eee PC 1000 Product Review and Windows XP Installation Guide

I recently bought an eee PC 1000 the other day. So far I have to say I’m absolutely in love with it.  It’s a fantastic product.

Firstly I’d like to thank the community for providing a wonderful place to share information. If it wasn’t for this wonderful resource I probably never would have managed to get my eee PC is a position where I’m very happy with it.

I purchased the Linux version which comes with a propreitary version of Xandros Linux on it. As much as I am a huge Linux fan I have to say I was a little disappointed. Although I would later find out that you could indeed get shell access to the Xandros Installation. After 5 hours of playing with the limited “Easy Mode”, I decided it was time to put eeeXubuntu on it. Turns out, support for the eee PC 1000’s hardware has not yet become available for eeeXubuntu. Meaning that out of the box I wasn’t able to access either the WiFi adapter or the Ethernet adapter. Rather than dealing with recompiling the kernel and modules for the adapters I realised that I was probably going to have to put Windows on it. As much as I may love Linux, I realise that Network Connectivity is more important.

I also found this SD Card on, it’s only 26$ shipped, and it’s 16GB. Obviously I’m not the first person who has thought of using an SD card to hot-swap Operating Systems as it actually has “Eee PC” in the product name. I’ve had it for a few days now and I love it. It’s a great way to experiment with alternative Operating Systems on the Eee without having to worry about overwriting your carefully configured Linux or Windows installation.

Installing Windows XP was a bitter harder than I hoped, but not terribly so. I’m obviously not the first person whose been through this and I was able to find able documentation on how to install WinXP on my eee. The easiest way to do it by far is to get a External USB enclosure and install straight from the WinXP CD. For those of who don’t have an external enclosure, or whose enclosure has burned up…. like me. You’ll have to copy Windows XP onto a USB Flash drive.  There are a number of guides out there that essentially use the same process, here is one. They walk you through the process of preparing your installation, and installing WinXP. Be certain to follow the instructions very closely, the process is very picky, ready carefully, don’t assume.

When all was said and done I had to go back and edit my NTLDR file. The flashdrive took the first drive position. Which is peculiar for installation media. I had to change Windows’ Position from:

multi(0)disk(1)rdisk(1)partition(1)WINDOWS=”Microsoft Windows XP Professional” /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)WINDOWS=”Microsoft Windows XP Professional” /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

That fixed the problem.

It wasn’t a big deal, but it was a pain, because now my Windows installation Drive Letter is D:. It may not be the end of the world, but it is annoying. I’ve read that one can change the System Drive letter, but having tried in the past I know it can end in misery. I’ll deal with it for now. One of the first things I did was change the Temporary Files folder. This helps because although the read speed from the internal SSD drive is very high, the write speed at times seems deplorable. I’ve found that if I spread my writes across the drives it helps a lot.

Installing drivers was relatively painless, all of the windows drivers are available from ASUS Support. Make sure you install the ACPI driver first. Typically I don’t install a lot of these drivers because I assume they are just going to install some bloated branded software. THIS IS NOT THE CASE. The ACPI driver gives you the ability to turn on/off hardware to save your battery power. It’s a necessity on the eee PC as it has no dedicated WiFi on/off switch.

Once all the software is installed, I went ahead and did my usual customisations to reduce bloat. Disabling various themes, start-up programmes and customising applications to best take advantage of the tiny screen. All and all the eee PC way outperformed my expectations. It runs exceptionally well for it’s size and speed and the battery life is phenomonal. The price point of 399$ is unbeatable for the ultimate tiny computer.

The next step of course is tethering it to your iPhone which is coming up next.