Thanks BrandonLive,

I have a 2nd hard drive installed, but I don’t use it, except to store a few things. Should I install the Windows 7 on that, for simplicity? Would I need a supervisor program to tell the computer which operating system to load up?

Is there a link to instructions on how to set this up, or is this too complicated for an “regular” computer user to try?

BrandonLive

Hi Mike –

You very much can install Windows 7 if you have XP right now. However, you will not be able to do a direct *upgrade* – you will have to do a clean install. You can do this on another partition, or you can do it on top of your XP install (which will wipe out your XP install. It should keep your data around, but you’ll need to reinstall your applications).

Mike Reilly

I have XP. I thought you can’t download and load Windows 7 unless you have Vista, but some of you seem to talk like you had XP.

Is there a way for me to download and load Win 7 Beta for my XP desktop?

brook Zerihun

using the old Samsung q1 yes the Q1p, locks or when I try to open a file it won’t respond, only choice to power off and restart

John in Norway

Maybe it’s just my install or maybe it’s the OQO but I’ve run into a couple of software programs that lock the computer and require a computer restart:

When I try to open a video file in GOM player (VLC works OK).
When I open a document that contains an image in Word 2003 (works okay on Openoffice.org 3).

Anybody else having lockups?

brook Zerihun

would be nice to see a full Q1 install, any chance you would be willing to take the challenge?

HG

Kevin as you know I have loaded Windows 7 and Leopard on MSI Wind, and I can say it’s been working very nice since Friday. Much faster and I have been putting it to sleep and hibernate. So far its running great, but like you said its to early to see what’s really going to be like. Another way MSI Wind owners can load the Wi-Fi driver is download the driver from MSI before installing Windows 7, and put it on a USB memory stick. Once Windows 7 is loaded go to device manager and right click the Wi-Fi then add driver but just point to the folder you have put the driver in. I like what microsoft did for th desktop. They put a betta fish as default desktop. :) Also its nice how depending your desktop theme changes in the background so have at least 3 different pictures kind of nice, and you would think all this extra would slow the computer but it really doesn’t. So did you only take the MSI Wind on this trip?

kyle

I have had windows 7 on my wind since the night the beta was released and have loved every minute of it. It seems to be just as fast as xp and even faster in some places. You need to get the MSI control manager installed to enable the “turbo” mode as well as the numerous power saving schemes.

Chad

I’m not quite ready to put it on my x200 tablet but, I’ve got my old fujitsu p1510d which will be getting a Windows 7 makover this weekend. Hearing your experences I feel better about it. Vista was SSllooowwwwww on it. I’m hopeing it acts a bit better as i love it’s form factor when I need to travel really really light but WinXP tablet edition is hard to get use to after using the vista tablet parts.

Christopher Spera

I keep forgetting, we BOTH have to be following each other on Twitter for Direct messages to be sent. :P

Would appreciate hearing from you on this, as I have a couple of questions…

Christopher Spera

Kevin,

I am finishing an XP/OSW dual boot article on the Wind for Gear Diary and will be installing Win7 on my Wind U100-420 this weekend. Please look for a direct Tweet from me in a bit. I’d love to talk to you about this.

Chris Spera
Gear Diary Reveiw Team

LUHA68

Have it up & running on my LG X110 3G – even 3G is working the way it should. Only two drivers needed to be add from the original drivers cd:

– Ralink WiFi
– SE /// 3G module drivers

It’s a very good step from Win XP to Win 7, especially if you have only 1 GB RAM and can’t upgrade it…

Cheers, Lutz

Oliver

Good timing for your trip — we have very nice spring weather here this week!

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