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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189
votes
19answers
39k views

32-bit vs. 64-bit systems

What are the differences between 32-bit and 64-bit systems? If you have used both of them, what kind of sharp differences have you experienced? Would it be a problem to use 32-bit programs on 64-...
64
votes
3answers
111k views

How can I reinstall Windows 7 if I lost my installation DVD? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Where do I download Windows 7 (legally from Microsoft)? I have lost my Windows 7 installation DVD, but I do have the license key. How can I get a Windows 7 DVD? Can I ...
33
votes
6answers
34k views

Why can't a 64 bit OS run a 16 bit application?

Why is it that: a 32-bit OS, when installed on a 64-bit CPU, can run old 16-bit applications, but if you install a 64-bit OS it can't run those applications directly and need some sort of emulation ...
63
votes
6answers
24k views

Using UDF on a USB flash drive

After failing to copy a file bigger than 4G to my 8G USB flash drive, I formatted it as ext3. While this is working fine for me so far, it will cause problems if I want to use it to copy files to ...
8
votes
6answers
11k views

How to install Ubuntu, Windows XP and Windows 7 from scratch as triple-boot system

I'm currently running Windows XP, but have ordered Windows 7. I want to keep Windows XP on a separate partition, and install Ubuntu as well. In which order should I install the OSs, and is there ...
32
votes
5answers
103k views

What would happen if I take my hard drive out of my current PC and put it in a new PC?

Basically, I want to get a new PC, but I have so many software/games installed on my current hard drive, that I don't want to waste the time to re-install/re-configure. Would it work if I just take ...
9
votes
6answers
13k views

Windows OS on external hard drive

Is it possible to install Windows OS to plug and play storage devices such as external hard drives, HDD enclosures (with SATA hard drives), USB flashdrives and the likes? What OS's? And if it's ...
20
votes
7answers
91k views

What is the maximum number of partitions that can be made on a hard drive?

What is the maximum number of partitions we can make on hard disk in Windows? If it is limited to some particular number, why can we assign all the letters C through Z to drives? If it is a special ...
17
votes
4answers
75k views

Can a 32 bit OS run in a 64 bit processor?

What's the difference between 32 bit OS and 64 bit OS? Can a 32 bit OS run in a 64 bit processor?
6
votes
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 ...
50
votes
3answers
91k views

How can I upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8 and keep my files and applications?

I want to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8. How can I do this while keeping all of my files in-tact? Is it possible to retain all of my applications and user settings, too?
35
votes
7answers
10k views

Other benefits of 64-bit OS apart from memory expansion?

I'm trying to convince somebody of the benefits of switching to a 64-bit OS but I'm having a hard time finding arguments other than "you can use more than 3GB RAM". Are there any other clearly-...
12
votes
5answers
14k views

Does low disk space affect SSD performance?

I was wondering if having less than 5-10GB of free space on an SSD would affect performance. Is it specific to SSD or is it more of an operating system aspect? For example, on an Intel X-25 G2 that ...
50
votes
19answers
50k views

Is it still necessary to shut down computers?

Nowadays with our modern operating systems, is it necessary to fully shutdown computers instead of choosing to stand-by or hibernate computers (desktops and laptops)? Would there be any side-effects ...
39
votes
10answers
3k views

Should I install 64-bit versions of operating systems?

With the release of Windows 7 coming up, 64-bit operating systems have caught my attention. What are the main advantages and disadvantages of installing 64-bit Windows 7? What type of compatibility ...
14
votes
5answers
5k views

What is the difference between 64-bit and 32-bit Operating systems? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: 32-bit vs. 64-bit systems I know that there are 2 types of OSs, 64 bit and 32 bit What is the main differences between them? And if I am buying a new laptop, which one ...
6
votes
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 ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

External hard drive how to format it?

I just bought a hard drive of 500GB that I want to use on Mac OS X and GNU/Linux but be able to use some file on Windows. Basically I have to deal with FAT32 (That doesn't support file over 4GB), ...
1
vote
5answers
4k views

Legally downgrade Windows Vista Home OEM license?

Last year I bought a laptop that included Windows Vista Home Premium, OEM version. As I bought it for my linux work and am not fond of Vista, I would like to replace it by Windows XP or make a Virtual ...
66
votes
6answers
28k views

Does Windows still rely on MS-DOS?

I am just about to start an OS course and as an Apple user I am not very familiar with the underlying details of Windows OS. I was wondering, is MS DOS still used with Windows running on top or is ...
47
votes
11answers
21k views

What is the relationship between Unix, Linux, Ubuntu, Debian and Android?

What is the relationship between Unix, Linux, Ubuntu, and Debian? I suspect they are all Operating Systems that are based upon one another - similar to how Windows is based on DOS. Is my suspicion ...
26
votes
3answers
48k views

What's the difference between an Application, Process, and Services?

How are these fundamentally different "things" on Windows? Aren't all running things Processes? It seems that every Application has an associated process that shuts it down if it is shut down. ...
88
votes
4answers
7k views

How does the computer know that the PC was not properly shut down?

Actually, this question struck me because of power cuts in my house. When there is a power cut, there is a sudden loss of power from the computer. How does the computer know that the shutdown was ...
12
votes
4answers
7k 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 ...
22
votes
3answers
7k views

What are the technical differences between Windows Vista and Windows 7?

I'm interested in finding an unabridged technical manual documenting all of the differences between the two operating systems. In Tanenbaum's latest edition of Modern Operating Systems (3rd Edition), ...
10
votes
5answers
10k views

How to safely delete stuff from %SystemDrive%\Windows\Installer? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is it safe to delete from C:\Windows\Installer? Not Duplicate: The link mentioned above talks about Windows XP. I am talking about Windows 7. The behavior of the ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

What happens when you install > 4GB of RAM in a computer with a 32-Bit OS?

So I'm a programmer and I'm not a complete idiot so I know exactly why you can't access memory where you can't have pointers. But I've never tried this and I don't think I ever will because it seems ...
3
votes
2answers
592 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) ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Windows Recovery Console - forgot password

I upgraded to Windows XP SP3, which immediately "broke" the laptop - it never booted with SP3 on it. I put in the Windows XP install disk I had originally used to set up the laptop, and it ran for a ...
72
votes
12answers
18k views

Does every OS need RAM?

Is there an OS which can be used without RAM, specifically the kind I can create a bootable pendrive from and use it in the computer? This gets awkward, since booting is essentially loading OS in RAM....
31
votes
7answers
7k views

How to make VIM settings computer-dependent in .vimrc?

I share my VIM configuration file between several computers. However, I want some settings to be specific for certain computers. For example, font sizes on the high-res laptop should be different to ...
41
votes
4answers
4k views

How computers display raw, low-level text and graphics

My ever-growing interest in computers is making me ask deeper questions, that we don't seem to have to ask anymore. Our computers, at boot, as far as I understand it, are in text mode, in which a ...
18
votes
2answers
21k views

A Dark Theme for Windows 8

Is there any way for me to use Windows 8 in a dark environment? For a long time I had headaches that I couldn't fid their cause. Now, I'm using a dark visual style for my Windows 7 and since then, I ...
13
votes
4answers
25k views

How do I know my laptop is 64-bit compatible?

I recently plan to buy a new laptop to run a 64-bit OS, but a friend told me that my current laptop is already 64-bit. How can I verify if my laptop is ready to load a 64-bit OS or not? Here is the ...
8
votes
6answers
13k views

Windows 7: Should I Install 64-bit or 32-bit Version? (x64 vs x86)

Deciding which Windows 7 version to install can be a difficult decision and can really limit what you can do with your system. Do you have any practical hints which could help decide which version to ...
6
votes
3answers
85k 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 ...
16
votes
7answers
4k views

Why does Windows not recognize files inside Linux partitions?

I dual booted my Windows XP, installing Linux Mint. I found out that when using Linux Mint, I could see and open files installed on Windows XP, but when using Windows XP, I can't see and open files ...
15
votes
3answers
66k views

Should I install my operating system on my SSD or HDD?

I'm currently deciding whether to install my Operating System on my SSD (solid state drive) or HD (hard drive). Will I be having programs on the HDD and the OS on the SSD or vice verca? Which will ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Running Operating System from memory

Assuming SSD's are extremely prone to faliure how economical would it be to load an OS into main memory and run it from there? I can think I can deal with a few obvious drawbacks (I've survived ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Connecting to host OS database from guest OS VirtualBox virtual machine

I’m using Pentaho BI server in a CentOS VirtualBox machine, and now I want to connect it to an SQL Server database that I am running in my Windows host OS (localhost). Is there a simple way to do ...
1
vote
4answers
1k views

How should i setup my PC partition?

I want to clear out my PC and setup the partitions. Right now i have it as XP, Win-7, Vista, XP/Test/Spare I notice my PC is pretty good at virtualization, at least virtualizing linux. I also rarely ...
10
votes
6answers
3k views

What is the difference between Unix and Linux? [duplicate]

I want to know what the actual difference between Unix and Linux is. Do they share the same kernel? Is Linux built on Unix? Do programs written for Linux work on Unix and vice-versa?
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. ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

How to create bootable USB flash drive with more than one installation O.S.? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to make a multiboot USB key? What I want to do is to get Windows 7 installation (both x64 + x86) XP installation SP3 HBCD All together in 1 USB flash drive. Is ...
3
votes
1answer
166 views

Problems with uninstallation of windows 8

I installed windows 8's developer preview version dual boot with win 7 ultimate. I put my win 8's partition to 11 GB (almost), but now when I try to uninstall the win 8 it dont allow me to uninstall ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I find out if my computer's hardware is compatible with Ubuntu?

I'm going to switch OS. From Windows 7 to Linux (Ubuntu, I think). Problem is that I'm not sure about my computer's hardware. Will it be suitable and there will be working drivers for it? For example, ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

What does the 'bit' mean in an OS

I know there are 32/64 bit OS in the market. Q1-> But what does this bit mean actually ? Q2-> What is the lowest bit OS and highest bit OS ?
2
votes
5answers
2k views

Do I need more RAM for programming if I switch to a 64 Bit OS?

Given that today (for performance reasons?) variables are usually aligned to the "bit-width" (I wanted to use "word-width" here, but on x86 a "word" is still 16 bits right?) of the processor, would ...
1
vote
1answer
42k views

How to delete the other Windows Operating System when I have two

I have two Windows 7, one in drive C and other in drive D. I use the one in drive D. I want to remove the one present in drive C, to find more free disk space. But I cannot delete the Windows folder ...
0
votes
1answer
491 views

Windows 8.1 Factory Reset w/ Upgraded SSD and OS on that new SSD [closed]

Why I am doing this: I download the wrong graphics card driver update and now my graphics card has gone haywire. After trying several things with NVIDIA, including installing the right driver, and ...