Computer Terminologies 101

Difference between Cold Boot and Warm Boot

Ever heard of the terms Cold and Warm boot?  Yep, you read it right, Cold and Warm boot!  Now, let me explain the difference between the two in the simplest way I can.

A Cold boot refers to the process of just simply turning on the power button/switch of your computer after it has been powered off for sometime.  An instance of cold booting a computer is when you turn on the power after being off, let’s say you turned off the computer last night and this morning you turn it on.

On the other hand, a warm boot is restarting a computer that is already turned on.  It is applied in re-opening a computer when a program is not responding or encounters an error from which it cannot recover.  It is also performed whenever a BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death) appears on the screen.  A warm boot can be performed by simultaneously pressing the Control, Alt and Delete keys.  As per experience, the usual cause of these errors is a possible memory problem.  If ever the computer still does not respond after a warm boot, let it rest for a while, then perform a cold boot afterwards. Troubleshooting this kind of issue will be further discussed in my next tutorial series, so please stay tuned :).   A warm boot is also known  as the soft boot.

There you go, 2 simple computer terminologies to add in our computing vocabulary.  By the way, what time did you cold boot your computer today?

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  1. Wow, I learned a lot from this post! You’ve accomplished explaining a technical issue in non-techy, user friendly language and I am impressed! I’ll be subscribing to get your posts in email and will click to follow. I love finding gems of blogs like this one!

    – Dawn

  2. Thanks. In the course of my discussions on Linux Forum about a problem of mine, somebody asked me to do a cold boot. I did not know what is cold booting and I wrote that in my reply. Now that I have learnt what iscold booting I’ll write that that is exactly what I do when I try a live USB. You have been very clear. Thanks.

  3. thax for your post in fact the first time i heard of booting i was surprised asking my self what does it mean? but now i can also challenge those who do not know it .thax so much for the clear explanation.

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