Difference between Cold Booting and Warm Booting

Computer ProgrammingDifferencesOperating System

When a user presses the power button on their computer, it initiates the process known as "booting," which loads and starts the operating system. Booting can also be thought of as a series of actions where the ROM of the computer is accessed in order to load the startup instructions. After that, the operating system is loaded from the disc that is now being used to boot the computer.

A primary option for the boot disc is frequently the local hard drive. The process of booting the computer is finished when the operating system is loaded; at this point, the computer is ready for usage. There are two types of booting − cold booting and warm booting. Read through this article to find out the difference between cold and warm booting.

What is Cold Booting?

To do a cold boot on a computer that is already operational, select the Shut Down option. In order to complete the cold booting procedure, the computer must first be powered down and then restarted. If the computer locks up, you will need to do a cold reboot because a reset (also known as a "warm boot") may not be sufficient.

During a cold boot, the computer is powered off and its random-access memory (RAM) is flushed clean of any confidential data and registers that were created by the operating system and applications while they were in use.

It is common practice to perform a cold boot, sometimes known as a "hard boot," in order to remedy erroneous behavior exhibited by software. In order to guarantee that all of the data in the RAM has been removed, it is necessary to disconnect the power supply, which means turning off a desktop computer or removing the batteries from a portable computer.

To perform a cold boot on a laptop with a battery that cannot be removed, it is common practice to hold down the power button for ten seconds or longer. In addition to the power switch, it's possible that another key or button has to be pressed.

What is Warm Booting?

When a computer is hanging and not working properly, you can restart it so that it can function normally again. Warm boot does not turn off and does not erase data when powered on. It makes a big difference when paired with a cold boot. Before putting the system to use, it performs a self-diagnosis, also known as a POST, and loads all necessary drivers.

Even before the operating system begins to run, the computer goes through a number of steps that are collectively referred to as "booting." On the other hand, the term "warm boot" refers to the process of resetting a computer to its initial state while simultaneously maintaining the power supply.

Warm booting is more prevalent than cold booting due to the fact that consumers frequently leave their computers in a sleep mode even when they are not using them. The power-on self-test is skipped during warm booting, although the remainder of the boot procedure is finished normally.

All of the software files on the system that have been updated since the last time it was rebooted will also be loaded. It suggests that you are beginning the process of resetting the computer by simultaneously pressing the "Ctrl, Alt, and Delete" keys. You can also perform a warm boot by selecting "Restart" from the menu bar and hitting the button. After a few seconds, your computer will eventually go back to where it was initially and finish the process.

Difference between Cold and Warm Booting

The following table highlights the differences between Cold Booting and Warm Booting −

Basis of Comparison
Cold Booting
Warm Booting
Process Status
The computer restarts in a state in which it has no power.
The computer restarts without interfering with the applications.
resets the hardware as well as clearing all RAM.
resets the power supply and all of its components.
Reason to Stick Around
The failure of the cold boot to follow the warm boot results in its termination.
In most cases, the cold boot procedure is followed by a warm boot to restart all of the apps once they have stopped functioning.
Unplugging the computer and turning off the power supply.
Simultaneously pressing the Delete, Control, and Alt keys.
On a regular basis.
Not very normal.


The boot process that you select is actually contingent on the issue or error that the system is producing, which can be anything from a frozen program to an application that is unable to respond to a required system reboot following an upgrade in the system's firmware.

If an application does not react, a simple reset command will be enough to put the system back to its initial state during a warm boot. This means that the power supply will not need to be turned off throughout the process.

On the other hand, a cold boot is particularly effective against system crashes, which would otherwise require you to undertake a thorough system diagnosis by forcibly rebooting the system. A cold boot begins the computer in its normal operating state. One of the drawbacks of doing a cold boot is that it initializes all of the hardware from scratch, which results in the loss of all of the user's stored data.

Updated on 28-Jul-2022 10:14:57