Rescuing my HP 15-f009wm notebook

HP15 notebook

Year 2014

I rarely buy new computers but in December of 2014, I made an exception. I bought a HP15-f009wm notebook because it was on Christmas offer. The normal price was something like $299. I got it at $199, a savings of $100. It was not because I needed a new computer or a notebook. I have about 10 desktops, all fully fitted and working. The real reason I bought it is because I wanted to test out the Windows 8.1, which is the OS that this HP15 came with. At that time, buying a Windows 10 OS cost about $100. So for another $100, I have a 15″ notebook. Not a bad deal, considering that it came with 4GB of ram and 500GB hard drive. I went to my local Walmart and happily bought one before they disappeared from the shelves. When I brought it home, I powered up the HP15 and my happiness evaporated instantly. My god, it was SLOOW. Imagine, taking like 10 seconds just to open a browser. Another 10 seconds to load a website, etc. I have never encountered a computer this bad before. It’s utter garbage. A HP at that. Shameful.

I tried everything to get the HP15 to run faster but to no avail. Updated all the drivers, removed all the unnecessary applications on startup, upgrading to Windows 10, which made absolutely no improvement on the speed. I then tried to install Windows XP, hoping that it will speed up. That’s when I found out about the AMD E1-2100 CPU. Apparently, this is a low end 64bit processor. Worse than that, it does not accept Windows XP.

After swallowing my disappointment, I turned to Linux. I tried various distros and finally settled on Ubuntu. It was an improvement but it was still too slow for me. 5 seconds lag time is not acceptable. The bottleneck is the awful AMD E1-2100 and there’s nothing I can do about it. I had wasted enough time on this HP15. I left it on the shelf, never to be used again. Out of sight, out of mind.

Year 2019

In the early part of September, I had to fly back to Singapore to visit my parents who are getting on in age. The flight is about 23 hrs to 30 hrs. I thought it would be helpful to have a laptop with me. I don’t want to waste my time watching movies after movies. With a laptop, I can catch up on my work and at the same time, listen to some decent music. I was not in favor of buying a new laptop. It would be a waste just for one trip. I’m a die-hard desktop user.

That got me thinking. Five years have passed since that fateful day. Perhaps today, there are some Linux distros that can run faster with this HP garbage. I tested out antiX, Manjaro, Lubuntu, Linux-lite and Bodhi Linux. To my surprise, Bodhi is exactly what I was looking for. It is not blazingly fast but perfectly usable. Best of all, I can surf the net with Opera or Chrome without the ads causing the pages to crash. 

A Linux distro is of no use to me if I cannot run my Windows software. I duly installed the latest WINE stable. And what do you know, all my essential Windows programs ran flawlessly. OmniMic, DATS, REW and many more. As for Windows Office, I can finally reject it once and for all. I installed LibreOffice from the repository and it is perfectly stable. And all these Linux softwares are Open Source. In other words, FREE. 

So, to all those victims that are stuck with this horrendous HP 15-f009wm, try out Bodhi Linux. It’s a wonderful distro. It is as good, actually superior to the morbidly obese Windows 10. No kidding. I am so impressed with Bodhi that I intend to replace my Windows XP with it. It’s about time I rid my life of this Windows parasite once and for all.

Many thanks to the Bodhi developers for all the hard work. Bodhi is indeed an outstanding distro. I must also offer my gratitude to all Linux developers, from distros to apps, for their continual efforts and conviction that knowledge should be FREE. It can only make the world a better place.