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Surprised not to find a question here along these lines. Hope this is the right place.

I have a dual boot set up on a pretty powerful PC.

One boot up partition has W10, the other Linux Mint 18.3.

Using the Linux OS is an absolute joy: you click something and something happens. Yes, there can be delays, and I'm nowhere near as comfortable and familiar (yet) with how to do the vast range of essential tasks you need to use a Linux OS for real life. Usually you can interrupt processes when you see a Cancel button... so you click Cancel... and things, um, stop.

Not so in the ghastly W10 dark side: apps take an age to start up (the bigger the app the worse it is). Processes which are hanging or taking ages to do something show the "spinner" and/or (terrible heart-sinking moment) overlay a sort of "white sheen" ("process not responding"), with a spinner lasting for tens of seconds. Only way to stop is to kill the process, etc, etc ad nauseam.

An example is Gimp2... this takes ages to start up on my W10 system, but in Linux it just, er, starts. Nemo in Linux starts instantaneously, whereas FileExplorer in W10 takes, what, a second or more to display anything.

Unfortunately I have at least 2 apps which I absolutely have to use and which are Windoze-only, so for the forseeable future I'm stuck.

I know about VMs as well... installing a VM with Linux in a W10 OS is fairly straightforward in my experience, but not W10 in a Linux OS. I've wasted so many hours over this kind of nonsense I've more or less given up.

Can anyone say WHY my W10 OS is such a snail? Is there anything I can do to try and make something like, for example, Gimp2 just start up at a more normal speed?

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About Gimp

  • There is a bug that on Windows, makes it rescan all the system fonts when it starts. Normally fixed in recent versions, but if you don't want to upgrade you can try this workaround.

  • It at least one version, it would also re-register all the plugins (normally it re-registers only the plugins where the executable is newer that their existing registration date). You have to start Gimp in --verbose mode to check messages and see what happens. I have had one case of a totally unrelated executable (wget) ending up in a Gimp plugin directory and being executed on every Gimp startup, hanging it until it timed out.

Of course all this depends on the version you run on Windows.

About Linux-vs-Windows

  • The Linux filesystems are faster (possibly because they have a simpler security model, among other things)(*)
  • Linux system are usually unencumbered by "security" software that check all the file writes and slow I/O even more.

For specialized uses, a bare-bones Windows VM (that doesn't need to run all the security stuff) can be quite fast. I've done that at work, and it turned out to be significantly faster than the native Windows my colleagues were running on the very same PC model, possibly due to: removal of all unnecessary things, disk I/O restricted to the VM file (so less HDD arm movement).

(*) Implicitly acknowledged by Microsoft, who created GVFS to be able to run Git on Windows...

  • Thanks, interesting. Trouble is with running a 'Doze OS in a VM is that you have to buy a licence off the ******s. Am I right in thinking that your OS is a Linux OS? What VM do you recommend? Also I know nothing about how to install a "bare bones" 'Doze OS... no doubt there's info out there somewhere. Anywhere you'd recommend? – mike rodent Aug 26 at 17:38
  • AFAIK, the Windows license that came with your machine can be used for one VM on the machine, if you run another OS. Otherwise, I heard that you can install development VMs that last 3 months. They possibly lack plenty of features but could be enough for your purpose. Running VirtualBox under an Ubuntu. For a VM you don't necessarily need to install things, you can find VM images. – xenoid Aug 26 at 19:37
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Windows 10 is not normally slow (my own, client machines)

Check to make sure you do not have legacy software or legacy Anti Virus installed. You can remove Anti Virus and run Windows Defender (works very well).

See if you can correct OS errors. Open cmd.exe with Run as Administrator and run:

dism.exe /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth

Try these and if no concrete results, run a Windows 10 Repair Install from the Microsoft Media Creation Link

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