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hard reset

To restore a smartphone or tablet to its factory settings, which erases all applications that were installed by the user as well as all user data. In contrast, a "hard boot," also known as a "cold boot," which is performed on a computer, does not eliminate data and software, except for data being worked on in memory that was not saved. Contrast with soft reset. See cold boot.

cold boot

Starting the computer when its power is turned off. To perform a cold boot if the computer is still running, Shut Down must be selected from the menu first. Once the machine is off, turning it back on performs the cold boot.

If a program failure locks up the computer, a normal restart from the menu (warm boot) may not be sufficient to set things right again, because memory (RAM) is not cleared. However, a cold boot removes power and clears memory, and all current settings are reset. Erratic program behavior can sometimes be cured with a cold boot, also called a "hard boot."

It May Not Be That Easy
Laptops and home theater equipment may require more effort, because turning them off may not really remove the power. Laptops may continue to draw battery power, and to guarantee a cold boot, the battery may have to be removed for a minute and re-inserted. Likewise, set-top boxes, A/V receivers and other consumer electronics may continue to draw power when turned off and thus have to be unplugged from the wall to ensure a cold boot. Contrast with warm boot. See boot, clean boot and reboot.

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