R4W 2015.4 (Replacement for Windows) for Older PCs

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R4W (also known as Replacement for Windows) comes in two different versions:

  1. R4W for Older, single core, 32 bit PCs and Laptops, available from this page.
  2. The other version is R4W for Modern, 64 bit, multi-core, PCs, Laptops, and Netbooks.

R4W (Replacement for Windows)

For Use on Older Intel Compatible PCs

R4W  for Older 32 bit PCs, and PCs unable to use PAE, such as some featuring a Pentium M or Celeron M series CPU sold from around 2002-2004.kernel requirements removed.

Replacement for Windows (also known as R4W) is designed to be a drop-in replacement for Microsoft Windows on older single core 32 bit computers.  Although R4W looks and feels much like a classic Windows release, it's not a Microsoft Windows clone, or "work-alike". Instead, it is an operating system, plus technologically up-to-date software, for replacing older unsupported versions of Windows, along with the outdated software that runs on them.

This version (2015.4) updates include:

  • Chromium Apps - Imagine running Google's Chromebook operating system on R4W.   Chromium Apps is fairly close to that experience.
    • As pictured above in the first screenshot, R4W 2015 includes the Chromium Apps menu/launcher just to the right of the R4W menu/start button.  Open the App Launcher and click the Store to find applications to add, or right click to easily remove.
    • You DO NOT need to have a Google/Chome account to add and use the free applications.  But having an account lets you to access the same apps on any computer using a chromium browser, as well as purchase non-free apps.
  • Application and system updates since Nov 2014.
  • Wirelerss support has been updated for nearly all wireless devices.
  • Backports repository has been added.
  • If you have a previous version of R4W that locks up when you try updating, it's because the update manager application has itself needs to be updated.  You can run the following commands in a terminal  to alleviate the problem:
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get upgrade


Great Features:

  • Compatibility Modes can be enabled from the control panel and allow you to also run software created for Microsoft Windows, DOS, Nintendo 64, Super Nintendo, Nintendo DS, Game Boy Advance, and the Sony Playstation. Enabling Compatibility Modes also allows you to run other operating systems via VIrtualbox.
  • Low System Requirements. Yes, even though R4W for Older PCs is capable of doing so much, it's able to do it with fewer system resources.  Our custom Desktop runs well even on machines with as little as 256MB of memory.
  • The Start-Menu layout means you'll find things where you expect them. The start-menu look is a cross between various windows versions from Windows 2000 - Windows 7.
  • The Control Panel make finding administrative settings easier than ever.
  • No Passwords.  That's right, just start it up and use your computer.  You'll never need to login, or enter a administrative password.  Yet the multi user file-system helps to keep you virus and malware free.
  • Advanced Installer gives you better control over the install, allowing parallel installs, and installs on a variety of devices.
  • Supports Netflix.  The new Pipelight Silverlight plugin lets you play Netflix in your browser. (After installing R4W, a Digital Rights Management streaming requirement).
  • Dialup networking which had been in previous versions was re-added.

Notes about Compatibility Modes: Compatibility Modes are achieved through a series of 3rd party emulators.  Some software will be unable to function properly in an emulated computer environment.  Please visit the individual developers websites for more information. If you plan on running software created for Microsoft Windows, you will want to visit the compatibility database at: http://appdb.winehq.org/

Performance: R4W works on both 32-bit and 64-bit Intel compatible PCs. Or in simpler terms, will run on any computer that can run Microsoft Windows.  Significant performance gains will be experienced on 64-bit PCs, and with multi-core processors.

System Requirements:

  • A Pentium II or later Intel Compatible Processor (AMD, Intel, VIA, etc).
  • At least 256MB of Memory (RAM), 512 or more recommended for best performance.
  • At lease 1GB of memory, and a 1Ghz or faster Processor required to run Compatibility Modes, hardware accelerated video card highly recommended for streaming video, 2GB memory recommended to run other operating systems in Virtualbox.
  • A 1Ghz processor will be required to operate Skype and watch flash videos.
  • A DVD drive. (A USB Flash Drive and a Boot Helper CD can be used on machines without a DVD drive.)
  • A video card and Monitor capable of at least 1024x768 resolution.

Many items are available on a variety of media.  Below is more information about these options:

Notice: We only ship top quality Kingston USB Flash devices.

In addition to optical CD/DVDs, USB Flash Drives are very popular.  They can be used in nearly any computer built since 1999, and are very useful on newer netbooks and computers without optical drives.

There are currently two major types of USB Flash Drives we currently use.  The standard USB 2.0 drives from Kingston shown on the left, and the next generation USB 3.0 Flash Drives from Kingston shown below on the right.
Both types of drives can be used in any USB port from the early 1.1 specifications of the late 1990s through to the latest USB 3.0 specifications that came out in 2010.  The only practical difference between the two is their speed when plugged into a USB 3.0 port, which allows the Kingston USB 3.0 Drives to save and read data 5-6 times faster than the Kingston USB 2.0 Flash Drives.

The Mobility Kit, shown here on the left, consists of a small "Micro" SD Card which inserts into a small USB Flash Drive adapter, or standard SD adapter. This allows it to also be used as a standard SD Card, or USB 2.0 Flash Drive. This is a great option if you want to be able to use it in the widest variety of computers and hand-held devices, or if you just want a nearly invisible USB Flash Drive that doesn't stick out.

When ordering flash media it is strongly recommended to select either the Priority Mail or Express Mail delivery option.  Although you are allowed to select first class mail at checkout time, we will not replace any items lost in the Postal System.  In most instances undelivered orders are returned to us and we can contact the customer, let them know, and arrange re-shipment, but not always. Priority and Express Mail packages can be tracked Online so if something goes wrong we can track them down.

Flash Drives and Media Kits are ordered from Distribution on Mondays and Thursdays, with shipments generally taking three days to arrive. Please allow up to a week for these items to be processed, pre-tested, and shipped to you from www.On-Disk.com.

32 Bit, and x86 refer to Intel, and Intel Compatible, computers. These include computers using Intel, AMD, and VIA processors.

64 bit, x86_64, and AMD64 designations refer to a 64-bit extension to the existing x86 architecture. A 64 Bit Intel, or Intel Compatible, computer can run either a standard 32 bit operating system, or a 64 bit optimized version.

The performance gain from using a 64 bit operating system is virtually imperceptible in most instances. Where we could possibly notice a difference would be when the computer is under a heavy load such as when running high-end applications which may require massive system resources, or a highly over-tasked Internet Server. This is because the majority of the performance gain is due to the road the internal data travels on being twice as wide as on 32 Bit hardware, as well as newer/faster hardware that supports it. In normal computing environments, very little performance increase can be attributed to the CPUs enhanced 64 bit instruction set itself.

One remaining drawback to using a 64 bit operating system is that there are still instances where hardware support or software may not be available.

PowerPC, often abbreviated as PPC, was used by Apple's Macintosh lines from 1994 to 2006 (before Apple's transition to Intel). If you have an older Apple, or Apple Compatible, computer from this time period look for products offering PPC options.


The computer type option on software pages (not operating systems) is fairly easy to select. Just match the computer type with the operating system installed on your computer. If you are not sure if you have a 32 or 64 bit installation use one of the methods below:

  • Microsoft has a guide for Windows 2000 and newer versions: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;827218 All older versions of Windows are all 32 bit.

  • Under Linux run uname -a in a terminal window.

  • Computers without a working operating system: Pay attention to the display when the computer is turned on, it will normally show one of the designations listed above. Otherwise you may need to press whatever key it tells you to use to enter the BIOS (AKA startup options). Once in the BIOS the type of CPU should be displayed.

Basic Shipping Info:

Orders ship out twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays. They are processed in the order in which they are received, not based upon the shipping option selected during checkout.

Please Remember, every item is custom made for you after you place your order. It's not like purchasing a copy of Mirosoft Windows at a retail shop where all they need to do is put it in a box and ship it to you.

We do not work weekends or holidays.  We are a small family business, with the emphasis on family.

Basic Shipping Costs:

(note: Orders of 3 or more items will be slightly more. Their actual cost is shown during checkout.)

  • USPS First-Class Mail to US addresses - $2.37US for 1 disc in basic package, $2.66 for 2 discs. Delivery for most addresses is within 4 business days. Military and outlying possessions may be longer.

  • First Class Mail International to Canada - $2.37US for 1 disc in basic package, $2.66 for 2 discs. Most orders will arrive within 7 business days, but a minimum of two weeks should be allowed for shipping.

  • First Class Mail International to anywhere else in the World - $3.60US for 1 disc in basic package, $3.85 for 2 discs. Most orders will arrive within 2 weeks, but consideration should be given to the distance, Customs and the postal service in your country.

Flash Drive Shipping:

Flash Drives,  SD Cards, and CF Cards are ordered from distribution weekly, and normally ship from www.On-Disk.com in anywhere from 1-7 days.

When ordering flash media it is strongly recommended to select either the Priority Mail or Express Mail delivery option.  Although you are allowed to select first class mail at checkout time, we will not replace any items lost in the Postal System.  In most instances undelivered orders are returned to us and we can contact the customer, let them know and arrange re-shipment, but not always. Priority and Express Mail packages can be tracked Online so if something goes wrong we can track them down.

Returns and Exchanges:

Every order placed at www.On-Disk.com is a custom made product.  We make it specifically for you after you order it.  With this in mind, once the media has been created it can not be returned, exchanged or canceled. Certain exceptions can be made depending upon the circumstances.  This is left up to the sole discretion of www.On-Disk.com

Replacement Guarantee:

If a disk or other media arrives at your location and is un-readable due to shipping damage or quality of the burn and or data load, we will replace the damaged items. If the damage is due to shipping, we may ask that you return the items to us in it's original packaging so that we can asses our shipping procedures to ensure disks arrive at their location safely. If it's not apparent that un-readable media was damaged in shipping it may be returned in any appropriate media packaging.

There is no Replacement Guarantee for free Quick Ship discs, or other free promotional or courtesy items we may periodically offer throughout the year. We simply don't have the manpower to help troubleshoot or re-send free disc products.

21-Day Limit:

You must notify us within 21 days (3 weeks) from the ship-to date if there are any problems with your order. There will be no refunds or replacements made after 21 days.

If you're not sure what the ship date is, you'll find it within your order history. Simply visit the "My Account" link at the top of this page.

Help Ordering:

If you need help ordering please contact us so that we may assist.

More Information:

If you need more information about a product please contact the product Developer.  Their homepage information will be linked to from the Developer box in the menu on the left.

In some instances items are added to our catalog per customer request.  In such instances there will be no Developer Info box showing in the menu on the left, and any product information included in the listing was found on the product developers website, which you may want to visit for updated information. These Custom Requested listings are not maintained or updated by www.On-Disk.com.

Technical Support Options:

No-cost technical advice and support is available for nearly any piece of software, including operating systems. In many instances you will also have support available locally. The key is to know these options exist, and have enough basic information to be able to find them.
Whether looking for assistance with a computer operating system, or software running on the computer, there are outstanding free options available.
The first place we can begin seeking help is Online.
Most operating system and software developers have Online forums in place specifically to assist you. These Online support forums allow you live and on-demand access to a wide range of technical guidance from industry experts. You can usually find support forums by visiting the developer's website. In some cases you can just do an internet search for the item you are needing help with, followed by the word "forum" to find relevant information. In most instances, for the products we have available, a link is provided for you under the "Support" tab on the listing page for that particular item.
The advantage of support forums is in the numbers and expertise...your situation can be viewed by many people, and only one needs to know the answer for you to find a solution. Online support forums are also followed, in most instances, by those who actually write the piece of software, or have a hand in developing the operating system. These folks are the "real-deal", not just an hourly paid employee on the other end of a phone somewhere.
Nearly every Linux, BSD, and Open Solaris distribution has a user forum to help with any problems that may come up. There are also several very good general content forums such as :http://www.linuxquestions.org and the Nixcraft Linux Tech Support Forum - great places to get help with just about every operating system other than Microsoft Windows, as well as applications that run on them. For the more technically adventurous there are forums such as The UNIX and Linux Forums and http://www.unixforum.co.uk/.
MAC users have the great MAC OSX support forum available to them, as well as the Apple Discussions, and MAC Forums.

And don't feel left out if you use Microsoft Windows, you have Online support forums at your disposal as well, but you do need to be on the lookout for forums created just to sell you antivirus or spyware solutions. The most reputable is the Microsoft Forums. For assistance with a non-microsoft product under Windows you may sometimes get better results at other locations such as the Tech Support Forums.
Another great place to get free technical support is through local user groups. Since the early days of computing groups of people have been getting together to explore all the geeky things they can do with their computers. In the past few years the number of user groups, and members of existing groups, has exploded fueled by the growing popularity of Linux and and open source software.
There are several types of computer user groups, and to find ones that meet near you. A quick internet search can help find a group near you. For instance a simple search like linux user group gives excellent results. I selected Linux User Group (also known as LUG) because from my experience a Linux user group can, and usually will, assist with just about any computer or gadget related problem you might have. LUGs normally have regular meetings which everyone is welcome to attend, as well as "Install Fests" periodically throughout the year. An install fest is an event where they will even install your Linux selection onto your computer for you, as well as give you advice on which distribution may best suit your circumstances.
Although it's great to have face to face conversations with the people who are helping you, the majority of assistance members give each other usually takes place on a mailing list, which offers real-time answers to questions. Using the mailing list for support can be a great lifeline if you happen to live some distance from the nearest group and can't attend regular meetings.

Product Licensing:

Product Licensing terms are set by the individual software developers.  Please see the Developer's homepage for complete licensing information.  Their Developer's homepage is linked to from the Developer info box in the menu on the left.

In some instances items are added to our catalog per customer request.  In such instances there will be no Developer Info box showing in the menu on the left, and any product information included in the listing was found on the product developers website, which you may want to visit for updated information. Licensing terms of all Custom Requested items appearing in our catalog allow for re-distribution under their terms which we must honor.

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