symbolicpixel wrote:Question about Vista's reaction to hardware. Even with a "Vista Capable" decal slapped on a CPU base, does it still put the internal hardware at a risk of being burned out even if running normal?
As I've said already, an OS will not inherently "burn out" hardware. Vista may, however, cause more "load" on the hardware, which is obviously to be expected. For example, Vista will typically use the HDD while the computer is idle in order to perform defragmentation or index files for search functionality. This by no means defines "burning out" the hardware. Now if said hardware is already old, of low quality, or defective, it naturally follows that it will "die" much faster than if the computer was idling all the time. This doesn't mean Vista is the culprit at all.
Take for example phpBB.com's server. It handles quite a load every day from the amount of traffic it receives. The HDDs never have time off. Does this mean that there's inherently something wrong with the way phpBB.com's server's OS handles access to these files? Certainly not. If a hard drive goes bad it's because the hard drive, oddly enough, went bad.
The more miles you put on something, the faster it's going to wear out. However, those miles achieved better functionality in the mean time so it's not wasted. In terms of HDD life, I'd wager we're talking a month or two of time before failure over the course of 7-8 years provided you have a good quality HDD in the first place.
That being said, because of data integrity and the "randomness" with which HDDs go bad (I've seen HDDs last 3-4 hours up to 10-12 years), I typically recommend replacing HDDs anyway every 3-4 years to stay on the safe side. Pulling data off of a mechanically failed HDD isn't exactly fun ... or cheap if you don't have the ability to do it yourself.
My answer would indeed be a YES. A few possible signs of hardware failure could range from frequent display of blue screens to crashes to 100% CPU usage. Or is that right?
If you constantly have 100% CPU usage, it's usually one of two things: 1) An application running in the background that's completely pointless or has "locked up" and been set into an infinite loop, or 2) A driver that keeps crashing and the OS is constantly reloading it.
Back in the days of Windows 95 and 98, Blue Screens actually weren't all that "serious." When dealing with the Windows NT kernel, however, (and especially Windows 2000 and above), a BSOD was a sign of a true system failure. Blue screens are definitely most commonly a sign of hardware issue, most often bad memory or motherboard. Hard drive issues usually cause corrupted system files and the computer fails to boot the next time around (chkdsk + "copy c:\windows\repair\system c:\windows\system32\config\system" for the win) . Occasionally they'll cause BSOD's.
In Vista, rarely does a driver cause a BSOD, unlike in 2000 or XP. With Vista, most drivers (with the exception of a few) run in what's called "userland." They don't have immediate access to the kernel of the OS. This means that if they crash, it doesn't bring down the whole OS in a BSOD. The OS has the opportunity to simply close the driver and reload it.
One thing that's being focused on in Windows 7 is "MinWin" which is a minimalistic version of the Windows kernel. Not only will this make Windows more "lightweight" and significantly faster, from what I've read, Microsoft is aiming for a truly modular design at the base level of the OS which means that unless the kernel itself fails or there's serious hardware failure, the OS can quickly and easily recover from essentially any type of crash without the user even knowing about it.