Cold Spare

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.


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

Margaret Rouse 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 explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…