I too have an Acer Aspire One that came with XP Home - it's almost a clone of the machine you described below ... Some time ago I upgraded to XP Pro, but now I fear it's time to upgrade again. Ideally, I'd like to follow your excellent advice here (see below). I'll be sure to backup my key files first, and I can easily connect the external USB-based CD drive.

I'd like to upgrade all the way to Win8.1, and I notice in your profile that your Aspire One is now at Win8.1. Your post below only goes to Win8.0 ... Is there anything I might need to know to get to Win8.1? Do you think I can just upgrade to 8.1 directly from XP, or should I go to 8.0 first?

Your advice is most welcome and appreciated!!

drbernie - drbernie@gmail.com

Quote Originally Posted by strollin View Post
I have an Acer Aspire One A150 netbook that's just about 5 years old that originally came with Win XP Home installed on it. On a whim, I decided to install Win 8 on it.

I'm happy to report that it runs Win 8 very well and I believe it works better with Win 8 then it ever did with XP.

The netbook has a 1.6Ghz Atom N270 processor and is maxed out with 1.5G of RAM.

I installed Win 8 using an external USB DVD drive. The install went very smoothly and when I booted it for the first time after the install, all the hardware was working including the wifi, video, ethernet, etc... Win 8 did notify me that there was an updated driver available for the SD card reader which I installed. I thought I would need to hunt down at least 1 or 2 drivers but didn't need to after all. Device manager shows all hardware as working correctly with no problems indicated.

One glitch was that Metro apps wouldn't open since they require a minimum resolution of 1024x768 and the netbook's native resolution is 1024x600. I found this with a little searching on Google:

  1. Run REGEDIT
  2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Video
  3. Do a search for "Display1_DownScalingSupported"
  4. In the key containing "Display1_DownScalingSupported", set the value to 1
  5. Quit REGEDIT and reboot the netbook
  6. After rebooting you will now be able to change the display resolution to 1024 x 768

The little netbook has been able to run everything I have thrown at it so far. Yesterday, I decided to give it a workout. I fired up FireFox 24 with 8 tabs open, had a spreadsheet loaded in Excel 2007 and a document loaded in Word 2007. Then I opened IE 10 and Chrome 29. Memory and cpu still weren't maxed out so I also opened a Windows Explorer window, then finally kicked off a scan from within Defender. At this point I was using 1.3G of the machine's 1.5G of RAM but the cpu wasn't maxed out like I expected. It was fluctuating up and down between 100% and 50% or so. At the same time the machine remained responsive and I was able to surf to new web pages within the browsers and such.

I'm not a big fan of Metro apps but I tried a few such as Maps, News, Camera, Skydrive, browsed the Store, etc... Everything seemed to work fine.

I watched some YouTube videos and loaded up a movie using WMP.

I am using the internal wifi with a Bluetooth dongle and a BT mouse. All in all, I'm pretty impressed by how well Win 8 runs on this little machine.