Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Can I run Windows 8 on an older laptop?

  1. #1


    Posts : 10
    Windows 8

    Can I run Windows 8 on an older laptop?


    I have a new laptop with win8 and I really like it. I also have an older Dell Insproin 1521 with an AMD 64 bit processor, 4 gig of RAM and a 160 gig SSD. It runs Win7 just fine and I believe it will run Win8. My new laptop came with 8 installed so I don't have a box to check the low end specs for running 8. I have Linux on it now and I would like to run both. It boots in to Linux in 20 seconds, about the same time as my new Win8 laptop.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    If it runs Windows 7, it should be just fine.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit


    You could run the upgrade advisor to see if it flags anything. Upgrade to Windows 8 - Microsoft Windows
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 10
    Windows 8


    Thanks for the input. What I plan on doing is purchasing another copy of Windows 8 (and upgrade from Windows 7) and just installing it on a fresh install. (using my SSD). I believe it should just ask for the Windows 7 CD so I can do the upgrade. I really feel it will run Okay. I guess the only thing I will miss on the old laptop is the touch screen. I guess I will find myself touching the screen a lot.
    Thanks for the the suggestions. I won't mark solved yet until I have the old laptop running 8, then I will let all know how it is running. It might be a couple of weeks before I get at it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit


    From what I have read it won't prompt for you to insert the Windows 7 DVD, it looks for an actual installed OS. You'll likely have to do this if you want to do a clean install with upgrade media.
    Clean Install with Windows 8 Upgrade

    EDIT: You can run the upgrade adviser without actually going though the whole process and upgrading.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 959
    Windows 8.1, 10


    Some Dell computers, even quite recent ones which happily run Windows 7, need a BIOS update to run Windows 8, without which they boot to a black screen when Windows 8 starts.
    Computer Boots to a Black Screen After Windows 8 Upgrade | Dell UK

    I also note the Inspiron 1521 isn't on the list of laptops which Dell say they have tested:
    Dell Computer Support for Windows 8 Upgrade | Dell UK

    Which isn't to say it won't work, but in your shoes, I'd make sure I had a full system image backup (including bootable media) so you could restore it to Windows 7 if Windows 8 doesn't work out.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Germany/Florida
    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7


    If you cannot make a native installation I would run it with VMware Player under Linux (or Windows 7). That will work in any case.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 10
    Windows 8


    Quote Originally Posted by alphanumeric View Post
    From what I have read it won't prompt for you to insert the Windows 7 DVD, it looks for an actual installed OS. You'll likely have to do this if you want to do a clean install with upgrade media.
    Clean Install with Windows 8 Upgrade

    EDIT: You can run the upgrade adviser without actually going though the whole process and upgrading.
    The only reason I wasn't planning on doing this was because I have Win7 on another hard drive that is not installed in the laptop. I pulled it out and replaced it with the SSD which, at the moment only has Linux on it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Windows 8 has a number of CPU requirements that were optional for Windows 7. The CPU must support, and be enabled in the BIOS, PAE, NX, and SSE2. Most reasonably modern CPUs will support these features but this is not universal.

    See this for more information:
    What is PAE, NX, and SSE2 and why does my PC need to support them to run Windows 8? - Microsoft Windows Help

    It is always a good idea to run the upgrade advisor, even for a clean install, and particularly when the manufacturer does not list it as compatible.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Posts : 376
    W8.1, W7


    Got 8 on a 2009 Compaq 311c (atom). Works well, very stable, all drivers found & automatically installed. Even the fonts looks fine on the 311c (got the blurry-font problem with 8 on some other laptops).
    Am not using any of the ugly metro\phone stuff > Classic Shell.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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