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Old 03-22-2011, 10:38 AM   #1
Katy8989
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Is Linux really this bad?? Or is it my laptop?


I have an Asus W5000 Notebook, with an Intel(R) Pentium(R) M processor 1.73GHz and 492116 kB of RAM. I had to uninstall Windows XP, and since I can't afford a new Windows OS, I turned to Linux. I've tried Ubuntu 10.10, Linux Mint 9 and Linux Mint 10. Each has run RIDICULOUSLY slowly. I've nearly cried with frustration most days. I know it's an old laptop, but running speeds were at least twice as good with XP.

I'd really like to like Linux, but my experience of it has been awful. I've never used a computer as slow as this before. I'm not looking for a lot out of my laptop. All I really want to do on it is:

-Browse (has worked on all 3 systems, but slowly and crashing frequently)
-Watch TV catch-up (not worked on any of them. Problems on BBC iPlayer and all other TV sites)
-Listen to radio (not worked on any of them)
-Watch films offline (not worked on any of them. I have the codecs but it crashes)
-Listen to music offline (same thing happens)

I usually have to wait for the cursor to move if I move the mouse! My laptop shouldn't be running this badly. Can anyone help me? Thanks
 
Old 03-22-2011, 10:44 AM   #2
dugan
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Use a distribution whose default desktop is something other than KDE or GNOME. KDE and GNOME are designed to run on modern hardware. The default desktops in Ubuntu and Mint are both based on GNOME.

Give Lubuntu a try. It's much less demanding on system resources.

BTW, frequent crashes could easily be a sign of hardware issues. Memtest will tell you whether the RAM chips are in working order. S.M.A.R.T. tools will help you detect problems with your hard drive, and Prime95 will find faults with the CPU. Hard drives and RAM chips, at least, can be replaced.

Last edited by dugan; 03-22-2011 at 10:50 AM.
 
Old 03-22-2011, 10:49 AM   #3
Soadyheid
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Quote:
I had to uninstall Windows XP
Why did you have to uninstall Windows? Were you getting errors of some sort?
Is there a noticeable speed difference between a Live CD version of, say, Ubuntu and an installed version? I'm wondering if your hard disk had a problem.

Play Bonny!
 
Old 03-22-2011, 10:50 AM   #4
szboardstretcher
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You need to run a smaller/lighter, less resource heavy distro to fit your hardware specs. Steer clear of the big, beefy, server-like distros such as regular Ubuntu, Fedora, Mint, Debian, etc... pretty much anything that is using KDE or Gnome is going to be a no go for you.

Try Fedora XFCE or LXDE spins. Perhaps Tinycore linux. Ubuntu Lite/Lubuntu. Puppy linux is nice for lighter hardware laptops.

As a side note, understand that running any of these from CD will be slower than a disk installation.

Do not be discouraged. Linux is just like any other OS in that some versions of it will run faster/better on your hardware than others. Good luck.
 
Old 03-22-2011, 10:52 AM   #5
Katy8989
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dugan View Post
Use a distribution whose default desktop is something other than KDE or GNOME. KDE and GNOME are designed to run on modern hardware. The default desktops in Ubuntu and Mint are both based on GNOME.

Give Lubuntu a try. It's much less demanding on system resources.

BTW, frequent crashes could easily be a sign of hardware issues. Memtest will tell you whether the RAM chips are in working order.
Thanks for your reply

Do you think Linux Mint LXDE might be better? I'll see if I can persuade my friends to burn me yet another CD.... I'm on a computer in the library just now. I couldn't face going back on that awful thing. I don't think it's a hardware issue, as it was fine with XP.
 
Old 03-22-2011, 10:54 AM   #6
dugan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katy8989 View Post
Do you think Linux Mint LXDE might be better?
Yes. It will be.

Have them burn you a memtest cd while you're at it. Computer hardware does get less reliable as it ages. Hard drives have moving parts that wear down, circuit boards have capacitors that wear out, fans suck up cat hair, etc. It might have worked "fine" with XP, but you should use the tools available to you to check and find out for sure.

Last edited by dugan; 03-22-2011 at 11:00 AM.
 
Old 03-22-2011, 10:57 AM   #7
grail
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Also I have had good success with Slitaz as a small distro that is not very intensive and the package manager is quite decent so you should be able to install most
of the tools you need.
 
Old 03-22-2011, 10:57 AM   #8
Katy8989
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Originally Posted by Soadyheid View Post
Why did you have to uninstall Windows? Were you getting errors of some sort?
Is there a noticeable speed difference between a Live CD version of, say, Ubuntu and an installed version? I'm wondering if your hard disk had a problem.

Play Bonny!

No, XP was fine...until I got locked out of my domain :/ I have't run a live CD version, just fully installed each one. Which took aaagges.

To all recommending new distros... I don't have a TV, so one of the main functions of my laptop is to let me use catch-up sites (such as BBC iPlayer, 4oD etc). I couldn't get those to work at all on Ubuntu or Linux Mint, despite having the right versions of Flash, Adobe Air, Silverlight etc. Couldn't get any radio either. What lightweight distro would be best for playing media online?

Thanks everyone for the quick replies!

Last edited by Katy8989; 03-22-2011 at 11:00 AM.
 
Old 03-22-2011, 11:00 AM   #9
savona
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I don't mean to be rude, but if it was fine with XP why did you uninstall it?
 
Old 03-22-2011, 11:01 AM   #10
Katy8989
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Originally Posted by savona View Post
I don't mean to be rude, but if it was fine with XP why did you uninstall it?
It wasn't intentional I got locked out of my domain so I had to, and I didn't have recovery discs. I'm kind of stuck, and I can't afford to buy a new one..
 
Old 03-22-2011, 11:02 AM   #11
dugan
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Why not just talk to the domain's help desk?
 
Old 03-22-2011, 11:05 AM   #12
Katy8989
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Originally Posted by dugan View Post
Why not just talk to the domain's help desk?
It's from my dad's old work, so I can't :/
 
Old 03-22-2011, 11:06 AM   #13
szboardstretcher
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Geexbox is a good media center.
 
Old 03-22-2011, 11:14 AM   #14
MTK358
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What's a domain?

Anyway, the distros you tried are sure not the lightest. The fastest distro I've seen is Arch, but it's definitely not for Linux newbies, unless they are really good with computers and are very interested in learning Linux.
 
Old 03-22-2011, 11:16 AM   #15
Awatto
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To anyone who thinks these distros won't run well on a computer with this old hardware:

I run Ubuntu 10.04 on a computer with a celeron 1.5ghz and 512 ram and it runs fine.

I'd say this is more likely hardware issues, or just the simple fact that adobe flash on full screen is absolutely terrible on linux.

Browsers should not be "slow" and "crashing frequently" out of the box for this user unless they are visiting websites with a bunch of flash (which won't be fixed on linux by anything short of getting a new computer) or hardware/configuration issues.
 
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