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I have a computer, which atm has 3 OSes installed on it (Ubuntu x86, Ubuntu x86-64 and Vista Home Premium 32 bit).

I had a problem where Vista was freezing shortly after startup with no error messages. Ubuntu, which was far more used was unaffected. I was told that it was likely to be a hardware problem.

Since that seems to be the consensus (as I commented there I still haven't gotten around to running the tests), my question is:

How can a hardware problem affect only one OS?

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I had a similar symptom once. Turned out to be a faulty driver. –  kinokijuf Jan 13 '12 at 16:57

2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted
  • When only one OS actually uses the (or part of the) faulty hardware
  • Faulty drivers
  • Magic
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+1 for magic, the only thing that can truly kill a computer. –  Phoshi Oct 30 '09 at 23:13
    
Black Magic = EMC in hardware circles –  hanleyp Oct 31 '09 at 18:44

Hardware problems can happen with only one OS because different OS's don't necessarily use the system in the same way. For example, a video card may just run in VGA mode or some basic emulation mode with Linux, while in Windows, the driver would take advantage of the full resources available in the video card.

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