Skip to main content

Windows 8 on Acer Aspire One AOA 150 - a 4 year old netbook

OS: Windows 8 RTM 90 day Evaluation 32bit

PC: Acer Aspire One AOA 150
CPU: Atom N270
Graphics: Mobile Intel 945 Graphics Chipset with 256 MB memory
HDD: 500gb 7200rpm SATA(custom)
Screen Resolution: 1024x600

Installation was launched from within Windows 8 Release Preview. However, since upgrading from Windows 8 Release Preview to RTM  is not supported, a clean installation was done

Installing Windows 8 : License Agreement

Select Upgrade vs Custom Install

Select Partition

Windows 8 Installation 

Windows 8 installation restarts the computer a couple of times. After installing devices, installation prompts you to select express settings vs custom settings. These settings include the new "Do Not Track" feature in Internet Explorer 10, which is enabled by default if you select Express Settings and is shown clearly. It also includes a "Share information with Apps including your name, picture and location" setting. This is to personalize Windows 8 apps and is also enabled by default in the Express Settings. You can choose Custom Settings to set these settings on your own.

After that, installation asks for a Microsoft ID. This too is optional. If you select a Microsoft ID, your apps are customized accordingly.

The installation took about 20 minutes on the AOA 150.

Windows 8 Start Screen at 1024x600 resolution
Post installation driver issues:
Windows 8 prompted me to install the driver for JMicron SD MMC controller. It provided the link to the driver in question, which I clicked on and downloaded, unzipped and installed.

There were no issues with Sound, Display, Network Cards - Wifi Adapter or LAN Adapter.
Device Manager on Windows 8 

Fixing Display Resolution for Windows 8 Apps:
(Registry Editing can be risky and make your computer unusable.)
The resolution being 1024 x 600, apps did not open at the outset. This was remedied by opening regedit and changing the "Display1_DownScalingSupported" DWORD from the value of 0 to 1.
If you cannot find the DWORD "Display1_DownScalingSupported", try searching for it under the
"HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SYSTEM > ControlSet001 > Control" key.

A restart was needed for the changes to take effect.
Opening registry can be done by pressing Win+R keys and typing regedit in the run window or by hitting Win key and typing regedit in the search bar.
Windows 8: Editing Registry to support scaled non native resolutions

After the restart, change the resolution to 1024x768 or higher. To do this right click on the desktop and click on Screen Resolution.
Select Screen Resolution

Then select the resolution of 1024x768 or above and click OK.
Changing resolution from 1024x600 to 1024x768

Start Screen on Windows 8

Personalizing the Start Screen
Search for "Start Screen". To search just hit Win Key and start typing. Click Settings to see the Start Screen search result

Windows 8: Searching for "Start screen" under Settings

Windows 8 Lock screen personalization

Windows 8 Start screen personalization

Windows 8 Lock Screen apps integration

Customizing the lock screen has options to integrate data from apps to the Lock screen.

Windows 8 Apps:
I remember the Weather App on Developer Preview being sluggish to the point of being unusable on the Acer Aspire AOA 150 last September. The netbook being antique I found it acceptable. The Developer Preview Weather app would have performed better on present day hardware, I presume.

The Weather app on the final Windows 8 just works! There is not a hint of lag, much like the rest of the OS.

Windows 8 Weather App

Windows 8 Weather App

Windows 8 Weather App

The Bing app is interesting too. Searching with tiles is something that people might find difficult to take to. But the opportunity for change is undeniable.
Windows 8 Apps: Bing app with cats

Resolution Hurts:
The apps run fine, but the non native resolution which is required hurts your eyes. For a test drive this may be ok, but the Aspire One AOA 150 is not a good candidate to run Windows 8 apps for the resolution reason alone. If you will be using Windows 8 without the apps, then things should be fine.

Performance of Windows 8 on Aspire One:
The user interface is snappy and responsive. Much better than Windows 7 and leagues ahead of the Developer Preview version.
Here are some Task Manager readings.
Windows 8 memory usage on a system with 1 GB memory

Windows 8 running processes

Windows 8 CPU Usage -Less than 50%

With two browsers running - Chrome and Firefox, CPU Load is pretty low.

This was not a scientific test.

Windows 8 performs exceedingly well on a Acer Aspire AOA 150 - a 4 year old hardware with an Atom processor and 1 GB of RAM.
The requirement of a minimum resolution is understandable but it would be great to see elastic or fluid layouts for Windows 8 apps which could accommodate fringe case scenarios such as users on netbooks with a resolution of less than 1024x768.


  1. Great tutorial. Thank you very much

    Max Morales

  2. i just installed the windows 10 preview on my AOA150 using the info on your page.. it's extremely helpful for this one, too.. THANKS!

    Tommy Voodoo


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

CPU Temperature Guide for Intel Core 2 Duo : Range of Normal CPU Temperatures

Is your CPU Temperature too High? How high is high enough? Is 60 degree Celsius high enough or is 70 degree Celsius the threshold? Hipatic covers your temperature problems right here. Below we discuss Intel Core 2 Duo.
If your CPU is overheating, visit our CPU Overheating Guide and CPU Overheating: Symptoms, Causes, & Solutions

To measure CPU Temperatures you may need Real Temp

Intel Core 2 Duo:
(If you wish to access the PDF related to your processor, please first follow the link given under sources at the end of the article instead of directly accessing the pdf link given under each sub heading. This will help you access the latest information on your processor from Intel's website & will also prevent hotlinking.)

1. Intel® Core™2 Duo Processor E8000 Series
Intel ® Core™2 Duo Processor E8600, E8500, E8400, E8300, E8200, E8190 Thermal Profile
Range: 45.1 degree Celsius (Power - 0W) to 72.4 degree Celsius (Power 65W)

CPU Overheating: Symptoms, Causes and Solutions

The most hit pages on this blog are the CPU Temperature Guides, so here is a comprehensive(work in progress) guide to everything(almost) related to CPU Overheating.

Symptoms of a Overheating CPU :

1. Random Crashes:
Your system may switch off or restart automatically while you are using it. And this may happen repeatedly. If the overheating problem is not severe enough, then your PC may only crash when you are running many CPU intensive applications or running a CPU intensive game. If your CPU temperature is very high, then the system may restart as it is booting up ending into a endless and dangerous loop.

2.Sluggish System:
An overheating CPU underperforms, result being a sluggish computing experience. The system may experience random lock-ups too.

Differential Diagnosis:
A PC may also crash due to RAM, Motherboard, Hard Disk & Power Supply Unit issues.

Causes of CPU Overheating:

1. Improper CPU + Heatsink installation:
If your system is new and you have overheating issues, or if you…

CPU Temperature Guide for Intel Pentium 4: Range of Normal CPU Temperatures

Is your CPU Temperature too High? How high is high? Is 60 degree Celsius high enough or is 70 degree Celsius the threshold? Hipatic covers your temperature problems right here. Below we discuss Intel Pentium 4.

Pentium 4 Processors:
Temperatures Specified are Maximum Processor Case Temperatures(Tc). For details refer the sources given.
For 65 nm Process in the 775-land LGA Package supporting Hyper-Threading Technology and Intel® 64 architecture

Thermal Profile for 775_VR_CONFIG_05A ProcessorsRange 44.3 degree (at Power - 0W) Celsius to 69.2 degree Celsius (at Power - 86W)
Source: Page:77 Table:28

Thermal Profile for 775_VR_CONFIG_06 Processors
Range 43.6 degree (at Power - 0W) Celsius to 64.1 degree Celsius (at Power - 64W)
Source: Page:78 Table:29

For 90 nm Process in the 775-land LGA Package supporting Intel® Extended Memory 64 Technology & Supporting Intel® Virtualization Tech…