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View Full Version : Windows Users: How Often Are You Forced To Reboot?



Johnny Appleseed
15th September 2005, 11:46 PM
Mac users love to skite about their uptime, about how they only restart for software updates. But is their smugness justified? Is it possible for PC users to go weeks, or even months, without a restart?

Please, only Windows XP users, just to keep it fair!

Bart Smastard
16th September 2005, 12:00 AM
I voted "daily" because lately the el crappo Dell laptop work gave me gets ye ol' blue screen o death every time I start it up. After powering down, giving it a bit of time to compose itself, I reboot and if I'm lucky it'll work.

This laptop had a fresh install of Xp onto it about a month ago. The hard drive was full-formatted prior to installing the OS. The problems began after SP2 was installed.

Reminds me why I switched to Mac at home.

tranp
16th September 2005, 12:01 AM
I had an uptime of over one month when I used to keep my XP machine on 24/7. I used it for web browsing, 3d games etc.. This was about three years ago though, before all of them mainstream security exploits became widespread.

That said, OS X is more stable and doesn't 'feel' like it needs to be reboot unless required.

Oh, yeah... only ever had problems with SP2, I still use SP1 on the Toshiba below.

forgie
16th September 2005, 02:21 AM
I'm only FORCED to restart due to OS wierdness when I do one of the following:
Use bittorrent (this has a habit of doing funny things to mem allocation....)
Try to force my DVD burner to play a badly written DVD

Hmm come to think of it, I haven't had a single bluescreen in XP on my current computer. My dell laptop (inspiron 8200 circa 2003) needs restarting quite often if I try to use standby (sleep), due to shitty BIOS support for proper sleep behaviour, and it's given me a few bluescreens in its time.

Then again I've crashed OSX in my first 30 mins using it.... I was trying to be crafty and rip something from a scratched DVD using a shell command IIRC......

Bart Smastard
16th September 2005, 02:33 PM
Originally posted by forgie@Sep 16 2005, 02:21 AM
My dell laptop (inspiron 8200 circa 2003) needs restarting quite often if I try to use standby (sleep), due to shitty BIOS support for proper sleep behaviour, and it's given me a few bluescreens in its time.
Seems Dell haven't rectified that problem. I think mine doesn't like waking from hibenation.

jerrah
16th September 2005, 02:50 PM
I haven't bluescreened my windows desktop in years and runs for months between reboots. I only really reboot because i feel like it - not because it's playing up.

No significant mac problems either.

I recommend macs to uni students because their windows machines are always so awful...
Uni students don't seem to be aware about updates (Mac or Windows) let alone antivirus. It really amazes me.

Captain Stathi
16th September 2005, 03:08 PM
My Dell Inspiron 9300 & T22 laptop hardly ever, this does not include shutting the system down or hibernating. Desktop hardly ever except for power downs when I am gone for extended periods or if I'm dual booting between OS/2 or Linux. The Mac has never been a problem either, I'm usually able to recover from a hung process by killing it.

On-Site-Tec
16th September 2005, 03:43 PM
I think we need an option in between Hourly and Daily.

I voted daily. Not usually becuase i reboot to fix a problem, but i get problems with using XP all day and by the end of it i just get sick of it, give up and power down.

Still basically the same as rebooting :)

Matt.

Drek
16th September 2005, 04:37 PM
My old Dell Dimension (Pentium III vintage) gets rebooted just as often as my Powerbook G4- basically, when Windows Update/Software Update tells me to. :)

I think Windows XP Pro is pretty darn stable; I haven't had any major problems with it since upgrading from WinME when XP first hit the shelves. That stability is possibly due to paying the Norton Tax every year, though.

D

sikosis
16th September 2005, 04:42 PM
every second day ... but I think I got an uptime of 14 days once and the system started to behave funny ;)

zac
16th September 2005, 04:46 PM
I have an uptime of 46 days with a 400mhz powerbook G4 on tiger. A testament to apple methinks.

geektechnu
16th September 2005, 04:53 PM
I haven't been *forced* to restart my PC in months.
It sits in standby when I'm not using it. I shutdown/restart once every few days as a sort of maintenance routine. Occasionally badly programmed software might hang - I've had that happen as often on my PC as I have on my mac.

I believe nearly all Windows instability comes from not keeping things ship-shape. Where there's no smoke... (not literally of course - if smoke was coming out of your computer, you've got major problems).

Of course, I agree that service packs can be problematic - mostly due to the wide range of PC hardware it needs to be compatible with. I myself have had SP1 cause USB2 problems. After some research, it turns out NEC (chipset manufacturer) acknowledges that it's their problem, but has no plans to fix it.

I'm sure some mac users here have had some pretty annoying/serious crashes, no? I've Kernel Panics a couple of times, and Safari would consistently crash on closing before I last did a software update (which fixed the problem).

Byrd
16th September 2005, 04:55 PM
Apart from overclocking my PC until it bleeds - only then do i need to restart my PC. But while it's a 2650Mhz Athlon with 1GB DDR 400 RAM, it still continues to choke copying files or multitasking anything substantial.

Contrast this to my iBook at a mere 600Mhz - it doesn't choke copying files and the system does not become unresponsive unless I'm really pushing it, which is rare.

JB

MidnightMan
16th September 2005, 05:10 PM
I bought an Acer laptop a few months ago for my wife's business and that must be rebooted daily because it doesn't like to be woken up from sleep. I was wondering why it does this (I am only and accountant, not and IT expert) and a couple of you have mentioned the bios with waking issues so maybe that's it with this PC too.

It also has trouble shutting down!!
Sometimes it also has trouble starting up (from being shut down) in that the boot up nearly finishes and then this dark blue screen comes up full of writing and before you get a chance to read it the PC starts to reboot again. One day, it went through that process for half an hour before it stabilised.

The PC is only used for MS Word, e-mail, QuickBooks, Internet (with Firefox) to only a handful of sites and it is only a few months old. It has AVG ant-virus free and Sygate personal firewall and Spy-bot (so no viruses or spyware etc as far as I can tell).

Some people explain away the problems with PC's by saying it is completely the user's fault and that they must be abusing their PC's. Like a car that is never serviced or is thrashed, it will run poorly over time.

But this PC has not been abused, and I have had heaps of trouble with it.

My previous desktop PC's (which I don't own anymore) were never this much trouble.

tranp
16th September 2005, 05:42 PM
Originally posted by MidnightMan@Sep 16 2005, 05:10 PM
I bought an Acer laptop a few months ago for my wife's business and that must be rebooted daily because it doesn't like to be woken up from sleep. I was wondering why it does this (I am only and accountant, not and IT expert) and a couple of you have mentioned the bios with waking issues so maybe that's it with this PC too.

It also has trouble shutting down!!
Sometimes it also has trouble starting up (from being shut down) in that the boot up nearly finishes and then this dark blue screen comes up full of writing and before you get a chance to read it the PC starts to reboot again. One day, it went through that process for half an hour before it stabilised.

The PC is only used for MS Word, e-mail, QuickBooks, Internet (with Firefox) to only a handful of sites and it is only a few months old. It has AVG ant-virus free and Sygate personal firewall and Spy-bot (so no viruses or spyware etc as far as I can tell).

Some people explain away the problems with PC's by saying it is completely the user's fault and that they must be abusing their PC's. Like a car that is never serviced or is thrashed, it will run poorly over time.

But this PC has not been abused, and I have had heaps of trouble with it.

My previous desktop PC's (which I don't own anymore) were never this much trouble.
Is there a lot of factory Acer 'junk' installed? If so, I'd recommend that you format and do a clean install of XP and all required applications. You will probably notice an improvement in performance too.

BTW - do you like being an accountant?

MidnightMan
16th September 2005, 06:16 PM
Is there a lot of factory Acer 'junk' installed? If so, I'd recommend that you format and do a clean install of XP and all required applications. You will probably notice an improvement in performance too.

Yes there is some Acer stuff on there. I have considered re-installing, but I only have the discs with XP that came with the laptop. I have read that the version of XP on these discs is not the same as the install that comes with the PC. Also, when I bought the PC, the tech guy said that the XP discs are only a 'disc image' as if to imply that it is inferior in some way. I am not sure if this is really true. But that has meant that I am reluctant to re-install. I guess the way the PC is performing what have I got to lose.


BTW - do you like being an accountant?

I don't mind it. I originally trained as a research chemist some 10 years ago and I'd still rather be doing that. But there were no jobs out there when I graduated. After a while I settled on accounting.

I think if I was doing 'typical' accounting work, ie number crunching, I would go stir crazy, but I am lucky in my current job that I do a lot of consulting work (tax mainly, but also business development and succession planning) and that I work in a firm where the conditions are very good. I get paid overtime or TOIL for the extra hours I work. I doubt any other accounting firm in Australia does that.

Most accounting firms drive their staff like machines in factories, wanting them to produce output as quickly and as cheaply as possible. They also rely on staff doing lots of extra hours in their own time. But where I am we are encouraged to think about what we are doing and take the time to do things properly. My colleagues are also very friendly and we treat each other with respect. I have worked for one of the Big 4 and so I know what it's like at the other end of the scale and I know where I'd rather be.

Anyhow, its a living and I am very lucky in many ways.

Lucas
16th September 2005, 06:46 PM
I use XP Pro Media Center on a HP machine and its brilliant. Having said that I have only installed one program on it in 4 months.

Currawong
16th September 2005, 06:48 PM
I found that if I installed 2k or XP on a bog standard Intel chipset Netvista or similar, such as the ones mass-installed at major corporations and designed to work with everything from '95 to XP, that they'll stay up indefinitely if you just use them for email and web and never open, shut or install anything. I got to 17 days on one my wife used to use.

In the same manner, our iBook 500 got to 97, then 115 days respectively between reboots just being put to sleep at night.

There's something to be said for basic, solid hardware + basic software installs.

AnthoMac
16th September 2005, 06:55 PM
I have a digital tv card in my computer. It it crashes, it usually doesnt work properly upon second launching unless I restart or log off-on again. And if I schedule the computer to automatically hibernate and wake again, usually for TV, it usually hangs, resulting in another restart.

On average I restart once a day though.

It is an aging 2002 AMD computer (with GeForce5200, 768MB SDRAM and WinXP sp2) which i plan to 'replace' with a PowerBook some day.

[edited for spelling]

1Eevee1
16th September 2005, 07:27 PM
Twice a day. Been like that for the last 6 months. If I reinstall, I can't go on the net since XP doesn't officially support my modem.

geektechnu
16th September 2005, 10:52 PM
Originally posted by MidnightMan@Sep 16 2005, 05:40 PM
But this PC has not been abused, and I have had heaps of trouble with it...

...I have read that the version of XP on these discs is not the same as the install that comes with the PC. Also, when I bought the PC, the tech guy said that the XP discs are only a 'disc image' as if to imply that it is inferior in some way.
Pre-installed Acer software? You might not have done anything, but lucky for you, Acer have pre-abused your machine to save you the trouble.

The XP disc provided by Acer sounds like a system restore disc that's just a copy of the default setup. That means that you can't actually do a clean install, because it just reloads all of the old software and settings at the same time too.

Often laptop companies have legitimate reasons for doing this - highly specific hardware drivers. But Acer makes all of these available on their support site as individual downloads. I'm sure your experience would be somewhat improved if you installed from real XP discs and selectively installed drivers yourself.

I recently reinstalled XP on an Acer laptop for a family friend. I would say the result could be called *better than new*.

LCGuy
16th September 2005, 11:14 PM
I usually reboot my PC once a week, sometimes more, sometimes less, but most of the time it gets rebooted sometime around every Friday/Saturday/Sunday.