On the Longevity and Stability of Windows Boxes

In college part of my job was a system administrator running a combination of Linux (Slackware) and Windows servers. What I learned back then is that if you only install what you need, Windows machines can be just stable as anything else. The uptime of my Windows servers was only limited by how often security patches were released. It’s the garbage that we install onto our Windows, OSX, Android… devices that make them less stable.

My home theater PC is due for an upgrade. It still works fine, but the processor and video card can barely keep up Amazon and other streaming services’ encoding as video codecs continuously grow in computational intensity. It’s still running the original install of Windows 7. Windows 10 removed Windows Media Center so I never upgraded. The primary hard drive currently has 69918 hours of power-on time under its belt; that’s almost 8 years. I got pretty lucky with the drives to be honest.

The only real physical maintenance I have done is remove one noisy fan and clean out the air filter once every couple of months. Moving parts tend to die first. Moving parts die faster when they’re clogged with dust. Dust also clog heatsinks eventually causing the CPU to overheat.

So that’s two recommendations for today:
1. Don’t install software that you don’t need.
2. Keep the dust out.

There are many more but I’ll save those for another post.