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This is what I want to know: If I run Ubuntu (say, 10.04) live from, say, a 4 Gigabyte usb stick (the mach I want to do it on have 3 gig ram), IF IT FREEZE LIKE IT HAS KEPT DOING WHILE INSTALLED TO Harddrive, and I have to shut it down by holding-down the on/off power-switch with my finger, would I have a way then to avoid the issues of damage to my computer's hardware? I do not care about some $24 memory stick. But I have 600 USD invested in my new laptop here. I am gonna probably wipe lucid lynx from its hdd partition, because it keeps freezing, and I have tried to shut down gracefully each time, with alt+sysrq+reisub, and many other commands. But I always end up, after minutes or an hour of searching for other commands on my old junker, back to shutting-down my new computer from power switch. My new mach. in question is a Toshiba satellite manufactured in 2010, Intel Pentium, 3 gig ram. Any intelligent answer to my query greatly appreciated. Thanks.
You don't have to worry about damaging hardware when you force the machine to turn off. The hardware can't tell the difference between a graceful shutdown and pulling the power cord. The potential for damage is with the file system structure. It is possible for data to be corrupted when the computer's power is interrupted with the operating system running. That data could be in the inodes which could result in files being lost or file contents being corrupted.
I think it is more interesting to consider how you could be experiencing this problem on two different machines. You should try to think about how your actions, whatever they may be, are causing the software to become unresponsive. Then you should consider not doing that any more.
Thank You so much for replying, Stress Junkie. I revere your experience and advice. I do not experience the freeze-up problem on my old junker, which only have karmic koala ('tu 9.10) on it. I had karmic running in the partition on my good/new computer too, and had no freeze problems. But I wanted an up-to-date distro. So I upgraded to Lucid. I immediately noticed it worked quicker, and the almost unhearable, weak audio it had given magically changed to wonderfully voluble sound. I was pleased. But after a few days, "Claire" (my pet name for my nice new machine) would occasionally freeze. No mouse or keyboard response, no graceful shutdown with "magic keys"/REISUB. Though I tried for sometime, every time it happened. (It has been about 4 times now. That's why I'm typing this from Windoze partition. I respect your experience. Still, I feel I want to search for a more elegant solution, at least for awhile. I guess I'm a "hung-up" personality. I just sort-of chafe at "make-do". And so many ppl online have practically SCREAMED at me for shutting-down Claire by holding-down the power button. I gonna play for time for awhile, I guess. I have posted this ? on other boards, too.