What's the Best OS for Data Storage and Stability?

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I received the following email the other day from a chat regular who goes by the handle of Woomis:

Yesterday, I was consulting a client about OS choices. If storage failure rate was 0%… What OS would you trust to store your most important documents, photos, keepsakes and otherwise? Diving even further into that thought, you realize that you must understand there are other factors involved that whether one is better than the other and why. But truly, I ask you the same question: Although you’ve switched to Mac for the time being, what OS and its myriad of features would you trust to store and use your most precious of data? I see these kids in your IRC chat talking about how “cool” Linux is. I agree: if I had to choose between a Server2003 or FC8 Dedicated serve… it would be Linux for sure. These kids are dazzled by Compiz Fusion and their lowered expectations of XP, but seriously there is the cool factor and the usability factor. For you is OS X just a fad? I doubt it, but please as in the words as some of your newest chatters, Linux Rulez! Why don’t you use it? I say OS X is the most stable: for it’s journaled file system, kernel, support and life expectancy. That’s what I use, that’s what I feel comfortable storing my data on and keeping it safe and operational.

If you ask me what the best operating system is, I will most likely not answer you. I cannot possibly tell you what the best operating system would be. There are a lot of factors that come into play. You will likely have a different answer a year from now that what you will have now, as to what the best operating system is for you. This is due to changes in software and hardware, and how they work together in your current system of choice.

I personally use OS X and Windows both on a daily basis, and I do have a Linux machine, as well. Most people want one thing, and they want the best thing. Take a look at the total cost of ownership. Look at everything that will happen once you have purchased your system. Now, look at the entire experience. Don’t only look at your computer as a piece of hardware. It’s also a piece of software inside a piece of hardware, which is run through various services. A wide variety of things work together to create your computing experience. You have to look for as much of 100% as you can get, in terms of things you want from your computer.


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130 thoughts on “What's the Best OS for Data Storage and Stability?”

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  4. I think that the best place to store your data on any place where ZFS file system is used which are used in Open Solaris. ZFS in my eyes provides the best way to keep your hard drive safe. But if there was a 0% chance of data loss then I would store it on OS X because of its great apps for data management cough*** iTunes, iPhoto

  5. The best OS really depends on what you’re willing to put into your computer experience. If you want to just get down to business and do things at ease then Windows is best for you. If you want something that’s not as straight for but is more secure then Mac and Linux might be what you’re looking for. Always ask yourself this question. How secure is that OS if you don’t understand it? Really it shouldn’t be about the eye candy or “fads” but rather it should be about how well you comprehend how the OS works.

  6. Great advice, theres really differant os for differant people
    Mac os X is great but i dont see many like average users gettin a mac cause they dont do much on a computer and macs are slightly pricey for them
    But Power users i have seen on a mac
    No matter what system you are on you are always at risk of some kind of failure
    I think in the end it comes down to personal opinion

  7. it depends on how you want to use your data.

    win2k3 when coupled with active directory will allow you to set up permissions based on an active directory logon. You can create a DFS share so that you can tie multiple shares (which could be physically separate HDDs or just folders) into a single, easy to navigate share.
    You can use EFS to encrypt the data as well as employing a quota system to share out capacity between multiple users and you can use many other features within active directory to provide different services that utilise your storage.

    At home I have a couple of HDD’s in my win2k3 domain controller as well as a thecus YES box that runs integrated linux and acts as a pure nas box using an intel xscale based system to keep the energy use at a minimum.

    For most home users, a linux based system is more than enough. So, if you have an old box kicking around, then you can easily throw some HDD’s into it and install freenas (a stripped down linux distro) to turn it into a cheap file server, but be careful as it might chew up loads of energy.

    But in all honesty, win2k3 is more than adequate for file serving and I haven’t had any problems in the 5 years we have been using it as our front end server for our SAN.
    If you are a business, then I’d highly recommend using win2k3 because you will prolly have active directory running.. for the home, you won’t be needing to apply much in the way of permissions so linux is just as capable and doesn’t come with the expensive license fee.

  8. I agree chris. You cant really answer what the “Best” OS is. It depends on the User. If the User is a Hardcore Computer Gamer than Windows is his OS. If your not a Gamer than You have to Choose. Windows, OS X, or 1 of many Linux Distro’s. I personally use Vista Home Premium and I like very much. It works well. I also like OS X and I want a Mac too. Its just depends on what you use your computer for and what you like.

  9. About five years ago, I used Windows solely. It was until I started tinkering with Linux, I started to like it. As time went on, I came to love Linux, and the whole open source evolution.

    Buck then I only had a couple of Pentium 2 400 MHz(6 GB hard drive), later I got a Pentium 4 2Ghz, and wasn’t until 6 months ago I got a laptop. Now I use Linux solely.

  10. I’ve never owned a Mac so I don’t know what would happen in the event of a crash, but I can’t imagine a crash at all in OS X. Mac seems very very stable and resilient to any problems. I have had a crash on an XP machine however and it was pretty devastating; all my animations that took hours to render were gone. Wanna know what I was doing? Trying to uninstall Flash Player! Oh it sucked! So as for Linux I’m not really sure. I use it but only occasionally. I only have a few files on it either way and I’ve never had problems. So for reliability Mac, for compatibility Windows, and for free Linux.

  11. Interesting. I have had this Dell Inspiron 1150 for the last four years. It is soon to be replaced through no fault of its own with a new MacBook, but for now it houses my life. Not to say my ‘life’ isn’t backed up properly, but I trust old Delly and XP with all my files– my ‘life’. Enough said.

  12. I disagree with the author of the quoted text above… OS X is not better because it has a journaled file system or a good kernel or any other things because if this are the things that make OS X better then Linux/Unix would be the best because all those things that OS X has are taken and inherited from Unix, Darwin to be exact was the Unix “distro” that Apple used as the base for OS X.

    Linux also has journalism in its ext3, and jet to come ext4 file systems, and uses the Linux Kernel that is, in my opinion very good. So those things make OS X and Unix/Linux systems the same.

  13. I have systems running Windows Vista Ultimate, Windows XP Professional, Windows HP Home, Mac OS X Leopard, Mac OS X Tiger, Ubuntu 7.10, and Ubuntu 8.04 and in my personal opinion, I feel that Mac OS X Leopard is the best OS for data storage and stability. Relying on only built-in features, Mac OS X Leopard has the best backup feature; Time Machine. Windows Vista Ultimate comes in a distant second place with Shadow Copies, but that requires System Restore to be activated, and also requires that you have access to the operating system to restore a backup. Time Machine in Mac OS X automatically does hourly backups of everything on an external hard drive. This means that if your internal hard drive crashes, you data is relatively safe and secure and capable of being restored.

    As Chris has stated several times, “no OS is perfect.” With the current state of hardware that is affordable and available to the general public, Mac OS X Leopard is where it is at.

  14. Im gonna go with linux and the main reason is because it has the least amount of malware and viruses made for its OS’s. Therefore, it is the safest place to store your data.

  15. Dear Mister Pirillo,

    Hmmm….. I’m a little out of my league here when it comes to discussing the best operating system.

    However, would you please allow me to give you my opinion on the world’s worst operating system?

    My parents currently own a Pentium III machine. (Gag). As if that weren’t bad enough, they also have Windows ME (Millennium Edition) on it. (Vomits).

    For those of you who have never used Windows ME before, just imagine what it would be like if an elephant kicked you in the groin, knocked you down, lit you on fire and then defecated on you. (Seriously, that’s pretty much what it’s like).

    I do agree with you that the “Time Machine” feature of OS X is an ultra-important one. A lot of times when I attempt to use the backup function in Windows, it fails me. (Not good).

    Oh, and when it comes to using the system restore feature on my parents machine, well…. let’s just say that we don’t even bother to try.

    Living with mom,
    James Gia

  16. For my money, although I have often considered investing in a Linux machine for the shear raw ability to customize to my little deviant heart’s content (a feet which one can only accomplish in Windows by the use of much off market and often risky software), I find myself still at the mercy of Microsoft due to the need for various accessibility options. Please, if you or any of your viewers have any alternatives in that vein from other OS, I would welcome word of it.

  17. hi chris,

    the OS that i trust right now would have to be Windows XP because Vista just doesnt cut it for me with all the bugs it still has and i have used Mac OS X and i would like to use it but everyone in the town i live only ever uses windows…so XP i think is the best at the moment…
    the windows i have in my house right now are
    1 Windows 95 Desktop
    1 Windows Media Center Desktop
    2 Windows XP Home Laptop
    2 Windows Vista Laptops

    all the computers are connected to the internet but not the windows 95 because i think it would not be able to cope with broad band and i wouldnt be able to put a anti-virus program on it and it would just crash…the XP and Media center computers copr very well and havent had a problem with them yet..i have up graded my RAM and it is alot faster but the Media Center is slow with only 512MB ram and the Media Center i would have to say is the computer i would trust the most…i trust it with the 56.8GB of videos i have on there so i think The Media Center…thanks

  18. well… i don’t no much about different operating systems and their properties but it seems that it depends on the peoples choice based on their experiences… for a newbie like me, i haven’t used any OS only but windows operating systems… anyways nothing to write much so i’ll end up here…

  19. well… i don’t no much about different operating systems and their properties but it seems that it depends on the peoples choice based on their experiences… for a newbie like me, i haven’t used any OS only but windows operating systems… anyways nothing to write much so i’ll end up here… (i mistyped my email on my first comment)…

  20. Hello,

    I have found Microsoft Windows’ NTFS file system to very reliable for storing data on desktop systems, however, if I were building a SAN or other type of networked storage device, I would not automatically choose Microsoft Windows as the operating system or NTFS as the file system. While they do have the edge on ease of use because of their familiarity to me, I would also need to look at TCO (e.g., support and maintenance costs), compatibility with other operating systems and the lifecycle/roadmap for future versions of the operating system and hardware running it.

    There are quite a few storage systems that are based on BSD and Linux, and I would definitely include those in my evaluation.


    Aryeh Goretsky

  21. the only OSes i’ve ever tried are Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows XP, Mandriva Linux, and a little bit of Vista.. but i have to say that of all these OSes(?), i’ve had no problems with Windows XP in terms of data storage. i’ve had my system for three years now and it didn’t fail me even once…

  22. I Like mac os x for organization of data, it is very easy to find things with spotlight, and also time machine is simple backup.

  23. i would have to say windows because thats what i always have used i can’t say mac osx because i’ve never used it but i can say that i would not use linux because personaly i don’t like it.so ya i would keep every thing important to me on windows xp for the moment anyway i won’t use vista yet!

  24. I still rely on old Xp, and i know there is a large crowd of people that will back me up on this. I personally do not like Vista because its just to different for me than Xp. Why not a Mac? Well their also way to different and wow money. I wish i knew more about linux because i honestly don’t know much.
    and i just got to the part in the video where Chris says if you’ve never changed your sad. And the only change I’ve made is from ’98 to Xp =P

  25. oh wow such a great vid. Every since started following you back in September of 2007 I have thought about running more than 1 OS. I’m currently running vista but i seriously though about getting an old machine and putting ubtuntu 8.04 on it. then getting a macbook. I mean come on why limit your self to windows or any other OS. Now you can tell that xp is being washed out. Companies have started mainstream work on vista products.

  26. I will make one comment reguarding OSX and file storage.

    OSX has “problems” accessing folders that contain large numbers of files.

    You will get a spinning pinwheel for a very long length of time of you open a folder that has thousands of files in it. On the MS side of the fence, it takes hundreds of thousands of files in a single folder before this starts to happen.

  27. Currently right now, Windows is the best for me. I do a little gaming when I have time, and I have a lot of apps that don’t run on the Mac. Also I enjoy building my own systems. Later on down the road I could eventually see myself getting a Mac, but its not for me right now. For stability I would have to say, Mac OS X. I know Vista is still unstable, but it is getting better. For data back up, I know Mac OS X has time machine, and I think that that is a great feature, that is baked into the OS. I know Windows have a backup feature but you have to do it manually. I know when I bought my external hard drive, it came with some back up software for Windows that I would say it pretty good. So know I have my computer backup, every morning at 9:00 when I am at school. So it works out good for me.

  28. Heres the thing time machine or internet/google docks. it will work and it will stay safe.

  29. In my opinion there is no best operating system for data storage. If you value your data keep a copy locally and at least one copy on an external drive, if it’s extremely important to you keep one external backed up but not normally used, that way you can always go back to get it if something should happen.

    No matter what operating system you choose to run there is that risk of drive failure. Assuming drive fail rates are 0. Well I don’t think it matters, Vista, XP, OS X Tiger, OS X Leopard, Linux this, Linux that, Ubuntu here, ALL of these will keep your data safe with a zero percent chance of drive failure.

    Have a good one.

  30. Easiest and fastest way to backup data is RAID+Mirror matrix! Its done at hardware level not software, your OS its not slowed down and you can use even 8 hard drives running in parallel if the data is really that important!

  31. II can see why you were a teacher. This was like taking a class ( I took notes) As far as changing my mind about OS systems I really want to get into the Mac world. I don’t really know much about PC’s but I have had this HP desk top for two years now and all I get is problems with it. I don’t have much money so when I send it I want to spend it on things that are high quality and if something does happen to it I can at least get good if not great customer service. Also, I want to enjoy my experience in using it. With this pc all the joy is GONE! hopefully with a Mac I can get some back.

  32. Perhaps it’s better to think about which anti-virus software you will buy instead of which OS you will use… If you are doubting between 2 OS, choose for the one that’s the most easiest one to work with (for you)…

  33. i personally wish that i could just scrap all of my windows machines at my house but i my parents dont know how to use macs and they dont want to buy all new computers. i just think for what i do i prefer mac os X rather that Vista or XP

  34. hmm i like Windows, because its good for like ALMOST everything, haha but if ur into photography, music, or like design stuff, get a Mac, its better.
    i personally want to get a mac =)

  35. Personally i really like windows xp profestional, im a kid and ive used it on my laptop for 2ish years and ive had no problems with it and i have a windows vista black and glass theme on it so it looks nice too. I have nothing against macs it’s just that my main computer is windows, we got a couple macs in the house though.

  36. There is no best OS. You are totally right Chris.

    However if you are talking about data storage I would use Linux hands down. I love how it works, the simplicity, the “openness”, and just the general way the UI works.

    I use Vista on a regular basis, and hate the way it backs up your data. Hate it. I don’t like it when System Restore is automatically turned on. I was freaked out when I was just loosing Gigs of Hard Drive space every hour because of this annoying feature.

    Also the OS X time machine is a great . Wow. It’s just another example of how Apple ingeniously inter greats software and hardware in one beautiful package.

  37. I have found that both linux and unix are both quite reliable and my website runs on a umix server

  38. I agree that’s it not just the OS itself that will add stability to one’s system, it is also the stability of the software and really durable hardware. also frequent back up sounds like a great way to stop worrying about stability issues. I know OSX has time machine, and my Windows machine has Norton 360, an anti virus program hat does auto backup.

  39. Yea Chris, I would have to see that I can’t really tell which one is best for data storage. I would probably just pick Linux since it is the least amount of money to use. But for stability I would probably choose Mac OS X but for all about relativeness to the real world I would have to choose windows basically just because 90% of people in the developed world knows how to use one. If you put a linux machine in front of my grandmother in Rhode Island she would turn it on and have no clue how to turn it off. But yes I would have to choose Windows XP, not Windows Vista.

  40. Yeah, theres no better OS for storage or stability, its up to YOU. Thanks for the blog post Chris

  41. lol yeah almost,
    but if ur into the techy stuff i think linux is awesome- specifically ubuntu
    i know, im about to get flamed and called a n00b for liking it

  42. You can get a PC that has the same specs as a Mac for a lower price. Macs used to be ahead of PCs but guess what? PCs caught up. (technically Macs are PC’s, but you catch my drift)

    Macs are no longer “better” at editing videos, images, etc..

  43. I don’t have much to say on this subject… just that the best OS is the OS that you feel most at home in while using, the one you can operate with ease… after all, if you can’t operate your operating system then it’s just a system.

  44. I love linux for stability. I made some quality Windows Vista, XP and Ubuntu video tutorials with tips, tweaks and hacks for you guys, check out my channel.


  45. I enjoy using Mac OS X, but i’d rather not trust important documents with it. It’s just not safe and reliable enough. I wouldn’t ever trust Windows to do such a job.

    I’d choose GNU/Linux for storing files. It’s also very stable and reliable. At least more reliable than OS X or Windows.

    I really like your show.

    – Johannes.

  46. even tho i use Windows and never touched or even smelled a Mac, i’d have to say Mac would be the choice. Windows is more known to be unstable. as far as i know of, i haven’t heard much about Mac’s crashing.

  47. I,ve never understood mac computers alot of computer buyers go for pcs because there easy to use macs are too hard

  48. I use XP and have a Linux (since I am a Linux admin at work) at home. I love that Linux has built-in software RAID1 and RAID5. I have two 160G IDE, two 160G SATA, and one 320G (and DVD R&W) in the box. I am running two RAID 5 software volume with the two SATAs and half the 320 and ther other half 320G with part of the two 160G IDEs. /boot is a RAID1 and 40G of each 160G IDE is RAID1 with LVM for the root files systems. A couple of months ago I lost one of the 160G disks but no data as RAID saved the day. If I have a dual core system I might just run XP in VMware since its data would then be on the RAID disks.

  49. Hard to say which OS is best. Their best in both their way.

    Personally i would recommend OS X. But that´s only because I have never used Linux or other OS´except for Windows. Which i don´t recommend. I don´t have numbers for how many time I´ve experienced pain killing bugs in Windows.

  50. Linux/Unix/BSD are best as far as I can tell.

    I’ve had my Linux server running for ages now, hasn’t crashed at all, and is pretty secure. And Mac OS is actually based off a unix/bsd kernel, which explains it’s stability. And if you want a desktop, I am running a Debian virtual machine with GNOME and it runs nice. I’m even configuring it to look like OS X. 😀
    But yeah, *nix and BSD OSes are your best bet in my opinion.

  51. Hey Chris,

    Fairly New View said i didn’t find this sooner..

    Anyway Just wanted to put in my two cents, I am a Windows Fan boy allways have been, but have really become Disappointed with there new OS Vista.. its a cool idea and all but when it comes down to it, do i really need all those little gadgets at the expence of down clocking my Computer.. I’ve gone back to XP which i believe that at this point in its life it has become the most Solid OS out

    anyone else having Down Clocking problems?

    New Fan

  52. I would have to say that Linux is the best file server. I’m sure you have got a taste of that by using the MacOS X UNIX based system

  53. Best OS…
    Agh I see this EVERY day in the world of #Chris.
    “Mac Or PC!” Well, I would have to agree. Depends all in you…
    Power users want something that can handle them, home users want something for their everyday documents and blah blah blah, the story continues.
    I use XP as of right now, since I wanted to do some tweaking, but if I didnt have to I would have kept Vista.
    use the OS that fits YOU is what i would say If i was asked that.

  54. First of, I’m kind of guy who came from an old-school, thus my habits and perception had not really changed drastically as far as OS and stable data storage are concerned. I don’t trust any OS. They will break no matter what. Either you use your computer or not. Something bad is bound to happen. I’ve used windows a lot (work and home), Linux for work (at some projects) and Mac to support my friends and relatives. I love games and I’m a windows programmer by profession. So i really have no choice to stick it out with windows. And being an old goat, the transition to really learn other new OS is a drag not to mention, it will cost me as well without having to see any return on investment. Meaning if i buy MAC which is really expensive in my opinion, i have only friends and relatives who asked for technical help and I dont charge them anything. I usually play around with their machine acting as if I know what I’m doing. In the process, I’m learning as well. I won’t recover that investment.

    I love games so Mac is not option. I’m not a music type guy or even i dont really collect picture or do desktop publishing. the way is see it. I can comparably do all those in windows. Output may be debatable.

    The bottom line is computers break i.e. desktop or server. Maybe OS wont but the hardware like hard drive will do. OS10 may be the best OS for backup as it does automatically like Chris said but what about the hardware. Hardware breaks. If you have family pictures/ music/ family videos that you treasure, back them up in DVD/Bluray AND in an external USB hard drive. I did not say OR… you have to do them on all devices. I have some pics.videos/music on PS3 on top of my desktop and laptop and server.

    Lastly when you do a backup, try restoring them and make sure that you can restore them. Some ppl backup but dont realize that something wrong with the backup, thus ending up losing everything.

  55. Wow that is great advice. Also if you really just want a computer that is fun and bussnius realated, you should probably go with a mac. I have my mac and it’s great including the iLife. I hope this helps someone.

  56. While I am far more comfortable in Windows(x) than linux, and do not view linux as ‘cool’ (I see a foot massage machine as ‘cool’ – I see in an OS its’ function) – I have to admit, if I had critical data to secure and ensure its health..I would go with linux. (I cannot comment on OSX from personal experience).

    Linux is well documented to be far more reliable and stable for long term. The community on the whole (collective between all distros) has built such an all encompassing knowledge base across the web-o-sphere, that it is often, if not almost always, easier to solve something on the rare occaisions that it does go dreadfully wrong. Having myself jumped through the hoops of windows support (from language barriers to scripted responses which only vaguely apply to what you are attempting to achieve in your call in the first place, to advice which ends up making things worse)-windows ‘support’ is often not half as educated as free, online linux instruction.

    I will continue to use windows day in and day out because of the development tendencies of software and workplace demands – but i will never be without a linux pc, at least a dual boot if not pure linux, within arms length at home, because when windows goes wrong – and it will – linux will still be there for you to do what needs done.

  57. i just tried out PCLinuxOS .Featuring ,KDE ,Open Office,Firefox ,Thunderbird Frostwire, Ktorrent, Amarok, Flash, Java JRE, Beryl 3D and much much more.
    works great at my PC.
    Opensource for the win

  58. YouTubeRobot.com today announces YouTube Robot 2.0, a tool that enables you to download video from YouTube.com onto your PC, convert it to various formats to watch it when you are on the road on mobile devices like mobile phone, iPod, iPhone, Pocket PC, PSP, or Zune.

    YouTube Robot allows you to search for videos using keywords or browse video by category, author, channel, language, tags, etc. When you find something noteworthy, you can preview the video right in YouTube Robot and then download it onto the hard disk drive. The speed, at which you will be downloading, is very high: up to 5 times faster than other software when you download a single file and up to 4 times faster when you download multiple files at a time.

    Manual download is not the only option with YouTube Robot. You may as well schedule the download and conversion tasks to be executed automatically, even when you are not around. Downloading is followed by conversion to the format of your choice and uploading videos to a mobile device (if needed). For example, you can plug in iPod, select the video, go to bed, and when you wake up next morning, your iPod will be ready to play new YouTube videos.

    Product page: 3w.youtuberobot.com
    Direct download link: 3w.youtuberobot.com/download/utuberobot.exe
    Company web-site: 3w.youtuberobot.com

  59. YouTubeRobot.com today announces YouTube Robot 2.0, a tool that enables you to download video from YouTube.com onto your PC, convert it to various formats to watch it when you are on the road on mobile devices like mobile phone, iPod, iPhone, Pocket PC, PSP, or Zune.

    YouTube Robot allows you to search for videos using keywords or browse video by category, author, channel, language, tags, etc. When you find something noteworthy, you can preview the video right in YouTube Robot and then download it onto the hard disk drive. The speed, at which you will be downloading, is very high: up to 5 times faster than other software when you download a single file and up to 4 times faster when you download multiple files at a time.

    Manual download is not the only option with YouTube Robot. You may as well schedule the download and conversion tasks to be executed automatically, even when you are not around. Downloading is followed by conversion to the format of your choice and uploading videos to a mobile device (if needed). For example, you can plug in iPod, select the video, go to bed, and when you wake up next morning, your iPod will be ready to play new YouTube videos.

    Product page: 3w.youtuberobot.com
    Direct download link: 3w.youtuberobot.com/download/utuberobot.exe
    Company web-site: 3w.youtuberobot.com

  60. Stability – well any OS will be stable if you have decent hardware. Windows runs fine if your hardware is good, say an IBM or dell system. Linux will run well on more or less any system, and will not take up too much hard disk space, provided you pick the right distro.

  61. I’ve seen that Linux and OSX is really stable. I haven’t had too many problems with XP stability. Always back up though. I like Windows because I have a lot of opensource software that works for me. Plus, I like pc gaming. Also, why are macs using intel chipsets now? Think about that.

  62. I definitely would trust linux as a way to know my stuff is backed up and secure. I have a dual booted PC, and have ubuntu installed on the second partition not for the effects of Compiz, or the “hacker” mentality I see many people reference, but because of its incredible usefulness. If my windows partition dies, or can’t boot I can boot into linux access all the files, back them up and then repair or re do the windows install. also for anyone who is a big fan of flickr and has tons of photos stored on there, yea its great that they are on the web and safe from PC crashes, but the web can run into trouble as well, so last time I booted into linux I set up linux to think flickr is a drive, allowing me to easily access and back up my flickr photos right from my desktop. Granted linux is a ways off from being mainstream, but even if you don’t plan on using it all that often alotting 10gbs of HD space to linux can be your best friend in the end.

  63. if it were a question of security and stability, i’d use debian as a server over windows any day. Wut server 2003 is so much more like “home” to me. i’ve been using windows ever since windows 3.1. I admit, the only reason i was drawn into linux was compiz fusion, but i soon realized that linux, is an operating system. compiz fusion, is not.

  64. I understand the whole concept of each OS serves its different purposes, and that there isn’t one rosetta stone. However, I work in a world of multiple OSes. I use Windows XP, 2003, and Linux at work, Vista at home (secondary machine) and OS X as a primary machine. For data storage purposes, I think the best (does not mean the perfect) choice is OS X with Time Machine. It’s one of the most effortless backup solutions I have ever dealt with and the fact that it has somewhat of a version control system so that not only the most recent backup is accessible to you. Now, I am sure there is software available for other systems, and with Linux you do have rsync and svn built in that could simulate the same process, but OS X just makes it easy to use and elegant (not to mention the nice eye candy). Not a mac fan boy, but I think OS X wins this one.

    Have a good one.

  65. Choosing the best, the right OS for you is very very hard to say, as i always say you never know which is the best if you never tried it and compared many different OS’s , it is like ice cream, my is vanilla , i can’t decide for you that vanilla is the best for you, you may like strawberry more but you will never know that you like strawberry ice-cream more if you never had it. Once i was like that too, i asked in community which monitor is the best, i asked that because i was unsure and i wanted to get a great monitor,afterward i got headache and was more unsure then ever, i got 1 millon different answers, not all have the same taste or preferences.
    At last i had to choose a monitor that majority said, it wasn’t much like 2 ½ votes, but the other option (monitor) might have been better.

  66. The best operating system out there for people is what works for the person. Someone may prefer Windows for gaming, whereas I don’t game so I prefer linux. Just like Chris Pirillo isn’t much into PC’s gaming so he used Mac OSX because it works for him. Now for storage and usage of operating system. If its just on the stand point of like for a external computer for just storage and not looking at using the operating system for actually using, I would say Linux. I just say that because most people have a old pc laying around somewhere that they can throw linux on to use it as storage. Since linux is free it just cost them the time it takes to set them up. Thanks for the video Chris Pirillo.

  67. I use Cobian Backup for my backups. It supports local and network backups, and has no restrictions on scheduling (which alot of shareware backup utilities do).

    And I can set it to run in low priority. Which is really great too.

  68. I switched to Linux from Vista in September last year. At the time I was actually liking Vista and thought I would just give Ubuntu a try for fun. Now I run Linux on both of my PCs since it is in my opinion, and for everything that I need, the best platform out there. I can’t imagine ever switching back (at least to Windows anyway).

  69. As far as stability goes, at the moment I would trust mac os. If it were import files and photos I would also use time machine on an external drive just in case. But like you said, a year from now that might be different.

  70. Linux wins hands down. You say if storage failure was 0% what would you choose? It is just logical to choose the cheapest one! Linux. I’m not claiming that it is super easy to get use to, but once you get it set up you never have any problems with it. At least I haven’t. So that is all for now. Nice article Chris.

  71. Well for file storage I have a server that runs a form of linux called FreeNAS its great and is ONLY for file storage. As far as stability I would trust OSX over windows and Linux over OSX. I only say this because I have both Linux and Windows servers. The linux server has an uptime of well over a year. The windows server however needs restarted every week. I wouldn’t know how well OSX is for uptime but I do know its more reliable than windows.

  72. i dont think i would put all my faith in the web but the google/you tube company is a company i could put trust in i like google but the os i am rinning is windows xp it works fine i am satisfied with xp i am not gonna go buy an upgrade for 200 dollars i will just get a new computer but thats just mo opinion im not an exterem gamer and i wish i had a mac but i dont want to pay 3000 dollars for a computer

  73. well… i don’t no much about different operating systems and their properties but it seems that it depends on the peoples choice based on their experiences… for a newbie like me, i haven’t used any OS only but windows operating systems… anyways nothing to write much so i’ll end up here…

  74. i run a private d2 realm on a windows 2003 server seems to hold all the data fine but kinda lags alittle cuz of the mass data it stores but i perfer my xp pro system i got seems to run just fine some times but needs reformat every 6months-year

  75. I think there could be a better os for safety or accountability I have no idea witch one it would be right now, I have only used windos xp and linux. There’s no way you could choose what would be better for anyone else tho. I would say the best place to store your stuff is on line but that isn’t really a os huh.

  76. In my experience and from what I have heard Linux would definitely make the better OS. Simply because of the inherent stability. Nice article.

  77. Why this guy can’t say it?

    The truth is that the best and most popular OSs for stability and data storage are Mac OS and Linux (Unix’s sons). We are talking about tested technology with several decades of experience (Unix started in 1969).

    Windows should not even be mentioned as an option here. Viruses, network vulnerability and system crashes can destroy your data!!!

    Go Linux or Mac OS, forget about Windows.

  78. @tracker
    If your windows server needs rebooting every week then I would reinstall the OS or check out your hardware because you definately have a problem with that system.

    My server at home is based on win2k3 (sp2) and stays up without any problems 24/7 while serving files, ad, dhcp, dns, web pages and running virtual machines.
    In fact, I had to shut it down for the first time in over a year because I was swapping out the old data hdd’s with newer and bigger hdd’s.

    Also, I would *always* go for hardware RAID, software RAID just isn’t worth the trouble and poor performance.

    In order to really make your data as secure as you can then a hardware RAID1 or RAID5 solution in addition to a regularly scheduled backup to either tape or to another physically seperate storage solution (either another RAID array or a couple of external hdd’s swapped out in rotation).

  79. I currently use Windows XP SP3 which has proved over time to be a trustworthy solution for an average user like myself but I’ve tried a few weeks ago Vista on my father’s new computer and it was a pleasant surprise – it worked just fine, with no hiccups.
    As for MAC OS X that I use at school on an iMac – that machinery just works and I had no issues with it.
    Choosing an OS for data storage and stability it’s dependent to one’s experience with computers, funds and the destination of that device. Personally I’ll stick with WinXP for a couple of weeks and then I’ll check back this post for some other opinions and then make my choice. 🙂

  80. Oh no… OS War. I hate os wars. For me, OS X does exactly what I want it to do. AND, I’m kinda stuck with OS X even if I didn’t like it (though I love it) because of the work I do. So, as far as storage goes, I have a network storage system (via xServe in the basement) as well as a few TB external HDD’s around the house, all of which are backuped and networked. In all, I have almost 10 TB worth of HDD space floating around the house. I’m good for a while! ;p

  81. I have Mac osx10 + WMware (Windows XP) its works 100% fine i love it i hade alot of fun with it but anyway XP on a mac WOW so so cool But like chris said He needs to ask u 300 qustions to know what OS you want like what are you going to do with it. And alot more ALOT!

  82. I’m a windows kid, I must admit. Since I was a younin’, I’ve loved looking out windows…oh wait, we’re talking about Windows, as in Microsoft. Honestly, I have very little experience with OS X or even Linux. So, in reality, I have a Windows kid. Since I’m not a hard core gamer or a successful buisness person, Windows is fine for me. It’s never crashed and in the 8 years we’ve owned this Dell machine, I’ve only reinstalled Windows once, and that was to fix an internal error. But no OS is 100% perfect for anything. Windows is highly suseptable to viruses, Macs can’t play some hardcore games, and I haven’t had much success getting anything to work in Linux thus far, but it’s only been a few days. Since none of the above are perfect, make backups. 😀

  83. Before coming to University in Edinburgh I knew little about Linux. Edinburgh opened my eyes to this huge community out there which I had no idea existed. The majority of the computers in the University operate on a highly controlled (and painfully slow) XP Enterprise. The Informatics department however run Fedaro! I’d had literally never used Linux before.
    And I’ve gotta say. Linux management of Data is far superior to Windows. I genuinely feel concerned when using the XP machines! I don’t know if it’s going to get past the next loading screen!
    For personal use I find OS X the best. I work a lot with multi media so often have large numbers of files flying about – but all of them essential as the next. But with Leopard back ups don’t even enter my mind. I know that if in the event of something going wrong everything is exactly how I left it.
    I find time machine is very intensive on storage though. I seem to be going through my back up hard drive like nothing else. What do people reckon is the best solution in terms of storage?

  84. When I store files, or anything for that matter, I don’t use my OS, I use the internet, I store them through my emails, and other sites, I don’t ever have to “waste” space on my OS to store something that I might RARELY use, (when I “store” something, it’s just some thing to “remember like a photo album”) and if I Needed to bring it back up, I don’t have to send a FILE to someone to see it, I can send them a more trusty link, that doesn’t use up space on their computer either. or if I’m using a different OS, I can guarantee the item will show up better though this process than worring about what file type will work.

  85. I’d say Vista x64, i have not had a BSOD, data lost, or any type of data destroying effects.

  86. Chris,

    I was just reading one of your other posts where you think that websites should ban older browsers and you even say that people should ditch Windows 98 and switch to XP. I’m paraphrasing by the way.

    Yet in the same breath you say that there is no such thing as the best OS in the world. You say that it is different for everyone, and what they need. Just the other day I was talking to a computer-phobic friend who still uses Windows 98 as his main operating system. The thing is Windows 98 is just fine for him. All he needs to do is type, email, and occasionally do research on the internet. So for him Windows 98 is his best OS. What is wrong with that? Just because he could be more vulnerable to viruses, and maybe cannot go on some websites or some websites will load slower on his computer rather than mine doesn’t mean that he needs to move to another OS. Sure it might be newer and faster, but how and what he uses it for will not change.

    Finally what do you guys (and/or girls) think about this? Is anyone still using Windows 98? How do you like it, and why are you using it?

  87. Operating system is not what determines data reliability in a world of a 100% failure rate. You would want a hard disk drive, because it has layers and the data doesn’t get vaporized in the case of electron charge state memory in the solid state industry. You would also not want a windows based file system such as fat32 or ntfs. Those filesystems’ mft and such gets corrrupted much more easily than the HFS+ (MAC) and EXT3 (linux) journaled file systems. XFS is very robust as well, and all of which are easy to rebuild. I would trust my data most with OSX and any distro of linux / unix.

  88. The type of work that you do decides really what OS you use. For video and photo editing, OS X. Spreadsheets and work, work –Windows. Servers- Linux. I personally like using OS X for storing all of my main files just because of the great photo and video stuff that Windows doesn’t have (or doesn’t do quite right).

  89. ” because its not just a piece of hard ware . it’s a piece of software, that is, in, the piece of hardware that is run with, you know, various services, outside of this particular area. So it’s software, hardware, service; it’s a variety of things that create this comprehensive experience. And if any part of that experience is broken, its just kind of an incomplete experience. You have to look for as much of 100% as you can get in terms of the things you want from your computer. ”


  90. For storage personally i have an extra 500gb drive which i keep all my stuff on. I have a couple of windows machines, an ubuntu machin and a macbook. I really don’t have very important data. I keep data online and on my local storage drive. So it will always depend on the individual.

  91. I wouldn’t trust Windows with any important files well thats my opinion any way because i have found Windows to be so unreliable with its blue screen of death and other hit-cups.Ubuntu on the other hand is a good operating system, I have had no problems with Ubuntu, the new release Hardy Heron is the best so far.Linux, Well i haven’t used Linux that much but it is still a good operating system And for Mac OS i have still to try.

  92. Honestly, I would personally go with Linux. I feel that it is the most secure OS I have used and I have used them all. The lack of viruses and malware for Linux makes it ideal for data storage. Though OS X is a keeper too, but personally I prefer Linux. Guess it does depend on opinion as well.

  93. i used windows since 3.1 and then last year i tried linux… what i liked about it was the speed and stability, what made me crazy was compatibility issues with hardware… i decided to buy a new computer and after doing some research online as well as talking to some people at work i decided to give macs a try. i bought a macbook and quickly became a fan. i now feel comfortable using os x, win xp (haven’t used vista much) and linux. no o/s is “best” – it’s best to be able to use any of them.

  94. I don’t think its necessarily the is the most important. I think that its just based more off of how you manage your data. If you don’t protect your computer, your data is in jeopardy no matter what os you are using. If I had to pick however, I would go with os x due to the lack of extreme amounts of viruses and other threats. Since you can get antivirus for it too, it would be my choice if I had to security store important data.

  95. I would trust Mac OS X the most. Now if only I had enough money to buy it. I also wish Apple would release the OS for Windows pcs. I’m thinking about hacking my computer to use OS X but it will not be as stable.

  96. I don’t necessarily believe it’s about OS, but more about the hardware your data is going to. Always have a duplicate, whether backing up religiously or running a RAID…it’s a must! It’s the time it’d be most inconvenient for you to lose data, that you will. Be prepared!

  97. I hate to say one operating system is better than the other, but I think everyone here can agree that Windows is not the operating system you are looking for. My opinion is a tie between Mac OS X and Linux. I personally do not find Linux as user-friendly. I would use Mac OS X if you know nothing about Linux.

    What distribution of Linux, I could not tell you, because the only flavor I Linux I have tried is Kubuntu, and that is supposed to be one of the more user-friendly distributions of Linux.

    The best way to make sure all your data is not lost suddenly is to back up! Most people do not (me included).

  98. I personally like using Windows and Mac OS X, I have never tried Linux, as the computer I wanted to put it on was too old the recognize the CD. For storage I always backup on separate drives. I agree with you, the OS you use all depends on the person you are.

  99. In my experience, Linux has been the most stable OS for me. It doesn’t take up much space as Windows, and it’s very easy to use. It’s open source and free, unlike the other OS’s! I would go with Linux if I didn’t have much space or RAM on my PC.

    I still prefer to use Windows though becaue I like the GUI and I’m used to it. A lot of software is also supported by Windows too, so I’m staying with Windows.

  100. Mac is surely not the best OS for Data storage because it very often has file copy failures when copying a file from one drive to another. But yes sure I1m a vista fan. My only tip is to store you important irreplaceable files on an external drive which is secure from viruses and so on.

  101. Its really tough to tell which OS is the Best. I have been using Windows for that, but lately had to change to Linux. I believe its mostly depend on User.

  102. About 6 years ago, I started to get the idea that Windows was the OS for me. Back then I played a lot more games than I do now, in fact, I don’t own any games right now because I don’t play any games. Anyway, recently (the past year or two) I’ve found that Mac OS X is better for what I do on the computer which is filmmaking, recording music, and designing web pages.

  103. That is a hard question, well i have used Windows most of my life and most of my life most of the time i’ve been using XP. I have no idea about other OS so i think XP is, it’s simple, easy to navigate and doesn’t take that much process power to work which i think is perfect for data storage right? and it’s fairly secure also, well of course you can improve the security.

  104. My primary OS is Mac OS X Leopard on a MacBook with two screens. My Mac has a Windows XP Virtual Machine thanks to VMware Fusion. I can’t say that OS X is better… it’s the Mac that runs better. The Hardware… PCs take a long time to boot (again depending on the hardware). But Macs are so much easier and I’m so happy I decided to switch. I ran Vista on my Mac once, it ran great! And I really want to do it again. I have Microsoft Office for Mac, which absolutely sucks. So if i ever use any kind of typing (other than IRC hehe), but I use Google docs at school so I can use it at home. Great video Chris. 🙂 Keep up the good work.

  105. Use whatever respective OS you want for your Operating System… and then Linux for a network attached storage device. Everyone’s happy. =)

  106. I am using Windows Xp Home Edition,and I am very pleased with it.I applied some tweaks for it and I didn’t have to reinstall it since long time ago

  107. I don’t have a clue what OS is the most stable but I don’t remember many crashes when I used DOS.

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