2007 Mac Mini and Windows 10...shockingly usable

DouglasCarroll

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 27, 2016
50
38
I found a used 2007 Mac Mini 2,1 at the Goodwill a couple of years ago so I picked it up really cheap and went ahead and upgraded the memory to 4 gigs (3 gigs usable) and the processor with a 2.33 GHz Core 2 Duo and then installed both Mac Os Lion and Windows 7 on the hard drive. Everything was fine with that setup but recently I found online that you can still upgrade to Windows 10 for free so I though "what the hell" and let windows do the upgrade...

Wow, I'm shocked at how well the latest version of windows runs on this old computer. Yeah of course it's not gaming machine speed, but still I'm just amazed the the experience is totally usable. I also have an Xbox One so I can automatically log into my xbox account from the Mini and access that. All of Windows runs just fine, Office, new versions of browsers, all no issue. It's nice having a fully functional Windows 10 system available for if I need to access some weird program that doesn't run on my Mac's and I can't beat the price.

The last update I want to do to this old Mac Mini is replace the hard drive with an SSD, which I'm planning later this year. Hopefully this will speed things up even more for both operating systems.

I use Macs exclusively, but I have to say that Microsoft has come a long way since I last used their software and it's been a pretty pleasant experience so far.

Anyways, if anyone out there still has one of these Core 2 Duo machines collecting dust I can really recommend this as a pretty cheap way to get the machine back in use with a new up to date operating system and if you happen to have or can score an old copy of windows 7 somewhere, you can then upgrade for FREE through Microsoft online to Windows 10 (yes the upgrade still works just fine in spite of Microsoft saying it has expired, just ignore that)
 
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StellarVixen

macrumors 68000
Mar 1, 2018
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3,186
Earth
I found a used 2007 Mac Mini 2,1 at the Goodwill a couple of years ago so I picked it up really cheap and went ahead and upgraded the memory to 4 gigs (3 gigs usable) and the processor with a 2.33 GHz Core 2 Duo and then installed both Mac Os Lion and Windows 7 on the hard drive. Everything was fine with that setup but recently I found online that you can still upgrade to Windows 10 for free so I though "what the hell" and let windows do the upgrade...

Wow, I'm shocked at how well the latest version of windows runs on this old computer. Yeah of course it's not gaming machine speed, but still I'm just amazed the the experience is totally usable. I also have an Xbox One so I can automatically log into my xbox account from the Mini and access that. All of Windows runs just fine, Office, new versions of browsers, all no issue. It's nice having a fully functional Windows 10 system available for if I need to access some weird program that doesn't run on my Mac's and I can't beat the price.

The last update I want to do to this old Mac Mini is replace the hard drive with an SSD, which I'm planning later this year. Hopefully this will speed things up even more for both operating systems.

I use Macs exclusively, but I have to say that Microsoft has come a long way since I last used their software and it's been a pretty pleasant experience so far.

Anyways, if anyone out there still has one of these Core 2 Duo machines collecting dust I can really recommend this as a pretty cheap way to get the machine back in use with a new up to date operating system and if you happen to have or can score an old copy of windows 7 somewhere, you can then upgrade for FREE through Microsoft online to Windows 10 (yes the upgrade still works just fine in spite of Microsoft saying it has expired, just ignore that)
Windows works on pretty much everything.

Windows 10 doesn't need graphic acceleration to run at all.
 

MultiFinder17

macrumors 68020
Jan 8, 2008
2,010
707
Tampa, Florida
At school, I use a 2010 iMac as my main computer. The district is all windows only, so the computer lab in my classroom is full of machines running windows 10. The lab management software only runs under windows. I decided to use an old 2006 mini that I had laying around for this. Flashed the firmware to a 2,1, upgraded to 4GB, pit in a 2.33GHz C2D, and this little guy runs 10 like a champ. I have it buried away in a corner of my desk running headless with VNC software so I can remote into it from my iMac. These little guys keep amazing!
 

pl1984

Suspended
Oct 31, 2017
2,230
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Wow, I'm shocked at how well the latest version of windows runs on this old computer. Yeah of course it's not gaming machine speed, but still I'm just amazed the the experience is totally usable. I also have an Xbox One so I can automatically log into my xbox account from the Mini and access that. All of Windows runs just fine, Office, new versions of browsers, all no issue. It's nice having a fully functional Windows 10 system available for if I need to access some weird program that doesn't run on my Mac's and I can't beat the price.
A number of months ago I stumbled across a YouTube blogger who tested the amount of RAM necessary for Windows. He discovered Windows 10 required less RAM than Windows 8.x which in turn required less RAM than Windows 7. Despite Windows having a reputation for becoming increasingly bloated that doesn't appear to be the case when it comes to booting Windows (his testing was limited to booting Windows). I think this is it:


It's ironic the latest version of Windows runs on hardware for which the hardware vendors own OS will not.
 

DouglasCarroll

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 27, 2016
50
38
I have a 2008 mbp and I can’t install windows 10 due to boot amp not supporting it. How did you achieve this?
You don't need boot camp to support it. Install Windows 7, which your boot camp does support, and then simply let Windows 7 upgrade itself to Windows 10! The ONLY issue I have (which I already had in Windows 7) is that the internal bluetooth in the MacMini doesn't seem to be recognized properly in Windows 10 (or 7) and I cannot seem to locate proper drivers ANYWHERE that remedy this situation. I just use a usb keyboard instead of a wireless (like I do when I boot into Lion on the same machine) and there are no issues.
 

Peter_Cincy

macrumors newbie
Jun 12, 2015
4
0
Happened to just catch this discussion thread today.

I also am running W10 on a 2007 Mac Mini with Boot Camp installed. Like the OP, I upgraded to Win10 with W7 64-bit already installed. (Note: EFI fix was needed to do that).

As I recall, I then went back and figured out, with online help of course, how to install portions/specific drivers from Boot Camp 6 and earlier versions as needed to cover the various hardware needs. FWIW, the version of Boot Camp that W10 sees is version 6, meaning that I have a current version of MacHALDriver.sys (recently reported issue) and thus had no trouble recently updating W10 to version 1903.

There was definitely a trial-and-error element to the driver process, and I ended up using the Microsoft-supplied driver for some options and maybe even used some vendor-supplied ones too. This includes Bluetooth: the generic Microsoft driver works for me.

Question for the OP if he sees this: how is the Mini's fan speed in Windows using the 2.33GHz processor? I have been tempted more than once to swap my 2.0GHZ for the faster one but have always been concerned that there might be significantly increased fan activity to go with the extra speed.
 

DouglasCarroll

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 27, 2016
50
38
Happened to just catch this discussion thread today.

I also am running W10 on a 2007 Mac Mini with Boot Camp installed. Like the OP, I upgraded to Win10 with W7 64-bit already installed. (Note: EFI fix was needed to do that).

As I recall, I then went back and figured out, with online help of course, how to install portions/specific drivers from Boot Camp 6 and earlier versions as needed to cover the various hardware needs. FWIW, the version of Boot Camp that W10 sees is version 6, meaning that I have a current version of MacHALDriver.sys (recently reported issue) and thus had no trouble recently updating W10 to version 1903.

There was definitely a trial-and-error element to the driver process, and I ended up using the Microsoft-supplied driver for some options and maybe even used some vendor-supplied ones too. This includes Bluetooth: the generic Microsoft driver works for me.

Question for the OP if he sees this: how is the Mini's fan speed in Windows using the 2.33GHz processor? I have been tempted more than once to swap my 2.0GHZ for the faster one but have always been concerned that there might be significantly increased fan activity to go with the extra speed.

Hi,

Thanks for the reply. I haven’t had any issues at all with the processor upgrade, no weird fan speeds or other issues under OS X or Windows 10. I highly recommend the cpu upgrade, plus it’s super cheap. Last upgrades I want to do to my little mini are a DVD burner replacement of the internal CD burner and an SSD replacement of the hard drive! Windows 10 seems to be a bitch to copy from the hard drive to SSD but other than that should be good!

:)
 

marclondon

macrumors 6502
Aug 14, 2009
323
40
London
Win 10 may be Ok if you boot directly into it but it's a huge resource hog as a virtual machine under Parallels even on an 2012 i7.
 

Peter_Cincy

macrumors newbie
Jun 12, 2015
4
0
Thanks for the processor input - perhaps I will perform that upgrade then.

Re: the SSD, which I am also considering, are you by chance familiar with Winclone? I've used it successfully in the past to move Boot Camp partitions, and it appears to work with SSDs as well.
 

marclondon

macrumors 6502
Aug 14, 2009
323
40
London
In your example Windows 10 isn't the resource hog but Parallels is. Any virtual machine needs lots of overhead.
No - I also have a Windows XP VM - this is fine on my old Mini but the Win10 VM most definitely is not. On my new 2018 Mini Win10 is Ok on Parallels.
 

ivnj

macrumors 65816
Dec 8, 2006
1,172
36
Nice, good to hear. But how is everyone upgrading? Mac mini is soldered cpu so you can not replace it with a core 2 duo. Better to just get a used core 2 duo mini.
 

DouglasCarroll

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 27, 2016
50
38
Just a quick update to my original post. The mini running Windows 10 just auto updated to the latest version (1093 I think) and still running great, no issues.

I hope to update the internal hard drive and dvd drive soon and will report back how that effects performance under Windows 10!