Mint 19.1 installs but starts painstakingly slow on HP laptop


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Mar 1, 2019
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Hi folks,

I have question. Maybe someone can give me a hint where I went wrong.
On one of my desktops I run Ubuntu, but I can't say that I am very experienced with Linux.

With the upcoming end of WIN7 support I decided to install Mint on my rusty trusty HP 6910p laptop.
The CPU is T7300 with 4 Gb of memory, SSD drive.
It delivered a quite good performance of Win7. I decided to do a clean install, get rid of Win7 altogether and installed Mint on the 128 Gb SSD.
The installation took very long, with long pauses of black screens. Finally it was finished, but still a start-up takes like 4 minutes with black screens and some messages with a lot of time-out and callbacks.
Once running it works, not very fast, with all features like WiFi Bluetooth and sound.

I tried again, also Live from CD in compatible mode, no real improvement.

Anyone seen this before? Or is there an issue with this series of HP Compaq?

Thanks in advance for help!


Are you really a Christmas Day birth? Poor bugger ... do you get enough presents? :D

(Wizard appears in a puff of smoke)

Or is there an issue with this series of HP Compaq?

I'll scout around and see if I find anything.

  1. Which Mint DE (Desktop Environment)? MATE, Cinnamon, or Xfce?
  2. How about shutdown? Does that take a long time, or is it fairly quick?
Given Mint is the only OS on your lappie, I expect you will not have a Grub Menu, it just boots to the desktop, is that so?

What I would like to do is to give you a visible Grub Menu, and also to modify one of Grub's integral files - /etc/default/grub to show your startup and end processes, instead of having little green circles that turn white and then green, or whatever - basically makes no difference to start time, just swaps one appearance for another.

With the startup processes being visible, we can identify if there are jobs being run that consume time (could be 3 minutes 30 seconds), and/or warnings, errors that can be addressed.

We can modify /etc/default/grub using either a GUI-based text editor, or using a command line editor called Nano, take your pick.

You could also give us the output of your current grub file, by opening Terminal and entering

cat /etc/default/grub

From Terminal, once you have that output, just choose Edit - Select All

... and the text will highlight, then right-click in the highlighted area and choose Copy.

Come back here to your Reply pane, and the icon on the toolbar 4th from right (plus sign in a square) has Code as its 3rd entry, click that and paste your text.


Chris Turner
Last edited:
The fast response is amazing, very nice too, thank you for that Chris.

My old laptop (2006) is single OS, I wanted to switch to a Linux version to continue using it for running the Arduino IDE when tinkering with Arduino stuff while I am sometimes for months away from home.

In the mean time I have tried the following after advice from my brother-in-law who is more savvy on Linux: he said: try another distro like Ubuntu 18.10, which is possibly more suitable for old hardware.

This had the same result and worse, installing took hours with long periods of seemingley no activity and black screens.
When finished I got an upside down display. A restart, again taking a long long time corrected the display.
Shutdown again gave lots of black screens and some text, sometimes scrolling at 5 minutes per line.
Because of all the alarming error messages I had some doubts about my disk, so I had swapped the SSD with another one before installing the Ubuntu, so the problem is clearly not the disk being non-responsive.

After all this I decided to give up for now trying to convince this laptop to run Linux.

An installation of Win10 took only 45 minutes and very much to my surprise the laptop doesn't seem to be slower than before on Win7. It starts up in 50 seconds flat.

So I will re-install the Linux Mint maybe later, for the time being I will install Mint 19.1 Tessa on the desktop, the one I borrowed the SSD from.

I am still interested in switching to Linux, but it is this kind of problems, this endless tweaking of the system just to make things work, that drove me away from Linux.
The Ubuntu 16.04 did quite well, now I will first try Mint on my desktop, just to give it another chance.

It's just that tinkering with hardware is more my thing than sorting out an OS.
Don't take me wrong here, I am still not a fan of Microsoft stuff, but in the past (some 2 years ago) I have lost lots of hours in trying to get applications working in Ubuntu. I kind of expected that after a few years the user-friendlyness would have improved. I also remember the long sweaty hours I spent in 2005 trying to get the Internet cafe of a friend in the Philippines to run on Linux. The problems with the printers alone were after a while not longer interesting, just annoying...

It's good to know that there are people out there, in the forums, who are eager to help.
When I am ready to give it another go, I still hope to be able to run a Linux system someday.
It shouldn't be too difficult, I am not a gamer or using very sophisticated software for sound or video-editing.

So thanks for the offer, kind regards, Grumpa
Hi Grumpa. Last year I bought a new laptop but before that I was using my old 3.0 Mhz dual core computer with hardware that I bought back in 2003. I had 2 gigs of Ram, and because it was so old, couldn't buy any new RAM, so I was stuck there at 2. I ran Linux Mint (17.x I think) on it without any issues, except that web browsing seemed a bit slow. Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu but uses older versions for stability purposes. Linux Mint is really a good starting place for Linux newbies, in my opinion, and it seems to work great on older hardware as well. Unlike many of the other distros, it seems to work great right out of the box without much tinkering at all. Many drivers are already there, for older hardware. Something you can do is to install the OS to a thumb drive and test drive it before you install it to the hard drive permanently. You may need 2 thumb drives to complete this, one is the Live CD/Thumb Drive, the other is the destination drive for the OS install. I did this for a couple years using my work laptop. During the day, booted up to Windows on the hard drive and after work boot up to my Linux on the thumb drive. I used Mint on both the old desktop and the work laptop, FYI. I'm sure there are other distros that support older hardware too, just don't know how much tinkering is required on them. Give Mint a try, if you don't like it try something else. Unlike Windows, you don't have to pay anything to give every distro a try. You may want to try an older version of Mint if you continue to have issues.
Hi Technojunky,

I think you are right, Mint 17 I had running on a desktop and it worked fine without any tweaking.
The problem I run into has probably something to do with the older HP Compaq laptop I use.
The original system was Vista Business, but later it has been running great on Win7, with 4 Gb and an SSD.
With the support of Win7 ending I thought it might be wise to install Linux.
Mint 19.1 was cracked up te be really something...

It failed not in the way that some driver wasn't there, but it was unworkable slow in starting up.
Funny enough, all hardware works fine, like WiFi, sound, display, all up and running.
Just to wait 4-5 minutes for startup is no fun...
So next I tried Ubuntu 18.1, even on another SSD, just to eliminate the chance that my disk was faulty.
Not much difference there.

Because I don't like Win10 at all and thinking it would work real sluggish on this old laptop I hadn't tried it, but when I installed Win10 it was running amazing fast and also starting up in 50 secs flat.
So I will, for the time being, leave it like it is and try Mint 19.1 first on my desktop, that has been running Mint 17.1 before.
This is also "old hardware" with it's M5A97 mobo and AMD FX4350... It will probably be OK I expect.
Being no gamer and only using quite conventional software I don't feel the need for the newest hardware.
Enough memory and and a fast disk is all I need and of course I keep the system clean.
In the end I will probably feel the need to go to Linux anyway, because with Win10 (also with IOS) you are not really the boss in your own computer.
If you want to protect your privacy in Windows you have to go through a lot of screens and even then there are some monitoring (or spy) functions that can't be disabled.

Thanks for your input...
Here's an article that I found, that's not too old, talking about 4 Linux distros for aging hardware. Check it out. . The second one is Bohdi Linux. I tried that on my old dual core and it ran very well. The only thing is on Enlightenment, so configurations aren't as obvious as it would be in KDE or Gnome. I'm not saying it's not worth checking out, but if you want a system that doesn't need any tweaking, then this might not be for you. Everything did work without tweaking, but desktop settings took a lot to get everything the way I wanted. I really liked it though. Enlightenment, and Bodhi, have a lot of eye candy.
Hey Grumpa, just out of interest -
  1. Which DE for the LM 17 (Cinnamon, MATE, Xfce, KDE)?
  2. Which for the 19.1 KDE discontinued (not quite, but no longer shipped with LM), leaves Cinnamon, MATE and Xfce

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