Cornflake wrote:Inherent instability of XP? What exactly are you referring to? (Just curious...).
I mean that XP is particularly prone to degrading over time, through some sort of degenerative process that can cause a need to reinstall it after a certain number of months, with no need for any malware attack to provoke it.
This is because XP was a bit of a rush job, and used the Windows 2000 code base instead of having its own code base -- and one of the *features* of this OS is that it attempts to continue working in cases of normal I/O failure. This is a good feature to have in a server Windows version ; in a client version though such as XP, the fact that Windows does not fail after I/O errors leads to situations where you can very easily start running a damaged XP installation leading to further I/O errors that it never informs you about until one day something vital gets broken. This is PARTICULARLY annoying where you may be getting hard drive I/O issues from some simple bad hardwire connection like cable damage or cable not plugged in correctly that XP can easily fail to be informative about.
Windows 95/98/Me and Windows Vista/W7 do not include this feature, and although 95/98/Me and (in some unusual cases Vista) are more likely to BSOD than XP (W98 and Me particularly), they are in fact much better than XP at protecting their own core OS stability.
Having said that, if you run XP on rock solid hardware and do not have any significant hardware-based I/O failures, AND you have a rock solid electrical system, then XP will appear to have far greater stability and will likely avoid these inherent instability issues.
W95 and W7 are the most stable client Windows versions Microsoft has ever developed BTW, and it is a HUGE acheivement that W7 can be favorably compared to W95 in this respect.
Cornflake wrote:If you ask me, I feel any recent Windows OS has about the same instability factor; did I tell you about the bug in Vista that caused a BSoD when you hibernated with WMP minimized, and upon resume you would BSoD if you attempted to maximize it from the taskbar? Before it was patched, it happened to me several times.
I think I vaguely remember that one
--- Vista suffered quite a lot due to the fact that the WDDM drivers model is so much more complex than its predecessor, so that for 12-18 months after Vista went on sale, you very often had to run it with shoddy, half-baked drivers often being just quickly adapted from drivers written for another Windows version.
It was a laugh !!
Anyways back on topic. I don't think this necessarily means that there's a deeper windows issue... Just a few weeks ago, the command prompt stopped recognizing some commands (like chkdsk, defrag, etc) and it turned out some program modified my environment variables and changed my system root
The scary thing is, it was a program I Installed and not a malicious script!
Not all malware is deliberately malicious you know, some of it is just so very poorly written that it damages Windows -- think Norton/Symantec for instance
But honestly, if these deep system variables have been messed about with, then you cannot discount the possibility that your Windows installation may therefore have some deep damage that has been done to it. Some software installation packages can overwrite some absolutely vital Registry entries, with no possibility of restoring them to their initial states. Norton 360 is the worst example of this that I can think of on the spur of the moment, but Symantec are NOT the only culprits out there ...