[Edited 2020-05-15: Emerge Desktop’s website no longer exists so I linked to an archive.org backup]
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).
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.
- 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…