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Cold Boot vs. Warm Boot

Posted on 2004-03-25
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Last Modified: 2008-02-26
Hey,

I'm a bit freaked out because out of anger and fustration of losing my work on a frozen machine, I hit the 'reset' button almost 6 times in row. I do know that a cold (turn off the pc and turn it back on quickly) can really do damage to the resistors/capacitors due to the inrush of power and the lack of time to discharge. On my machine, after hitting the reset button, apparently nothing goes off except for the monitor losing synch with the video card (I really can't tell of any other hardware because the reset happens so fast.)

So:

1. If you hit the pc 'reset' switch say 6 times in a row, should I look to buying new hardware in the next fews days or is a warm reset button boot ok - even under this circumstance?

2. Can doing something as stupid as I did damage any hardware? If so, would it be limited to the Power Supply or ramified to any connected system component?

3. In a warm 'reset' button reboot, is the system temporarily shutdown and restarted - or - are the logic circuits on the hardware simply reset whilst the power remain continuous? Or is this dependant on the system?

4. What actually happens on a warm 'reset' button reboot - not a (start->shutdown->restart boot)?

5. How long should one wait before doing a cold reboot (as in, say, a hardware upgrade)? Is 5 minutes sufficient? According to enermax, the system should not be restarted within a 5 minute time frame of the last shutdown. I wondering if it's the bare minimum or if you should wait longer.

Thanks!
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Question by:adobepro
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3 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:jvuz
ID: 10676573
What happens if you keep the start button in for several seconds. Normally after 6-7 seconds it should shut down.
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Callandor earned 250 total points
ID: 10677545
Warm resets are not bad on the system - they just send a reset signal to the cpu and everything restarts.  Power is continuous, and everything happens on a signal level.  The only downside is file systems may be left in a strange state, requiring chkdsk.

Cold reboots, though, should not be done except when really necessary, because they involve the hard disk spinning up, capacitors charging up, and possible voltage surges.  Cold boots may be necessary when certain PCI cards lock up and need to be reset.  How long should one wait when doing a cold reboot?  I generally give it 10 seconds after everything turns off.  The 5 minutes is to be sure all the remaining voltage in capacitors dies down.
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Author Comment

by:adobepro
ID: 10680909
Thanks Callandor, I sincerely appreciate the quick turnaround on this question - and I'm also relieved that I did not make waste in my haste to discharge my fustration.
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