Windows 7 and the Asus Eee PC 1000HE

I’ve had my eye on a netbook for some time, while I like my 17 inch laptop for all day developing, it’s a bit large for lugging to code camps. In addition the battery life has slowly been dwindling over the years, so I wanted something with long battery life.

image After some consideration, I picked the Asus PC 1000HE. It has a 10 inch display, it’s keyboard is 92% size and surprisingly comfortable even for my huge hands. The battery life so far has been phenomenal. Running on the mid level power setting with the back light at almost full bright and all the wireless turned on I still get over six hours. I imagine if I ran it in power saving mode, and doing the tweaks I could easily achieve the 9.5 hours of advertised battery life.

I did opt for the extra chip to expand to 2 gig, replacing the 1 gig chip with the 2 took me all of 10 minutes.

The unit came with XP Home, but I’ve been using Windows 7 since the public beta and couldn’t face going back to XP. Thus the first thing I did was install Windows 7 on the Asus.

So far, the only thing I have found that Windows 7 did not recognize was the hard wired Ethernet jack. This was easily remedied. I went to the downloads section of the Asus website and picked out my machine, with the XP Home system. I quickly found the LAN driver and downloaded it.

Since it was a Zip all I had to do was expand it, then I went into Windows 7 device manager and found the "unrecognized" Ethernet jack. I told Windows 7 to look for a new driver, pointed it to the folder where I had unzipped it to and boom it worked.

I have not had the opportunity to test the built in camera or microphones, but Windows device manager shows them as being present and fully functional.

So far I’ve installed what I call the Office "basics", Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Visio Viewer and all of them work. I installed Virtual PC 2007, and while it ran my virtual machines it was just a tad on the slow side. Not to be unusable, but a slow experience.

In addition I didn’t want to always have to lug around an external drive with my VPCs on it, so I went ahead and installed Visual Studio 2008 (with SP1) and SQL Server 2008 Developer (with the GDR extensions). So far both seem to run fine, although I haven’t put them to anything extensive as of yet.

In the short time I’ve had the machine, there are a few tips I’ve picked up that I would like to pass along.

Get used to the F11 (the typical shortcut), or "Full Screen" mode for your web browser. It makes browsing a very nice experience. Without it the tabs, url bar and window title bar, plus any of the extra tool bars that get installed will easily suck up 1/3 to 1/2 of the 600 vertical pixels. Full Screen mode makes this pretty much irrelevant. I can easily see everything I need to on a website in full 1024×600 mode.

Hide the Ribbon
In Office, you can hide the ribbon toolbar by simply double clicking on one of the ribbon tabs. When you hover over the tab the ribbon will appear. This saves a lot of real estate, but makes it quite easy to still use the ribbon. In addition you can easily toggle the hidden mode by double clicking a tab again to unhide the ribbon. 

Hide the Taskbar
Right click on Windows 7’s taskbar, select properties, then check the "Auto-hide the Taskbar". While the Taskbar doesn’t seem to take up much room, you’d be surprised how nice having that little bit of extra real estate can be.

The one thing I don’t like about the design of the 1000HE’s keyboard is that the Home, End, Page Up, and Page Down keys are not their own keys. Instead you have to press the blue Fn key, then the left, right, up or down arrows to access these often used keys.

Instead I use a little app called TouchCursor. With it I can setup alternate key combos for these and other keys so that I never have to move my hands off the "home" keys on the letters. By default the spacebar is the toggle key, so SpaceBar + I moves the cursor up one row, SpaceBar + K moves it back down.

(Note, if you are a fan of CodeRush, you’ll know it too wants to use the space bar. Fortunately TouchCursor is configurable, so I changed the toggle from the SpaceBar to the letter A. Now on my system A+I is up, A+K is down, etc. )

That’s all I have on the Asus for now, but I’ll soon be putting it through it’s paces. Thursday night I will be speaking at the BSDA, then Saturday I will be at the Atlanta Code Camp giving a 9 am presentation on SQL Server Full Text Searching. After that I’ll be sure to blog and let you know how having the small form factor laptop worked for doing presentations.

If you have any handy tips for using the small netbooks, please leave a comment with your tip or suggestion. I’d love to hear about them!


30 thoughts on “Windows 7 and the Asus Eee PC 1000HE

  1. Man I wish I have Windows 7, all I keep hearing are good things about it. I have the 1000he with XP on it and waiting on my 2gb ram to come. It’s already handling most of my computing at 1gb so I hope the upgrade will further improves things like watching videos and remote desktop.

  2. Hi,

    I also installed win7 on my 1000HE, as soon as it came in. I didn’t get the “opportunity” to check out things with XP. Everything has been up and running just fine, BUT I don’t have all the function keys. I have screen brightness, but no ability to adjust the volume with the function keys, for example. Are you experiencing this or is it a problem with my specific machine?
    Thanks, Steve

  3. Wow, I appreciated all the information. You gave us a really great look at the machine. Hey, I found a neat free tool on the internet. The tool helps people find what they are looking for at the best price.

  4. For the function key, install ACPI driver from the XP disc that came with 1000HE.

    You can also checkout for help.

  5. Hi

    Cannot seem to figure out how to do this from your site; HOW exactly did you do this w/ out DVD or virtual…

    The unit came with XP Home, but I’ve been using Windows 7 since the public beta and couldn’t face going back to XP. Thus the first thing I did was install Windows 7 on the Asus.

    Thx, p

    1. I had an external DVD drive hooked up to the USB port. When the ASUS boots it displays a big white screen that allows you to press a key to boot from the USB drive. I did so, and went right onto the Win7 install DVD.

  6. Thank you for your infos.

    I am running a similar setup : Windows 7 RC1 and Virtual PC w/ Windows XP Pro SP3. (Surprising how Windows 7 runs smoothly on this machine, granted I upgraded to 2 gigs of RAM)

    Two questions : how slow is it? Mine seems ok, except for the cursor that seems to lag every 2 or 3 secs…

    … and where you able to get the (odd) 1024×600 native resolution in your virtual environment? The Best I can do is 800 x 600 and it’s stretched horizontally.


    1. … update : I installed the Virtual Machine Additions. Improved performance by 200% AND was able to get the 1000HE native resolution…! (Maybe the mouse cursor lag was caused by the stretched 800×600 resolution)

  7. Guys, there are a lot of folks out there that are not aware about installing Vista or Win 7 from a USB drive. It is very simple. Both OS’s are winpe based so all you do is format a 4 gb usb key with NTFS and do a straight copy of your vista or win7 dvd to the key. Then, if your computer supports it, and the 1000HE does, boot from the USB key and start your install just as if you are booted from a cd. No special tricks at all. The one thing you have to do on the 1000HE is go into the bios and where you tell it about the hard drive, you move the USB key to the top of the hard drive list. Then upon reboot, it should boot to that drive and away you go… Good luck.

  8. I installed Win7 straight from XP, and set it up as dual-boot. OMG, it’s so fast! For me, Vista was garbage, like Millenium Edition. I spent the xtra $20 to get the 2gigs too. I’ve also found that using ObjectDock and nDroid (or CircleDock if you have an external mouse) can save time and real-estate. I also used virtual desktops with XP. If you use an external monitor, UltraMon is a great app for easily switching modes, and other things. I still have to test some of this stuff in 7, tho. I bought a $20 IDE/SATA-to-USB cable, this can allow you to use desktop (and some laptop) drives externally on the Eee. There are tools that allow you to easily go from ISO to bootable USB easily (great for testing Linux Distros). I’ve also managed to use the SD card as a boot point for dual-booting Linux (preserving the MBR on the C:\, but running Linux from another partition on the HD). If you want to keep your windows key, write it down now, and/or put a piece of scotch tape over the sticker.

  9. I just installed Windows 7 Professional (RTM version) on my Eee 1000HE.
    Installed without problems, all hardware seemingly worked fine. However, in the Device Manager I noticed one “unknown device” – and I also noticed that the Fn function keys did not work (such as turn up/down the volume). In the Properties for that device, under Details, I could see it said “ACPI Asus010”. Aha! I went to the Asus website and downloaded the ACPI driver for WinXP. Actually, there were two of them, one ~700K, another ~4MB in size. I took the 4MB one.
    After downloading and extracting it, I tried having Windows automatically search for a driver for the device in the unzipped folder. Still didn’t find it.
    I think tried running the installer (the setup EXE). I would not run due to unsupported OS. Then I tried the MSI installer instead (in the same unzipped folder), and it didn’t have an OS check, and installed fine – and after this, the device was working properly. The Fn function keys also work now.

    Hope this will be of help to anyone with similar problems…
    Oh yeah by the way – the Eee 1000HE (with 2GB RAM) has NO problems running Windows 7. I’m very impressed by this little Atom box.


  11. You hit the NUMLOCK key on your keyboard. Hit it again to turn it off. I think on the ASUS you have to hit the blue FN key then press the blue NUMLOCK key but I don’t have the ASUS in front of me right now so can’t remember for sure.

  12. I had used ASUS EeePC 4G with MS-windowXP for almost 16 months before I purchased this 1000HE. Now, Windows7 (RC) is running on this 1000HE with 2GB RAM. I really like the display, HDD capacity, battery life, and a keyboard. Since I had read other people’s reviews, I have no trouble or finger prints becaue of leather cover which I bought with 1000HE. This is a great Netbook with all the capacity and features I could want. The reviews told me it was good and they were right. Don’t hesitate to get one.

  13. I purchased my asus eee pc for 3 months now with xp home and it worked perfectly. I wonder if it would run as swiftly as xp if I upgrade my OS to windows 7. Will it consume my battery life to a significant level? Will it be sluggish? I really love to upgrade my OS to windows 7.

  14. Ariel29 – Mine runs fine, although I upgraded to Win 7 the night I brought the machine home so didn’t use XP all that much. Running on average settings (Balanced power mode, wi-fi and bluetooth on, screen about 70% brightness) I could get six hours of battery life.

    Alana – For a box of this size there’s no real reason to install the 64 bit version, unless you have some application that just requires 64 bit. I used 32 bit, works just fine.

  15. Arcanecode, thanks for your excellent blog, just what I was looking for, as I wish to upgrade my same model netbook (HE1000), due to a difficult/reboot XP BSOD, to a Wins 7 install. My question – you mentioned on the 6th Dec 2009 that things went well with the upgrade but previously that you used 2GB RAM. I’m in Japan, installed an English XP as soon as I got it, which screws the OEM J XP warranty.. anyway.. is it easy to install 2GB into this PC? Do I need 2 or will 1 handle the load? Any comments appreciated, thanks. Happy New Year!

  16. William, not sure, as this was never an issue for me. Sorry.

    James, sort of depends on what you will be doing. If just web browsing then 1 gig will prob be enough, although for just about anything the more ram the better.

    Fortunately it’s very easy to install the ram, takes all of five minutes. There’s a hatch on the bottom, just unscrew it and lift it open. The 1 gig chip sits right there, just press the clips on either side that hold it down and it pops up, lift it out, put in the new ram, press it down so the clips grab it, put the cover back on and away you go.

  17. Arcane, thanks for your quick response and pithy instructions. PCs are fine for me but I always though notes and nets were black boxes, but they’re not of course. Indeed, the back panel and screws are begging me to open them. I’ll give the chip install a burl, as per your instructions. BTW, I did look on the microsoft website, which says only 1GB RAM is needed to run it.. but for my uses (business) I’ll want 2GB.

    Unrelated, but I also found this, which is a specific guide to upgrading from XP and avoiding drivers issues etc:


    Seems to be helpful if an upgrade from XP to 7 is being done, but I am just bookmarking it in case I am having troubles. Mine will be a fresh install! Thanks again Arcane.

  18. I have installed Win 7 Home premium on my HE, but I’m a bit frustrated, because I can’t get the right graphic driver installed and I’m running on 600×1000 screen resolution. Webpage buttons go off the bottom of the page, and nothing I try seems to fix it. Asus seems to have windows 7 drivers, but I can’t get the right one installed. Also, as the guy above, the Fn keeps are now inactive. Help?

  19. Hey thanks for this article! I found it useful as informal due diligence before installing these Developer Apps on the ASUS 1000HE.

    Proof that when you google it’s always the blog posts that help…!

    Thanks again.


  20. Nope, go ahead. Also FYI the above article was written using a beta of Win 7. Earlier I upgraded to full Win 7 retail version and it’s still working fine.

  21. I was browsing to get a bunch of music videos for my party and just found out this post. I must say that you have done a wonderful effort. Thanks mate.

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