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I'm having some problems with booting on my old laptop. It is a Dell Latitude 1525 with an Intel Celeron CPU (550 @ 2 GHz) with 4 GB of memory. It used to run Windows Vista, but due to issues, I replaced it with Windows 7 32-bit, whic didn't run too well. I then tried to make it better by installing Lubuntu 16.10. Using Unetbootin, I put the ISO on a flash drive, booted from it, and managed to install Lubuntu without issues. Then, I installed some drivers for WiFi and printers, so there's no problem there. I chose this OS due to its low memory usage.

The issue right now is booting. Sometimes, it manages to boot up quickly, but other times, it just boots up and hangs on a dark screen. It takes so long to boot, I had to manually shutdown power to the computer, and once I restart it, it loads up with a choice between Ubuntu and Memtest. I chose Ubuntu and it runs through various checks, and then it hangs, so I have to turn it off manually again. This keeps on going for while until it boots up fully. I'm unfamiliar with how OSs work in general, so I was wondering why it has trouble booting up most of the time as well as wondering what I can do to make it boot successfully every time. I'm not sure if this information is enough, so please let me know if I need to provide more info to help.

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Try to boot it without any unnecessary peripherals. Just keep the keyboard and mouse plugged in. Plug out especially USB storage devices.

If it still boots slowly, go to the start menu in Lubuntu, System Tools (or something alike), start Gparted and confirm with your password. Then select in the top right corner the hard drive you installed Lubuntu on and then you select the partition (probably only one to choose, if you only installed Lubuntu), right-click it, choose check and wait until it finishes. If it corrected any errors, there might be an issue with your HDD. Even if it doesn't correct anything, go to the terminal by pressing CTRL+ALT+T and type sudo apt install smartmontools, confirm with your password. Then stay in the terminal and type smartctl --test=long /dev/sdxX, while replacing sdxX with what right-clicking on your Lubuntu partition in Gparted told you.

Then you should completely turn off your computer and completely unplug it from any power source and then press the power button for 20 seconds after you unplugged everything, so you can safely open your PC-case and check your motherboard for bulged capacitors. You can search for how that looks in Google Images, for example.

If above still didn't change anything, let memtest86+ run for a couple of hours when choosing the extended test.

If nothing changes, you have to stresstest your CPU and see the results and if it crashes to early, etc.

If that doesn't help, you really need to give us more information. What issues did you have with Vista and 7? What hardware exactly do you have (HDD etc..)? Does Lubuntu run without issues once booted?

  • Thank you for your reply. I'll see what I can do with your suggestions, though I'm hoping that booting without USB peripherals will solve everything. Does memtest86+ take a long time to run? – user101402 Mar 13 '17 at 0:55
  • Thanks for your appreciation. Considering your PC-Specs, I guess it would take a little longer than on a modern machine. But the main reason for it taking so long is, that it's recommended to do several passes of the check. One pass doesn't take long, but it also isn't sure to give you accurate results. Whereas for example 14 passes are more reliable. I think this especially applies to older machines. – Akito Mar 13 '17 at 0:58
  • Thanks. To be honest, there was something wrong with the user profile back when it had Windows Vista, so I couldn't log into my account. I thought that the best thing to do was to start fresh with a new OS and install 32-bit Windows 7. With 2 GB of RAM, it was rather slow, so I bought some RAM sticks to make it 4 GB total. Even then, it was still slow, so I decided to install a lightweight version of Linux which led me to Lubuntu. – user101402 Mar 13 '17 at 1:46
  • The problem with that is that with a 32-bit OS you basically throw out your additional 2 GB out of the window. 32-bit OSes only support up to ~3GB RAM, so you should upgrade your OS if you want to use all your RAM. – Akito Mar 13 '17 at 1:48
  • Does this apply with Linux or for all OSs in general, because I don't there's much I can do about the OS version. I can't change out the CPU in the laptop, so it might be limited to 32-bit OS – user101402 Mar 13 '17 at 1:50

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