Slow Mint Install? Some Things To Check re UEFI, USB and Linux GPU Drivers, then a Windows free future!

First, ONLY use USB3 thumb drives if you are not installing Mint direct to internal or external USN hard disk when trying out Mint as a newcomer – you are wasting a lot time and getting a bad impression of linux when not it's fault – thumb drives range massively in performance and quality! Have at LEAST 2GB RAM on the PC.

The install FROM a prepared USB thumb drive is lots quicker than DVD – about 6-10 mins depending…


Now I have got my newest (last Xmas) HP AMDA8 quadcore Win 8 laptop working great with Mint, after the various problems I encountered below with USB stick installs, I have finally, permanently dumped Windows completely! Yay!! (Months after I wrote this Post I permanently dumped Win8 from the hard drive too, to not have to use USB sticks at all and keep having to press the F9 menu key, as MS still forced HP to keep the UEFI boot option as Win8 on the internal hard drive – NOT changeable in the BIOS either! – Bastards!)


I don't have to use it at all anymore! Not at work or home!

I use gmail, and Libre/screenshot works for all my document and screen capture needs – including Worpress Posts now – I don't need Word – as I just paste the text and upload images content directly into WP editor.

I never thought I would ever replace Windows on ALL my PCs, and if you asked me 5 years ago if this would ever happen I would have said "no". Mint and Ubuntu have changed all that. I'm not even going further with Win10 – don't think much of what I have seen of 10 so far anyway, and already seen boot problems with some laptops after they upgraded from 7/8 to 10 – a client's Sony Vaio taking 22 minutes to boot to login due to unavailable SATA3 drivers.

If you wish to install linux on your newer equipment, you may have to consider what model of laptop or PC you buy now or in future, especially since the release of Win10, which may change the current level of "flexibility" MS and OEM vendors currently allow in particular implementations of UEFI, which currently favours Win8.x protected boot installations, although there are linux specific hardware and OS retailers out there.

nVidia's latest drivers ARE now well supported in Linux for the later GPUs – not as earlier that prompted this from Linus:

If you want to research and compare your hardware before a permanent install, boot the live Mint DVD, then save your hardware info to USB stick etc:

lshw > hwlist.txt

description: CPU
product: AMD A8-6410 APU with AMD Radeon R5 Graphics
vendor: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD]
physical id: 18
bus info: cpu@0
version: AMD A8-6410 APU with AMD Radeon R5 Graphics
serial: NotSupport
slot: Socket FT3b
size: 1GHz
capacity: 2GHz
width: 64 bits
clock: 100MHz
capabilities: x86-64 fpu……..etc

I started looking at UEFI as a possible cause of terminally slow performance of my AMDA8 quad core running from external disk and USB, as the install took ages (hour+), when it normally takes 10-30 mins or so depending on PC hardware, for most others I have done (About 40+ on varied 10-15 yr old donated towers at work). I always install in compatibility mode too – I've had less problems that way = arrow down at default Mint boot menu countdown; although you may always encounter probs with certain older gpus, like black screens, gnome only desktop, Cinnamon crashing etc. due to their prior non disclosure of their driver specs. to OSource.

This usually means going to a term as root (Alt F1 etc.) and running through updates;

sensors detect

apt-get install linux-firmware-nonfree nvidia-common 

If you do get a basic gnome type desktop, try to run the driver mgr utility and add the nvidia drivers that way.

For ATI Try:

apt-get install fglrx-updates fglrx fglrx-core fglrx-updates-core 


In this HP AMD laptop's case it runs:



On towers with screen res issues, sometimes I've tried fixing the res to something sensible that all monitors should take:

edit /etc/default/grub uncomment the GRUB_GFXMODE=640×480 and change the resolution to something you can use e.g. 1024×768
Add the line

to the file to have the same resolution at the Linux console. You do not edit the 00_header file script as some forum may suggest you need to do – unless you are a linux OS programmer..?


I then thought some of my speed issue was drive access due to a UEFI issue, though now I think it is APU access on these HP laptops, as some functions like terminal updates read quickly enough, but graphical based use is REALLY slow.

As I had just a blank screen at first, I installed xorg, changed the /etc/X11/default-display-manager from mdm to xdm, and added:

to vi /etc/X11/xorg.conf.xxxxx



This got me a Desktop in Gnome at least when Cinnamon crashed.

You can get a default from:


Now you can try Driver Manager from the Admin menu – if you get a desktop – after installing

sudo apt-get install linux-firmware-nonfree

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

and see if you have a more suitable option for your display driver than the default e.g fglrx AMD graphics accelerators in place of the default Xorg etc.

If not, try an Ctrl-Alt F1 term and log in.

It appears some cheaper HP AMD quad cores may link the CPU to the APU, so may need special drivers. Research it. Try a different Manager than mdm, as above like xdm, xcfe or mate to get performance info differences, and try adding HW accel drivers:


Mullins (Radeon APU A4-600 with R2 rev5)

sudo apt-get install xvba-va-driver libva-glx1 libva-egl1 vainfo

sudo vainfo

If you can install to this point by disabling the UEFI settings according to the links below, and still have poor performance, I think its not as much related to UEFI drive slow access as I first thought, as other combo CPU/GPU/APU issues?

Check your pen drive does not have a GPT partition from say, having PMagic on it before, as mine did! This crippled USB drive speed, and had to be removed with gdisk, then a full format after, then a re-install of Mint, which though slow to install, was actually very usable after. I also changed parameters in /etc/fstab after a forum tip, to speed up USB access:

  # <file system> <mount point> <type> <options> <dump> <pass>
# / was on /dev/sdc1 during installation
UUID=122b9bcd-e933-4849-b318-664db55226af / ext4 errors=remount-ro,noatime,nodiratime 0 1

Research flash drive access properties – same principle for all media – some just use memory to hide the delays for writes. It's just how they work which is the base problem for all media. I"ll try find the link for that article…

The newer Sandisk mini USB3 sticks sit flush in the side of your laptop, out the way, so cant be knocked, and now my HP laptop is faster than any of my desktops, with little lag time.


Mine runs hot! This eventually failed with a total lockout – unable to reformat or read any data – which is a hardware design issue so needs to be sent back to Sandisk as an RMA, and they replaced it eventually, after lots of emails and sending serial numbers etc. Looks like a big issue for them with these USB3 drives…The laptop does run great with USB3 though, and badly with USB2. An external USB2 hard drive is fine.

Don't use these SANDISK 64GB CRUZER ULTRA HIGH SPEED USB 3.0 USB – they are absolute shit! Probably fake..slow as fuck – hardly USB3, and crap even for USB2…


Re-copy your current stick state image periodically with DD as a backup of its current state and data, so you can re install without starting from scratch.

Do some research on UEFI for future PC purchases:

"The problem with dual booting Linux either with UEFI off or Secure Boot disabled is it's not a proven technology that works well even if you do have a distro like Fedora or Ubuntu which supports UEFI and Secure Boot. I spent weeks fighting with getting Linux Mint to work properly in UEFI with Secure Boot disabled getting advise from top professionals – people who know UEFI well enough to write software for it. If the system was installed under UEFI in the first place, you can count on having your share of trouble."

So, if you are a potential "dual-booter" (a very bad idea on the same drive! Separate drives, fine.) or just want to dump Windows completely in future from your current Win8/10 hardware  – a very good idea! – read these Win10 as malware links – shocking!!

so know what you may be up against in future w10.

The final remaining Bill Gates Corporate Dictatorship issue – HP and most others are in bed with this also to their shame (MS pay companies to install their shit on the hardware, then you pay more for it too) – you CANNOT set the bios to boot to anything other than the internal Win 8 disk in the boot order! You HAVE to use the Esc then choose the device each time. Fuck, I hate that false altruistic, fake humanitarian control freak…he is the worst thing to ever happen to technology in all human history – of ALL the OSs we could have had for the home PC revolution, we got the worst ever – his time wasting abortions…BASIC ported to DOS??? WTF..? He couldn't even write the OS himself!