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I'm posting here because I'm running on a laptop, couldn't find anything related by searching, or a better forum.
Dell Inspiron 6400 (same as 15"), Intel Core Duo 1.6 GHz, 2 GB RAM, SATA HD;
openSUSE 12.2 (with Tumbleweed), KDM, Xfce.
I live outdoors and off-grid, so I keep my laptop in the backseat of the pickup truck. Only use it every few days. In Winter, it gets really cold.
Anytime it's below freezing, laptop runs really really slowly. Very slow to boot Linux (can't really tell if BIOS or Grub are slow), very slow to load Xfce. Top shows "load average" from 5 to more than 20 (!).
Only rebooting seems to cure this. Doesn't matter how long it sits in Grub, or KDM, or even fully loaded. Doesn't matter how warm the machine gets, it doesn't recover without booting again.
Reboot gets all working as usual with load average much less than 1.
I've looked at CPU speed (hovering between 1.0 and 1.67 GHz, as usual), swap (generally none used). Don't really know how to test hard drive speed.
If it never gets better then I'd begin to think it is an issue with acpi keeping the cpu speed down. It is down either from wrong data on temp or outside of temp or it could be due to low voltage/current from some sensor. It it did get better then I'd think the hard drive disk speed. Some speed caused by temps.
See maybe top command. There are other tools to view cpu speeds, I think it is something like cpu-z for linux.
May have to boot to bios to see what settings are there or choices.
Might be able to start with acpi disabled.
Voltages may or may not show up well.
The reason I suggest that acpi may be to blame is that sensors may provide an out of range when some extreme cold or hot is detected. More like a fault instead of a number. Some newer cars used to be like that. The temp or map or such sensor was so far out of the pre-mapped settings that the number was considered bad and triggered some fault.
I really doubt it's battery voltage, since my battery's been toast for years and I always run on AC (new adapter, too).
Plus, even though, yes, the test I promised to do shows that when cold the CPU is only chugging along at 1.0 GHz, rather than a blazing 1.6 GHz, that really doesn't explain extreme slowness, does it?
(Oddly, at least to me, the BoboMIPS are not significantly different between cold -- 1.0 GHz and warm 1.6 GHz... Also, whenever this happens the Xfce desktop widget is reporting CPU reving between 1.0 and 1.6, as normal.)
Reading through the responses leads me to reiterate: I'm not necessarily looking for a way to avoid this, but an explanation.
It makes sense to me that the CPU runs slower, the harddrive may be unhappy (though it boots just fine, only slowly), etc. but I would expect that as the system warms up, things should speed up. They don't; ONLY REBOOTING gets me out of this state.
Again, my question was "why is that?"
(Makes me think there might be something I don't understand about Linux, LOL.)
Anytime it's below freezing, laptop runs really really slowly. Very slow to boot Linux (can't really tell if BIOS or Grub are slow), very slow to load Xfce.
Top shows "load average" from 5 to more than 20 (!).
Something that I thought you might try would be those little hand warmer pack thingys that can stay good and hot for somewhere in the twelve hour range. This would help your laptop stay warm in its bag in the truck. I wish that I could remember what they're called.
maybe something that is in the startup of Windows that is eating up your cpu and memory resources. Do a msconfig (start --> run --> msconfig <enter>), see what's comming up in your startup, do a search on eat file to see what the processes are, and remove the ones you don't need from your startup.
hope it helps u