Speeding up a sluggish HP Mini 110

My mom’s HP Mini 110 Atom-based netbook (with the factory 16GB SSD) was hesitating, a lot. Frankly it was really frustrating to use–it would freeze up for minutes on end, for no good reason. It was so slow, calling it “sluggish” was being kind. But it’s fixed now. I did six five things to it. Here’s how to speed up an HP Mini 110.

Replacing Norton Antivirus with Microsoft Security Essentials is a no-brainer. NAV is slow and beyond worthless. MSSE is reasonably fast. I did that a year ago.

Uninstalling Roxio Back on Track is another important thing. It munched 4 GB of the space on two Mini 110s I worked on, while providing no tangible benefit.

I hate defragmenting SSDs but in this case it was really necessary. Use MyDefrag‘s SSD script. It took about 30 minutes to run. Run PageDefrag afterward.

I did a virus/spyware scan just in case, but nothing came up.

Aligning the partition on the SSD also helps a lot.

I also disabled Firefox’s disk cache and increased the memory cache a little, to reduce disk writes. Random writes on the 110’s factory SSD are very slow. Normally I wouldn’t advocate this, but on the 110, it makes sense. It helps a lot.

All in all, these six five things took about an hour to accomplish, and helped a lot. I intend to install an Intel SSD to speed things up further, but in the meantime, this was enough to make the system usable until the Intel drive arrives. Aligning the partition takes longer than the rest.

Adding memory wouldn’t hurt, but in this case it wouldn’t have helped much. The drive and its poor random write performance was the root cause of the issue. This is the second 110 that I’ve had to put through these paces. So I know these tricks to speed up an HP Mini 110 work.

I have one final suggestion: Linux Mint runs pretty well on these machines and doesn’t cost anything.

4 thoughts on “Speeding up a sluggish HP Mini 110

  • December 7, 2010 at 1:48 pm
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    And Mom is ever so grateful!

  • December 24, 2010 at 12:20 pm
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    Hi there, great blog btw, have been enjoying reading it last day or so. Also, to align existing partitions quite simply, try gparted which comes on the bootable Parted Magic cd which works wonderfully. gparted can offset your partition by 1 MiB, also known as one megabyte, and is of course divisible by 4096 without remainder. So it will align properly, and I’m telling you, it’s the simplest thing to use to do this task. I’m no longer worried about using any newer 4k disk.

    • December 24, 2010 at 2:49 pm
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      Nice suggestion, I’d forgotten about the Parted Magic CD. Thanks for sharing that.

  • December 26, 2010 at 3:33 am
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    I of course recommend making an image of your existing install, with something like True Image Home 10, and then after that, running the partition editor (gparted) from the Parted Magic boot disc, and then there you go, just offset it by 1 MiB or 2 MiB (no difference) and bang you are rebooting into a correctly aligned windows install. If it does go bad (everything is broken to some degree) then reload your image and try again. I’ve had good luck with it though!

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