Ubuntu 11.04 + Inspiron 1501

Has anyone been experiencing performance issues with Ubuntu 11.04? I offered (Stupidly) to fix a friends computer and upgrade his Linux install. He was running 9.04 but ended up really screwing with it (He never really told me how.....) so I figured no problem Let me upgrade you to the newest version. After the install his CPU is constantly between 40%-60% and spikes to 100% when trying to do anything. Trying to open the App thing on the sidebar(Not a huge fan of the layout) it takes about 3 - 5 min to open. I reverted the scheme to Ubuntu classic with no change in performance. Im frustrated because Ive done multiple reinstalls of 11.04 with the same performance issues, and I need to track down wireless drivers but it takes FOREVER to do anything.

I'm a very experienced windows user with a basic understanding of Linux esp Ubuntu.
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  1. Main first step in troubleshooting this: try to determine what's eating the system resources. In this case, it's probably going to be easiest to get to a terminal to run top and just see what's causing the kerfuffle. You may also want to try to log in without a GUI ([ctrl]+[alt]+[F1] from the login screen) and running top to see if the culprit is constantly an issue or if it's something that's triggered during a user GUI session.
  2. For ATI drivers, there exists a script here

  3. Danka gentlemen I used top and seemed to get conflicting results. The system monitor(?) and top seemed be be in a disagreement over how much CPU was being used. If i remember correctly it was Xorg (?) using the most CPU using the top command.

    Ill give that script a try.
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