I’ve been running Windows Vista for several months now and I’ve now run into at least four instances where I’ve had to hard reset, meaning press and hold the power button, to power off then power on the machine. In two of those instances, I’ve experienced data loss where text source code files I had been working where completely replaced with all nulls (hex 00)! Opening the files in notepad looked like the view you see in a hex editor with columns of zeros. In each case, the files seemed to be roughly the same size they were prior to the corruption. Now, before jumping to the virus conclusion this machine isn’t used for email nor web browsing and UAC is on and running in all it’s gory er, glory and it’s current with Windows Update.
While the machine has RAID 0 neither the OS nor the files which were corrupted were located on that drive. Suffice us to say I never experienced data loss as a result of powering off a Windows XP machine under similar circumstances however, I now dread the consequences with each reset of Vista and hope that it won’t become a pattern.