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Can ReactOS Cause Damage to Real Hardware?

Posted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 5:01 pm
by MugenFighter
Has any of the things in ReactOS been know to overwork or overuse real hardware to the point of damaging it? Or is there any damage to my hardware that ReactOS can cause if I install it directly on to it?

Re: Can ReactOS Cause Damage to Real Hardware?

Posted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 5:43 pm
by erkinalp
ReactOS disclaims all warranty whatsoever, as said by free software licenses used for ReactOS code. However, I can say that it is not designed to purposefully harm your computer.

Re: Can ReactOS Cause Damage to Real Hardware?

Posted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 5:53 pm
by MugenFighter
erkinalp wrote:ReactOS disclaims all warranty whatsoever, as said by free software licenses used for ReactOS code. However, I can say that it is not designed to purposefully harm your computer.
Okay thanks. I've seen that disclaimer on a bunch of software so I am not surprised. It is more of a one in a million shot for it to be harmful in most causes, but the companies like to protect themselves. Not saying it is the same here just my experience with software in general. But I don't see a reason why ReactOS developers would want to not fix bugs in their own software. Just the nature of open source Operating Systems I guess.

Re: Can ReactOS Cause Damage to Real Hardware?

Posted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 6:10 pm
by Pi_User5
The only real issue would be ReactOS on an SSD. :) ReactOS doesn't know how to handle an SSD ATM.

Re: Can ReactOS Cause Damage to Real Hardware?

Posted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 6:41 pm
by erkinalp
TRIM and a flash-friendly filesystem like JFFS will help you. Just wait a bit.

Re: Can ReactOS Cause Damage to Real Hardware?

Posted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 6:59 pm
by PurpleGurl
The only other scenario with and OS I can think of would be accidental commands that overwrite the BIOS or other firmware. That was a problem in Linux with one brand of CD writer. LG used some of the commands in a nonstandard way. There were likely Linux patches for dealing with this, but ultimately, LG became more conformant to industry standards.

There were also in the past computer viruses that attempted to write over the BIOS or the video firmware as a type of deliberate sabotage. A lot of boards came up with protections against this, including read-only jumpers, self-healing BIOS, the use of an encryption key, or multiple BIOS copies. It could be conceivable that an OS developer might not know what they are doing and accidentally overwrite firmware in some situations, but it is very unlikely.

On flash drives, ROS could do a number of things to improve the situation there. One I propose would be to provide a hybrid mode to where a SSD could be used for booting, while ushering most writes to a mechanical HDD. For instance, ROS could provide a tool to automatically move or assign paths, where the read-only and booting stuff are on the SSD, with all swap files, temp files, databases, etc., on the regular HDD. And it has little to do with what filesystem is used, but where things are placed. I mean, even with FAT, things can be done at the OS level to prevent unnecessary writes to SSD drives.

Re: Can ReactOS Cause Damage to Real Hardware?

Posted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 10:20 pm
by erkinalp
Flash memory provides an opportunity to optimise which si impossible on spinning media:Queued TRIM on delete.

Re: Can ReactOS Cause Damage to Real Hardware?

Posted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 12:29 pm
by Aeneas
It might sufficiently frustrate you so that you smash your machine? ;)

In earnest: for any practical purposes, ReactOS is harmless.

Re: Can ReactOS Cause Damage to Real Hardware?

Posted: Sat Oct 24, 2015 2:34 am
by PurpleGurl
On SSD, I'd like to see the next generation of SSD. There is memory in works that writes as fast as it reads (almost the speed of DRAM) and is nonvolatile. So it won't need a TRIM command. Plus, with the existing RAISE technology, very fast PCI-e drives could be possible (x4 or wider interface, generation 3, etc). They have some incredibly fast PCI-e drives now, but using RAISE as used now and faster NVRAM (and also more durable) would make them even better. IMHO, TRIM is just a hack. If the cells formatted faster or didn't need formatting it would be unnecessary. Plus the cells of flash memory can only be written to in their entirety, while I imagine the newer stuff could allow for individual bit manipulations, but I'm not sure there.

BTW, there were SSD drives in the 90's before flash memory was used. However, they used Static RAM and/or DRAM. They had a higher power drain and lower capacity than today's devices, and they had to be constantly energized. SRAM is essentially 4-6 transistors per cell, while DRAM is essentially a capacitor and and transistor per cell. In SRAM, current is needed to keep the transistors latched in whatever configuration (on or off), while DRAM requires charging the active capacitors every so often (multiple times a second).

The 2 ideas presented could make ROS better than Windows at handling such drives. One is to make things easier for those who design hybrid systems. The other is to automatically Trim during idle.

And back to the topic, no, ROS doesn't seek to deliberately harm machines.

Re: Can ReactOS Cause Damage to Real Hardware?

Posted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 10:13 pm
by Tobi
Of course ReactOS will never demage hardware intentionally. But you should keep in mind that this piece of software is an alpha stage operating system with full access to all the hardware components of the computer. There might be theoretical scenarios that some bug causes important data being overwritten. This can happen with any OS.

Remember:
http://www.pcworld.com/article/2026807/ ... ptops.html

It's most unprobable with Windows or MacOS since these OSses are developed and used by many people...

But even in Windows someone could damage things using the right software, eg. Speedfan to manipulate the fan control or CPU frequencies. You or could hook a 1989 14" VGA crt monitor to your Geforce and configure timings it won't will survive...

There are always possibilities to damage hardware using software.

A certain, but very low risk can't be avoided - in ReactOS, but also in other projects like Haiku, BSD, or Linux as the link above shows. Maybe the risk is higher in Haiku or ReactOS, since it's alpha software. But I play around with computers, different OSes and config tools since 1994, and never managed to damage my hardware using software. And I've also never heard that someone damaged his computer by just trying out a ReactOS build so far.

Re: Can ReactOS Cause Damage to Real Hardware?

Posted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 10:29 pm
by MugenFighter
Tobi wrote:Of course ReactOS will never demage hardware intentionally. But you should keep in mind that this piece of software is an alpha stage operating system with full access to all the hardware components of the computer. There might be theoretical scenarios that some bug causes important data being overwritten. This can happen with any OS.

Remember:
http://www.pcworld.com/article/2026807/ ... ptops.html

It's most unprobable with Windows or MacOS since these OSses are developed and used by many people...

But even in Windows someone could damage things using the right software, eg. Speedfan to manipulate the fan control or CPU frequencies. You or could hook a 1989 14" VGA crt monitor to your Geforce and configure timings it won't will survive...

There are always possibilities to damage hardware using software.

A certain, but very low risk can't be avoided - in ReactOS, but also in other projects like Haiku, BSD, or Linux as the link above shows. Maybe the risk is higher in Haiku or ReactOS, since it's alpha software. But I play around with computers, different OSes and config tools since 1994, and never managed to damage my hardware using software. And I've also never heard that someone damaged his computer by just trying out a ReactOS build so far.
I guess a better question would have been:
Is ReactOS likely to cause damage to real hardware?

But, I am guessing it isn't likely so far. Is that correct?

Edit: I see no reason to think my old laptop would be in danger. ReactOS seems just about as safe as any other OS, besides Windows or Mac OS X, but that is just because it is still in alpha stage and I'm going to hope that if it was discovered that hardware damage could be prevented by ReactOS that the developers would take action.

Re: Can ReactOS Cause Damage to Real Hardware?

Posted: Mon Oct 26, 2015 8:36 pm
by Jalmari
I remember someone telling about a case, where an US battleship sank because NT4 controlling it decided to divide nyt zero.

Re: Can ReactOS Cause Damage to Real Hardware?

Posted: Wed Oct 28, 2015 4:21 pm
by Swyter
It can corrupt your hard drive, erase your partitions and make you lose your data, and of course, overwrite the bootloader. That's mostly it.
Just don't plug-in any hard drive with sensitive information while ReactOS is running, use a separate disk to test it and voilĂ ; safe.

Same goes for pendrives and other kinds of writable storage. Stay safe, kids. You never know when the monster of file system driver instability strikes.

Re: Can ReactOS Cause Damage to Real Hardware?

Posted: Wed Oct 28, 2015 8:07 pm
by justincase
Swyter wrote:You never know when the monster of file system driver instability strikes.
Agreed.
I've actually had to deal with this on Windows a couple of times. Grrr...