What operating system should I switch to now that I’m sick of Windows and the BSOD?

Philip Lowery April 3, 2013

I recently encountered the blue screen of death about 6 times in a 48-hour period due to some sort of virus. For this reason I’m now trying to figure out which operating system to switch to that will last a bit longer. I have a year-old Acer Aspire 7750 with a quad-core Intel Core i5 processor, currently running Windows 7 with a 376GB capacity hard drive.

My brief is a free operating system, which I can download easily that’s easy to set up.

Any advice is appreciated greatly.

Editor’s Note: Question edited for readability.

  1. susendeep dutta
    April 29, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    The best,free to use and easy to setup OS for you would be Ubuntu 13.04 and Linux Mint.

  2. Réy Aétar
    April 21, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    what graphics and wireless adapter do u have?? if its supported in ubuntu go for it or else use windows 7 thats best for getting the work done for a normal user

  3. Carlos Ramirez
    April 9, 2013 at 12:32 am

    All depends what you want. If you want a fast, free operating system, try Ubuntu. Ubuntu is linux powered and is fast. It is mainly open source and a great thing about it is that you can basically tweak it however you want it to be. It is different but it is not impossible to learn. It does have many free alternatives to software that ar offered on the Windows OS. It is a great free operating system. Also since it is open source, it is strong against viruses because with the community that it has, people are able to send in patches on viruses and they get placed into updates so that everyone else can get them.

  4. Wamiq Ali
    April 8, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    Listen bro! You can switch to ubuntu but the problem is the productivity it will take time for you to find alternative on the ubuntu for the same work which you used to do on windows. I know most of the professional guys out there use ubuntu. I have also tried it many time but never found alternative for things like Internet Download Manager, Adobe Photoshop (though wine can help), Outlook 2013, VPN's, Many designing Softwares etc I use ultrabook at present with windows 8 and just got BSOD after I plugged in my internet USB because a new driver often causes the BSOD.

  5. Haoda Wang
    April 7, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    Getting a Linux distribution depends, really, on what your preferences and needs are. If you would like a very stable, though outdated OS, I would suggest Debian. If you are looking for ease of use, I would suggest Linux Mint. For productivity, using Fedora is the best. If you are into making your own distribution from scratch, I would recommend Arch Linux. Of course, the standard starter distribution, Ubuntu, is very good, while if you prefer a more Windows-like layout, Kubuntu or MEPIS will owrk for you.

  6. Dave Rimmer
    April 4, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Well you have been given some good advice as what to switch to, but you really need to try and find out just what caused this instead of writing Windows off. I have been using Windows now for 7/8 years and I can count on one hand how many BDODs I have had and I managed to rectify them as a BSOD is normaly caused by the user. Mine was a corrupted drivers.

  7. Uchitha Jayathissa
    April 4, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Tryout Ubuntu/Kubuntu........

  8. i0ni
    April 4, 2013 at 8:56 am

    Just use windows and a good antivirus. Also, don't download stuff that are unsafe.

  9. Jurmy Chris
    April 4, 2013 at 5:51 am

    First choice would be Linux, any version.

  10. Eucadio
    April 3, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    Linux Mint will be a great OS to try!! there are two flavors cinnamon and MATE

  11. dragonmouth
    April 3, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    If all you want is a relatively secure O/S to run applications on then go with Ubuntu or Mint. If you want to learn the Linux O/S, get antiX or siduction.

    Personally, I do not like Ubuntu or any of its derivatives (Mint, Zorin, etc.) precisely because they are too much like Windows in their approach to the user.

  12. Srinivasan J
    April 3, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    My choice would be ubuntu or mint. If you have a 1 to 4GB USB drive, you can easily install these on the USB drive and get a feel of both Ubuntu and Mint before installing the operating system on your harddisk. At the time of install on harddisk, you will be given choice to either over-write everything in your harddisk or you can keep your files safe too! But to be on the safer side, backup your harddisk before installing the OS in your harddisk.

  13. garva sharma
    April 3, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    you can use apples mac osx mountain lion

  14. yuitre_
    April 3, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    You could start with Ubuntu or PinguyOS. However, you might not like it if you've been using windows all this while.As Jan said, BSOD causing viruses are rare and a good security policy should be able to keep the pc safe from malware. You can use any OS in the world but without a backup you will still remain vulnerable to catastrophic system failures. If you go down the linux path, take my advice--backup, backup ,backup.
    Sh!t happens. Always. No matter what you're running.

  15. Marek S?owikowski
    April 3, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    As mentioned above, try Linux platform but what distribution? If you are Windows guy, you should try distro for Windows user - Zorin OS. You will be familiar with interface. System requirements are near the same as Windows so your PC will gandle it. Earlier mentioned distros are popular but users should learn new interfaces. If you like Mac OSX interface look at Pear OS. There is also another, very user-friendly distro - Pinguy OS. It is prepared by chinese programmers but has full english translation. Support of Pinguy is also good.
    In my opinion - try Pear OS. Instalation is easy. Write downloaded iso imato to USB stick with tool like Unetbootin and restart PC booting it from USB. You will be guided to do the rest. You can even try to use new system with Live CD image without installing.

  16. Harshit J
    April 3, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    Get Linux Mint. It is free and great.
    But you should instead find the right cause of blue screen on your laptop. Do a virus scan and try to find if you installed any new software or drivers after which the problem started. Even faulty RAM can cause a blue screen. Check it with the inbuilt RAM tester in Windows 7. You can search the instructions on Google. Use WhoCrashed software o find the faulty drivers.

  17. Vishal S
    April 3, 2013 at 10:24 am

    windows 8 zindabad

  18. Bruce Epper
    April 3, 2013 at 9:34 am

    The easiest version of Linux for most Windows users is probably LinuxMint as it has a large number of codecs installed by default and I have never had a problem with it detecting and properly utilizing the more recent hardware on the market (within abou 4 years). PCLinuxOS is better for older hardware (more than 5 years) as the maintainers wait longer before removing support for legacy hardware.

    I also have to agree with Jan regarding your perception of your BSOD. Most times, a BSOD is not caused by a virus but by a driver or hardware problem. If it is a hardware issue, you will have problems no matter what OS you are using. And if it was a virus that caused the problem, it is more of a user issue than an OS issue since an alert user can nearly always avoid malware even without antivirus software by remaining aware of the risks and avoiding risky online (and offline) behavior. Running antivirus software and keeping it up to date makes it even easier on the user to remain free of most of the crap floating around the web.

  19. ha14
    April 3, 2013 at 8:27 am

    Download & Test Run Every Linux OS You Want With Virtualboxes

    The Best Of Linux Software

  20. Jan Fritsch
    April 3, 2013 at 8:00 am

    A virus causing a blue screen is pretty rare. Those were more common over 2-3 years ago. If you are 100% sure that it was a virus and not some hardware fault then I would have rather looked into why or how you got that virus than determining Windows as the problem.

    Thoughtless usage can get a virus on any system including Linux or Mac OS X. Regardless of it being a hardware, software or malware caused issue those operating systems won't give you a blue screen with a message you can google but mostly a kernel panic and a huge system log file to search through.

    Anyway, popular choices include Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Fedora, PC Linux OS, etc.

    • Dany Bouffard
      April 3, 2013 at 2:56 pm

      Also make sure its not a prank too, there is a screensaver that looks like a Blue Screen.

  21. Alan Wade
    April 3, 2013 at 7:55 am

    You could try:
    Ubuntu: http://www.ubuntu.com/
    PinguyOS: http://pinguyos.com/
    JoliCloud: http://www.jolicloud.com/

  22. Chinmay Sarupria
    April 3, 2013 at 7:19 am

    You should install Linux. It's open source and most widely used OS in industrial sector.
    And for choosing a linux distro you shoud check out this MakeUseOf page

    • Marek S?owikowski
      April 3, 2013 at 1:27 pm

      Popular distros are not the best. "De gustibus non est disputandum".

  23. Junil Maharjan
    April 3, 2013 at 6:41 am

    you can go back to ubuntu or you can install ubuntu or any other linux distro (linux mint, mageira, fedora. etc.) of a different drive.

  24. Rajaa Chowdhury
    April 3, 2013 at 6:40 am

    Go in for Ubuntu Linux.

  25. Ashutosh Dave
    April 3, 2013 at 5:51 am

    I understand what a Windows user goes through when we encounter Blue Screen Of Death. I am a windows(Vista) user myself. There was a time when even I was annoyed by the recurring BSOD on my HP laptop. Thus I decided to switch my OS.

    My priority was a free OS, like you. So I tried many linux distros like Ubuntu, Fedora etc. Of which I decided to give Ubuntu a try. And I was really satisfied with the performance of the Ubuntu. I could easily port my work to Ubuntu. It was a bit odd at first but it is easy to learn and use. Actually I had one of the best time when I used Ubuntu. It also has a variety of free applications. Also the interface is awesome and there are loads of customization options.

    I also suggest you to try out Mint, another popular linux distro. For ubuntu vs Mint, you might want to read - http://lifehacker.com/5993297/ubuntu-vs-mint-which-linux-distro-is-better-for-beginners

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