And here we are not really talking about the operating systems, but the philosophy that derives decision making and development. An OpenSource system, according to J.H., is “real people oriented.” Read “There’s a problem on your computer”

Comments

  1. #1 Drekab
    January 10, 2010

    Linux is better than Windows because a guy who uses Linux at work and at home has never seen a drive failure warning on a Windows computer?

  2. #2 Bill James
    January 10, 2010

    Now look what you’ve done!

    Linux is better than Windows because a guy who uses Linux at work and at home has never seen a drive failure warning on a Windows computer?

    Damn you LAden… Damn you all to HeLL!1!

  3. #3 Linux in Exile
    January 10, 2010

    @Drekab: I think you missed the critical point that this laptop normally boots into Windows, but only runs Linux when I boot from my USB flash drive. So I’m running Windows on it all the time, for work. Yet I never see a warning that my hard drive is having problems.

    From the “About me” on the left-site of the Linux in Exile page:

    I’ve been a Linux user since 1993, and since 2002 I’ve been fortunate enough to run Linux full-time at work. But, I’ve been asked to move back to Windows, at least for work. The difference between Windows and Linux has been shocking, to say the least. Since I find it interesting when long-time Windows users experiment with Linux for the first time, I thought it might be equally interesting for this long-time Linux user to blog about my first experience running Windows in over 6 or 7 years.

  4. #4 James
    January 10, 2010

    I hate to throw cold water on your crowing but I had that failing disc warning pop up on one of my Windows XP machines. I think it depends on the drive you are using and not the operating system. Windows may be a bloated pig of an operating system, but it can’t be blamed for every little thing–yet.

  5. #5 Linux in Exile
    January 10, 2010

    @James: You mentioned on my blog that your laptop came from Dell. I wonder if you are getting your error message from a Dell tool? I know Dell puts a lot of extra utility software on their stuff.

    I’m currently running a default install of Windows Vista on this laptop. Before that, a default install of Windows XP on the same laptop. Yet I never saw a warning from Windows that my hard drive is having problems.

  6. #6 James
    January 10, 2010

    Actually it is a Dell Workstation. I had formated the hard drive and done a default install of Windows XP. The system had operated for a number of years just fine. Then one day at start up, the little black window appeared with “the hard drive is failing” warning message. It may be something coded into the BIOS chip on Dell motherboards but usually with Dell, anytime one of their utilities comes into play. their logo is on display so you are aware that they are the ones on the job trying to save your ass. That was not the case in this instance.

    I vaguely remember reading somewhere some years back about some hard drives that had a self diagnostic routine that would flag a hard drive going bad. I do not remember how the hard drive was queried so that the diagnostic report could be written to the monitor.

    James

  7. #7 Spiv
    January 11, 2010

    I recall getting a message several years ago while running win2k (victim of the notorious IBM DeskStar click of death). Ironically my Linux partition (Mandrake at the time, I think?) had stopped functioning about a week before without giving me a warning of any kind (I assumed I broke something at the time). So windows does have this functionality.

    Chances are the linux partition was the first to have real errors, and may well have gone suddenly and without any real indication to the OS. Also I recall at least one occasion of windows running a “checkdisk” on startup a week or three before, and may well have contributed to the destruction of that partition or boot record. Usually though, windows’ “warning” is that it wants to run check disk on a regular basis during boot. If you don’t reboot regularly, you might not get this clue.

    Drive failures are a crapshoot. Sometimes they get lots of little motion errors that let you know that the heads aren’t tracking correctly, or that a chip is spewing out bad data. Other times the darn thing decides to park the heads into the surface of the disk and you’re done.

    I think in the last decade I’ve only lost one drive that I didn’t have some warning about. I hadn’t turned the machine on in a month and when I did the drive didn’t power up. Autopsy revealed visible solder whiskers, presumably shorting something out.

  8. #8 David
    January 11, 2010

    if the drive actually failed, then the Linux warning would be impressive. if the warning pops up “every time” and the drive never fails, then it’s a badly programmed warning.

    how do you establish whether this warning is a good thing or not?

  9. #9 Ray Ingles
    January 11, 2010

    David – the warning is using the S.M.A.R.T. tools built into the hard drive. If the drive is warning the OS about its status, the OS should probably listen. (And warn the user.)

    And if the warning is in error… it’s the drive making the error, not Linux.