Developer Runs Windows 7 on a 5MHz Processor, Takes Over 28 Minutes to Boot

Windows 7 was released all the way back on October 22, 2009, which means it has been over 13 years since its release. It was a major release of the Microsoft Windows operating system, and it was widely considered to be a significant improvement over its predecessor, Windows Vista. Windows 7 introduced several new features, including a redesigned taskbar, support for virtual hard disks, and improved support for multi-touch input.

Even at the time of its release, the minimum system requirements were very reasonable, requiring only a 1 GHz or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor along with 1GB of RAM.  But now, a developer has even managed to run Windows 7 on a 5MHz Pentium-S processor. Yes, 5MHz! which is 200 times lower than the official requirement, and comparable to something out of the 1980s like the Intel 8088 series. That’s not all, even the system’s RAM was limited to 128MB. 

The edition used for this test is the Windows 7 Ultimate build 7601 SP1. NTDEV had to disable or remove many functionalities in Windows 7 in order to make it work in this specific installation. The initial login user interface was also disabled due to its high resource usage. As a result, the developer had to put the operating system in a crippled OOBE state in order to boot it up. 

NTDEV told us that he has actually run Windows 7 at a clock speed as low as 3 MHz, but that it wasn’t functional enough to make an interesting video. He said that he has actually run Windows 7 with as little as 36MB of RAM in the past, but went with 128MB to make the sample system not need the page file (virtual memory), but the system actually used about 70MB during his demo. 


Apart from the 28 minutes it takes to boot up the OS, the overall system is relatively stable. NTDEV even managed to run multiple applications in the background, like command prompt, WCPUID and Notepad.

You can find more of NTDEV’s content here


Indranil Chowdhury

Indranil is a Med school student and an avid gamer. He puts his absolute faith in Lord Gaben and loves to write. Crazy about the Witcher lore, he plays soccer too. When not playing games or writing, you can find him on 9gag spreading the Pcmasterrace propaganda.
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