hot plug definition

Contributor(s): Carol Sliwa

Hot plug is the addition of a component to a running computer system without significant interruption to the operation of the system. Hot plugging a device does not require a restart of the system.

Common examples of hot-pluggable devices include a hard disk drive (HDD) or a solid-state drive (SSD) that can be added to a storage system and a USB drive, mouse, keyboard or printer that can be added to a personal computer (PC).

Hot plugging is not the same as hot swapping a component into a running computer system. Hot swapping involves the replacement of a component, whereas hot plugging is the addition of a component that serves to expand the system.

This was first published in January 2014

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