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I am preparing to migrate a pretty old XP machine to Windows 7. I ran the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor and got a couple of smaller issues (low 512Mb RAM complaints and similar stuff). Apart from that, everything else was shown as compatible, including my old ATI Radeon 9550/X1050 card:

ATI Radeon 9550/X1550 Series: This device is compatible with Windows 7.

The thing that concerns me is that people around the web seem to be unable to actually find a Windows 7 driver for this card. Even the ATI web page states that this is a legacy device:

If the user chooses to, they can install the ATI Catalyst Windows Vista graphics driver under Windows 7. [...] Using the ATI Catalyst Windows Vista driver under Windows 7 is not officially supported by AMD [...]

Should I trust the Advisor and continue with the update? Does this mean Microsoft will provide at least a generic driver which will allow hardware acceleration with this card?

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It will suck a LOT with that amount of RAM – Simon Sheehan Mar 24 '12 at 16:50
@Simon: you got that right :). But it's a machine intended for casual surfing only (mails and news), and I do believe I have additional 512Mb I can rip from another PC (I only need to check if it's compatible with this MB). This is intended for a non-tech-savvy person with a hope for some Win 7 eye candy. – Groo Mar 24 '12 at 16:56
Perhaps you should look at a linux flavour then, or spice up your XP ;) – Simon Sheehan Mar 24 '12 at 17:13
If you have a spare hard drive, swap them out and install W7, see how well it works with 1 gig and the Vista video driver see this page for info on how to disable some windows services to free up… – Moab Mar 25 '12 at 2:57
up vote 5 down vote accepted

The upgrade advisor only tells you that Windows 7 will work. It doesn't guarantee that your hardware will perform at optimal levels.

Most likely, the Vista driver issued by AMD will work fine. But due to the age of the device, AMD never took the time to validate their Vista driver with Windows 7. The similarity of both operating systems, generally, provides good upwards compatibility for drivers (at least that's my experience).

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+1 Thanks, that's what I presumed. I just need to google a bit to check if there were some actual experiences with booting this OS with this card. – Groo Mar 24 '12 at 16:58
Windows 7 also has some basic drivers, so I'm sure you'll be able to boot. Actually, in my opinion, those basic drivers are of greater usefulness than in previous versions of Windows. – Oliver Salzburg Mar 24 '12 at 17:05
The pack-in drivers for common chipsets (nVidia, ATI), especially legacy chipsets, are usually more functional in Win7 than their "official" counterparts. – EKW Mar 24 '12 at 17:24

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