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Thread: Painfully slow laptop. Hardware fault I'm thinking...

  1. #1
    ZaO
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    Painfully slow laptop. Hardware fault I'm thinking...

    EDIT: I just need help finding Ubuntu graphics drivers for the Asus X5DC now. Figured it wasn't a hardware issue in the end

    I'll try keep this short. My dad has a laptop that was running W7. He lent it to a mate and now it runs slow as hell. It struggles to play a video, seriously. I decided that W7 was not a great idea for a general/novice computer user like my dad. Mainly due the probability of the system becoming infected and his complete lack of understanding in dealing with such things. So, instead of doing the usual rounds of registry cleaners, defragging and virus cleaning, or even reinstalling Windows. I just decide to wipe the lot and install Ubuntu. Now I have Ubuntu installed, the computer is still slow as hell.

    I haven't managed to get a third party driver for the graphics installed yet. But still, the speed of the animations of windows opening is completely ridiculous. I don't hear any clicking from the hdd. I'm not getting any errors or crashes. It's just so, so slow to do anything. I know I can try swapping out swapable hardware to help narrow it down, but I don't have anything to try.

    What do you guys think it is most likely to be?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by ZaO; 04-03-2013 at 04:42 PM.

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    Re: Painfully slow laptop. Hardware fault I'm thinking...

    Quote Originally Posted by ZaO View Post
    What do you guys think it is most likely to be?

    Thanks!
    HDD going bad, click or no click. Since it's Ubuntu, just install GSmartControl and see what it says. Although you might want to track down a Linux equiv of HD Tune etc. which can plot a time graph for parts of the drive too (forget what it's called but I believe there is something like this in the repository).

    The only other thing which it could possible be is sever hardware throttling so you might want to have a hardware monitor to hand too. OpenHardware Monitor can run in Linux (well it uses Mono /.NET) so you can try that.

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    Re: Painfully slow laptop. Hardware fault I'm thinking...

    Well i personaly would say it is more likely that its either a virus or a soyware problem, what anti-virus software are you using?
    have you tried to do a virus scan etc....?

    It sounds to me that it is riddle with malicious software.

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    Re: Painfully slow laptop. Hardware fault I'm thinking...

    Quote Originally Posted by carvedeye View Post
    Well i personaly would say it is more likely that its either a virus or a soyware problem, what anti-virus software are you using?
    have you tried to do a virus scan etc....?

    It sounds to me that it is riddle with malicious software.
    On Ubuntu?

  6. #5
    ZaO
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    Re: Painfully slow laptop. Hardware fault I'm thinking...

    Quote Originally Posted by kompukare View Post
    HDD going bad, click or no click. Since it's Ubuntu, just install GSmartControl and see what it says. Although you might want to track down a Linux equiv of HD Tune etc. which can plot a time graph for parts of the drive too (forget what it's called but I believe there is something like this in the repository).

    The only other thing which it could possible be is sever hardware throttling so you might want to have a hardware monitor to hand too. OpenHardware Monitor can run in Linux (well it uses Mono /.NET) so you can try that.
    Thanks. I will give those a go and report back

    Quote Originally Posted by carvedeye View Post
    Well i personaly would say it is more likely that its either a virus or a soyware problem, what anti-virus software are you using?
    have you tried to do a virus scan etc....?

    It sounds to me that it is riddle with malicious software.
    Well that was my first thought when I got hold of it. But if you read my original post... I think this is extremely unlikely seeing as it only had W7 on it before, had the hdd formatted and is now running a clean installation of Ubuntu. I am really suspecting a hdd fault here so will have to try and get hold of another to try.

  7. #6
    ZaO
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    Re: Painfully slow laptop. Hardware fault I'm thinking...

    Btw guys, I can't get it to connect to the internet now. It doesn't appear to be connected to my router when I look in the routers ui. It was connected wirelessly just fine when I was installing Ubuntu. But after the install it has never connected again. I even tried reinstalling Ubuntu and using a wired connection. No luck :/

    Edit: Forget that. Got it online now. Just going to try the software mentioned...
    Last edited by ZaO; 24-02-2013 at 04:11 PM.

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    Re: Painfully slow laptop. Hardware fault I'm thinking...

    Pure speculation here but has it been dropped? It sounds as if cables have come loose inside or, at worst, something has broken. Certainly, it sounds as if we've moved way beyond a software fault now. If things are as bad as they are now, it's probably time to see about opening the laptop up and have a poke around.
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    Re: Painfully slow laptop. Hardware fault I'm thinking...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bluecube View Post
    Pure speculation here but has it been dropped? It sounds as if cables have come loose inside or, at worst, something has broken. Certainly, it sounds as if we've moved way beyond a software fault now. If things are as bad as they are now, it's probably time to see about opening the laptop up and have a poke around.
    I was trying to find out if it's been dropped or knocked. I don't know, but I'm guessing it has. I couldn't get any software installed on it, just hangs, but doesn't crash the os. I partially took it apart and couldn't see anything that looks obvious. There was a single 2gb ram module in there which I tried in both slots, but it made no difference. The cpu heatsink looks intact. I think it's probably the hdd. I am going to try and borrow another one from somewhere to try out if I can. I'll post back here when I've given that a go. Thanks for all of your help so far

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    Re: Painfully slow laptop. Hardware fault I'm thinking...

    Although not 100% reliable you can try a live Linux (either CD/DVD or USB - USB gives the possibility to do an install). Try that both with the HDD disconnected and connected. Even a simple process monitor (like on the parted magic live CD) might be able to tell you something - although a hardware monitor is of course more useful. Don't recall if parted magic's desktop process monitor lists CPU frequency but if it does (& if you can stress the CPU by doing anything) you might be able to see if it throttles.

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  12. #10
    ZaO
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    Re: Painfully slow laptop. Hardware fault I'm thinking...

    Quote Originally Posted by kompukare View Post
    Although not 100% reliable you can try a live Linux (either CD/DVD or USB - USB gives the possibility to do an install). Try that both with the HDD disconnected and connected. Even a simple process monitor (like on the parted magic live CD) might be able to tell you something - although a hardware monitor is of course more useful. Don't recall if parted magic's desktop process monitor lists CPU frequency but if it does (& if you can stress the CPU by doing anything) you might be able to see if it throttles.
    Great idea man! I'll try running it off the cd Thanks.

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    Re: Painfully slow laptop. Hardware fault I'm thinking...

    Downloads, burn and then boot from a hdd test CD. Run the test, see what it says. Seatools will test all hdd's. Seems unlikely the OS would have installed if the hdd was nearly dead.

    Worth doing the same with memtest, although unlikely to be the culprit.

    Have you installed the graphics driver since putting ubuntu on?

    When you wiped the hdd, did you leave the recovery partition on, or do a full format? Getting to the bottom of this would be made slightly easier if you were not swapping OS's at the same time as diagnosing. I'd go back to W7, at least for now.

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  15. #12
    ZaO
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    Re: Painfully slow laptop. Hardware fault I'm thinking...

    Well I removed the hdd and ran ubuntu off the cd. It was the same. Then I noticed the boot manager has memtest86, so I ran that for 6 hours. No errors. I am thinking it's the gpu now.

    I didn't leave any of the windows stuff btw. But the problem was exactly the same when it had windows on there. I wouldn't have swapped os's to start with if I hadn't just assumed it was a bad software maintenance problem... I really do want to get the proper graphics driver installed as the one ubuntu has is just called something like "vesa" with a number after it. Not even sure what graphics chip it has so I'll have to find out and see if I can get a driver.

    After I've tried that, I dunno...

    Cheers.

    I do have W7 on disc btw as I use it on my desktop. I should try installing that just to see. Will be way easier to find the drivers on that....

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    Re: Painfully slow laptop. Hardware fault I'm thinking...

    Is it possible that the mate he lent the laptop to got into the BIOS setup & made any changes to the setup? That could explain the slow-down across different operating systems...

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    Re: Painfully slow laptop. Hardware fault I'm thinking...

    Yeah, try installing W7 and report back.

    Jimbo makes a good point - go into the BIOS and reset the settings to default. Worth a go in this case.

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    Re: Painfully slow laptop. Hardware fault I'm thinking...

    Laptops generally have very restrictive BIOS that don't let you change anything major, but it's possible.
    Have you checked the cpu temperature? could be somethings up with the cooling and the cpu is getting themal throttled?
    Could be a fault with the chipset. (depends on the laptop but if it's a c2d or phenom/athlon series then the gpu is onboard in the chipset)

    What laptop is it?

  19. #16
    ZaO
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    Re: Painfully slow laptop. Hardware fault I'm thinking...

    Hey I just wanted to give a little update to where I'm at. I ran memtest86 for 6 hours from the linux boot manager and there were no errors. I could've ran it longer to be extra sure but I don't think it was necessary. There is a single copper pipe linking the cpu and gpu chips to a heatsink. It all looks good. The fan works as well. Well, it at least spins at bios post. I need to keep the case open to check if it's spinning while using the os and doing something intensive.

    Windows 7 runs about how I would expect with generic drivers installed. But everytime windows installs the gpu drivers it finds (sis mirage, or something), I just get a dead screen when I boot it up, but I hear the login sound. Have to go into safe mode and remove the drivers.

    So right now I am more leaning towards it being an issue with graphics drivers. I still need to check the fan and make sure it's not overheating to be sure though. I will manually hunt down the correct drivers for windows, and ubuntu if I can. Once I've tried them I will post back.

    Sorry if I didn't specifically reply to anyone. But I've read all your posts and taken all of your advice I'll post back again when I've done the next 2 steps. Thanks.


    Edit: Btw. The bios is very basic. I know there is sometimes a way of bringing up more advanced settings but I really doubt the guy who borrowed it did this. I already reset to default anyway as standard procedure... The model is an Asus X5DC or X5DC-SX011V. I will go hunting for drivers and see what I can do

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