The following is an interesting discussion between two people. The perspective is not from the Vaishnava camp(s) yet still there are some interesting experiments one can try. According to Hari Bhakti Vilas there's no consideration of such mundane conceptions as a salagram being "alive" or "dead" or in some way more or lesser, etc - still with the following experiment and looking at the positive perspective, wouldn't it just blow your mind if suddenly the salagram moved.

Taken from  Nancy C. M. Ross and Manamohan Mahapatra

K: There are salagramas inside [tale] the image of Jaganath [at Puri]. They are offered Tulasi leaf; that will remain alive for twelve years.

MM: So he said that in Jaganath, in that Brahman Padartha, there is also a salagram inside it and if you put one Tulsi leaf today on that Brahman padartha, after twelve years when you will again open it, that will be still alive.

MM: Our salagram -- whether dead [mruta] or alive [jibita] -- how will you know it? Put a piece of copper on the ground. Keep the salagram on top of it. Keep another copper paisa on top of the salagram. Then the salagram will move. Then you will know it is alive.

MM: You will keep one copper paisa on the ground, place the salagram on top of it, keep another copper paisa on top of it.

K: Keep another copper paisa on top of it. That will move round and round [giri giri buliba].

MM: Which one will move?

K: That salagram.

MM: English -- He says how you will know that the salagram is living or dead. You put one copper coin at the bottom; then on top of this you keep the salagram. Then on the salagram you out another copper coin. Then after you put the second copper coin on the salagram, that salagram will move like this. If it is a living one, it will move.

K: That is alive, not dead. That will work [kama deba]. If you do puja [for it] with a definite vow [udyesare manasika kari], that vow [udyesata] will be will be worked out [kama deba].

MM: The Salagram is of the Brahmins. That is the  `main' [thing].

K: It is in everybody's house. The ten incarnations. The fish, the boar, the Nrusingha [man-lion], dwarf [bamana], Parsurama, Rama, and Buddha incarnation. The God has appeared in the ten incarnations. Then Kalki abatar. All these are from this Salagram. All are coming out from it. The Salagram which is there, if you worship it, your wealth [dhana] will come automatically, in its own [chaien ta manasiku asiba]. That is the God-given [Brahma datta] power [sakti].