Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tricked-out eeePC

Tricked-out eeePC 901

Insane or not, I recently spent a fun-filled weekend maximizing the potential of my ASUS eeePC 901--or netbook--if you like that term. What did I do?
First, I bought some really cool skins (aka decals) as you see. They seemed so apropos since in my admittedly scarce spare time, I also write mysteries. My eeePC is resting on top of my "normal" Dell laptop so you can see the size comparison.
Well, let's see, what else did I do:

Hardware Upgrades
  • Memory upgrade: sTs Electronics ASUS eeePC 901 2GB RAM memory upgrade replaced the whimpy 1GB the system came with.
  • Solid-State Drive Upgrade: 32GB SaberTooth-SS SATA Mini PCIe SSD for 901 eeePC upgrade to replace the tiny 16GB SSD installed in the system (the system says it has 20GB, but it's divided between a 4GB and 16GB SSD, so I replaced the 16GB with the 32GB). I would have gone for 64GB, but it was beyond my means at the moment.

  • Additional Storage: Transcend 16GB SDHC Class 6 Flash Memory card with card Reader. (I had evil designs for this extra bit of storage).
  • Additional Storage #2: I already had an extra 1GB USB stick lying around...
Method (to my madness)
Once I got all my bits and pieces (or is that bytes and pieces? ;-) ) I...
  1. Updated the BIOS--this is a really important step because the system wouldn't recognize the new SSD until I did this.
  2. Installed all the new hardware.
  3. Followed the directions at the blog Install Windows XP on the Asus EEEPC to install Windows XP on the 1GB USB stick and make it bootable from my main desktop PC.
  4. Turned on the system and went into the BIOS (press F2 as the system boots) and told it to boot to the 1GB USB stick.
  5. Booted to the 1GB USB stick and initiated the installation of Windows XP
  6. Installed XP on the 4GB partition, overlaying the old OS
  7. Created a D: drive out of the 32GB SSD and formatted it for NTFS
  8. Copied the source code for Windows 7 to the Transcend 16GB Flash memory card (formatted for NTFS) from my desktop PC.
  9. Stuck the 16GB Flash memory card into the eeePC and initiated the Windows 7 install.
  10. Installed Windows 7 to the D: drive, leaving XP on the 4GB partition (C:) as a failsafe in case I ever get a bunch of money and can replace the 32GB SSD with a 64GB SSD :-). This makes it easier for future upgrades.
  11. Whoopee! I now have Windows 7 (with Aero glass) running on my eeePC and I'm happy as a clam.

Windows 7 Running on an eeePC 901

And the lovely, Aero-Glass Windows 7 desktop. Yep. It works.

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