Once again I am upgrading a Windows desktop computer for a friend. This time it is a Fujitsu Siemens Scaleo P, also known as MS-7293VP (from the BIOS), featuring an Intel Core 2 Duo 6400 processor (two cores @ 2.13 GHz), a GeForce 7500 LE graphics card and 4 GiB of memory. I honestly didn’t check all the specs and AFAIK the support website is no longer available.
The system came with Windows Vista Home Premium 32-Bit. Since the CPU can handle 64-Bit and it has 4 GB of memory installed I figured I’d go with a 64-Bit version of Windows 7 Home Premium first, but the goal really was to get a working Windows 10 system.
- FSC MS-7293VP mainboard, revision 2.00
- BIOS: Phoenix Technologies LTD, Version 2.36 (03/09/2007)
- PCI-Express 1.1
- VIA P4M890 chipset with VIA VT8237A southbridge
- Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 CPU (socket LGA755), 2.13 GHz, “Conroe”, CPU ID
06F2h(indicating that it is the new L-2 stepping)
This CPU includes the x86 extensions EM64T (Intel 64, the equivalent of AMD64 i.e. 64-Bit-x86 aka x86-64 aka x64) and VT-x (see Intel ARK and CPU-World for details).
- DDR2 memory, 266 MHz, PC2-4300: 2×2048 MB Kingston 2G-UDIMM, 1.8V (manufactured 12/08), CL 4-4-4-12
- TerraTec Aureon 5.1 PCI Audio (CMI8738 from C-Media)
- ASUS Nvidia GeForce 7500 LE (G72 rev. A3) PCI-Express graphics card @ 550 MHz, 256 MB DDR2 video memory @ 263 MHz
BIOS version 188.8.131.52.06, ASUS EN7500LE VGA BIOS Version 184.108.40.206.AS017
This card is supposedly an OEM variant of the Geforce 7300 GS, which also uses the G72 core.
- Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320820 SATA-II hard disk drive
Fujitsu-Siemens still offers driver downloads for this system for Windows Vista 32-Bit (but not 64-Bit), here the link that worked in December 2017.
Fresh installation of Windows 7 Home Premium
I found an unused Windows 7 Home Premium OEM license, also from FSC (Fujitsu Siemens Computers), so I used this for installation and activation. Surprisingly, with Windows 7 SP1, everything except the PCI expansion audio works from the start. The VIA chipset is supported out-of-the-box as well as the Fast Ethernet, apparently a VIA Rheno II. The drivers for the graphics card, Nvidia 7500 LE, get updated online with Windows Update.
The unsupported audio device has the hardware ID
PCI\VEN_13F6&DEV_0111&SUBSYS_1144153B&REV_10. An internet search leads towards C-Media, where I found drivers for a device called CMI8738, which is the same thing (the variants SX, MX and LX lead to the same driver for Windows 7, as of December 2017 this was version 8.17.40). Installing this under Windows 7 names the device as
TerraTec Aureon 5.1 PCI audio device. I used Device Manager, update driver, manual path and pointed it to the unzipped directory of
C:\Path-where-you-upzipped-the-driver\PCI-8738-091211-220.127.116.110(W7-RC-01)\SoftwareDriver, include subdirectories. (Note that the C-Media websate states: “For CMI873x or CMI876x series, C-Media no longer support Win10 driver.”)
After that I updated everything using Windows Update, which takes the usual day at least for all the updates to complete.
The only thing that came as a surprise to me is the fact that despite 4&nsbp;GB of memory is installed Windows 7 x64 indicates that only 2.94 GB may be used by the system. GPU-Z hints towards why this is the case: the automatically installed ForceWare 309.08 Nvidia driver software for the GeForce 7500LE, graphics driver version 18.104.22.1688 WHQL Win7 64, takes 1247 MB as shared memory for graphics…
The Windows Experience Index (WEI) of this computer is as follows:
- Processor: 5.2
- Memory (RAM): 5.2
- Graphics (general desktop work): 3.4
- Gaming Graphics (typically 3D): 3.4
- Primary Hard Disk: 5.9
- Base score: 3.4 (lowest subscore)
Windows 10 free upgrade
The free upgrade supposedly ended on the 29th of July 2017, but it still works to enter a valid Windows 7 product key when installing Windows 10 from an installation media such as a DVD or a USB pen drive. All that is needed is to download a Windows 10 ISO, at least this is reported to be true for Version 1709 of Windows 10, the Fall Creators Update. AFAIK, for the download to work you need to run a genuine Windows 7, 8 or 8.1.
The download for customers in need of assistive technologies the free upgrade offer ends 31st December 2017, as of this writing (the 10th of December 2017) this is very soon. Anyway, since it is free anyhow I decided to use the later upgrade offer, which basically leads to the same free Windows 10 Home x64 as would the ISO method.
The upgrade took a couple of hours, but everything went smoothly. The Windows Upgrade Assistant I used installed Windows 10 1703 build 15063.726. However, 1709 is current.
Remember that the audio device was reported to not feature support for Windows 10? Well, surprisingly the audio drivers work just fine and are still installed after the upgrade, but now the display drivers are acting up. Windows 10 initially operates with a Microsoft Basic Display Adapter driver, not with the Nvidia ForceWare drivers, even though they are listed as being installed. Anyhow, this was easily fixed by re-installing the Geforce WHQL drivers 309.08 (German version).
I tried to upgrade to Windows 10 1709, the Fall Creators Update, using Windows Update, but the “function update 1709” failed twice. I ended up downloading the official Upgrade Assistant (
Windows10Upgrade9252.exe), which also failed with code
0xc0000005. An internet search hinted towards an access issue, like the upgrade wasn’t able to access (write/delete) certain (already existing) files or directories. As it turned out the previous installation, Windows 7 in this case, was still on the system partition in directory
C:\Windows.old. So I used the Disk Cleanup utility (
cleanmgr.exe; needs to be run as administrator) to remove old files and directories, especially the “previous Windows installation”. Still, after running Disk Cleanup twice (without reboot) there were still files left inside
C:\Windows.old, probably moved by the utility into
C:\Windows.old\Cleanup\0000.~BT. I tried to delete the
Cleanup folder, but Explorer wouldn’t let me, stating that I didn’t have the required access rights. So I rebooted Windows 10 1703 and tried again to delete the folder, this time finally with success.
I then re-ran the Upgrade Assistant, which finally succeeded as well. Hence the conclusion: if you get the upgrade error code
C:\Windows.old by any means necessary first and try again. This might be the solution to your upgrade problem.
So, there we are: Windows 10 1709 x64 running on a 10 year old machine, and running well too! Compared to Windows 7 the big advantage is the Fast Startup mode of Windows 10, which reduces the boot-up time perceivably.
The only real issue might become future driver support, as the Geforce drivers are officially only supporting Windows Vista, 7 and 8 x64 and they are from 2015 (there are also drivers for 32-Bit, but also only for Vista, 7 and 8). Future versions of Windows 10 may change the driver model which will ultimately lead to an unsupported graphics card. The same is true for the audio drivers for the C-Media CMI8738/TerraTec Aureon 5.1 PCI. While the later one is optional (there is also on-board audio available) at least the PCI-Express 1.1 graphics card is replaceable…
This computer will serve as an Internet PC as well as for Microsoft Office for school. It may also be used for low-end gaming, who knows. In the end I can only recommend installing Windows 10 on older hardware and to continue their use, since this is a step towards environmental responsibility and longevity. Anyone can do it, anyone should do it. Installing an operating system is’t that hard—as a side effect you learn a great deal about computers too.