just brew it! wrote:
Yep, my experience with changing hardware platforms with an existing Linux install has always been smoother than Windows. No idea why. I'd expect it to be the other way around.
Yes, other than the already mentioned Redhat/Fedora initrd issue, hardware swaps on Linux systems have always gone very smoothly for me as well. It surprised me too, the first couple of times. It doesn't surprise me any more.
The bundled drivers on modern distros seem to be very good at dealing with most desktop (and laptop!) hardware, as long as the hardware is not too bleeding edge.
Just as supporting info to the point: My current Gentoo install on my Q9450 is the exact same installation I did on my Athlon64 way back when. It has now lived on two different generations of Athlon64 (754 and 940) later three or four generations of Opteron, then back to 939 for more A64, then over to LGA775 for some Prescott action, then back to 939, then back to Opterons, then over to Core2, then my quad, now my new quad.
At no point did it ever give me any grief. I can't begin to count the number of Windows installs I've done in the same period of time.
Somewhat tangentially, I'm really starting to believe that MS designs Windows to cause it's own bit rot. If you look over the big picture, you'll see that the things that cause an install to become flaky are things home users do, not things corporate guys do; upgrade/sidegrade hardware, install/remove large number of programs. It's not evidence, but it would make a lot of sense. MS keeps you re-imaging Windows regularly so that you eventually just get a new machine, since it's not a lot more jarring. The hardware makers win, and none of the supporting companies give a rat's crap about your data. This way *YOU* re-image and wipe before they are even asked to look at it. Also, as noted, being fragile to simple hardware swaps makes Windows resistant to simple backup/restore style piracy.