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Submitted by on Dec 26, 2021

The process of restarting a running computer system, whether purposefully or unintentionally, is known as rebooting. Reboots can be either cold (or soft), in which the system’s power is physically turned off and on again, forcing the machine to restart, or warm (or soft), in which the system restarts without the need to interrupt the power. Before executing a soft reboot, the operating system terminates all applications and completes all outstanding input and output activities, which is referred to as a restart.

A cold boot on an IBM PC compatible platform, according to Jones, Landes, and Tittel (2002), Cooper (2002), Tulloch (2002), and Soper (2004), is a boot procedure in which the machine starts from a powerless condition. Except for Tulloch (2002), all say that the machine runs a power-on self-test during cold boot (POST). Cooper (2002) and Soper (2004) claim that, in addition to the power switch, the reset button, if present, can initiate a cold reboot. Jones, Landes, and Tittel (2002) refute this claim, stating that, depending on the system, a reset button can initiate a cold or warm reboot.

Although the reset button is supposed to execute a cold reboot, Microsoft Support article 102228 indicates that it may not disconnect the power to the motherboard ” a situation that does not conform to the cold boot description mentioned above. Both the operating system and third-party applications can initiate a cold boot, according to Jones, Landes, and Tittel (2002):509; the restart command in Windows 9x causes a cold boot unless the Shift key is pressed.

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Warm boot, on the other hand, is more difficult to define. A warm boot is begun by hitting the Ctrl + Alt + Delete key combination in all of the aforementioned sources, with the exception of Tulloch (2002), who states that a warm reboot does not conduct POST. According to Jones, Landes, and Tittel (2002), BIOS must be the recipient of the key combination for a warm reboot to occur. Warm boot is defined in Microsoft Support article 102228 as the consequence of initiating INT 19h, a BIOS interrupt call, with the Ctrl + Alt + Delete key combination being merely one method of doing so.

Malware can block or subvert a warm boot by intercepting the Ctrl + Alt + Delete key sequence and preventing it from reaching BIOS, according to Grimes (2001). The Windows NT operating system family follows suit, reserving the key combination for its exclusive usage. Soper (2004) claims that the Windows “Restart” command causes a warm boot, however Jones, Landes, and Tittel (2002) claim that the identical operation initiates a cold boot.

Warm boot is an option in the Linux family of operating systems; the Linux kernel contains optional support for kexec, a system function that transfers execution to a fresh kernel without requiring hardware or firmware reset. The whole thing happens without the help of the system’s firmware. It is not necessary for the kernel to be a Linux kernel to be run.

The sorts of boot may not be as clear beyond the domain of IBM compatible PCs. Windows CE devices offer three sorts of booting, according to Sue Loh of the Windows CE Base Team: warm, chilly, and clean. Program memory is discarded during a warm boot. A cold boot also deletes the device’s storage memory (also known as the “object store”), but a clean boot deletes all types of memory storage.

Because these regions are not present on all Windows CE machines, users must choose between two types of reboots: one that resets the volatile memory and one that wipes the device clean and restores factory settings. The former is a cold boot for a Windows Mobile 5.0 device, whereas the latter is a clean boot.

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