Hard shutdown is the opposite of There are two ways to turn off a computer: by graceful shutdown, or hard shutdown. Graceful shutdown means that the OS (operating system) can safely shut down its processes and close all connections, however long that takes. This helps to prevent accidental data loss or other unexpected problems if the shutdown is performed intentionally by the user.: insteand of allowing the OS (operating system) to properly shut down its processes and close the connections, the OS is turned off immediately. While it saves some time, it might cause unexpected problems or data loss, or even failure to boot.