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

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How to map host PCI device to virtualbox?

In a virtual box it is possible to map host's USB device. But is it not possible to map host's PCI device to guest system? How is it possible to connect (map) a PCI device to guest OS? Our host ...
7
votes
2answers
486 views

How are page files stored on hard drives?

Just as RAM is divided into frames, the logical address space is divided into pages and the secondary storage into blocks of the same size. Pages are very small in size, 4 kB or so, and are swapped ...
7
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4answers
108k views

An operating system wasn't found

When I boot my computer, it boots fine. When I restart it though, I get the following error: An operating system wasn't found. Try disconnecting any drives that don't contain an operating system. ...
7
votes
1answer
3k views

Install Chromium OS, but not from a USB

How can I install Chromium OS on my PC? I do not mean in a virtual machine, but actually a dual boot. I know you can boot from a USB, but that is not what I'm looking for. I really want to install ...
7
votes
4answers
3k views

Windows 8 PC added to trusted list but still thinks it's untrusted

I just upgraded both my PCs to Windows 8 x64 and I went through the process to add my PCs to the trusted list on Windows Live. Both computers appear on the list in my account settings online, but ...
6
votes
4answers
2k 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?
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votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Calculating bits of RAM

Consider I have 30-bit RAM to calculate its size: 2^30 = 1073741824 / 10^9 = 1GB What if I had for example 512 MB RAM is there formula to convert it to n-bit ? this is might be noob question but I'm ...
6
votes
3answers
87k views

What is the exact command to restart a Redhat linux system?

I am new in linux. I want to know the exact command to restart a red hat linux server 6.3. and it has to start network drivers etc. I am using VPN to connect to remote machine using VNC. Can anyone ...
6
votes
4answers
198 views

What is the reasoning for hidden files in operating systems?

On every operating system I have used (Ubuntu, Fedora, Windows, and Mac OS X), there has been a standard for hidden files. Initially I thought that this feature was simply to hide some files from ...
6
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4answers
25k views

Memory limits in 16, 32 and 64 bit systems

The theoretical memory limits in 16, 32 and 64 bit machines are as follows: 16 bit = 65, 536 bytes (64 Kilobytes) 32 bit = 4, 294, 967, 295 bytes (4 Gigabytes) 64 bit = 18, 446, 744, 073, 709, 551, ...
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3answers
16k views

Scheduling algorithm used in Windows 7

What is the scheduling algorithm used in Windows 7?
6
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6answers
4k views

What does etc stand for/mean?

In most (all?) *nix systems there's a directory named /etc, what does etc stand for?
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Is there a Firefox extension that prevents websites from detecting what operating system you're using?

Is there a Firefox extension that prevents websites from detecting what operating system you're using? Also, if there isn't a plugin, is it possible to write one? I know I can disable websites from ...
6
votes
2answers
167 views

Buttons on my Ubuntu Machine

All of my buttons on any kind of popup window don't seem to work that great with my mouse, I sometimes have to press enter on my keyboard after clicking, I hear that there is a fix for this out there ...
6
votes
4answers
5k views

Can I copy my operating-system on an USB-stick to use it in the go?

I'm tired of configuring my system and all applications for different computers (work, home, laptop, ...). Can I copy my system on an USB-stick and boot from it? What are the pitfalls in doing so and ...
6
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2answers
2k views

Installing Windows 8 pro on a built PC

I'm planning on building my own PC with the help of a friend, and after reading through this article, it seems that I need to purchase a System Builder licence. Does this mean that I should not buy ...
6
votes
3answers
8k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
161 views

How do non-realtime OSes capture audio without dropouts when sample rates are so high?

If I plug a line or USB microphone into my PC, I can record audio at 44.1kHz. That's one sample of audio about every 23 microseconds. The audio wave must be sampled and played back precisely or it ...
6
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4answers
1k views

Where can I download previous versions of Microsoft Operating Systems?

Like Windows ME, Windows 98, Windows NT and others. I want to test and compare operating systems for my satisfaction of learning new things.
6
votes
1answer
7k views

Who loads the BIOS in RAM during computer bootstrap

When the computer starts up, the code in BIOS is executed first. However, how is the code in BIOS loaded into the RAM for execution ? I have referred to this question - Is BIOS read from the BIOS ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Mouse double-click min interval

This is the second mouse dying on me because of a poor switch ! Under most operating systems there is a option to set the max time interval in which two mouse clicks are processed as on double click. ...
6
votes
5answers
82k views

How to Extend primary partition(/dev/sda1) in linux?

Im having a problem, my primary partition is running out of space. Due to this, I can't access linux machine remotely (through vncserver). I have another drive (/dev/sdb) having much more free space. ...
6
votes
1answer
14k views

How do preferred and alternate or multiple DNS servers work?

I was considering adding 8.8.8.8 to the end of my adapter's list of DNS servers as a backup in case everything fails, when it occurred to me that I don't really know how secondary and tertiary DNS ...
6
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1answer
3k views

Theoretically possible to run two operating systems simultaneously?

A friend of mine asked a question that got me thinking. Is it possible (theoretically, I assume it hasn't been done) to run two operating systems simultaneously on the same computer? Not in the sense ...
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votes
3answers
2k views

Kernel and User mode distinguishing

Who is responsible for determining that the process is in the Kernel mode or User mode? I know kernel knows which process is belong to what space, but how the CPU determines that? I mean should CPU be ...
6
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2answers
196 views

What does BeOS have to offer to todays users? [closed]

The operating system BeOS was in active development between 1995 and 2001. POSIX compatible while not being unix based it was optimized for working with digital media. Does this operating system ...
6
votes
2answers
11k views

Platform vs operating system

I have been using the term platform and operating system to mean the same until now. For example: Windows and MAC are two platforms or operating systems. When it comes to different versions of windows ...
6
votes
1answer
295 views

Possible to Boot install OS (Ubuntu/Windows 7) from hard drive folders/partition?

So I've been installing OSes from USB for sometime. Now when I am using Ubuntu mainly with Windows sometimes, I wanted to have a way to have multiple OS installers in 1 USB or even internal hard drive....
6
votes
2answers
16k views

2GB limit on 32bit operating systems

Does the 2GB limit on 32-bit operating systems mean that each process can only access 2GB of memory or that all processes together can only use 2GB of the physical memory in total? So, is the 2GB ...
6
votes
2answers
24k 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 windows.microsoft....
6
votes
2answers
2k views

How long will a USB key with an OS installed on it last? [closed]

I've heard numerous times that installing an OS on a USB key is a bad thing to do, as USBs typically have a certain number of writes before dying, and installing an OS on it will wear it out (unless ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Current operating systems for an 80286 PC [closed]

I just managed to resurrect an old 80286/10MHz PC with 2 MB of RAM that had died from an expired PSU capacitor. I am looking for an operating system that could run on that hardware. Preferably ...
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votes
9answers
2k views

Running Linux inside Windows XP, ie no dual booting

What are the best options that allow running a Linux distribution, such as Ubuntu inside Windows XP, i.e. within a window? By "best" I mean quick startup time, low memory requirement, good graphical ...
5
votes
4answers
6k views

Is there a free version of Red-Hat Linux for home desktops?

Is there a free edition of Red-Hat for home desktops?
5
votes
4answers
3k views

Which Linux distribution is Google Chrome OS based on?

I'm interested to know which Linux distribution the upcoming Google Chrome operating system will be based on. Does anyone know?
5
votes
3answers
767 views

Why can't computers boot instantly?

Computers have been around for quite some time. So what is stopping us from making computers boot instantly like regular home appliances and other devices? Is it even possible? I know there is ...
5
votes
3answers
392 views

How does operating system software maintains time clocks?

This may sound a bit less relevant but I couldn't think of a better place to ask this question. Now consider this situation, you install an OS on your system, set the timezone and time, do some stuff ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Windows NT after Windows 9x

Windows NT 4.0 was the last "NT"-labeled operating system, but the NT naming convention is still used - 5.0, 6.0, 10.0, etc. Mike Meyers says Windows 2000 was the first step toward changing this ...
5
votes
6answers
519 views

Why 32bits OSs can't address more than 3.2/3.2 gb of memory?

Don't know if this is the right place to ask this question. I've been reading that 32bit OSs (like the Ubuntu i'm running right now) can't adress more than 3.2gb or 3.3gb of RAM memory. I remember ...
5
votes
1answer
833 views

Why is the system partition C:\? [duplicate]

How come that the system partition is C:\ and not A:\ or B:\? I know A:\ was used for floppy drives, but why not use B:\ then? And why was floppy drives used as A:\ as if it was more important than ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the meaning of those numbers in the second column after typing “ls -l”?

drwxr-xr-x. 2 root root 4096 Jun 29 16:44 db drwxr-xr-x. 2 root root 4096 Jun 29 16:44 djproject -rwxr-xr-x. 1 root root 38 Jun 29 16:44 index.html drwxr-xr-x. 2 root root 4096 Jun 29 16:44 jobs -...
5
votes
9answers
80k views

How to Install Windows XP over Windows 7?

I have a Dell laptop that came pre-installed with Windows 7. When I try to install Windows XP on it, Windows 7 does not allow me to. I don't want a dual boot system, I just want Windows XP on my ...
5
votes
6answers
326 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 ...
5
votes
6answers
21k views

Is it necessary to reinstall your OS after adding more RAM?

I know my question today is subjective but I feel it requires some debate to once and for all put this myth to bed. I've heard some myths and I'm not sure if it's true or false, but basically, the ...
5
votes
4answers
6k views

Understanding “Flat memory model” and “Segmented memory model”

I am trying to understand Flat memory model and Segmented memory model. Are Flat memory model and Segmented memory model determined by CPU architecture or OS or both? Or are they not determined by ...
5
votes
1answer
7k views

Maximum number of processes in Windows XP, Vista and 7

How many processes can Windows support at the same time? This question is nothing to do with parellel processing of any sort. Processes can be running, waiting in the queue, sleeping etc,
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votes
5answers
1k views

Why do modern pre-emptive multitasking OSs hang when the CPU is loaded?

This is an open-ended question, with many possible answers, but perhaps there's one big thing I'm overlooking. If not, perhaps this question should be community wiki. I don't use other OSs often ...
5
votes
11answers
5k views

What is the oldest Windows operating system to run on a modern (2007-2009) computer? [closed]

As I'm soon wiping my computer clean to install Windows 7, I had an idea of trying out some older operating systems on new hardware to see how the user experience is (especially regarding boot time ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Difference between SIZE and SIZE ON DISK on a pc? Why is SIZE ON DISK always greater? [duplicate]

I created a simple text file. I saw its size. it was 0 bytes. Then i entered alphabet 'a' and checked the size of it. IT says: Size : 1 bytes Size on disk: 4.00 KB(4096 bytes) What is the ...