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How to get Windows 8 beta running on a netbook

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Now that the Consumer Preview of Microsoft’s Windows 8 platform is available for testing, people have to consider where to install the beta OS. I put it on an iMac(s aapl) using Parallels software, mainly because I need my current Windows(s msft) laptop to be stable. But I do have two old netbooks in the closet, just collecting dust. Turns out, netbooks should mostly work to test Windows 8, provided you know the limitations and workarounds.

The biggest obstacle for Windows 8 on a netbook isn’t the processor or memory requirements, as one might expect. Instead, it’s the display resolution, as many older netbooks came with a 1024 x 600 resolution screens. But as demonstrated on this video demo, Brad Linder from the Liliputing blog shows how to adjust the screen so that a netbook works with Windows 8, the Windows Store and applications specific to the Metro user interface:

Although it’s not optimal, and it takes a little tweaking to get Windows 8 working on a netbook, I’m planning to follow Linder’s lead and dust off an old netbook. Why risk a computer needed for daily activities or futz with a dual-boot situation when a low-cost laptop will give a taste of Windows 8?

6 Responses to “How to get Windows 8 beta running on a netbook”

  1. slbailey1

    This did work for my Dell Latitude 2100. I could not change the resolution because the height was less than 600. What I did was attach an old Dell 15″ monitor I have to the netbook and I was able to access the Store and run Metro apps.

    I nice feature I found out about was the ability to only have the external monitor active when one is plugged in.

  2. $400 gets you a brand-new Cedar Trail netbook with a high-def panel, so the bang-for-the-buck capability is definitely there. Although I would rather get a x86 slate to test the new OS on and take advantage of the touch capabilities.

  3. I bet it wouldn’t be that hard to pick up a cheap 10.1 inch, 1366 x 768 pixel display on eBay and slap it in an older netbook for a better experience too…

    It’d probably be easier just to buy an old used netbook for a few bucks more though. :)