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Jean David,
I think you should test your Windows PC for some hardware fault or reinstall the Windows software. Windows 95 has not crashed once since I bought my latest PC almost a year ago. The most unstable element on my computer is Netscape Navigator which produces a GPF a few times a week. Otherwise the machine is rock solid. And don't presume I'm a Microsoft bigot. I manage a Unix System Administration group for a living, and Windows NT is The Enemy.


Before I ever thought of going to Linux (having worked in a department at Bell Labs supporting about 10 large Unix systems running on VAX-11/780's, I did not want to be my own sysadm), I had my machine tested by a very competant hardware shop. They ran all the usual tests, and it passed them just fine. They ran cache and memory tests 24 hours a day for a week, and disk drive tests (I had everything backed up, so they could read and write every block on the disk drive). This did not help at all. I initially ran Windows 95 that was current when I bought the machine (early August 1996) and upgraded it to Service Pack 2 at some point. The errors changed superficially, but to no avail. I changed the cpu chip from a 120MHz Pentium to a 166MHz Pentium and that did not help either. I replaced the mother board (which got me a 512Kbyte cache instead of a 256KByte cache and a more up-to-date BIOS), and that may have helped slightly, but if so, so slightly as to make little difference. They put in yet a newer version of Windows 95 (I think the last one before Windows 98 came out). That runs a little differently, but no better.

I had them do all those tests again (another week without a machine) some months later when someone at the Motley Fool suggested hardware problems, and still no errors found. With Linux, no problems. If anything, Linux runs the hardware harder than does Windows 95. What should I test? I have run at least 3 versions of Windows 95, reinstalled each several times. I have replaced a lot of hardware. There are no spikes on the output of the power supply that can be seen on an oscilloscope... .

BTY, my Netscape 4.07, rarely does GPF's except on some sites with bad Java applets (or whatever they are). And on Linux, Netscape 4.5 is even more reliable than 4.07 is on Windows. I have not bothered to upgrade the Netscape on Window95, since I seldom use it there.
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