How To Speed Up Your Samsung N145 Plus Netbook

I’ve been using a Samsung N145 Plus netbook for a while now. Whilst I am happy with it in general, I do find that sometimes it slows down for no apparent reason. Here are a few tips to help speed up your machine that you might not have thought of.

Use the right web browser at the right time

I find that Google Chrome starts quickest on the N145 Plus, so I use that if I quickly want to check email or look something up. Firefox takes a while longer to load up.

Chrome starts to slow down badly though when there are more than a few tabs open, especially if there is Flash content. Firefox however seems to cope better with multiple tabs for whatever reason, and might be a better choice for a longer browsing session, or using an intensive site like Google Docs etc.

Remove Windows (sort of)

Okay, don’t really remove Windows from your netbook. What you could do is install Fedora linux on some of that massive 250GB hard drive the N145 Plus is packing. You can find instructions on installing Fedora from USB and also just try it out from a Live USB (it won’t install to the hard drive) however the Live USB will be slower, so don’t judge it on this performance.

The other less scary alternative to installing Linux on your N145 is to install Emerge Desktop which changes the front end (or “shell”) of Windows to a more lightweight system. You can easily change between the original Windows 7 Starter and Emerge Desktop interfaces.

Use the N145’s Easy Speed Up Manager

I didn’t realise for some time that hitting Fn and F8 on the keyboard would bring up the on screen display for this little app. It allows you to forcibly tell your N145 Plus to speed up (the options are Silent/Normal/Speed Mode/Speed Boot).

Use CCleaner

This wonderful free program will clear all the rubbish out of your registry, temp files, allow you to edit your netbook’s startup programs, and more. Especially useful after you’ve uninstalled a load of bloatware to go in and clean up all the old entries in the registry that take time to process and point to nowhere.

Other ideas

  • You could run “msconfig” to look at services that might not be needed (this will also allow you to change the startup programs as CCleaner does)
  • I found that stopping ETDCTRL.EXE from running disabled scrollbar usage on the N145 Plus touchpad, but that this application was using up to 50-60% of CPU at times
  • Consider uninstalling software you don’t use, or finding more lightweight alternatives
  • Use removable storage and the Windows 7 “Readyboost” feature for an alleged performance increase
  • Upgrade the N145’s RAM from 1GB to 2GB — this is a cheap and easy way to get a speed boost (but it might invalidate your warranty, check!).

How have you managed to speed up your N145? Let us know in the comments! No prizes for best answer except knowing that you are potentially helping frustrated slow netbook users everywhere…

48 thoughts on “How To Speed Up Your Samsung N145 Plus Netbook

  1. Worst piece of crap I’ve ever used. Keyboard and pad are constantly in conflict. After last MS update, I’m only getting about 25% hit rates when surfing the net. 1Mg RAM is totally useless with new update. I’ve disabled so many apps that system is only good for Solitare.

  2. Hey Brian. Sorry you’re having a hard time! Did you remove the trackpad software in the end ? I found that helped a lot more than it probably should have. Never had the issue with the internet though… is it a Windows 7 Starter update that seemed to make things worse?

  3. Fn F8 then “speed up” worked well on mine. Took me a while to work out how to toggle between options but for info to others you hold Fn and then press the F8 button to toggle the options. Thanks for the advice Tom.

  4. Hello Tom, I have also now used the C Cleaner as you advised and it is now like a different animal. It is so much faster and is actually useable now!
    Thanks again for your great advice.

  5. help

    I just unstalled the 2gb ram and my n145 display wont come on , am so shattered . even the previous 1gb wont work anymore on it , the system comes on as can be seen by the indicator light when i press switch on but nothing displays . what do i do next pleas e

  6. Hmm, not sure Colin. It worked first time for me… Is the RAM seated properly? Maybe try to find a video on YouTube that goes through the steps.

    I’d check it out for you but I don’t have my N145 with me where I am at the moment… :-\

  7. 1st thing I did when I got my one was put a duel boot to Ubuntu on it – kind of messes up the ‘recovery’ function which I was unable to sort out (unlike with my last Samsung laptop). NeoSmart’s easy BCD is the way to go with a duel boot – it allows you to retain the Windows 7 boot sector, which Win7 update did not like being replaced with GRUB.

    2nd thing I did was put 2gb ram in it.

    Ubuntu runs well on it but I think there was one or two glitches ‘out of the box’ and some fiddling was needed (was a long time ago, so can’t remember).
    I still need to boot windows occasionally to access some software. That is not so fast.

    Nowadays the HDD is rather full of photos,music and films so I guess it’s in need of a spring clean or bigger drive – maybe I’ll see how well it handles a VirtualBoxed Windows:P

  8. I think the 2gb ram was a must. I can’t imagine how unbearable Windows would be without it on the N145.

    Ubuntu’s a good tip, definitely. I also tried Fedora with some success, and more recently installed Crunchbang linux which runs like lightning and has a lovely clean interface that suits a smaller screen.

    Good luck with the spring cleaning… 🙂

  9. Hi Tom,
    I’ve run Ubuntu and Linux Mint (from USB) and would switch completely, but I can’t adjust the screen brightness at all. It is rather too dim and can’t be changed. It seems many others have this problem. Did you find the same, and did you get round it?

  10. Hmm I don’t think there was an issue with either but I will double check when I next get the chance. Sorry for the slow reply by the way… 🙂

  11. Hi Vincent
    when it comes to the screen brightness, I have not been able to get it to work on any form of linux. I have found that you can still adjust it when the computer is still in bios booting in to your disto. It stinks but you can update the screen brightness, only when the comp is booting.

  12. Hi Tom, my Samsung n145 is again unusable it doesn’t respond to alot of commands such as launching internet and doesn’t recognize USB ports., how can I simply improve this without paying other people money to fix it yet again
    Hannah

  13. Hi Hannah

    Without seeing it, it’s difficult to know what could be causing these problems. I personally would be tempted to try and totally restore it to the factory state by following the instructions in the manual found at http://www.samsung.com/uk/support/model/NP-N145-JP01UK-downloads but if you are considering that make sure to get all your data off it first! Although I suspect that won’t be easy if the USB ports aren’t working in general :-/

    Do you mean that the wifi isn’t working, or that internet explorer won’t start? If it’s the latter, you could try some different browsers, and if the internet works in general you could try and back data up using Dropbox or similar before trying a full recovery or restore.

    Sorry I can’t be more help — if anyone else has any ideas, please post here and help Hannah!

  14. I am writing it on the n145plus running Ubuntu 13.04 LT, no problems whatsoever. The Windows got ditched the day I bought the netbook and I never looked back.
    The lack of speed isn’t a massive problem, I will try the 2GB RAM upgrade, why not?

  15. Mrs. has got so much garbage on her N145plus I was considering reloading the software in total from the disk, assuming that as in older versions of Windows it would wipe the hard drive clean in the process.

    I have run CC Cleaner and Malwarebytes and removed some of the garbage that I can actually see, and am running AVG antivirus.

    I guess I will have to send the Samsung CD to a USB memory stick as of course there is no DVD drive.

    Ayone been through this? advice would be appreciated.

    Phill

  16. Dumped windows 7 – waste of time, runs so slow its unbelieveable. Installed xubuntu, use one of the linux usb creation tools to make a bootable usb stick and install!

    In response to some of the above comments about the brightness,
    The brightness control (FN key )works fine, as does the volume control.

  17. Hi all, my Samsung N145 is ever so slow.. whats the best thing to do without deleting anything? it isn’t my wifi because it works fast on other devices. also, I pressed fn and f8 and it wouldn’t let me click on it to change the mode. getting fed up now can someone help me ? 🙂

  18. Increasing the RAM to 2GB is essential for the N145 – it’s very cheap to do this and makes sooo much difference. I’m still running WIN7 and manage startup programs and browser addons very carefully. Mostly it runs pretty well but I’m researching which Linux distro to run on it, and note the issues mentioned here and elsewhere about brightness and fn keys and kb not being properly supported in many Linux distros. The WIN7 sleep/wake works v well on the N145 and having had issues with this on an old Aspire One I know what a pain it is to try and solve. But the N145 is lacking in horsepower when it comes to loading big web pages e.g. the WordPress admin console or eBay sellers console etc., and this is using Chrome with all addons removed except adblocker. I’m interested to see how it runs with Linux (maybe Puppy or Mint…haven’t decided which yet – Pup works well on the Aspire).

  19. Hi Roger, thanks for the comment! Currently my N145 (still going!!) has Lubuntu on it whilst it’s out on loan, seems to do the trick and I know for a fact it’s getting pretty heavy Trello usage — I think those pages can be quite heavy.

    I think Chrome is always going to add to speed issues regardless of OS (I still seem less frustrated with Firefox on slower machines) but as you may have experienced on the Aspire, you can get some really stripped back browsers with Linux for ‘casual’ browsing. If you’re feeling brave, links is fun 🙂

  20. Has anyone tried replacing the hard drive with a solid state drive? I know that they’ve been expensive but some are getting affordable. I was wondering if it really helps the response times. Does it feel much faster? Did the RAM upgrade make more of an improvement?
    Let me know,
    Joseph

  21. Hey Joseph. The RAM upgrade definitely performance. We’re going back some years when I did it, but I remember it being noticeable at start up time and also generally when running browsers, office software etc.

    Now less so because with the various flavours of Linux there tends to be less running in the background anyway.

    I like the SSD idea though, might give that a go if I see any good deals, if you try it yourself please do stop back and let us know! 🙂

  22. Hi i have an N145. Its mainly for travel check emails a quick surf and a movie .But its very slow.Done memory upgrade.Can the processor be upgraded????????
    I have very good Sony laptop but its too bulky and heavy for motorcycle travel.The 145 is good size.Are all netbooks slow?My PC know how is not good..I dont like tablets as last time i went travelling everyones tablet was on the blink.Ant suggestions are welcome.
    Cheers

  23. Hi Neil!

    I’m not sure about processor upgrade. Probably not worth the effort vs getting a newer machine, but if anyone has done this please chip in!!

    Have you tried using CCleaner to tidy up the registry and removed unnecessary programs running in the background? Also what browser are you using? Finally there is a setting in Windows that lets you turn off all the Win 7 visual effects and makes it looks like 95 but in my experience runs better.

    See the visual effects section in the following link: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows/optimize-windows-better-performance#optimize-windows-better-performance=windows-7

    There may be more tips there too! Let us know how you get on.

    I wouldn’t shy away from tablets necessarily – but some people much prefer a keyboard if they have any notes to take/serious emailing to do.

    Tom

  24. Hi Arash — from a quick look at the required specs at the Microsoft site it might just about do it. How it copes when you have software running on top of Windows 10, I wouldn’t know… Good luck if you take the plunge, let us know how you get on 🙂

  25. I tried installing the 2GB RAM on my N145Plus, and it will not boot up. I put back the original 1GB Ram and it still does not boot up. The screen is black and I get one blue light
    Can you please recommend what I should do.

  26. Hi tom.have been trying to fix my Samsung N150 plus Internet connections but its not connecting.plz can u help me out

  27. Hi Darryl, not sure to be honest, I’ve taken so long to reply I reckon you’ve probably fixed it or moved on in any case. Most of the time something like this is down to RAM not being seated properly…

  28. Hi Esther, sorry to hear that. Frankly internet connections are fraught things, there can be so many issues on the router side of things that I wouldn’t know where to start in your particular case… :-/

  29. Hi Tom, it’s awesome to see you still helping and fixing for that old thing 😉 I have also a n145 plus but I removed windows and installed lubuntu. Do you have some speed up advises for that? Have you any experience about a ssd upgrade for the n145? I think I have already the two gb ram, so that would be the next step. Is linux generally faster than windows on the n145?

    Thanks a lot tom, best wishes from new zealand 😉

  30. Fired up my old n145p for the first time I years. Very slow to start used the above tips and it’s much improved. Thinking of going for Linux mint. (32bit?) Once I’ve backed up what I want to keep. And I’ve made my usb boot stick. When installing the new OS am I best to format the old girl first. Not done this sort of thing for ages. Cheers

  31. Hey Matt

    Lubuntu should definitely be quicker than the Win7 Starter I had on there originally. If you want to strip it right back, you can try a different desktop. Lubuntu ships with LXDE I think which is pretty rapid vs Windows, but you could switch to using only openbox (which is only a window manager, so you won’t have desktop icons but it will look super clean and run pretty fast). If that stripped down look appeals, you could always try keyboard-focused window managers like notion, ratpoison or flux. Steep learning curves but you will never have to use the trackpad again and there’s something satisfying (and ultimately much more efficient) about doing it that way. Basically it’s the command prompt but with all of the higher-res graphics that a lower level prompt can’t give you (well not without some tweaking and SVGALib)

    I never tried adding an SSD. Didn’t even cross my mind — if you have a go, check back in here and let us know how you get on!

    All the best! 🙂

  32. Hi there Murray

    If the old OS was Windows then you will probably need to get rid of the old hard drive partitions unless you plan on dual-booting. Mint *should* recognise the situation you are in and guide you through the process either way, but as you have backed stuff up already then you are already in a better place 😉

    Partitions wise I tend to go for / (root) /home (separate partition for stuff I’ll probably want to keep, even if I install a separate linux distro) and then one for the swap, which is sort of an extra memory boost on disk if I understand it correctly.

  33. Hi Tom, I did a clean install which wasn’t responding too well, I then installed a 2gb chip as you suggested. Only £15. Now running like new, brilliant.
    Thanks,
    Jim.

  34. Hi tom..I have recently purchased a n145 and it connects to internet fine also plays videos etc (despite crackling speakers ) but wont allow a free game to play ( only small) ..not used notebooks before. .usually everything via a tab..is there any suggestions please? Its already upgraded to 2mb ram..thanks

  35. Hi all. Thanks for the useful Tips on this small but good Notebook. I am using it for a few years now, and the first thing I did was to install a lighter version of the Win XP. It made a huge difference. I have noticed that my CPU runs almost at the limit now and the next step will be increasing the memory RAM to 2GB.

  36. Hi Tom,
    I’ve installed Zorin 12 on my N145 which has made a huge improvement. I haven’t upgraded the ram yet but I’m considering it.
    I have installed Minecraft on here, hoping it would work with the new OS but it struggles very badly.
    Do you think upgrading to 2GB would make a big difference for playing Minecraft ?
    Would a different Linux OS improve it too?
    Cheers !

  37. I frist got this netbook in 2010 and in 2019 I am still using it. I was recently looking around for a replacement – a cheap portable laptop, but what is nowadays on the market has surprisingly similar specifications like good old N145 Plus. Sometimes even worse with those 32 GB eMMC drives or just 2 USB slots.

    What was the biggest improvement for me was definitely the RAM upgrade to 2 GB – cheap, quick and easy fix and the performance boost was noticeable. Currently I have installed Xubuntu 18.04 LTS and everything runs fine out of the box. No need to configure drivers like in Linux distributions from 2014 etc. I can recommend this operating system if you want to use this netbook and have the most up-to-date software.

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