For anyone who is running the Win7 RC, are you running into any unexpected problems with regards to hardware incompatibility? If so, have you been able to work through them in what you would call a reasonable fashion? Any big name things out there that are breaking with Win7?

EDIT: Make that devices AND drivers per David Collantes' answer.

EDIT 2: Would like some special attention to items that worked great under Vista that now are not-so-great under Win7.

8 Answers 8


I am running Windows 7 RC1 x64 on both my laptop as personal desktop and am pretty happy with it.

Personal Desktop: Dell XPS 420

  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600
  • 2GB Ram
  • 2x250 GB HDD running in RAID 0
  • MSI NX8800GT zilent graphics card.
  • Some other peripheral hardware

No issues whatsoever.

Laptop: Dell XPS M1530

  • Intel Core 2 Duo T7250
  • 4GB Ram
  • 1x160 GB HDD
  • Nvidia Geforce 8400GS
  • Intel 3945abg Wireless

No issues except the recent issue I had connecting to network shares in the office. Also, the Intel 3945abg wireless has problems correctly waking up from hibernation; often the only way to get it to work is to disable / enable it entirely. This problem also occurred using Vista, though.

  • Kudos on the cross-reference to your recent issue! +1
    – squillman
    May 12, 2009 at 14:45

Running Windows 7 on four machines. All four are DELL, so I can only give feedback on their hardware. So far, no problems at all with hardware incompatibility with DELL XPS 360, Optiplex 755, GX620, or Latitude D630.

As normal, drivers are a different story. I had had problems with NVIDIA video drivers (crashes here and there), although the latest beta has being quite stable for a couple of weeks now.

  • Yeah, thanks for the differentiation there. I'm going to edit the question to include drivers which is definitely part of what I was interested in.
    – squillman
    May 11, 2009 at 18:13
  • I'll second the newer NVIDIA beta (185.81) drivers. Much better stability and performance on my system. Haven't tried the latest version 185.85 but I imagine they aren't much different from version 185.81
    – Simurr
    May 11, 2009 at 18:55
  • @David Collantes - How much ram do you have in the GX620? I'm trying to get Windows 7 installed on mine with 4GB and I'm unable to get past a memory-related blue-screen in the install process. (I've tested the memory so I know that's not the issue, and Server 2008 ran perfectly fine on the same machine..) Sep 22, 2009 at 20:00
  • @Peter Bernier, I have 4GB as well. I am running the 64-bits version in all the instances.
    – user1797
    Sep 23, 2009 at 14:25
  • @David, thanks for the response. I was able to trace my problem down to an unsupported SATA controller card. As soon as I pulled the card I was able to get 64-bit 7 installed without issue. Nov 3, 2009 at 2:52

I just installed it on my HTPC and did not have any problems other than MKV playback locked the system up to the point of a hard boot.

I ran the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor Beta first and it did not find any problems.


I'm still running W7 Beta but will move to the RC soon. It's a really old machine, with an nForce 2 chipset, which as all nForce 2 owners know, was tossed to the curb in Vista; there are no Vista drivers for nForce 2 chipsets, meaning it's a "driver orphan".

Here's a dirty little secret for you:

I've got it working using old drivers for Windows XP and 2000.

This is hardly an optimal solution, and is of course fraught with peril. However, I have not had a single crash in the entire time, and with the exception of some display artifacting (the video card is AGP FX5200, also a driver orphan) has worked like a champ.

Microsoft would really, really like it if you upgrade your hardware to something that has "newer" drivers. However, the old drivers work just as well, and if those drivers were stable to begin with, you can get by with them in a pinch.

  • Are you running 32 bit win7, or 64 bit? And are you using 32 bit or 64 bit drivers?
    – Adam Davis
    May 11, 2009 at 19:43
  • 32bit (nForce 2 is a really really old chipset, pre-64bit). 32bit drivers are also being used. As I mentioned, this process is filled with dangerous pointy edges, and can lead to bruises, scrapes, cuts, and boo-boos. It can also get your old hardware running, so your mileage may vary. May 11, 2009 at 19:44

I installed Windows 7 RC x86 on an old Dell Optiplex GX270 -- 2.6 GHz Pentium 4, 512MB RAM, 40GD Hard Drive with an older Intel chipset.

Windows 7 does install and run acceptably on this older machine with only 512MB of RAM.

I did have some issues getting the video card drivers installed. It has an older Intel 865G which is not supported in Vista. After the OS install, the video card came up as 'Standard VGA'. I did get the older XP drivers from the Intel site and then ran the install under XP SP3 compatibility (the install program was checking windows versions...) Since this driver works through XPDM and not WDDM, Glass is disabled. However, rendering is much faster with the old Intel driver than with the Standard VGA driver.


Any drivers that work in Vista should in theory work in Windows 7 due to them both running the same kernel.

  • Right. That's another of my main reasons for the question. I'm going to edit the question to add focus to things that ran great under Vista but bombed under Win7. "In theory" is whey I never speak about computers using the definitive....
    – squillman
    May 12, 2009 at 14:48

The only problem I have while running 7 is with my onboard sound chip. The drivers for the Realtek HD Audio (Realtek ALC889A codec) contain a management application that can only be installed under WinXP. Without this app you cannot set the levels for sound input (microphone, line in). The windows integrated mixer does not show the controls for these two, so I have to live without sound input.

  • Meanwhile Realtek provided an update to the driver and now the management app works like a charm.
    – lowglider
    May 18, 2009 at 13:08

I installed Win7 on my Compaq Presario 2145 laptop, which is pretty old, and it didn't work at all.

The laptop has: Athlon 2400, 768 MB RAM, 60 GB HDD, 512 MB video. Bought it in 2003.

When you start it up, it jams before it even gets to the windows loading screen. Just sits at an eternal screen of blackness.

I think the minimum requirements say 1 GB of RAM is needed, but I'm not sure that is the issue. The laptop has some older hardware in it of course, so I'm sure that is part of the problem.

  • What OS did you have on it prior to loading Win7?
    – squillman
    May 12, 2009 at 14:41
  • It was Windows XP. The drive was formatted before installing Windows 7 though. It wouldn't go into any Safe Mode or anything where I could give it the drivers from Compaq - it basically totally froze right after the BIOS test. May 12, 2009 at 14:59

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