Which OS for my Netbook?
December 23, 2009 2:08 AM   Subscribe

What OS for my Samsung NC20?

I'm receiving a Samsung NC20 for xmas, which will become my primary PC for web-browsing, iTunes, Picasa etc.

I've already ordered myself a CD/DVD drive to use with it, and a 2Gb RAM upgrade.

Which OS should I install on it? It comes with XP Home, but I have the option of putting Windows 7 on instead (Ultimate 64bit version).

Should I go for 7, XP, or something else entirely (not keen on Linux, but maybe a dual boot?)
posted by lemonfridge to Computers & Internet (13 answers total)
I doubt that a 64bit OS will run on a 32bit system.

I tried all kinds of OSs on my netbook, but always went back to the one it came with. Because it turned out to be the only one with all the right hardware drivers.

Having said that, there are some nice Linux distros for netbooks, that aren't that difficult to configure. The forums for Samsung netbooks have a lot more information about this than I can give you.

My netbook is a dual boot, but a just-in-case dual boot, for when one OS screws up.

In the end the OS is hardly ever relevant to what you do with a computer. I have never understood the brouhaha about software that is just supposed to enable you to do some work.
posted by ijsbrand at 2:40 AM on December 23, 2009

The VIA Nano U2250 (the chip that powers the NC20) is a 64-bit chip, so Windows 7 x64 would run quite happily on it. There is little benefit to doing so unless you intend to put a full 4GB of RAM in the system though.

I actually really like Windows 7 - as an XP hold-out it's driver support and speed finally convinced me to upgrade.
posted by hjd at 3:16 AM on December 23, 2009

Its driver support. *its*. Damn. My English-teacher mother would be appalled.
posted by hjd at 3:23 AM on December 23, 2009

I think Windows 7 can be installed as either the 32-bit or 64-bit version.
posted by hnnrs at 4:16 AM on December 23, 2009

Windows 7 should work great, but I'd also recommend dual booting Ubuntu Netbook Remix. It's surprisingly good. The installer program will set up the dual boot and partition the drive for you, no problem.

I installed Ubuntu Netbook Remix on my Samsung NC10 about a month ago and haven't felt the need to reboot into XP since.
posted by kenliu at 5:14 AM on December 23, 2009

Unfortunately, Ubuntu Netbook Remix requires an Intel Atom processor. (I would recommend it as a dual boot option otherwise.)
posted by nangar at 6:21 AM on December 23, 2009

Something to keep in mind about Ubuntu Netbook Remix is that you can build a bootable USB stick and try the OS out with no implications to your hard drive whatsoever. If you decide you want it as a dual boot option (or better yet, wiping windows), you can make that choice out after you feel well informed about your decision.
posted by mcstayinskool at 6:59 AM on December 23, 2009

Any regular Linux distribution will run fine on an NC20. You don't need a special netbook version, especially considering that you have a high resolution screen compared to most netbooks.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 6:59 AM on December 23, 2009

nangar: No, UNR works on any Intel-compatible processor, just like regular Ubuntu. The fact that the website claims otherwise is a documentation bug.
posted by teraflop at 7:04 AM on December 23, 2009

Thanks, teraflop. That's good to know.
posted by nangar at 7:52 AM on December 23, 2009

Ubuntu 9.10 seems to run great on it: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/NC20
posted by cowmix at 8:44 AM on December 23, 2009

The retail packaging for Windows 7 includes both 32 and 64 bit versions, but if you're getting a copy through an upgrade program with the manufacturer they might not send both discs.

I'm running Windows 7 Professional (32-bit) on an old netbook without any trouble, as most netbook manufacturers now have Windows 7 drivers up for download. (The drivers and software for the NC20 are here.)

The drivers are listed as 32-bit even though the processor is 64-bit, though. Is the copy of Windows 7 that you have being sent by Samsung, or is it a copy you've picked up elsewhere?
posted by truex at 11:14 AM on December 23, 2009

Thanks for the advice. I think I'll go for Windows 7 32bit, and have a Linux bootable USB drive just in case.
posted by lemonfridge at 12:13 PM on December 23, 2009

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