Will HA work on an old (ex-Win7) PC?

I was about to give my Dad’s old PC a decent burial and then wondered if I could make a temporary HA ‘server’ out of it. Its been unused for about 15 years but still works. I know the guidance says the minimum needed is a 64-bit machine with UEFI, but for the last couple of days I’ve been bashing-away trying to make it work, by reformatting and applying ubuntu, but without success. As dead-horses go, this one’s taken a bit of a flogging so far, but I thought as a last-resort I’d ask the assembled brains-trust. I think the go-no go questions are:

  1. Is a UEFI bios essential? If so, can the chipset/bios be updated to include it, or is it hardware dependent? The Machine is a Medion PC MT7 but has an MSI N1996 Micro-ATX mainboard. I haven’t been able to easily find newer bios firmware as its so old.

  2. The processor is an Intel® Core™2 Quad Processor Q8300, 4M Cache, 2.50 GHz, 1333 MHz FSBa which is 64-bit although the machine was running Win7 Ult - 32 bit. HDD is 640Gb. Is the limitation (if any) the mainboard / chipset / bios then?

Ultimately, this isn’t too important as I have other, modern options available, but if I thought I could make it work for a while I’m happy to spend a bit more time on it.

Cheers, Andy
Oxford, UK

Somebody correct me if i am wrong, but HAOS needs UEFI to boot since it is required by the written image.
But to use HA you could install debian bullseye and HA supervised, debian bullseye works on this kind of cpu and does not need to be installed in uefi. So i would say this should work.

1 Like

Have you considered using a virtual machine? I have run on non-UEFI machines doing this. I was on an old supermicro 1/2 depth rack server. It worked for about 5 years before it died. It was used 24/7 365 and was over 15 years old when it died.

Hope this helps


If no UEFI, HAOS would not install directly onto this metal box.

But as mentioned, you can do a host OS without UEFI on the metal box, and then run a VM environment, and then open a guest VM (with UEFI) running HAOS.

1 Like

Thanks for this.

I’ve got ubuntu installed on the HDD but am now thinking, rather than doing everything on the old machine, could I install HAOS on the HDD as an external drive to my modern PC (I have the SATA/USB adapter), then put it back in the old machine?

I guess the issue is whether the lack of UEFI is a problem of installation of HAOS, or of running it. If HAOS won’t boot from the HDD on the old PC once I installed it, there’s my answer!

Right now I have HAOS running in a Win10 virtual machine (laptop) but the ‘old’ PC doesn’t have an authenticated copy of Win7 (I lost the docs. with the code) so I’d prefer to run HA directly if poss. Why don’t I leave it on the laptop? When I shut-down the laptop for portability, the VM shuts down along with HA.

Apologies if I’m misunderstanding answers already given - they are appreciated - I’m very new to this stuff but keen to learn.

One of the beauties of running a virtual machine is that you can port it to f.e. a linux host without loosing any data… :wink:

I moved my VMware virtual machine from a W10 host to a Debian11 host (I originally wanted to install HA supervised on it, but I ended up using VMWare again, as I found the supervisor limiting my options too much).

Just keep in mind you will not be able to use the machine for anything else besides HA (as the supervisor will disable/uninstall any addtional feature you want to run besides it)

just thinking aloud, there is no bios update available for the machine with uefi options? :thinking:

Thanks - the response is appreciated but I think perhaps the process you recommend (‘Supervised on Debian’) for me is too advanced! I think I need to get a grip of HAOS first, so what I’m asking for, while possible, probably isn’t for me, yet.

Cheers, Andy

Good point - I’ve been looking but there’s nothing on the mainboard manufacturer’s (MSI) site that I can find - it seems just too old!

I’ll keep looking though… :thinking:
Cheers, Andy

See this:

1 Like

I knew I saw that post somewhere, I only couldn’t find it anymore,
Thanks @francisp

1 Like

Thanks both @francisp and @aceindy - I read thro’ that entire thread and pleased to see that it’s possible, as others have done. Too much for me, though as a complete novice to non-Windows OS. TBH if my only solution was to go this way, I’d spend the next few weeks learning and progressing, but as I have a HA Yellow on order which will hopefully be here soon, my preferred plan is to keep my HA working on the Win 10 VM (Laptop) and wait for the Yellow.

I do appreciate all the help on this subject - I’ve learned a tremendous amount and am very grateful for the responses.

Cheers, Andy