I know I haven’t mentioned it lately, but I started my Mac diet just over a week ago. On Aug. 6th, I got my early access to the final build of Windows 7 and I installed it on a second partition of my new netbook. Since […]

windows-7-logoI know I haven’t mentioned it lately, but I started my Mac diet just over a week ago. On Aug. 6th, I got my early access to the final build of Windows 7 and I installed it on a second partition of my new netbook. Since then, I’ve used the Toshiba NB205 as my primary computer — 10-12 hours a day, both at the home office and at various mobile locations. I did upgrade the memory to 2GB earlier this week, which is simple to do. One screw holds the memory cover — simply remove the screw, replace the included 1GB RAM module with a 2GB stick and secure the cover. It literally takes two minutes.

I was humming along with Windows 7 for most of this past week. And then something happened. My browser crawled to a stop yesterday. I’m not sure what changed — if anything — but it was like someone had secretly snuck into my netbook and swapped the 2GB stick with a 256MB module. The CPU kept hitting 100 percent, so browser tabs were taking 15 seconds or more to render content. That’s a productivity killer for what I do, and after a few hours of torture yesterday, I went back to Windows XP. I’ll have to go back and review the situation over this weekend, but I’ll be darned if I can even imagine what happened. It’s a disappointing situation, as my Windows 7 experiences so far have been pretty awesome. Hopefully the cause is both minor and fixable. The first thing I’m going to do is try a few different browsers. I was using Google Chrome as I find it to be one of the fastest for the sites I hit. Internet Explorer 8 was sluggish by comparison at first, so perhaps I’ll go back to IE8 temporarily and then test Firefox.

I know there’s a few other folks that are working with Windows 7 on netbooks right now. Have any of you seen this behavior in the RTM build on your hardware?

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  1. James Kendrick Friday, August 14, 2009

    Was this with Firefox? Reason I ask is on our recent business trip to Carmel I had Firefox start crawling on Vista. I ended up switching totally to Google Chrome for the duration of the trip, it was that noticeable. I have seen this happen on various XP systems too.

    Firefox works great and then all of a sudden starts crawling. It’s weird.

  2. I’ve been using Windows 7 on my P1610 (with 2GB RAM) if that counts as a netbook?!

    I even installed the Office 2010 preview.

    I’ve not come across any slow-downs so far. Odd bits are more sluggish than XP, but overall experience is good.

    Mind you, I did install an SSD hard disk the other week :)


    1. I installed Win 7 on my P1610 with 1Gb of RAM and I’m amazed by how good the performance is considering the specs. Shutdown and startup are really snappy and everything else just runs as you’d expect.

      The only issue I’ve had is that the battery life is abysmal (i.e. about 1/2 an hour tops) but that could either be the battery or a driver problem. I just need to spend some time investigating but it’s not a top priority as my partner uses that laptop as a kitchen PC and it’s always plugged in.

      Unfortunately, (depending on your perspective) I haven’t noticed any browser problems but I only use Firefox and IE.

      By the way, if IE8 seems sluggish try turning off the suggested sites feature. That seems to improve performance slightly, especially when opening new tabs.

  3. Buzz Bruggeman Friday, August 14, 2009

    I have seen the same problem with Firefox on W7 build 7100, and then when you close it, aspects of it remain open, and you have to use Ctrl/Alt/Delete to stop Firefox.

    Not sure why either. Chrome while quicker can’t be scripted, which is a real bummer, and IE8 is a non-starter.

  4. I’ve running W7RC on my Wind with 2GB RAM for the last 3 or 4 months. I’ve never encountered any kind of slowdown, let alone the type you describe. I use Firefox predominantly, and only occasionally use Chrome.

  5. I too recently put XP back on my Asus EEEPC 901 (modified with 2GB and 64GB Runcore SSD). It wasn’t slow-downs per se that did it but I started getting some sort of random error about the video driver that seemed to otherwise be working. I also missed that none of my hardware buttons were working on the Asus under Windows 7. I’m sorting of getting bored with the whole OS thing anyway. If I can run the apps I need, I’m getting less concerned about what OS is hosting that app.

  6. I did have a similar problem with Google Chrome on the RC version of 7. I read in Google support forums that you should use the Beta channel versions of Chrome if you choose to install it on windows 7. When I switched to the Beta it worked a lot better. Now I’m running 7 RTM on my 1000he and haven’t had any problems with Chrome beta 3 or Firefox 3.5.2. Chrome does run a lot faster since it doesn’t have to load any add-ons.

  7. I am running W7RC on my HP Mini-Note 2133 with no problems. The netbook has a 1.2gb processor and I have 2gb of ram with a 120gb hard drive. I am running Chrome (stable)and it ‘feels’ just as quick as XP Pro did.

  8. Some time ago, yoiu installed a Mac OS X on the Q1, in my search to find some way of recyclying old devices, I tried the same thing, with no luck, would you be willing to share some tips? I have a dead MBP and would like to keep one device that still keeps Apple on my mind, also it would be cool to get the Q1UP (1.33GHZ) running Mac.

    “Viliv killed the Q1″


  9. GoodThings2Life Friday, August 14, 2009

    Have never heard of such a thing, but I’d love to read more about your particular config, etc. I’m also surprised, and perplexed that you’d just abandon it for XP so quickly and without any effort at a System Restore or other diagnostic attempt.

    1. Windows business as usual? :)

    2. I lost too much work time with the initial issue, so a reboot and move to XP was the easiest way to get past the pain point. But I haven’t just abandoned it for XP… as I clearly said in the post, I’ll be researching and taking a closer look over the weekend.

  10. If you’re using Chrome, hit Shift+Esc to bring up the Chrome task manager. It will show you which tabs or plugins are hogging CPU time. I’ve actually had some bad experience with Flash pegging the CPU at 100% which brings everything to a crawl. (Although, I haven’t noticed this happening as much in W7 as in Vista.) Given the ubiquity of Flash, this could be happening with what seems like normal browsing.

    1. Cool – thanks for the tip. Like all Chrome features, this is clean and quick. Love the “Stats for Nerds”

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