I tried installing WUBI on a very slow computer running Windows XP. I thought that maybe it would get some extra life out of the computer, but it was so slow that I removed the WUBI and gave up. If I make a partition and install a regular version of Ubuntu to that partition will this give me the result I'm looking for, or is a slow computer just a slow computer! I'm sure it is obvious, but I'm new to linux and not exactly a computer export.
A slow PC is a slow PC but certain problems can make it slower. Bad RAM will cause read-write errors and lost blocks that will slow down the PC. A failing hard disk will cause a slow PC as it tries repeatedly to read bad blocks. A clogged or otherwise faulty fan can cause overheating, which will cause the computer to run good when first booted but slower as the CPU heats ups, then an eventual crash as it overheats and quits working completely.
Wubi uses Windows file-systems so any problems with the Windows system will affect Ubuntu-Wubi as well. The best test would be to run Ubuntu from a LiveCD or LiveUSB, if it runs faster than Windows it will run even faster from it's own partition. (A LiveUSB will give you a better idea as it will read faster than a CD) Keep in mind that a LiveCD or LiveUSB will still be slower than a full install but will run regardless of a corrupted Windows filesystem or bad hard drive.
You can also use your LiveCD/USB to check you computer to see if you have any problems with your RAM or hard drive.
To Check the Memory:
Boot inot the LiveCD/USB and then press the
To check the hard disk boot into the LiveCD and select Try Ubuntu, after boot press your Windows key and type disk utility in the window that pops up. Open the program by clicking on the icon. In the upper right of the window will be a indicator that will tell you if the disk is healthy(on the screenshot it is under my mouse pointer:
You can run tests to check the disk by clicking the Smart Data button..(if the disk is shown as healthy you should be OK but if you want to check anyway)....
In the above screenshot, you would click on the Run Self Test This will cause the hard disk to run it's self diagnostics and will show you the results....the test is long, if I remember right it took most of an hour.
The short answer to your question would be that if you don't have any underlaying computer problems, a full install of Ubuntu will likely run better and faster than XP and will give you some extra life out of your computer(My old XP computer ran MUCH better on Ubuntu than XP). However, if you have underlaying computer issues(most of which can be checked with the instructions above), no OS will give you satisfactory results.
Sorry for the long answer, I kept it as brief as I could and still give you needed information. Good Luck and welcome to Ubuntu, the water is fine...