Warm boot and cold boot explained

We come across a number of technical terms almost regularly, and we might or might not know some of them. Two such terms are warm boot and cold boot. We do not come across these terms a lot, but we do it almost every day. But what these terms actually refer to? From the terms, I am sure, one thing is evident to you. It is related in some way or the other, with the boot process. Yes, that is right. It is, in some way or the other, related to the way we start our computer up. So without further debates, let’s expose warm boot and cold boot.

What is the difference between cold boot and warm boot?

What is the difference between cold boot and warm boot

Cold boot

Cold boot actually refers to complete startup of a computer. It means, you completely turn off the computer, and restart it, using the power button on the system chassis. The term has relevance with the way, a computer boots up. The internal components get cooled, on shutting down the computer, and turns back on from that state. It is just because of that, cold boot got its name.

When the cold boot is done, a computer goes through POST or Power On Self Test, and then the operating system loads on to the memory. The internal peripherals are discharged before the cold boot process and regain power when the computer is turned on. A cold boot can sometimes solve numerous hardware problems, which are caused by inadequate power supply, or similar other things. But no, cold boot is never a permanent solution for hardware problems.

The steps in cold booting are simple. Just shut down the system. Disconnect the power from the system and reconnect it. Power the system on now.

Warm boot

A warm boot is the process of boot up, where the computer hardware is not stopped. It is just the operating system, which stops, and starts all over again. Unlike cold boot, the step of POST is not done in case of the warm boot, which makes warm boot is comparatively faster than the cold boot process. The name comes, as the peripherals do not start from scratch, and the hardware does not get a chance to be cooled.

When you reboot a computer, it is actually a process of the warm boot. The steps involved in warm booting is just going to ‘Start’, and then clicking on ‘Restart’ from the Power menu. Though the process can be different for different systems at the end of the day. The warm boot can eradicate problems with your operating system or software, and people even warm boot their computers after an update.

Some other noteworthy points

Warm boot and cold boot are not only limited to computers. You can even warm boot and cold boot your smartphones or portable devices. Whenever you start any electronics after disconnecting the power and connecting it again, it is a cold boot. Unless you need a cold boot, you should not do so, as it involves a lot of time. For fixing some common software issues, the warm boot is by far the best solution.

Hope the concept of the warm boot and a cold boot is now clear to you. Have more questions? Let me know about it in the comment section below.