Windows 7 on Acer Aspire One
A week ago, Microsoft stopped allowing the download of the Release Candidate for Windows 7. I took the opportunity to download the RC image so I could give it a workout on my Acer Aspire One. Here's a recap of my install experience and my initial impressions.
I started with a little Googling and found that a lot of folks had issues installing Win7 on their AAOs, mostly due to the lack of disk space. I too fell into the category of those with only 8 GB of space on the OEM SSD. I decided that my best option was to install vLite on my Dell at work and use it to pare down the installation. I was able to remove a few things I knew I wouldn't need (mainly language packs that take up a lot of space in the install files) and cut about 1 GB off of the base ISO image.
The next issue I ran into was that I had to get the ISO on my generic 4 GB USB stick AND get it to actually list as a boot option on the AAO. This is where the pain began. I used a program called bootsect.exe that I found out on the web to make the drive bootable, but alas, it wouldn't show up in the AAO BIOS as a boot option. I tried all of the USB ports, tried tricking the system, upgraded the BIOS to v.3309 and could not get it to work. I had been spoiled by uNetBootin for creating Linux distro installs on my USB stick...
In the end, it turns out that my Dell was not properly unmounting the USB drive and the AAO HATED IT!!! I found this out (by accident) by mounting the drive on the existing Fedora 10 install on the AAO, seeing all of the files where they should be, and then unmounting the drive. The next time I tried, VIOLA!!!
The entire install process took about an hour (with my vLite pared down ISO) and I went through the setup and was surprised to find that Windows 7 was pretty zippy on my AAO! I immediately used IE8 to download the latest Google Chrome browser and have been online ever since. With a 30 second boot time and all of the hardware working as expected with no tweak or additional driver downloads, it's working out great so far!