I decided to upgrade my Eee PC 1008HA to Windows 7 the other day. Finally finished with all the tweaks I could think of to maximize battery life. Here’s a run down of what I did.
First off, make sure to upgrade the BIOS first. I thought I could do that later, but was a pain in the arse because I could not get the Asus Update to work correctly in Windows 7, nor could I make EZ-Flash (ALT-F2 at the BIOS) to work. I ended up having to make a bootable USB stick to put a copy of asudos.exe and the BIOS file on and upgrade that way.
Since the Eee PC doesn’t have a DVD drive, I found one of the multitude of articles on the web describing how to make a bootable USB Stick for the Windows 7 install. I don’t recall the specific article, but this Maximum PC article is a close approximation of the procedure I used.
The actual install was trivial. No surprise problems during the install and subsequent boot/post install process.
After install, first thing I did was run a Windows Update to get the latest (and greatest?) bits from Microsoft. A few boots later I had a basic system running. Now the tweaking.
First thing was to install some Asus applications/services/drivers to get the functionality I had with XP. Asus has a lot of Windows 7 stuff for the 1008HA already, which is great, but for now I only installed the following.
- Super Hybrid Engine 2.09
- Synaptics Pointing Device Driver 18.104.22.168
- KB Filter 22.214.171.124
- Hotkey Service 1.11.01
These few gave me the power saving Super Hybrid Engine, the multitouch features of the mousepad, and all the Fn keys back, like volume louder/softer/mute.
One thing I made the mistake of installing, and caused me to subsequently reinstall Windows 7 without is the Asus Chipset drivers. Something in the drivers that get install appear to cause the Intel Video driver to stop responding and reset every 20 minutes or so. So far, installing Windows 7 w/o the Chipset drivers has circumvented the problem.
Now, a few tweaks to Windows 7 services to increase battery life –
- Disabled the SuperFetch service – Although SuperFetch sounds like an interesting way to cache frequently used executables in unused memory, it causes additional disk activity reducing battery life. And I would guess there is very little spare memory anyways in a 2GB netbook.
- Disabled Offline Files – As I watched processes perform disk I/O in the Resource Manager, I noticed process called mobupd.exe performing quite a bit of disk activity. It appears to be part of the Offline Files feature, I’m not even sure what that is, so I disabled it.
- Disabled Windows Search Indexing – I don’t really do many searches of documents on the Netbook anyways, so why spend the extra disk I/Os indexing everything on the disk anyways.
- Disabled Defrag Task – Although the scheduled task only runs occasionally, it didn’t seem like is worth it to even spin the cycles. One would hope that the NTFS engineers at Microsoft have tuned the strategies to reduce fragmentation over the years anyways.
That’s about it for now. I’m sure there are some UI features I can disable though, some of fancier things that might tax the GPU for example.