Cold Spare

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What Does Cold Spare Mean?

A cold spare refers to any computing component, equipment or device that requires manual configuration and adjustment in the event of issues or total failure. It requires the suspension of normal computer/system operations until the component is repaired and/or replaced.

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A cold spare is typically related to storage devices.

Techopedia Explains Cold Spare

A cold spare may be an internal or external computing component that is usually present in non-redundant systems with only one device instance.

If there is only a single storage drive and it becomes nonoperational, the computer must be opened by a human operator to repair or replace the component, whereas redundant systems include automatic failover hot spare drives.

A cold spare also refers to an external drive that is not attached to a system but used in the event of hot drive failure.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.