OK, I have no idea how other OSes would have behaved in such a situation, but linux amazed me these days...
I have a brand new desktop machine (which is called obelix, with rather low specs for its age (athlon 64x2 3200+, 2 Gb RAM, Nvidia 8200), but worth the very low money less than 300€ including shipping cost) and amply sufficient for the family computing needs. Unfortunately, the SD card reader went dead a few weeks ago. A minor annoyance, but still an annoyance, especially when your camera uses an SD card... I shipped back the machine for replacement, and the aforementionned family would have had to do without a PC during that time.
That was a non acceptable situation.
I decided to try to bring back to life our previous desktop machine, called agecanonix, which had a dead SATA controller. I took out the SATA disk from obelix, put it into an external USB bay, and attempted to boot it from agecanonix. And it worked ! Well, that is, it displayed the grub menu, but refused to go farther. After a nice piece of hand from the fantastic Archlinux community, the boot process was complete, and here I was looking at the same desktop than on obelix.
I mean, I took out a hard drive from a machine, booted it from another (old) machine through an external USB bay, and it just *worked*. OK, the older machine also had an athlon (64 2200+) and an Nvidia card (6600GT), but still. The KDE 4.3.4 desktop was significantly slower, but that was expected.
Now, obelix is back and kicking, and it only took a few minutes to put back the hard drive into it, and get surfing again, only this time at full speed.
Again, I have no idea how other OSes would behave, but I'm left in awe for linux agility.
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