The layer between your hardware and software. It manages disk input/output, memory allocation, graphic acceleration, hosting device drivers and various other resources.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

1
vote
1answer
3k views

Is it possible to run a computer program without an operating system? [closed]

I'm wondering if it's possible to run a computer program without an operating system. Is there any way that this can be done?
1
vote
2answers
2k views

64bit vs 32bit Operating Systems, which one to choose having 2GB RAM? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: 32-bit vs. 64-bit systems There is several talks about it, most people way "64bit all the way", but I'm wandering if for a 2GB machine 32bit is just fine. Currently ...
0
votes
1answer
460 views

Linux Mint VM in VirtualBox freezes with DISKFULL error

Disk partitioning guide for Linux Mint Debian This guides shows me how to partition my HD for Linux Mint. I'm trying to install Mint as a guest client on Windows 7 hosted VirtualBox. I used to let it ...
0
votes
2answers
4k views

What is the difference between Local Disk and New Volume?

We have a product ,while doing some operation we found this error "Logical disk 'C:' was not found" . When i checked my "C" folder i saw its named as 'New Volume (C:)' , but when i changed to 'Local ...
60
votes
5answers
6k views

What are the functions of the BIOS while the operating system is running?

I always wondered whether the BIOS (apart from conducting POST, starting the bootloader and passing control to the OS after one presses the power button) has any purpose or function while the ...
36
votes
4answers
3k views

Linux is to mount as Windows is to _______?

So Linux "mounts" a hard drive to perform some operation such as reading/writing. Does Windows "mount" in the same way? Is it called something different in the context of Microsoft?
57
votes
13answers
6k views

Is Unix not a PC operating system? [closed]

I am doing my bachelor's degree at a university. In a written assignment, the professor posted the task: "Name three PC operating systems". Well, I went on an included a variety of OSes (Linux, ...
25
votes
5answers
20k views

Overriding HOMEDRIVE and HOMEPATH as a Windows 7 user

My employer has an Active Directory group policy which sets my Windows 7 laptop HOMEDRIVE to "M:" (a mapped network drive) and my HOMEPATH to "\". Since I have read-only permissions for the root of ...
13
votes
2answers
17k views

Use physical harddisk in Virtual Box

Using Virtual Box, how can I install an OS to a secondary, physical disk, and boot it in both (at separate times) Virtual Box, and as a typical secondary OS install?
10
votes
4answers
5k views

How does USB device recognition work?

I'm curious how USB device recognition works in Windows. I imagine it's something like this: When you plug in a device, it tells Windows "here's my device ID to tell you what I am" Windows looks to ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

How to stop and detect the fork bomb

#include <stdlib.h> #include <unistd.h> int main() { while(1) fork(); } This is the code for a fork bomb. In our college, we connect via telnet i.e client serving protocol. ...
6
votes
3answers
18k views

Is it the address bus size or the data bus size that determines “8-bit , 16-bit ,32-bit ,64-bit ” systems?

My simple understanding is as follows. Memory (RAM) is composed of bits, groups of 8 which form bytes, each of which can be addressed ,and hence byte addressable memory. Address Bus stores the ...
18
votes
4answers
3k views

Why does Linux use a swap partition when the kernel supports paging/virtual memory anyway?

As far as I understand paging and swapping, they're completely different concepts. While swapping means, that a process is either completely in physical memory or on the hard drive, with paging parts ...
6
votes
3answers
5k views

Difference between shutdown ( power off ) and restart ( reboot )

What is Difference between shutdown (power off) and restart (reboot) ? What type of signals passing at time of reboot and poweroff, to where ? What is difference between these two signals ? At ...
7
votes
4answers
3k views

Do operating systems run faster on smaller hard disk partitions?

If I partition my hard disk, is my computer going to perform faster/better? In other words, the smaller the active partition is (the partition with the operating system), the faster the operating ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

What determines endianness

I was wondering if endianness only depends on CPU? Does it depends on other hardware, such as memory, secondary storage device? Does it depends on OS? Why in Wikipedia, does it seem to be true? ...
5
votes
5answers
270 views

Linux/Unix in Windows

What would be the best way to get the full-blown Unix/Linux bash inside Windows? I don't mean the Virtual Machine, but rather only the terminal with mounted NTFS drives. This way I could use the ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Minimal OS for running virtual machines

Is there a minimalistic operating system built purely for the purpose of running virtual machines (preferrably open source / otherwise free)? If not, let's say I decided to do something like Linux ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Structure of Chromium OS

I have used Chromium OS built distributed by hexxeh (weird hobby of mine). On Friday I gave a presentation (classroom activity, not some big seminar) in college on "Changing trends in Operating System ...
12
votes
6answers
2k views

Does opening a lot of tabs in Google chrome cause a performance issue?

I have heard that each tab in a Google chrome is a separate process. So if any tab crashed it won't be affected to the whole browser. So if you open so many tabs there will be as many processes in the ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

What happens when a computer starts?

I'm trying to understand what happens when a computer is turned on. How the computer works on startup, various initializations that take place, etc. For example, is the bootstrap loader the first ...
6
votes
4answers
986 views

What is technically wrong with fast OS switching?

An application (fast switcher) stays resident before the OS starts, and will be activated using a key combination (for example: Ctrl + Alt + Shift + Esc). After detecting the key combination, the ...
5
votes
3answers
5k views

What do the terms “asynchronous” and “synchronous” mean, with respect to the definition of an interrupt?

Quoted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interrupt: an interrupt is an asynchronous signal indicating the need for attention or a synchronous event in software indicating the need for a change ...
3
votes
7answers
667 views

Why do I have less memory with 32 bit OS [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Will Windows 7 32 bit edition support 8 GB RAM? I have a brand new machine at work, i7 quad core with 8GB of ram. Mainly, I use it to develop JAVA applications using ...
1
vote
2answers
9k views

Reinstalling the iPhone OS

After using my iPhone for over a year, I now have 7 pages of applications and the phone has started to become old and slow. Coming from the windows-world, I suspect that a clean install will help a ...
0
votes
0answers
150 views

How is the NVRAM/EPROM which contains the firmware placed and used

From this link - Chapter 9, section 9.1.4, it says: The first instruction that is fetched and executed following a hardware reset is located at physical address FFFFFFF0H. This address is 16 ...
0
votes
2answers
744 views

Install windows from FLASH USB. Software

Please direct me to software which can create bootable USB with winxp on it. Yesterday I tried to create such on WIN7 and failed, I guess because of win7 admin rights. Moreover I created such usb on ...
46
votes
11answers
2k views

Was Windows 95 an Operating System? [closed]

This question maybe a bit historical, but we didn't have Superuser at the time. Around 2000 when I was starting my Computer science degree, a subject was Operating systems. The teacher asked us to ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

What does the term “OS rot” refer to?

I'm asking because I just saw a question about the "Best way to avoid OS Rot in Windows 7" and had never heard of the term "OS Rot" before. It's semi-comprehensible from context in that question, ...
6
votes
2answers
19k views

Is it possible to buy Windows 8 online as a digital download?

Is it possible to buy windows 8 online as a digital download? (the full install non-upgrade version) Similar to the way windows 8 upgrade can be bought as a digital download from ...
6
votes
6answers
1k views

Is file system part of operating system?

I was wondering if a file system on a storage device is part of OS? I don't think it is. Instead it is part of the storage device, and exists outside of any OS although was created by an OS. Is my ...
4
votes
3answers
467 views

Difference between programs compiled for different OS

On a compiled code standpoint what is the difference between a program compiled for one os vs another (Linux vs windows for instance). Doesn't the program run directly on the cpu? Or is it because the ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the difference between RTM, GA and GOLD versions?

I am absolutely puzzled here: What is the difference between RTM, GA(Gerneral Availability) and final GOLD version? For example for Windows 8: RTM - Microsoft sends this version to ASUS, Acer, ...
4
votes
1answer
253 views

Can I run my win7 on another machine with different motherboard?

I want to have my system with me in another city. I know that it strongly depends of my chipset. I have P35 (Gigabyte P35DS3R). Another machine also Intel-based but chipset is G31 (MSI G31TM-P35). Is ...
3
votes
3answers
187 views

Can anyone explain what is virtual memory?

In my system I am getting an error like "virtual memory is full". Can anyone explain to me what "virtual memory" is and how to fix that issue?
3
votes
1answer
353 views

Using an OEM Windows XP license in a Virtual Machine

I just bought a Dell 640m laptop with Windows Developer Preview installed. There is no directory with any backups. The COA on the machine is for XP. I would like to install XP as a VM on the same ...
3
votes
1answer
130 views

Is it possible to install vmware on system not inside OS?

I am searching if it is possible to load vmware on system startup and choose which os to launch. like Windows, linux, debian etc.
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Which hard drive should one install the OS on for the best program run time performance? (SSD or SATA) Does it matter?

I have just build a new computer and I acquired a SSD(64gb) for faster read/write performance. I also have a much larger SATA drive. I was wondering if putting the operating system on one or the other ...
3
votes
1answer
221 views

Windows Upgrade vs Full Install

I'm in the process of purchasing a Netbook for use while traveling. The included OS is XP, however, I would like to upgrade(?) to Windows 7. My question: Does a Windows Upgrade have the same ...
2
votes
2answers
73 views

Program in place of the OS

How can I run a program in place of an OS ? I mean is it possible for me to replace the OS with a custom made program which says "Hello World" as soon as the Hardware starts ?
2
votes
2answers
4k views

Change the system partition in Windows XP

I attached two hard disks (Disk 1 and Disk 2) to an old computer system while installing Windows XP. Disk 1 is IDE and Disk 2 is SATA. I wanted to install Windows XP on Disk 1. Disk 2 was meant for ...
2
votes
3answers
13k views

Windows Kernel Name\Version?

Mac OS X has the Darwin 10.6.0 Kernel, and Ubuntu has the Linux 2.6 Kernel, so in Windows what is it called?
2
votes
2answers
146 views

Can a browser only render fonts installed on the system?

For example - I see lot many different fonts on webpages. Does the fact that I am able to view them mean that they all are installed on my system? I do not think so. Then, how does my browser render ...
2
votes
1answer
4k views

Installing Multiple OS on external hard drive

I have only 200Gb of hard disk space on my laptop. But I want to be able to boot multiple OS on it. With the use of an external hard drive. I prefer to install: Ubuntu 10.04 Linux Mint Windows XP ...
2
votes
2answers
556 views

How can I have a multi-bootable USB KEY that has installers for many different OS's?

I own 4 different computers which I often shuffle the primary OS's around on. I specifically use Windows 7 Enterprise (work laptop) Windows 7 Ultimate (my primary desktop) Windows XP (my old laptop) ...
2
votes
6answers
954 views

Confused between 32 bit OS and 64 bit OS

I have 32 bit Windows Xp on my machine now i want to install Windows 7 64 bit. Can i install it? My machine is 3-4 years old. Does the bits of OS has anything to do with hardware? Or it's just a ...
2
votes
6answers
479 views

Virtualization of existing installation

My question is: Is it possible to open in Virtualization solution (Virtual-Box, or any other) an installed OS (not the host one of course? Example: I have Windows Vista in one partition, and I have ...
1
vote
2answers
240 views

Does the OS exploit multiple cores

I know that more cores isn't always better and that most applications are single threaded however does the OS make use of the additional cores? For example, assume an application such as a dictionary ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Can I install standard drivers in a windows 7 macbook?

Can I simple format the macbook pro HD and install windows 7 then use the bootcamp drivers inside the macos dvd? Does Windows 7 installation in a mac use the same drivers as a standard PC (I mean ...
1
vote
1answer
861 views

How could I install Linux to the hard drive of a different computer (one that won't boot from cd)

I have a really old Dell laptop that is beyond slow with its current WinXP installation. I want to make it usable again by installing a Linux distro (such as Xubuntu) but there is one big problem: It ...