by s1t2a3n - 9/11/11 2:02 PM
Forget the operating system and think of your data first. You can always reinstall an OS, but if you lose data, you may never be able to get it back.
When I was working, I worked for a non-profit that was a Microsoft house. That meant I was stuck using Windows, like it or not. MANY times my machine would lock up and I could not get it to do anything. Even trying to turn it off with the power switch didn't work. The only thing I could do was to unplug the power cord from the back of the machine and then after about 10 seconds, plug the cord back in and reboot. And yes, I did lose data when that happened, so I spent a lot of needless time re-entering that data.
I use Vista on my desktop at home, and I had this very issue occur again the other day. Yes, I got down on the floor and did the power cord thing again; I am expert at that maneuver now.
And all the times that I was forced to do that, both when I was working and now here at home, I never noticed any ill effects on Windows from my power-cord tango.
This question would be moot if you were using a well-crafted robust OS like the Mac OS or Linux, but since you're using that dog called Windows, it never hurts to get some info.
Like I said earlier, if you damage your Windows, you haven't lost much. You should have some way to reinstall it. But if you lose your data by not saving often, you're back to Square One.