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Enthusiasts Made Windows 11 Fit Inside 200MB of RAM Despite Microsoft’s Limits
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Enthusiasts Made Windows 11 Fit Inside 200MB of RAM Despite Microsoft’s Limits

by Low Boon ShenFebruary 8, 2023
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Enthusiasts Made Windows 11 Fit Inside 200MB of RAM Despite Microsoft’s Limits

Anything fits, if you try hard enough…

Enthusiasts Made Windows 11 Fit Inside 200MB of RAM Despite Microsoft's Limits

Image: @XenoPanther (Twitter)

Windows 11 has gotten itself a bit of notoriety for how strict its hardware requirements get (most notably the trusted platform module, or TPM). That of course got the enthusiasts figuring out how far they can break Microsoft’s limits and fit the entire OS on places it wasn’t supposed to be.

Another pain point among enthusiasts when it comes to Windows 11 (or even Windows 10) is how much telemetry and unnecessary bloat has been occupying system resources which in turn caused high system requirements they’re asking for. Hence, a race towards de-bloating Windows has begun ever since, in the hopes of making a fully functional OS fit into slow and often outdated systems.

However, the attempts made by NTDev here isn’t strictly making a functional OS, but rather making it run at all with the smallest RAM space possible. NTDev is the team behind ‘tiny11’ – which is a lightweight version of Windows 11 that can run without issues on systems having RAM as little as 2GB. This time around, the team claimed they have successfully made the system run at a ridiculously small amounts of RAM with just 384MB at disposal.

But you read the title. The attempt was quickly surpassed by another user @XenoPanther (who’s a Windows Insider), who managed to get Windows 11 running at just 200MB of RAM! The user claims they managed to boot as low as 196MB of RAM – but with RAM capacity that’s worthy of an early 2000s PC, getting the OS to run at all proved to be a massive test of patience, rather than challenge.

Enthusiasts Made Windows 11 Fit Inside 200MB of RAM Despite Microsoft's Limits 31

Image: @XenoPanther (Twitter)

In all occasions, the RAM is so strained to the point no room is left for any applications to run, and both the CPU and SSD are running full-tilt all the time likely as a result of RAM usage (likely related to paging file allocation). XenoPanther’s attempt at booting tiny11 at sub-200MB (through a virtual machine) RAM has seen the system crashing with BSOD errors for 30 minutes, and even spitting out some unusual out-of-memory errors.

Of course, much like “would this device run DOOM?”, it’s more of an experiment than a practical use case to see the limits of any software. That being said, there’s a reason a slimmed-down OSes, albeit unofficial, like tiny11 exists – many old systems may not have the processing power to deal with modern OSes, and tiny11 can be, among some Linux OSes or even ChromeOS Flex, give these old systems a new breath of life.

Source: Tom’s Hardware

Pokdepinion: This is giving me flashbacks of using one of those netbooks with dismal specs and that Intel Atom processor…

About The Author
Low Boon Shen
Is technology powered by a series of tubes?