I’ve been preparing for some of my demo’s for my session at the Microsoft Management Summit (BB37 – Operations Manager Evolution) today. During some tests today I was developing a low memory Windows 7 Virtual Router (I had previously done this in Windows 98 and had found that I could run Windows 98 on 12 mb of memory. I was updating the concept to a more current Operating System). During my tests I found an interesting trivial pursuit level bit of detail here. At least in my test environment (VMware Server) I was receiving blue screens and messages about insufficient memory to create a ramdisk (shown below) if I ran my Windows 7 Home system without at least 148 MB of memory assigned to it.
Summary: While the official specifications to run Windows 7 say a lot higher value (1 gb for 32 bit, 2 gb for 64 bit, from my tests it appears that Windows 7 will run with as little as 148 MB of memory assigned to it. NOTE: This does not say that it performs well with this level of memory, just that it will start up and allow you to log in.