Haruka's Diary
Chasing After Rainbows: performance issue fixed and problems with old hardware

06 January 2009

performance issue fixed and problems with old hardware

(not my very first post for the new year)

For the past several weeks, I have been wondering why my laptop is still somewhat slow, but still acceptable, sometime after upgrading the DDR2 laptop RAM from 1GB (2 512MB) to 2.5GB (1 2GB, 1 512MB).

This problem is even more obvious when playing 3D games, editing my vectors after zooming in a lot, or playing videos at 1280x720 (720p) or higher with sharp details or a lot of motion.

Just a while ago, I checked the battery icon to click on it and saw something like the image on the right. To my shock, the "balanced" option was selected. That would explain everything as I never checked it for a very long time as I rarely bring the laptop out of the house (let alone my bedroom) as I would otherwise refer to it when running on battery. I was also expecting it to switch modes when running between plugged in and on battery power.

I use this laptop most of the time as it's the newest computer in my house bought slightly more than a year ago (end-2007; Centrino Core2 Duo). Other computers are desktop PCs that are quite old, the oldest and still working was made 11 years ago (1998; Pentium II) and my previous primary PC is made 6-7 years ago (2002; Single-core Pentium 4).

The rest have faulty motherboard due to wrong insertion of RAM cards (not sure how that is possible myself, and it caused everything connected to it [including keyboard and hard disk] to fail) when switched on, failed non-standard power unit, faulty processor cooling fan, or had one of the resistors "exploded" with a strong burnt smell. Before it exploded though, I noticed that it was somewhat expended. Other problems include a failed hard disk that rattles when you shake it a bit, a DVD drive that refuses to open the tray after pressing the eject button, a built-in LAN port that doesn't work even after installing the drivers, a 1997 CRT monitor (plugged between the 1998 PC and the laptop) that appears dim even after adjusting the contrast and brightness, and a 512MB micro-SD card that refuses to read (all the card readers I put this in says that no card is inserted).

That's why backup is important: you never know when it would happen. Signs that a hard disk is failing includes the drive being loud when read/write.

1 comment:

qubicfactor said...

You probably meant a leaky capacitor by "exploded resistor". Quite a problem for boards in the days before they swapped to solid ones.

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中野区, 東京都, Japan
帰国子女 英語能力は堪能。趣味はアニメや漫画やプログラムコードを編集。通常、あたしの小説を英語で書いてです。Grew up abroad &travelled to different countries. I write my own fictional novel on my blog.