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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.
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.