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I have an old 10G hard disk that is extremely slow to access. I am running it on a 1GHz AMD Athlon w/ 256 MB of ram. Is there any RAM configurations that may speed up running programs? Or is there any way I can preload commonly used programs in to my huge RAM? Mozilla and MS Word(Crossover Office) are extremely slow to run, but once they are both loaded it runs fine.
I do not know of any other ways to speed your disk up. If your system is otherwise running OK, I wouldn't worry about it: On mine (P3 1GHz & P4 3GHz, tons of memory and fast 7200RPM disks with DMA and read-ahead enabled) mozilla and Openoffice are both slow to load, that's life I guess. I am still not going back to windows!
I have Mandrake Linux 10.1 installed on 4 other machines, all with 7200 hd's. They load OO and mozilla at an acceptable speed. The one with the slow hd is an old 10G hd. I will soon dd it to another, larger 7200rpm hd.
I install and maintain (remotely through ssh) a total of 5 Linux desktop machines for friends, family, and coworkers. This is the only one I've had complaints about so far. And it is just a speed problem.