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Hello. I am running Red Hat Linux 9 on an older Dell Inspiron 8200 system. The specs are an Intel Pentium 4-m 1.6ghz processor, 768MB PC2100 DDR, nvidia GeForce4 440 Go 64MB, 400MHz FSB. The OS is responding extremely slow (10 secs to start a program, slow program performance, etc...) Is there a way that I can optimize to make it run faster? Thanks.
Same problem is happening with me. So far I've been told to close and stop any useless program from starting up. That's about all the advice they seam to give. Also make sure you have the latest nvidia drivers installed from their website. This improved MY performance a tad.Strangely some people say they don't notice any degrade in system performance coming from other distros and then some people do. Personally I just came from mandrake 9.1 and I notice a BIG difference in system performance. Oddly I found my cpu running wildly for no reason like it was trying to open something. But nothing is running except programs ran after a fresh install beause that's what this is minus updated vid drivers. But I just rebooted and didn't open anything so what's it running? Weird stuff. The light will blink wildly and what not. I've heard others complain about this too not sure what it is. Could also be the reason for 'my' slow perforance.
What sort of hard disks are you using?

I found when I was using IDE my system was sluggish, but when I moved /var to another physical disk the performance improved dramatically (the test I was performing was opening a series of files across a samba server, the speed more than doubled).

Try getting a small disk only for /var, or some SCSI UW disks as I ended up doing.
Run 'top' from a command line and see what the system is doing.
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