I recently bought one of Dell’s new Mini 9 netbooks as my girlfriend’s Christmas present. To save some cash I got it with Ubuntu pre-installed. If this were my machine I’d just keep Ubuntu on there, but she will almost certainly hate it. So, this guide is intended for people who don’t have Windows XP installed from the factory, so we don’t have that nice folder with all the drivers to port over to Vista. Of course a lot of this process applies to anyone who wants Vista on the Mini 9, so I’m happy for anyone to get some help.
The guy over at http://dellmini9.blogspot.com has already documented his Mini 9 experience. He’s gotten Vista (and now even a beta of Windows 7) running on his machine, and his site has a lot of great tips. I will do my best to combine the tips I found useful from that site with this particular process. His install was from XP so he was able to skip a few steps. Please add any comments for any mistakes I will certainly make. I’ll do my best to update the guide to accommodate for as many situations as possible. Read on for the guide…
Update: My girlfriend loves the Mini 9 (although I’m pretty sure she was expecting it after all my hints.) Go Dell!
After jumping on the “Hatin’ Vista’s Performance” bandwagon rather early on, I figured I should get some first-hand experience to backup my claims (besides the weak proof I held from RC1 months ago.) After installing Vista Ultimate on my laptop (Athlon 64 3000+ 1.8ghz, 1GB PC3200 ram, Radeon Mobility 9700.) I was pleasantly surprised with the performance. After enabling all the goodies (Aero, Dreamscene, etc.) I realized that my previous claim that at least 2GB of ram was necessary to run Vista smoothly was false.
I wasn’t sure if Microsoft really had optimized the new operating system to perform these visual goodies better, or if it was copying Apple’s infamous “technique” of smoothing the front-end to create the illusion of adequate performance. In any case, I was a happy camper. Vista’s DreamScene brought me a pretty snazzy feature. Nothing says smooth criminal like popping open my laptop in Econ class and having a cool, crisp waterfall cascading in the background of my work. While everything seemed to run smoothly, I still wanted to see what kind of effect DreamScene (and other visual enhancements) had on the system, so I decided to run some discrete tests.