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Old 02-18-2012, 02:14 PM   #1
Pingu4
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Why is Linux slow and not displaying properly on my PC?


I'm a total newbie to Linux, I've only installed it on my PC last week - replacing Windows XP.
The problem I've got with it is that it seems to be working quite slowly. Also, very often when I click on an icon the description (i.e. 'home', 'appearance', etc.)is unreadable, all the letters are corrupted and look more like geometrical figures.

I'd like to know what causes it. My PC is quite old, I bought it in 2004. I'm thinking that maybe that's the cause of the problem. I'd be grateful if somebody could clarify the matter for me.

Here are details of my PC:
e-machines 5250
Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 900
515 Intel Premium 4 processor 515
160GB SATA HD
512MB Dual Channel memory
2.93GHZ 1M L2 Cache 533MHz FSB
56k modem

I've installed Ubuntu 11.61, I also run Opera browser.

I wanted to install more memory, but where I live nobody could find memory compatible with that on my PC. I was told I should change the 'heart' of the computer to make Linux faster. If that's so, can somebody recommend a processor and all the rest (but only of non-American production) that will be best for Linux Ubuntu?

Thank you for taking the time to read my long post.

Last edited by Pingu4; 02-18-2012 at 02:45 PM.
 
Old 02-18-2012, 02:58 PM   #2
liberalchrist
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Anything less than 3 or 4 years old should run Ubuntu just fine. There are distros out there that will run nicely on your existing computer, but might be less suitable for a newbie. Ubuntu is a relatively "heavy" brand of Gnu/Linux so somewhat less appropriate for older hardware. It would be like upgrading to Windows 7.
 
Old 02-19-2012, 12:25 AM   #3
kuser:)
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First of all, the title of this topic doesn't reflect your problem.
You should ask people to suggest a distribution, that would meet your needs:
- your computer is more than 4 years old,
- you are a newbie in linux.
- you're switching from Windows XP.

I'd suggest a distribution, that is light-weight, and easy to learn.
I'm not familiar with all the distributions, but maybe Puppy Linux, or Slackware would meet those requirements. It should be one, that was started before or around the time when your bought your computer, and one that still has good support, or at least good documentation for newbies. Also, you definitely need a light-weight Graphical User Interface, such as Xfce for example.

So now, the problem is: should you create a topic in the "Distributions" section, or should the forum administrators move this topic there for you (and maybe change the title)?
 
Old 02-19-2012, 05:49 AM   #4
Pingu4
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Thank you very much for your replies, I'll ask administrators to move the topic.
 
Old 02-19-2012, 07:09 AM   #5
cascade9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pingu4 View Post
I'm a total newbie to Linux, I've only installed it on my PC last week - replacing Windows XP.
The problem I've got with it is that it seems to be working quite slowly. Also, very often when I click on an icon the description (i.e. 'home', 'appearance', etc.)is unreadable, all the letters are corrupted and look more like geometrical figures.

Here are details of my PC:
e-machines 5250
Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 900
515 Intel Premium 4 processor 515
160GB SATA HD
512MB Dual Channel memory
2.93GHZ 1M L2 Cache 533MHz FSB
56k modem

I've installed Ubuntu 11.61, I also run Opera browser.
There is no ubuntu 11.61. It would be either 11.04 or 11.10.

Ubuntu is too heavy for 512MB systems. The new 'unity' desktop used by 11.04 and 11.10 could be causing problems as well. (I dont know that for sure, but I do know that eariler versions of untiy had nasty issues with GMA 900, and text corruption bugs with unity are not uncommon).

As for distros you could use, if you want a *buntu then lubuntu, xubuntu or bodhi should run on that system. I cant advise anyone to use a *buntu, I disagree with the way that canonical does business.

Debian Xfce/Lxde would work, and are easy to use. The main reason why people like ubuntu over debian is because its easier to install closed hardware drivers, like video card and wireless network drivers. Your machine doesnt even have closed drivers for the video card, and no wireless, so debian should be no harder really than a *buntu.

Slackware would work as well, but it would take more reading and setting up than debian. Some of the slackware based distros, like vector linux would be easier to install than 'normal' slackware and run well on that system.

I wouldnt suggest puppy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pingu4 View Post
I wanted to install more memory, but where I live nobody could find memory compatible with that on my PC. I was told I should change the 'heart' of the computer to make Linux faster. If that's so, can somebody recommend a processor and all the rest (but only of non-American production) that will be best for Linux Ubuntu?

Thank you for taking the time to read my long post.
Where do you live? That machine uses DDR (a.k.a. 'DDR1' to make it clear its not the later DDR2/DDR3 memory). There should be any problems getting DDR1 in most countries.

Maybe the palce (places?) where you looked for memory didnt even try to get DDR1, they just wanted to sell you a new machine. It woudnt be the 1st time that has happened.

Last edited by cascade9; 02-19-2012 at 07:58 AM. Reason: typos
 
Old 02-19-2012, 07:40 AM   #6
Randicus Draco Albus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pingu4 View Post
I'd like to know what causes it. My PC is quite old, I bought it in 2004. I'm thinking that maybe that's the cause of the problem.

I've installed Ubuntu 11.61, I also run Opera browser.
The computer's age is not a hindrance. My machine is five years old and can run a GNU-Linux system without any problems.

My opinion is the problem is most likely Ubuntu. As already mentioned, Ubuntu is not the greatest system. I agree with cascade9's advice. As long as you do not need to set up a wireless connection, Debian is no harder to install than Ubuntu and works both better and faster.

Again as already mentioned, almost any distribution should work well on your computer with XFCE or LXDE.

Good luck.
 
Old 02-19-2012, 07:40 AM   #7
liberalchrist
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It was Opera 11.61, I think.
 
Old 02-19-2012, 08:07 AM   #8
Pingu4
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Thanks for all the replies, and yes I made a mistake - it was Opera 11.61, not Ubuntu.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
Where do you live? That machine uses DDR (a.k.a. 'DDR1' to make it clear its not the later DDR2/DDR3 memory). There should be any problems getting DDR1 in most countries.

Maybe the place (places?) where you looked for memory didn't even try to get DDR1, they just wanted to sell you a new machine. It wouldn't be the 1st time that has happened.
You may well be right. I live in Poland, although I bought my PC in the UK. I've been to a few shops but in every one of them I was told that extra memory for my PC is not available as it is the old type. Twice they sold me a memory (a single stick or card or whatever it's called)but my PC kept crashing and I was told the new memory is not compatible and had to be removed.
 
Old 02-19-2012, 08:24 AM   #9
cascade9
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It can be hard to get 2 different types/manufacturers of RAM to run well with each other at times. If you know the right place to go you can generally bring in your box, get the sticks installed and then benchtest the setup to make sure it runs. Polish sites are not my idea of fun, so I wont be able to find you a local dealer who might be nice to you.

All I can suggest is crucial-

http://www.crucial.com/upgrade/eMach...-upgrades.html
 
Old 02-19-2012, 09:06 AM   #10
malekmustaq
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Quote:
you may well be right. I live in Poland, although I bought my PC in the UK. I've been to a few shops but in every one of them I was told that extra memory for my PC is not available as it is the old type.
Okay we take it this way: you are not increasing your RAM in any way and you want to run a good fast linux on your laptop with an easy newbie installation. Try and choose the better from among these two:

Salix OS and/or Absolute Linux. Both are easy install for newbies. Download, burn and install.

Hope that helps. Good luck.
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 02-19-2012, 04:08 PM   #11
Geek255
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PClinuxOS LXDE
http://www.pclinuxos.com/?page_id=188

This disttro is lightweight and newebie friendly. Like Mint it includes the codecs to play media files on the system and firefox is p reconfigure with popular plugins to play flash, quicktime movies and more.
 
Old 02-19-2012, 06:16 PM   #12
shirky
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A little off topic but can't you order more memory online? http://www.crucial.com/store/mpartsp...689655A5CA7304

that memory is a little pricey but it's good. Might find it cheaper on Amazon...can't they ship to where you are?
 
Old 02-19-2012, 07:12 PM   #13
Geek255
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never mind

Last edited by Geek255; 02-19-2012 at 07:35 PM.
 
Old 02-20-2012, 01:16 PM   #14
DavidMcCann
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There's nothing wrong with your CPU: it's faster than mine! The two crucial things are (1) you have only 512MB of memory and (2) you don't have broadband, so you don't want to do much downloading. And, as a beginner, you don't want anything complicated or unstable.

My recommendation would be SalineOS. That will run in 256MB, so that's OK. The DVD will install a browser, emailer, messenger, office suite, graphics program, video player, music player, and photo organiser. You can add extra programs from the Debian repository, which has the largest collection there is. You also get a nice pdf manual.

An alternative would be Vector Standard. That gives you a word processor instead of a complete office suite, and no email client, but adds extra graphics programs. The repository is not as large, but there's plenty of software for the average user.
 
Old 02-22-2012, 02:08 PM   #15
Pingu4
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Thank you very much for all the replies.

I'll have to try and order more memory as the staff in my local computer shops can't be bothered to do that for me

As for suitable Linux distro I've tried Ubuntu (very slow), Debian (kind of as I'm not able to install), Lubuntu (can't install it either) and SliTaz (can't install to HDD, although works from live CD).

I'm going to try and close this thread and start a new one in Distributions section.

Thank you once again for all replies, they are really helpful.
 
  


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