For a good long while I have struggled with my laptop, a lovely HP Pavilion N5495 with Ubuntu 6.10 inside. I would describe our relationship as a love-hate type. I hate it when it’s cranky, I love it when it works…and deep down inside I know the feeling is mutual. Each morning, when I start it up, there is a strong chance that it will freeze just after I log in and the splash screen finishes loading. Sometimes I am unlucky and even alt-r,s,e,i,u,b-prt scr does not elicit a response. I run fsck to check if the hard drive is okay and the results turn up positive so why does my laptop freeze on the first start of the day?
At this point I am very suspicious of the RAM so I run memtest overnight. The tests are passed numerous times and there are no problems with the RAM. I then reboot the computer and everything loads up well with no freezes or program crashes. Why?? It is at this moment when I thought of another absurd possibility: Can it be that the RAM needs to be warmed up before I start my laptop?
I suppose the sounds the fan makes when it revs up makes me think of my laptop as more of a lawn mower or a car than an actual PC; and the thought of “warming” up the memory before trying to start Ubuntu doesn’t seem too far out there in nonsense ville…as long as I keep thinking within the engine analogy. So, before my laptop’s first start of the day, I ran memtest for a few minutes. Guess what? My laptop starts with no problems.
N5495, I hate you.