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Why does linux install and run fine even on bad hard drives?


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#1 wishmakingfairy

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 04:50 PM

I have a persons computer that I tried to reload windows on. Everything was fine for a bit, then the smart test about a predicted failure happened and windows just started to give out. However... I've installed zorin on the pc to help the person to browse the web and feel somewhat close to windows until they get their new computer.

 

This isn't the first computer I've done this with either, I've put linux on many computers that failed to install and or run windows and linux runs like there is nothing wrong, no sudden spikes of sluggishness, nothing...

 

So my question is, why does linux just magically work on a broken computer?


Edited by wishmakingfairy, 13 November 2014 - 04:54 PM.

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#2 buddy215

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 05:21 PM

Maybe its not Linux....maybe its you that has healing powers.... :crazy:


“Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded and the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics...you are all stardust.”Lawrence M. Krauss
A 1792 U.S. penny, designed in part by Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, reads “Liberty Parent of Science & Industry.”

#3 Al1000

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 05:27 PM

It doesn't always. I had problems with Ubuntu 12.04 when I was using it earlier this year, that turned out to be caused by a failing hard drive. For example sometimes when I booted up, I could see the desktop but couldn't click on anything, and the CPU was running flat out. I had XP on the same hard drive and it worked better for longer, before I realised what the problem was and replaced the hard drive.

OTOH I have another hard drive (that I used to use for storage) and Windows won't even boot when it's connected, but it works just fine with Linux.

Edited by Al1000, 13 November 2014 - 05:28 PM.


#4 NickAu

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 07:46 PM

I had problems with Ubuntu 12.04

 

For example sometimes when I booted up, I could see the desktop but couldn't click on anything, and the CPU was running flat out.

I wonder if that was Compiz/Unity freezing up.  Common problem.

 

 

Why does linux install and run fine even on bad hard drives?

Because Linux is way better than Windows.


Edited by NickAu1, 13 November 2014 - 11:46 PM.

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#5 wizardfromoz

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 11:20 PM

I am running Zorin (9, Core) wishmakingfairy, as one of my three bootable Distros, currently - "jury is out" whether it, or Linux Mint Qiana 17 Mate (one of my other current) is more Win-dozey-like.

 

With Zorin on nVidia - it runs fine on the Nouveau driver, but I have just started working on it with the nVidia v3.0's up, and have some startup and shutdown problems, but the session runs fine.

 

I would second Nick's comment

 

 

Because Linux is way better than Windows.

 

... and paraphrase it to say

 

"Well,Linux is way better than ... well, anything, really"

 

Later

 

:wizardball: Wiz



#6 TsVk!

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 11:42 PM

My original Sega Master System from 1987 is waaay better than Linux. It has never crashed in almost 30 years of use.

Sega-Master-System-Set.jpg



#7 wizardfromoz

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 12:23 AM

Best I could say, anecdotally, was that I knew a bloke whose Unix box had not fallen over in 10 years.

 

But that Sega is waaay cool, Oh Northern One, lol.

 

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#8 Al1000

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 07:12 AM

I wonder if that was Compiz/Unity freezing up. Common problem.

I'm not sure what it was, and wouldn't have spent much time trying to find out, as I used to tend to format the partition and reinstall the OS if I was having the slightest problem. Particularly with Ubuntu 12.04, since that was the first Linux OS I had ever installed on my computer, and I was treating it as "experimental" and still used XP for the most part.

But as I recall, this issue cropped up not long before I discovered that the hard drive was failing, so I put it down to that being the problem.

Edited by Al1000, 14 November 2014 - 07:14 AM.


#9 JohnC_21

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 10:37 AM

 

My original Sega Master System from 1987 is waaay better than Linux. It has never crashed in almost 30 years of use.
Sega-Master-System-Set.jpg

 

I still have mine. And a bunch of games to go with it. Wonder Boy 3 was the best.

 

Linux is definitely better. No registry, no defrag. All settings in the home directory. Tabbed File Manager. Virtual Desktops. Rock solid.


Edited by JohnC_21, 14 November 2014 - 10:41 AM.


#10 wishmakingfairy

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 10:42 AM

 

Best I could say, anecdotally, was that I knew a bloke whose Unix box had not fallen over in 10 years

 

There is as machine at a medical facility I and a couple others go to, to help them with really stupid issues like "Oh no, nothing is working, there is blood everywhere" where the case ends up being, "im missing my desktop icon"... Anyways they have a machine thats been running some unix client and you can hear either the hard drives bearings grinding away or the little reader arm digging into the platter. It gives off a really awful high pitched sine. We would help them get rid of it, but my manager said he warned them 10 years ago to consider replacing it before their contract ran up. Fast forward 10 years, they're still using it to store and retrieve their patients medical data, aren't able to retrieve the data other than manually typing the data into another program by hand. The company that use to do it was taken over and says they specialize in it, but won't even say if they can help with the machine unles they sign a $4,000 3/year contract. So, yay linux, boo terrible companies :P


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#11 LinuxChic

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 11:02 PM

I agree with Nick and Wizard. Linux is way better that windows.  I know of a linux server that has been humming away for some time now and no problems. Also, I have no idea why Linux will sometimes run on a bad hard drive that windows will not run on. We have several computers at school we have to keep reimaging because the Windows side of it keeps getting virtual std's. Linux side is perfectly fine. Just goes to show the stability of Linux!!


Edited by LinuxChic, 14 November 2014 - 11:05 PM.


#12 wizardfromoz

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Posted 15 November 2014 - 01:08 AM

+1 :thumbup2: - hope TimNet proves to be half as stable as some

 

:wizardball:



#13 cat1092

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Posted 15 November 2014 - 03:54 AM

It may have to do with the formatting style, ext4 is a modern file system, while NTFS has been around for ages. In fact, many XP install media, by itself, cannot reformat a drive back to NTFS from ext4 (it'll crash during format), a partitioning tool has to be used first to reformat to NTFS, then re-attempt the XP install. 

 

Could be that the ext4 file system fixed any sectors that weren't badly damaged (or the drive needed a good wipe) & that's why Linux installs fine on older drives. As far as running afterwards goes, yes it's going to run better, due to the lack of needed overhead. Many times my 64 bit Linux MInt 17 uses less than 700MB at idle. Security on Windows alone would use that much, if not more. This leaves more resources for when using the machine, and it'll feel more powerful, because the OS alone isn't using hogging the resources. Kind of like on older vehicles, there are ways to dramatically improve performance, with dual exhausts being one of the first. 

 

However this doesn't, nor is meant to imply not to replace, or at least have another HDD ready to go for when the day comes that it does go, along with regular Data backups. The OS is replaceable, one's Data isn't, and Data recovery is costly. Fortunately, for many LInux users, the Data backup isn't too large. 

 

These days, hard drives are back to all time lows, with some great SATA 3 performance drives in the $50-60 range & 5 Year warranty (WD Black series). For $10 less on the same size drive, there's the Caviar Blue line, but only has a 2 year warranty. It's worth the extra to have the 5 year warranty, plus the massive 64MB cache vs.16MB on Caviar Blue. That's 4x larger a cache for massive load speeds. For those with drives of 8MB cache installed, it's an 8x increase. Unfortunately, few machines won't make full use of the SATA 3 speeds with a HDD, but the cache will be used & noticed. 

 

Secondly, many 120-128GB SSD's are frequently on promo for $75 or less, and if one really wants the ultimate in performance, especially on a SATA 3 motherboard, it's worth the little extra cash & just grab any promo drive for Data & backup. Many times, one will have an extra drive laying around, which can be used for these & virtual machines, which are not recommended to be ran on consumer grade SSD's. There are major differences in speed & pricing between home/enthusiast and commercial SSD's & the gap is widening. 

 

Even on a SATA 2 motherboard, a Linux OS will fly with an SSD installed, however one must setup TRIM & enable some other performance enhancments. Today's SSD's doesn't need to be pampered, but TRIM is a must, otherwise performance will over time degrade to that of an early 2000 model IDE HDD. However, the settings are no big deal, a little prepping with the Terminal will make & keep the SSD performing great for years. Probably longer than the rest of the computer, if a quality SSD is purchased. 

 

And for those who already has SSD's installed, here's a quick way to restore performance at anytime, though this is the manual way (copy/paste), using the Terminal. Your password will be asked for. 

 

sudo fstrim -v /

 

If /home partition is installed, also run afterwards:

 

sudo fstrim -v /home

 

You'll see how many bytes are Trimmed (deleted & reclaimed for use) each time this is ran & I run manual Trim in addition to whatever the Automatic is doing behind the scenes. 

 

I'm currently running Linux Mint 17 on two computers with SSD's & never would want to look back to spinners, they're quickly becoming storage, rather than OS drives on newer computers & I'd say that come this time next year, that number will at a minimum, double. Most any SATA computer will benefit from a SSD upgrade, and like I stated, doesn't have to break the back. For older models, there's a budget Kingston V300 that should work well, as these aren't the fastest anyway. 

 

As always, please check system prior to upgrades & don't sink lots of cash in too old of a computer. For PC's, a "desktop kit" isn't always needed, and sometimes doesn't fit. Velcro hold SSD's in place fine, that's how light they are. 

 

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#14 wizardfromoz

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Posted 15 November 2014 - 04:37 PM

Cat, my friend, reading your comments above, I feel like I am in King Solomon's Mines or El Dorado and have struck gold. I am going to have to cut and paste these into a file for when I next upgrade, lol.

 

:wizardball: Wiz

 

BTW OP (wishmakingfairy) your Topic is about to go hot, set the stopwatch :clapping:



#15 NickAu

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Posted 15 November 2014 - 04:52 PM

As of Ubuntu 14.04, scheduled TRIM is enabled by default for Intel, SAMSUNG, OCZ, Patriot and Sandisk SSDs

 

 

 

 


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